Adrafinil vs. ModafinilBy: Rob Miller
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The need to push oneself to productivity has really driven people to find ways to enhance their focus and concentration to allow them to do more and accomplish for within a day.
It’s really no surprise that wakefulness promoting drugs like Modafinil have become the go-to drug for a lot of people who need to fight off fatigue and stay focused for longer hours.
Adrafinil, another wakefulness promoting drug which happens to be quite related to Modafinil, has grown in popularity as well. Lots of people opt for Adrafinil for its accessibility for the same reasons why others would take Modafinil.
It’s no surprise that people easily confuse the two.
Considering that they both have the same functions, how do the two compare to each other?
Here, we’ll compare the two drugs side by side and see where they differ. But before that, it’s important to know what exactly these two are.
Want to skip ahead to my results? Click Here to see
my comparisons between Adrafinil, Modafinil, and Armodafinil.
What is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a drug that was originally created to help treat conditions like narcolepsy, daytime sleepiness, and other sleeping disorders. (Source:1
Off-label, it is used as a cognition enhancement agent because its primary effect involves the promotion of wakefulness.
Modafinil comes under brand names like Alertec, Provigil, and Modavigil, and is classified as a schedule IV controlled drug.
Getting one therefore requires a prescription from a doctor.
Most people would think of Modafinil as an alternative to caffeine or amphetamines, but without the usual jitters.
Of course, they must be taken with the proper dosage and have shown their own fair share of side effects as well.
Related Article: Looking for the closest thing to Modafinil over the counter? Read this.
What is Adrafinil?
While Adrafinil became popular after Modafinil, the two were created roughly the same era. Adrafinil, however, was developed during the early 1970s, when it was first developed and marketed in France to elderly patients to help manage their attention, mood, and focus. (Source: 2
It pretty much promotes wakefulness as well.
It was sold under the brand name Olmifon until it was discontinued in 2011 because the drug took a while to take effect – roughly 45 minutes on an empty stomach – compared to its alternatives.
Adrafinil was also regulated as a prohibited drug for athletes, and it was also classified as a prescribed type of medication because of its potential for being used as a party drug.
Adrafinil, however, is more widely available for purchase online compared to its alternatives.
A notable characteristic of Adrafinil, however, is that it is a pro-drug for Modafinil. This means that Adrafinil is taken and is them metabolized into Modafinil by the liver, resulting in the same effect.
This explains why Adrafinil takes longer to have any effect and will normally require stronger doses to be as effective as its counterparts.
Related Article: Read our comprehensive Adrafinil Review here.
What is Armodafinil?
People who have been using Modafinil and/or Adrafinil will surely have heard of Armodafinil as well.
More known under the brand name Nuvigil, Armodafinil is yet another alternative for wakefulness promoting agents. (Source: 3
Users who opt for Adrafinil would take lower doses and still have the same effect as Adrafinil and Modafinil.
Just like its other counterparts, Armodafinil is a regulated drug prescribed usually to people who need to deal with sleeping disorders or mood problems and, in some cases, treat schizophrenia.
How Do They Compare?
Now that you know what the similarities between the two are, the best way to compare Adrafinil and Modafinil is to look at where they differ. This review will focus on the following factors:
Adrafinil Dosage Compared To Modafinil
People who take Nootropics will know that Adrafinil generally requires a higher dose to have nearly the same effect as Modafinil. This is mainly because of the fact that Adrafinil is a precursor to Modafinil.
That is, Adrafinil takes longer to take effect because it still needs to be broken down in the liver into Modafinil – something which obviously is no longer needed in the case of Modafinil.
The general consensus is that 150 mg Adrafinil is equivalent to 50 mg Modafinil.
But since, the generally recommended dose of Modafinil is 100 to 200 mg (such that a 50 mg dose would hardly have any effect), the recommended dosage for Adrafinil would be somewhere between 300 to 600 mg.
But because Adrafinil’s character as a pro-drug to Modafinil, it is more prone to issues of tolerance and might therefore have different results among different people even within the same dosage mentioned above.
This is why some people have gone as much as 1,200 mg of Adrafinil daily.
These varying cases are likely due to the fact that people of varying health levels produce enzymes that breakdown Adrafinil at different rates.
Of course, there are other reasons but the long and short of it is that this happens simply because people’s bodies respond to the same medication differently.
Recommended Use of Adrafinil
Adrafinil users, however, are advised to start with smaller doses and see how it affects their body. This is to make sure that they take only as much as they need. Otherwise, they risk having their body tolerate the drug which will make it ineffective in the long run.
