Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil: Which is Better?

Image result for adrafinil vs modafinilIs there a better nootropic between Adrafinil and Modafinil?

These two are closely related to one another. Hence, they’re also often pitted against each other. Their effects are similar, but they also have their differences.

It’s important to look into what sets these two nootropics apart to also determine which will be more suitable for you. On this post, we’ll talk about both compounds and later on see their similarities and differences.

Let’s dig in.

What is Adrafinil

Adrafinil was discovered in the 1970’s by Group Lafon, a pharmaceutical company in France.

It is a synthetic nootropic that helps arouse mental senses – it makes a user feel more alert and active. Originally designed for use among elderly, its distribution was first discontinued for it requires a higher dosage, but is less potent than Modafinil.

Adrafinil works by converting modafinil found in the body’s liver. After intake, it converts to modafinil. Users feel its effects several hours after their consumption.

Adrafinil stimulates the neurotransmitter called hypocretin, which is responsible for alertness and wakefulness. When hypocretin levels are high, other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, get a boost too. All these neurotransmitters affect energy levels.

Adrafinil displays a few side effects and can easily be accessed in other countries. Depending on your location, you may need a prescription to purchase it.

What is Modafinil

Discovered in 1976 by a French professor, modafinil is an FDA-approved compound. It heightens wakefulness without the use of amphetamine, a mainstream stimulant.

Like adrafinil, modafinil is also described as a eugeroic. It is also used for narcolepsy patients. Narcolepsy is often characterized by a patient’s uncontrollable desire for sleep.

This nootropic also enhances brain functions. And unlike common stimulants, modafinil doesn’t make a person feel jittery.  Modafinil also bears minimal side effects, which includes headaches and nausea.

The Eugeroics Class

Both adrafinil and modafinil are classified as a eugeroic. Eugeroics are characterized by their ability to promote wakefulness and alertness. This is why they’re often used to treat disorders related to sleep.

Eugeroics target specific neurotransmitters in the brain as opposed to typical stimulants that affect the body’s entire nervous system. They work smoothly too. Though they’re used to fight sleep disorders, they don’t disrupt sleep patterns or cause hyperactivity.

Because of their ability to help users perform at their best for a long period despite exhaustion, eugeroics are popular among students, professionals, employees working night-shift, and multitasking parents.

They are also known to display few side effects, such as stomach discomfort. This happens very rarely, though. And often subsides quickly. If taken too close to bedtime, a eugeroic may cause difficulties in sleeping. The trick is to time your intake so you can sleep normally.

Note that these compounds are not supposed to serve as a replacement for sleep. But, they can help you function effectively despite the lack of proper sleep. They heighten your energy so you can stay focused, motivated, and alert.

How Similar Adrafinil and Modafinil Are

Their Course of Action

Adrafinil and modafinil both stimulate glutamate receptors. Glutamate is a type of neurotransmitter which cells use to send messages to each other. When communication between cells works well, that translates to improved cognitive functions. You can focus and recall information better.

These compounds also encourage production of dopamine. Dopamine is another neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and mood. The more dopamine is released, the better you’ll feel as well. In addition, unlike other stimulants, eugeroics are a lot less likely to be addictive.

Their Benefits

In a study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the ability of modafinil to treat excessive sleepiness was investigated. Rodent subjects were used in the process.

Results showed that unlike other wake-promoting drugs, modafinil can induce wakefulness without resulting in hypersomnolence or extreme sleepiness, once the effects wear off.

In another study done on healthy, non-sleep deprived subjects, it was found that modafinil contributes to better learning and enhanced attention, among many others.

Modafinil is also found to help users control impulses. Hence, it may be beneficial for use by those with a gambling addiction or any type of addiction. It can also aid a person to make better decisions.

Apart from that, modafinil is also used for patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. In one study participated by 20 patients with ADHD, it was found that modafinil can help improve sustained attention.

In one study conducted in Berlin, Germany, the effects of modafinil in enhancing brain functions in healthy individuals were reviewed. It was found that modafinil improves attention for individuals that are well-rested. Modafinil also sustains wakefulness and other brain functions in individuals that lack sleep.

The study also suggested that repeated doses of modafinil were unable to prevent cognitive performances from declining in individuals that lacked sleep for a longer period. It still maintained wakefulness, though, and even stimulated overconfidence in cognitive abilities.

Meanwhile, in a study conducted at the University of Cambridge, a team investigated how modafinil affects the non-verbal cognitive performance of healthy volunteers. Results showed that modafinil helped improve planning and decision-making skills at the most difficult levels, among others.

Researchers also saw participants enjoying their tasks better under modafinil. However, the effects of using modafinil in creativity showed inconsistency and lacked statistical significance too.

What Are Their Differences


Since adrafinil converts into modafinil first in the liver, it takes longer for it to take effect. Once it has reached its peak levels, you’ll be able to feel the effects of adrafinil for around 5 hours.

The modafinil, on the other hand, can work for as long as 16 hours. Although the effects of adrafinil last for a shorter period, this can be an advantage too depending on your circumstances.

If you don’t want your sleep patterns to be disturbed, adrafinil might be more favorable for you.


For adrafinil to display effects similar to modafinil, you need twice the dosage you’d take for modafinil. For example, 600 mg of adrafinil will achieve the effects that 300 mg of modafinil can bring about.


Adrafinil is easier to access than modafinil. Modafinil is a controlled substance, which means you can only purchase it with a prescription from your doctor.  Legalities can vary depending on your location.

 Which Should You Choose?

To find out which between adrafinil and modafinil will work better for you, it’s best to start with your personal needs and lifestyle. Both should be safe when taken within the recommended dosage.

Learn More About the Power of Nootropics

Find out how other nootropics can help you improve your quality of life. Check out more of our posts on the benefits of nootropics.



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