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Seen At 11: A Real-Life Superhero Pill? Looking Into The 'Limitless' Drug

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Everyone's looking for an edge -- that's what humans do.

For business consultant Peter Borden, that "edge" comes in the form of a pill -- called modafinil.

"The effects in the movie 'Limitless' were pretty much one for one to what happens," Borden said.

In the movie, and now the CBS drama, it's a fictional drug that gives the user super human intelligence.

It reality, modafinil, which is FDA-approved for sleep disorders, is developing a following because of it's off-label success -- as a smart pill.

As CBS2's Dana Tyler reported, one man said that he heard about modafinil from friends, who claimed it would help him deal with his overwhelming tasks at work and school.

"It really helped me stay on top of things," he said. "I was able to manage everything pretty well, better than if I hadn't taken it."

It's a fact that modafinil can help combat fatigue and improve mood. But Dr. Katherine Burdick, who concedes she knows people who use it as a cognitive enhancer, says more research is needed before it can be marketed as a real 'smart' pill.

"So while they do enhance your own abilities in a way that may suggest a better you, the potential risks that are associated with this are still unknown," Burdick said.

Burdick, who serves as an associate professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Ichan School of Medicine, said the increased intelligence the user may feel is likely something they're already capable of.

"In general these drugs don't tend to give people ideas they didn't already have," Brundick said. "They may make it easier for people to access those ideas."

Dave Asprey, CEO of Bulletproof, a coffee and nutrition company, claims modafinil is directly linked to his success.

"When I started taking it, it was like the lights came back on, and I was able to do things I'd never been able to do," Asprey said.

Asprey stresses a healthy lifestyle is a must to make the most of it.

"I'd like to have it for those days when I just don't know if I can do it, and all of a sudden, you can do it and do it with ease," Asprey said.

Those using it as a smart pill say they feel no ill effects the next day.

There's currently a study for another possible "off label" use for this drug -- to treat manic depression.

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