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Adrafinil Vs Modafinil

Author :

Abhishek Dutta

Post Uploaded Date : October 10, 2023 Last Updated Date : April 1, 2024
The main differences between Modafinil and Adrafinil lie between their onset of action, dosage and potency, legal status, and costs. 

The similarities between the two nootropics lie in promoting wakefulness, their benefits, safety, and cognitive function.

Nootropics are increasing in popularity significantly due to their numerous health benefits. Modafinil and Adrafinil are two well-known Nootropics that are taken by many people for their cognitive stimulation.

Although they’re related substances that produce the same effects virtually, they’re also different in some important ways.

This detailed comparison blog will help you to decide which is right for you.

What Is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent that was formerly used in France to improve mood, attention, alertness, and wakefulness, particularly in the geriatric population. It was also used by night workers or others who needed to stay awake and alert for a long duration of time [1].

Adrafinil is a prodrug that is metabolized in the liver to Modafinil. The use of this drug was discontinued in the year 2011, and ever since, it has been available as a Nootropic without a prescription. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Adrafinil?

Four common side effects of Adrafinil are as follows [2] [3] –

  • Insomnia – As already mentioned, Adrafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent; therefore, it will keep you up if taken before bedtime.
  • Headaches – Adrafinil can cause headaches in some users, especially when larger dosages of the nootropic are consumed. 
  • Nausea – Adrafinil can cause stomach discomfort and nausea, and this can be normally alleviated by taking Adrafinil with food.
  • Dry mouth – Another common side effect of Adrafinil is dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, and it is caused as a result of overstimulation of the central nervous system.

What Is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a central nervous system stimulant that is approved by the U.S. Food And Drug Administration to treat Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Shift Work Sleep Disorder. It is also prescribed off-label to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Acute unipolar and bipolar depressive episodes, cocaine dependence, cancer, and multiple sclerosis-related fatigue, and it is also used as a cognitive enhancer [4].

What Are The Side Effects Of Modafinil?

Four common side effects of Modafinil are – 

Headache –  Modafinil headaches can occur from the over-activation of nerves (since the Nootropic works on the central nervous system) controlling a muscle, and the over-activation then causes tension, which can lead to headaches [5].

Stomach problems – Some people can experience nausea and diarrhea after taking Modafinil. This can be managed by reducing the intake of sugar and increasing the consumption of carbohydrates.

Insomnia – Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent and can cause difficulties in falling asleep if taken in the evening or before bedtime.

Dehydration – Modafinil can cause dehydration in two different ways. Firstly, it is a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration by making you urinate more often, and secondly, it can cause you to focus on one specific task, so you just forget to drink water.

Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil – Differences

The main differences between Modafinil and Adrafinil are as follows – 

Onset of Action –

The onset of action of Adrafinil is 45 to 60 minutes, whereas Modafinil starts to show its effect within 30 minutes of intake.

Modafinil and Adrafinil Dosage and Potency – 

Modafinil is more potent compared to Adrafinil, and lower doses of Modafinil are enough to achieve the same level of effectiveness. For example, a typical dose of Modafinil ranges between 100-200 mg, whereas dosages range from 300mg to 600mg, though doses of up to 1200 mg are sometimes reported.

Modafinil and Adrafinil Half-life – 

The half-life of Adrafinil is 1 hour; on the other hand, the half-life of Modafinil is 12 to 15 hours.  

Half-life is the duration taken by the active compound of a drug to reduce by half.

Cost – 

While Modafinil is comparatively more expensive than Adrafinil, its potency and effectiveness make it a better choice.  It offers a greater value for money in achieving the intended outcome, making Modafinil a much-preferred choice. 

best place to buy modafinil

Modafinil and Adrafinil legality – 

Both Modafinil and Adrafinil are different in their legal status. Adrafinil and Modafinil have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Association as performance-enhancing drugs.

Modafinil is listed as a Schedule IV controlled substance, and it cannot be purchased without a valid prescription in most Countries like Canada, the United States, and most European Nations, whereas Adrafinil is an unregulated medication and is available without a prescription in most Countries.

Toxicity –

Since Adrafinil is first metabolized in the liver, long-term use of Adrafinil, in some cases, can result in an elevated level of liver enzyme, and this increase in liver enzyme is typically an indication of either damage to the liver cells or inflammation of the liver. 

Modafinil Vs. Adrafinil – Similarities

Some of the notable similarities between Adrafinil and Modafinil are given below –

Promotes Wakefulness

Adrafinil and Modafinil are exceptionally beneficial in promoting wakefulness. 

Adrafinil and Modafinil are safe, smart drugs.

Adrafinil and Modafinil are relatively safe, and most users experience minimal side effects while taking either of them. Another benefit of Modafinil and Adrafinil is that they are non-addictive. This is because they do not impact the neuronal pathways that are associated with addiction. 

Modafinil and Adrafinil Benefits 

Modafinil and Adrafinil have similar benefits because the effects that they provide are due to a single compound called ‘Modafinil.’

Similar benefits of Modafinil and Adrafinil include –

  • Increased productivity.
  • Boost focus and concentration.
  • Increases the levels of orexin.
  • Increases the concentration of norepinephrine.
  • Increases dopamine concentration.

Improved Cognitive Function

In several studies, it has been found that Modafinil improves cognitive function. Some of these studies are mentioned below. 

Modafinil improves cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric conditions like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Schizophrenia, according to Muzaffer Kaser et al. in a study published in 2017 [6]. 

One week of treatment with Modafinil improved the alertness, cognitive function, and executive function in patients with Idiopathic Hyperinsomnia, according to a study by Mehmet Yaman et al. published in 2015 [7].

Adrafinil Or Modafinil – Which One Is The Best Option For You?

Overall, based on our findings, Modafinil is more effective and potent. Although they produce the same effects, Modafinil is going to do it stronger and faster. If you want to get the best from smart drugs, Modafinil is the final option, and to enjoy the benefits of this effective nootropic, one can easily order Modafinil from reputable online pharmacies like MyModalert.


How much Adrafinil equals Modafinil?

Adrafinil's 600 mg dosage is equivalent to the standard 200 mg Modafinil, and a dosage of 150 mg of Adrafinil is equal to 50 mg of Modafinil.

Is Adrafinil a controlled substance?

No, Adrafinil is not a controlled substance.

How long does it take for Adrafinil to kick in?

Adrafinil starts showing its effect within 45 to 60 minutes of intake.

Does Adrafinil work like Modafinil?

Yes, Adrafinil does work like Modafinil because Adrafinil is converted into Modafinil once it is metabolized in the liver.

Is Adrafinil approved by the FDA?

No, Adrafinil is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


  1. Adrafinil, Wikipedia.

  2. Adrafinil: Review of uses, dosage, and side effects, sltrib

  3. Adrafinil Side Effects: Common, Short- & Long-Term,

  4. Modafinil, NCBI

  5. A Modafinil Headache: Understanding the Side Effects of ‘Brain Drugs,’medshadow

  6. Modafinil Improves Episodic Memory and Working Memory Cognition in Patients With Remitted Depression: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study, NCBI

  7. Evaluation of the Effect of Modafinil on Cognitive Functions in Patients with Idiopathic Hypersomnia with P300, NCBI

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