Risks of abuse and dependency might also result from taking too much of it.
In comparison, those who take Modafinil shouldn’t go beyond the 200 mg dose.
While there have been those who hit the 400 to 600 mg mark, these exceptions should are best taken only with the advice or recommendation of the prescribing doctor.
One of the main reasons why Adrafinil was discontinued was because counterparts like Modafinil act faster than it. Again, this is because Modafinil no longer needs to be broken down in the body before taking effect.
Recommended Use of Modafinil
Since Modafinil tends to be more potent, people usually take them once in the morning – at the time of waking – and no more. Those who feel the need for a stronger dose would simply take caffeine or, in some cases, take an additional dose during the noon.
For example, a person would either have 200 mg in the morning and then drink coffee later or take another 200 mg after lunch, having a total of 400 mg per day.
Meanwhile, those who take Modafinil would take two 300 mg doses – one in the morning and another in the noon, just like with Modafinil.
Some doctors would prescribe the dosage to up to two 600 mg doses, but these are usually given to people with narcolepsy and similar sleeping disorders.
Whether taking Adrafinil or Modafinil, it’s important to make sure that you don’t take any of it in the late afternoon, much less in the evening.
Otherwise, you might not be able to sleep because of the effects of the drugs – which might hurt more than help you.
Another important recommendation is to take both drugs in cycles, which means that you allot a specific period of time when you are not using these drugs.
Most people would take them twice or thrice a week and then not take any at all during the following week.
This greatly reduces the chances of your body developing either tolerance or dependence on the drugs, which could be bad.
With proper planning and dosage, you’ll be able to enhance your focus and productivity at times when you need it the most without experiencing the adverse effects Adrafinil or Modafinil in the long run.
Stacking With Other Nootropics
As the name suggests, stacking refers to the act of taking more than one type of nootropic to achieve more effective results.
Generally, there are many kinds of combinations out there that involve either of Adrafinil or Modafinil with other nootropics:
- Modafinil is usually combined with coffee, yohimbine HCl, along with some multivitamins and other supplements.
- Adrafinil, on the other hand, have been used alongside with Noopept, Phenylpiracetam, and Piracetam
These combinations are not limited to what’s mentioned above and could vary between users. What’s in a person’s stack will depend greatly on what works on him or her.
But there are a couple of things that have been generally observed when stacking either of the two.
Should I Stack Adrafinil and Modafinil?
First, Adrafinil and Modafinil are never stacked with each other or at least it’s highly advised against. This is because the two almost have the same function, with Adrafinil only being a pro-drug to Modafinil.
Taking these two means overworking your liver and exposing your body to basically the same chemical compound which will increase the risk of developing tolerance.
Basically, stacking them means taking more than the recommended dose.
Note: There are, however, claims that instead of stacking them, you can take them alternately in order to reduce the risk of tolerance. But what’s important is that you don’t take them together.
Second, Modafinil tends to be harder to stack with other drugs compared to Adrafinil because Modafinil’s potency makes it more likely for it to cause anxiety, hyper stimulation, and other adverse side effects when taken with other nootropics.
If you want to try increasing the potency of Modafinil, you can take it with caffeine.
Adrafinil, on the other hand, has been known to work quite well on its own. Some people do stack other nootropics with it, but again it’s still taken on a case-to-case basis.
Just remember that stacking has to be purposeful. That is, you need to know what you’re stacking up for.
For example, the nootropics you will be using with Modafinil will be different if you wanted enhanced cognition (i.e. focus and wakefulness) from when you would need to improve your mood.
This is because nootropics differ in terms of effects.
Side Effects and Toxicity of Adrafinil and Modafinil
As far as adverse effects are concerned, Adrafinil and Modafinil are pretty much the same:
- stomach problems
- skin disorders
- sleeping problems
What makes Adrafinil lose out to Modafinil, however, is its toxicity. Because Adrafinil still needs to be metabolized in the liver, it strains the liver more than Modafinil does.
As such, it is believed that Adrafinil has higher levels of toxicity compared to Modafinil. This, however, is still being studied. Toxicity, after all, is associated more with high dosage and long term use than the enzymes needed to break down a particular drug.
Legality and Availability
Both Adrafinil and Modafinil have been banned as performance enhancing drugs for athletes under the World Anti-Doping Association. But since its discontinuance, Adrafinil has been left unregulated across many countries and can be available over the counter.
Modafinil, on the other hand, is listed as a Schedule IV controlled substance and cannot be purchased without a prescription. (Source: 4
This is the case for the U.S., Canada, and most European nations.
