Adrafinil Review – Should You Use It?

By: Rob Miller
Fact Checked On: 10-6-2018

Home » Nootropics » Adrafinil Review – Should You Use It?

We here at has been studying, researching, and personally testing a wide variety of Nootropics over the last several months, and it’s been pretty interesting.

Some of these nootropics worked great, while others, not so much.

In today’s review we’re going to be talking about one recent one we tested called Adrafinil.


What is Adrafinil?
How Adrafinil Works
Dosing Requirements
How To Take It
What To Expect / Possible Side Effects
Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil
Adrafinil Vs. Armodafinil
Adrafinil Vs. Adderall

What is Adrafinil?

More popularly known as a smart drug, Adrafinil is a kind of wakefulness-promoting agent that, when taken, is used as a psychostimulant.

Adrafinil is a kind of nootropic, the kind of supplement that is taken primarily for its effects on the brain.

More specifically, it is a eugeroic nootropic, or the kind that promotes attention and alertness while preventing sleep.

chemical structure of adrafinil
Adrafinil Chemical Structure

Discovered by two French scientists back in 1974, the drug was given the brand name ‘Olmifon’ and was sold in French pharmacies since 1984. (Source: 1)

Back then, Olmifon was marketed primarily to benefit the elderly who needed to improve their alertness, wakefulness, and even mood.

Eventually, however, the product started having younger consumers, more specifically individuals who wanted to push back fatigue such as workers who do overtime or work at night.

Sometime in September 2011, the drug was discontinued since more potent alternatives have been produced and made available in the market.

This didn’t mean, however, that Adrafinil was no longer effective, considering that the drug was included in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited athletic drugs back in 2004. In fact, it is still classified by most governments as a prescription drug because of its potential dangers, and it still sits at the very top of the World Anti Doping Stimulants list. (Source: 2)

adrafinil legal status wada

How Adrafinil Works

adrafinil reviewOnce taken, Adrafinil stimulates the central nervous system, specifically the body’s adrenergic system catecholamine hormone levels.

These parts of the system produce adrenaline when the body is exposed to stress or excitement.

While the production of adrenaline can come naturally, Adrafinil makes it happen when the user needs it.

The effects are then divided into two:

  • First, it keeps you awake.The initial effect of the drug gives you a boost in hypocretin.

    Known also as orexin, hypocretin is the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for promoting wakefulness and appetite.

    Hypocretin, however, is not the only factor to promoting wakefulness.

    Therefore, added doses of Adrafinil will cause the production of even more chemicals that induce attentiveness within the human body.
  • Secondly, it helps you concentrate better.Focus and concentration are not just attributed to wakefulness – since some people can be wide awake but still lack focus.

    In addition to keeping you awake, Adrafinil boosts your capacity to concentrate and remember things, which in turns helps improve the learning process.

    This is achieved when the drug induces the production of glutamate in the body.

    Glutamate is what’s responsible for helping you with your perception and other cognitive abilities.

Adrafinil has also been observed to inhibit the breakdown of dopamine, thereby reducing stress and promoting a more positive mood.

Suggested Dosage

Adrafinil is soluble in water and can be taken even on an empty stomach.

Unlike Modafinil, the effects of the stimulant will be apparent within 45 minutes to an hour from taking.

Just like the early prescriptions of Olmifon, Adrafinil is set with a recommended dosage of 600 to 1,200 mg. Those being treated for narcolepsy are often given two 600 mg doses – one in the morning and another during the noon. (Source: 3)

Another recommended dose would be to take either a 600 or 900 mg dose once upon waking up.

Most users, today, however, have taken Adrafinil in 150 to 300 mg doses.

This pace tends to be safer and helps avoid tolerance of the drug, which may reduce effectiveness in the long run.

To further avoid tolerance and addiction, experts recommend that the drug be taken in cycles, giving yourself rest periods to allow your body to not be dependent on the substance.

For example, do on and off weeks so there will be significant periods of time when you can function without the aid of the stimulant.

This practice will also help protect you from any known side effects of the drug.

