Adrafinil vs Modafinil

Adrafinil vs Modafinil – A 2021 Nootropic Comparison Guide 

Nootropics are sought-after supplements. These smart drugs can sharpen your focus, help you remember things for longer, and help enhance your overall productivity. There are quite a few smart drugs available on the market, and today we’re going to break down and compare the benefits of Modafinil and Adrafinil.

Modafinil is one of the most popular nootropics or smart drugs in the world. Plenty of people will advise you to opt for Adrafinil, instead, because it can be just as effective and is more freely available at a better price.

So, which one should you get if you want to boost your study performance or concentrate better at work? In our handy-dandy Adrafinil vs Modafinil guide, we compare the two and discuss all the main differences between these nootropics.

Always Invest In Quality Brand Nootropics

Cognitive enhancers can come in different forms. They’re sold as drugs or supplements and are available in liquid, pill, or powder form. Some of these cognition-enhancing drugs are available as over-the-counter stimulants, while others are prescription medications.

Adrafinil vs Modafinil

Nootropics usually fall into three categories:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Synthetic compounds
  • Prescription drugs

There’s quite a bit of controversy about cognitive-enhancing drugs. The Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration warn that there are manufacturers out there who commit advertising fraud and marketing scams with products that don’t offer any cognitive benefits at all. Some health professionals also feel that cognitive enhancement products should be reserved for those with medical conditions, while others argue that these products don’t offer much efficacy if you already have a healthy mind.

If you’re looking for a nootropic that’s effective for enhancing memory, concentration, and alertness for studies, or just to boost general functionality, your best bet is to do your research. Check out the ingredients list and test results before you invest in renowned brand products like Adrafinil or Modafinil.

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil

While researching or hunting for quality nootropics, you’ll likely come across two very popular products: Adrafinil and Modafinil. These medications are linked with one another because they have ingredients or functionalities that overlap.

But what’s the difference between the two products and which one should you get? Stick around and find out.

An Overview on Modafinil

Modafinil is a sought-after smart drug that was developed in France by neurophysiologist Michel Jouvet and Lafon Laboratories in the late 1970s. The medication currently goes by the brand name Provigil and was originally developed to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes sufferers to unexpectedly fall asleep at any given moment throughout the day or night.

Modafinil or Provigil was approved for medical use in 1998. Now it’s used for treating various sleep disorders and has been proven effective for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and similar cognitive problems.

So, how does it work? Well, this revolutionary smart drug functions by boosting the number of neurotransmitters in your brain while increasing the efficiency of electrical signals that pass through your brain. It boosts serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in particular (which are neurotransmitters responsible for making you feel alert and happy).

Adults are usually advised to take 200 mg of Modafinil, but if you feel like this dosage increases your heart rate, then you can reduce it. Lots of people find 100 mg of the drug to be just as effective for enhancing cognitive functioning as a higher dosage.

When you take 100 – 200 mg of Modafinil in the morning, you will instantly experience all sorts of mental benefits. We’re talking laser-like focus, enhanced alertness, a decline in mental fatigue, enhanced memory, and improved mood. The effects of these nootropics can boost your productivity and mood for up to 14 hours, if not longer.

You will, however, need a medical prescription to be able to buy Modafinil since it’s not sold as an over-the-counter medication. Modafinil is mostly prescribed for people with the following health conditions:

  • ADHD
  • Narcolepsy
  • Acute depression in Bipolar Disorder sufferers
  • Shift work sleep disorder
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

What Are The Benefits of Taking Modafinil?

Modafinil offers a huge range of benefits, especially to those with cognitive problems or mental conditions that affect their ability to stay focused. Here’s a quick look at the positive effects you’re likely to experience when you start takingthis nootropic.

Increased energy levels

Nootropics are often used to enhance energy levels. Plenty of people who take Modafinil experience an increase in energy because the product is designed to boost focus and reduce sleepiness or drowsiness.

This isn’t a 100% guarantee, however, and you should keep in mind that not all users an experience an increase in their energy levels.

Assists with weight loss

“Typically, Modafinil enhances your focus and productivity while also boosting your mood.” All of these factors can help you stick to a diet or weight loss program and make you feel a lot more positive about working out. The probability of losing weight is very high as long as you combine the nootropics with a good workout program and a healthy diet.

Increased focus

An increase inmental alertness and focus is the main benefit of this smart drug. Students often seek out prescriptions during examination times because Modafinil enhances attention and learning. Participants in trials felt a lot more alert, attentive, and energetic while taking the drug in a 2003 trial.

Enhanced productivity

People who used the product noticed an increase in productivity. Boosted productivity levels come naturally because you can get a lot more done if you feel moremotivated to work, more positive, can focus and, remember tasks better, and can control your impulses.

Enhanced memory

2003 trials done on this smart drug showed improvements in many memory tasks. Test subjects had a wider digit retention span and showed improvement in visual recognition during trials.

Decreases impulsivity

Trials done on the drug in 2014 indicated a reduction in impulsive decision-making. This is a huge benefit to those who are easily distracted by sounds and visual stimuli in the academic or work environment.