This distinction would means two things:
- Adrafinil is generally cheaper than Modafinil. The cost for a 20-tablet prescription of Modafinil alone would cost as much as $300. In most stores, Modafinil drugs would cost about $300 to $500 for 100 mg doses and $400 to $800 for 200 mg doses (that’s 20 capsules per bottle). Meanwhile, Adrafinil capsules, however, can cost somewhere between $30 to $100 per bottle of 150 capsules.
Aside from the fact that Modafinil is highly regulated, it tends to be more expensive because of a lack of generic alternatives.
- Because it is not regulated, Adrafinil tends to be easier to find online. Of course, Modafinil can still be found for sale on the internet, but sites that sell them would have to adhere to regulations.
The fact that Adrafinil is widely available on the internet is, however, not entirely a good thing. This makes it possible for consumers to fall prey to sellers of fake Adrafinil which can either have no effect or have dangerous effects on your body.
As such, you should be careful when purchasing Adrafinil online: take heed of accreditation marks and always check for reviews on online sellers.
If the Adrafinil you purchased is tasteless, then you may have been duped. If a bottle of Adrafinil is sold online is at a price that it’s too good to be true, and then it probably is.
My Personal Results – Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil
I’ve had the opportunity to take both Modafinil AND Adrafinil, and I can say without a doubt that Modafinil is superior in terms of effectiveness.
It doesn’t take a heck of a lot of time to “kick in” and the effects seem to last a VERY long time (almost too long).
The focus and concentration aspect is hard to beat when it comes to Modafinil. It WILL make you alert and focused for hours on end, helping you to complete tasks quickly and easily.
However, in my personal experience, I actually like Adrafinil better.
For me, the effects of Modafinil came on a bit too strong, and that lingering feeling left me with a couple of pretty sleepless nights.
No insomniac like, but just a REALLY hard time falling asleep.
You get this with Adrafinil as well, but to a MUCH lesser extent.
Another downside to Modafinil was the headache, which seemed to just pop up out of nowhere after about 7 hours.
It wasn’t “migraine-like” in its intensity, but it was REALLY annoying.
I didn’t get this with Adrafinil.
Also, for me, Modafinil feels kind of weird. It’s hard to describe, but you get the feeling that you’re taking a harsh chemical when you take this stuff.
It doesn’t feel “clean” like Adrafinil does. A lot of people will say the opposite, but this was simply the case with me.
The downside to Adrafinil, of course, is that it takes THAT MUCH LONGER to kick in.
That depends on a lot of factors, but for me, the onset of Adrafinils effects seemed to take about 3 hours, Vs. about 45 minutes with Modafinil.
It really depends on your bodies metabolism, how much food you have in your stomach, your overall mood before taking, and a few other factors.
The other downside to Modafinil is it’s legality.
I obtained mine legally from a doctor, but the vast majority of people that decide to try Modafinil out go through the black markets.
This is not only dangerous, but of course, illegal.
If you can get Modafinil legally, I would highly recommend it.
However, if you’re concerned about getting thrown in jail for possessing a Schedule IV substance, and are looking for a legal over the counter alternative, I highly recommend giving Adrafinil a try.
I buy mine from a site called AbsorbYourHealth.com. At $33 for 30 capsules, its WAY cheaper than Modafinil and the effects are relatively comparable.
Here’s a link to my full review: https://www.supplementcritique.com/adrafinil-review/
and here’s a link to their website – https://www.absorbyourhealth.com/product/adrafinil-300-mg-30-70-100-150-capsules-nootropic/?ref=4349
My Personal Results – Armodafinil Vs. Adrafinil
I recently got a chance to try out Armodafinil, and to be quite honest, I didn’t seem to get hardly any effect from it. I don’t know if I just got a bad batch or what, but I took a standard dose and really didn’t feel anything.
As a matter of fact, I ACTUALLY felt more tired when I took it. On top of that, I had this weird pressure sensation in my head that for the life of me would just NOT go away.
Luckily I didn’t have a sleepless night, but of course, I didn’t have a very productive day either.
Some users report a bit more of a kick to Armodafinil Vs. Adrafinil, but I didn’t notice any similarities.
I would stick with Adrafinil if I had to choose between the 2.
Like most drugs, both Adrafinil and Modafinil are very useful at the right dosage. While they are not EXACTLY the same in terms of effectiveness, Adrafinil is very comparable.
And consequentially, legal.
But when choosing between the two, make sure you consider the factors discussed above, weigh your pros and cons, and even consult your doctor, before making a choice.
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