Note: Be careful where you buy your Adrafinil.

Since Olmifon got discontinued, there have been many cases where consumers of the drug have been duped into buying fake substances.

One good indication of a fake product is the fact that the powder is tasteless.

The water-soluble nature of Adrafinil also means that mixing it with water shouldn’t result in a cloudy mixture. (Source: 4)

Make sure to check labels for credible certification.

Usually, Adrafinil is sold in packets of 10 to 20 grams, and the usual price will float around $40 per 10 grams.Take note of this especially when purchasing the product online.

My personal favorite is Adrafinil from I’ve personally used it on numerous occasions and can attest to its effectiveness.

Here’s a link to their site:

How to Use Adrafinil

To use, dissolve Adrafinil in a cup of hot water.

To avoid intense side effects, you can start with 100 mg or less to see how to product affects you.

Since the substance is water-soluble, it is expected that the mixture will be clear.

As with most drugs, always follow the instructions of your doctor to avoid any complications.

Given that recommended doses can vary on a case-to-case basis, it’s quite clear that different individuals respond differently to the same dosage of Adrafinil.

What to Expect When Taking Adrafinil (Benefits and other effects)

As mentioned before, Adrafinil share the same effects as Modafinil.

You will therefore experience the following effects at varied intensity, depending on the dosage:

  • Because of its primary effects, you will be able to stay awake in times when you’d otherwise fall asleep;
  • You’ll also be able to concentrate as if you weren’t tired at all.

    In fact, you’ll notice and even sharper focus than usual;
  • If you happen to be reading or studying something, you’ll also be able to learn better and even improve memory;
  • Since Adrafinil helps balance your mood, you won’t be affected by any hyperactivity, depression, or anxiety in case you’re suffering from any of these; and
  • Because of the reduced stress, you’ll be experiencing better motivation.

Some people who have taken Adrafinil have also attested to having a better night’s sleep.

Remember, however, that taking Adrafinil during the afternoon or evening might result in the opposite, since the effect of the stimulant does promote wakefulness after all.

On the other hand, some people have experienced adverse effects after taking Adrafinil.

Some of these include:

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration or dry mouth
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Irritability
  • Causes anxiety instead of reducing it

Studies have also shown that Adrafinil has the risk of negatively affecting people with heart conditions, since it is by nature a stimulant.

It has also been observed that improper dosage could lead to liver damage.

But overall, responsible use of this stimulant has more benefits than risks.

You will generally be experiencing better productivity during most days.

Just make sure to observe the proper dosage.

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil

adrafinil vs modafinil review

Because the two are quite related in many ways, it is easy to mistake Adrafinil with its later counterpart, Modafinil.

Most people would recognize Modafinil as Provigil, which is a brand name of the generic drug. (Source: 5) Both are cognitive enhancement drugs and they both even have almost the same chemical structure.


The difference between the two, however, can be drawn from the fact that, as mentioned earlier, Adrafinil is a pro-drug to Modafinil.

When both drugs metabolize in the liver, it takes less work for enzymes to trigger the effects of Modafinil than Adrafinil which still needs to be broken down into a Modafinil compound before taking effect.

Unlike Modafinil which only takes about 20 minutes to kick in, Adrafinil will take about 40 minutes to an hour to take effect – which is one of the main reasons why Olmifon was discontinued later.

Related Article:Afinil Express Review – Legit Modafinil w/o A Prescription

The more important distinction in this respect, however, is the fact that the effects of Adrafinil will usually vary greatly between people.

Because the metabolizing of Adrafinil in the liver is more complex, it is more dependent on not only one’s metabolic rate but on the production of enzymes as well.

This means that people of the same sex and age will respond differently to the same dose of Adrafinil simply because one of them could have a more efficient liver than the other.

Note that these differences in liver efficiency also means that people’s risk of incurring liver damage could vary as well.


How the two drugs metabolize also make them differ in terms of the needed dosage.

The wide range of dosages used by different people shows that Adrafinil can be taken safely, even when they go beyond the recommended dosage.