Reduced hyperactivity

Modafinil is often prescribed to people who suffer from ADHD because it reduces hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. When hyperactivity is suppressed, students or employees can sit still for longer while completing tasks or studying.

Reduced inattention

If you tend to daydream, this one’s for you. Focus and concentration are boosted while impulsivity and hyperactivity are reduced. A combination of these effects reduces inattention or wandering thoughts while students are in class or while employees are trying to work.

Improved mood

A lot of people who use these drugs found animprovement in their general mood. The frustrations associated with an inability to concentrate and stay focused are reduced. Stress levels decline because you become more productive. Wakefulness is enhanced, which can make those who struggle with fatigue feel much better in general.

Modafinil is often prescribed to people with bipolar disorder who experience acute depression because the drug lifts the mood and restores the brain’s chemical balance.

Is Modafinil Safe?

Modafinil is so popular because it’s quite safe. Researchers from the University of Oxford confirmed that the product is clearly safe after doing research on this cognitive enhancer. But even this revolutionary drug can offer a few negative side effects if it’s misused or if you’re sensitive to certain ingredients.

What Are The Side Effects of Modafinil?

Some patients experience side effects from using Modafinil, especially if an incorrect dosage is administered or if the product is misused. Here’s a quick look at a few common side-effects you may experience when using Modafinil.


Modafinil is not considered a stimulant but it does have an impact on wakefulness. The product is designed to help you stay focused on what you are working on at any given moment. It will also stay in your system and continue delivering its awesome alertness effects for a very long time. Users who take this product too close to bedtime or even in the afternoon might struggle to fall asleep at night.

Stomach issues

Some users experience uncomfortable stomach issues like nausea or diarrhea after taking the drug because it does have an effect on your digestive system. Users are advised to reduce their sugar intake and consume more carbs or eat more frequently if they experience these symptoms.


A lot of people who use nootropics become so focused on work, they forget to eat or drink water. This can result in dehydration. This negative symptom is easily overcome by keeping a water bottle close by or by setting sedentary reminders on your phone.


Headaches are not a common side effect of the cognitive enhancer, but some do experience headaches after taking the product. You can combat headaches by drinking plenty of water and by taking a break from work or studies every 45 minutes.


Some users find that they sweat more after consuming the nootropic. This could be because you move more after getting an increase in energy and mental alertness, or it could be a result of the effects that the nootropics have on your digestive system.

Skin or hypersensitivity

Modafinil is often only prescribed for narcolepsy because the product can increase your chance of developing skin conditions or hypersensitivity reactions, like sensitivity to light or sunlight.

Side effects can seem scary, but the bottom line is that none of these pose a serious risk to your health. Many of these side effects can be countered by adjusting your work schedule and by following a healthy diet. Just remember that the benefits of Modafinil outweigh the disadvantages by far.

An Overview on Adrafinil

Adrafinil isn’t as well-known as Modafinil, but it can be just as effective. This active metabolite was developed in France and was originally used as a pharmaceutical drug until it was discontinued in 2011. Adrafinil was created as a generic alternative to Provigil (the brand name for Modafinil) to accommodate people who couldn’t afford Modafinil. The drug became an over-the-counter nootropic after it was discontinued for pharmaceutical use.

Adrafinil is very similar to Modafinil because it has the same chemical structure as the original smart drug. However, it does have a few differences. An additional OH element is included in the amide nitrogen ingredient of Adrafinil, which produces hydroxylamine.

Once you consume Adrafinil, your liver enzymes will convert the drug into Modafinil. As your body processes Modafinil, you will start to experience the same benefits you would normally get from consuming the original prescription medication.

This medication, or dietary supplement, is often used to treat the following conditions:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Shift work sleep disorder
  • Fatigue associated with menopause
  • Depressive episodes
  • Excessive sleepiness

Since this smart drug became an over-the-counter product, it’s more commonly found in the bags of students and working professionals, as well as those with general mental fatigue. The popular demand for the product has greatly increased because it delivers so many mental and even physical benefits (like weight loss and increased energy).

What Are the Benefits of Taking Adrafinil?

First things first: you need to consume a higher dosage of Adrafinil compared to Modafinil because some of the ingredients of Adrafinil don’t convert to Modafinil. To get the same effects as Modafinil (or the same Modafinil conversion in your bloodstream), it’s necessary to consume more of the product.

Once you consume the right dosage of Adrafinil, you will get the exact same effects we’ve already discussed above, the same way you would if you were consuming prescription Modafinil.

Is Adrafinil Safe?

Adrafinil is perfectly safe for consumption as long as you stick to the recommended dosages. Laboratory studies done on rats found that a humongous dosage of 400 mg per kilogram didn’t result in any signs of toxicity. To become intoxicated or lethally affected by Adrafinil, you’ll need to consume an incredibly large amount of the product.

In one study, a person who consumed 900 mg of the product every day for months on end only experienced issues with the muscles in his mouth (which is, however, an uncommon side-effect that is also observed from Modafinil). But even these effects were not permanent.

What Are The Side Effects of Adrafinil?