The only difference is that some might not feel the effects of the stimulant at lower dosages because of their unique tolerance or metabolism.

Of course, it is still recommended to start small before upping the dosage.

But because Modafinil does not need to be broken down into a different compound when it reaches the liver, it doesn’t require as high a dose as Adrafinil for people to feel its effects.

In fact, the recommended dosage falls within a more restricted range of 100 to 200 mg, taken once per day, during the morning.

Some users have also attested that taking 200 mg of Modafinil with coffee has good effects, but higher doses like 400 to 600 mg or having too much caffeine with the usual 200 mg causes varying levels of anxiety and sleeping problems.

It appears that, so that both would demonstrate approximately the same effects, the Adrafinil to Modafinil dosage ratio would be 150 mg to 50 mg. This explains why most users of Adrafinil attest to have the same experience in taking 600 mg of Adrafinil as they would with 200 mg Modafinil.

I talk about Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil in my full review posted here, including my personal results with each.

Adrafinil vs. Armodafinil

adrafinil vs armodafinil review

Armodafinil is normally known in the market by their brands Nuvigil and Artvigil.

This drug was designed to help its users deal with fatigue while being more effective even at doses less than that of Adrafinil and Modafinil.

At a recommended dose of 150 mg, Armodafinil does take less to be as effective as Modafinil or Adrafinil.

Much like Modafinil, however, Armodafinil does not rely much on enzyme activity in the liver and therefore works faster than Adrafinil.

Adrafinil Can be a Cheaper Choice

Because Modafinil and Armodafinil are sold in their known brands, it can be expected that Adrafinil, although requiring higher doses to be as effective, would not be as expensive as the other two.

As you already know, Olmifon is no longer available on the market, and Adrafanil is sold as a generic drug.

Adrafinil vs. Adderall

adrafinil vs adderall

It might not seem like it, but there is a huge difference between Adrafinil and Adderall than most people would think.

It’s easy to mistake the two as related since they’re both taken to enhance one’s productivity and concentration.

The two substances are, in fact, chemically unrelated.

Perhaps one of the most notable distinctions between the two is their main purpose.

Comprised of amphetamine salts, Adderall is intended primarily to help treat ADHD.

Adrafinil, on the other hand, much like Modafinil, is intended to remedy fatigue, but isn’t very effective in dealing with ADHD.

Below are a few more distinctions.

Note, however, that since Adrafinil is a pro-drug of Modafinil, they will most likely share the same distinctions when compared with Adderall.

  • While both Adderall and Adrafinil are intended to boost concentration, Adderall targets behavior and executive functions.

    Adrafinil, on the other hand, stimulates attention and fights the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
  • As mentioned before, Adderall is used by people with ADHD.

    Adrafinil, however, can be used to treat sleeping disorders.
  • Because its chemical effects are not as potent as Adderall, Adrafinil is less likely to cause serious side effects and dependence that may lead to abuse.
  • Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance while Adrafinil is mainly considered a supplement.

    Because of the regulation, Adderall isn’t readily available online compared to Adrafinil.

    This fact, as mentioned before, does create its own risks.

One thing’s for sure: the two are not meant to be alternatives to each other.

Unless a person is diagnosed with ADHD or a physician prescribes it, Adderall should be off your list of medication if all you’re looking for is a productivity enhancer.


With proper dosage and knowledge of the substance, Adrafinil is a pretty safe and effective way of staying alert and focused at times when you need it the most.

Whether you’re a student or a late night worker, healthy doses of Adrafinil will definitely help you a lot!

Have You Used Adrafinil?

Leave Your Review Below!

References / Sources

  1. History of Adrafinil
  2. WADA Prohibited Substances List
  3. Adrafinil Dose
  4. How to identify fake adrafinil
  5. Provigil Uses

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Author: Rob Miller

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Rob Miller founded over 7 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. He has a diploma in Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor, and worked at GNC for 3 years. He KNOWS supplements, both inside and out. Rob currently resides in Jupiter, FL, with his wife of 4 years.  Learn more about him in his Bio here. Follow him on Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn, or find him on Google +.