The side effects of taking Adrafinil are very similar to the side effects of Modafinil that we already discussed. Users are, however, less likely to develop side effects when taking this nootropic. Those that do experience side effects usually experience a very mild version. Here is a quick list of the most common symptoms associated with Adrafinil:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • Heart palpitations/irregular heartbeat
  • Agitation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling feelings
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Attention disturbances
  • Dermatitis
  • Sleep disturbances

It’s best to speak with a medical professional if you happen to experience these symptoms. If the symptoms persist, then you should probably look into buying a different nootropic.

A Summary of the Similarities Between Adrafinil and Modafinil

It’s pretty clear that these two prodrugs are very similar. But just how similar are they? Will you get the same results from Adrafanil as you would by getting Modafinil? Let’s summarize the main similarities between the two drugs.

Adrafinil vs Modafinil

No alcohol

Both of these drugs can be very toxic to your body if you consume them with alcohol. Unlike these prodrugs, alcohol is a depressant. Mixing a nootropic with alcohol can cause heart arrhythmia and other conditions, and may result in hospitalization. So happy hour is a no-no.

Enhances cognitive function

Both of these pro-drugs offer the same cognitive benefits since Adrafinil converts into Modafinil once consumed. By taking the correct dosages, you can enjoy a wide range of cognitive benefits and the effects are basically the same. You do, however, need to consume a higher dosage of Adrafinil to get the same results.

The products will enhance your dopamine levels, boost your focus and concentration, suppress impulsivity and hyperactivity, and increase memory.

Suitable for treating a variety of conditions

Both of these products are used to treat medical conditions like ADHD, narcolepsy, and even Parkinson’s disease.

Suitable for students or work professionals

Adrafinil and Modafinil are both practical for enhancing your work or test results since these medications help clear your mind so you can focus better.

A Summary of The Main Differences Between Adrafinil and Modafinil

It’s apparent that these drugs are very similar and can deliver the same main benefits. So, what are the main differences between them?

Availability / Legal differences

One of the most apparent differences between Adrafinil and Modafinil is the legal aspect. You will have a pretty tough time buying Modafinil without a prescription in the USA. A lot of American citizens purchase and import the product from overseas, but it’s still illegal to possess the drug without a valid prescription. You will need to make a doctor’s appointment to get a valid prescription of Modafinil.

Even though Adrafinil has the same effects, it’s easy to come by since the product is sold as a dietary supplement in the US. This generic product poses fewer legal risks when you purchase it online, and it’s easier to get it imported without customs seizing your package.

Price differences

Adrafinil is much more affordable compared to Modafinil. But you should keep the dosage in mind when you compare prices. Adrafinil isn’t as effective as Modafinil and often requires a larger dosage for effective results. This means you will be using more of the product.

Even so, users still find Adrafinil more affordable since they don’t have to make a doctor’s appointment for a valid prescription and the price of Adrafinil is still more affordable even with the heavier dosage.


Both smart drugs offer the same benefits because both products have identical pharmacological effects. But the difference in their structure results in a huge difference in their side effects and efficiency.

In Adrafinil, the active ingredient needs to be converted into Modafinil. With this prodrug, not all Adrafinil is converted, since some of these products naturally convert into inactive metabolites or Modafinil Acid. Adrafinil is less effective as a result and generally takes a bit longer (45-60 minutes) for the effects to kick in.

For you to enjoy the same results with Adrafinil as with Modafinil, you’ll need to consume a higher dosage of the product.

Dosage differences

With Modafinil, a standard dosage of 200 mg in the morning is usually prescribed, although sensitive adults often take only 100 mg. People with narcolepsy are, however, advised to take up to 400 mg in two divided doses.

Adrafinil is less potent and usually requires an average dosage of 600 – 1200 mg.

Structural differences

These two products are very similar since they have identical chemical structures. The main difference is that Adrafinil contains more OH in the amide nitrogen. The chemical structure of Adrafinil makes this product take longer to deliver results since your body will first need to convert the chemical ingredients into Modafinil before it can get to work. Aside from this, the products are practically identical in structure and ingredients.

Negative side effects

It’s believed that Adrafinil can cause a bit of liver toxicity since liver enzymes are required to convert the active ingredient into Modafinil. Your chances of getting liver damage increase when taking the product nonstop over a period of time. However, more clinical trials are needed to prove this theory.

Product Recommendations

When you consider the price, functionality, and availability of these two medications, then it becomes pretty clear which one you should buy.

Those who struggle with a specific medical condition like ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, narcolepsy, or chronic fatigue, can benefit a great deal from Modafinil.

Adrafinil is more practical for general use. You don’t need a prescription, it’s more affordable, and it’s easier to come by. All this makes it more suitable for use as a study aid, work performance enhancer, weight loss supplement, or general cognitive booster.

Final Thoughts

We hope that our Adrafinil vs Modafinil guide made it easier for you to decide between these two exceptional prodrugs. If you need any other advice on nootropics or other methods that can boost your brain function, then you should check out some of the other reviews and articles we have on PromindBuild.


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