A Scientific Comparison Of Brain Stimulants Adrafinil And Modafinil

It’s a fact that people who display superior focus, intelligence and drive have an advantage over their counterparts in almost every area of business and general life. To some people, this comes naturally, but pharmaceutical makers have created drugs that create similar effects. These drugs are known as nootropics.

Two common nootropics are Adrafinil and Modafinil. Since Adrafinil and Modafinil have the ability to boost brainpower and banish sleepiness and fatigue, they have become increasingly popular since their development.


Upon ingestion, the two nootropics have virtually the same effect. They both work by enhancing mental arousal for a specific period of time. This quality sets them apart from other ordinary stimulants such as amphetamines and caffeine which work by boosting overall nervous or physical activity of the body.

Adrafinil and Modafinil were developed to treat sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy and shift-work syndrome. They act more specifically than other stimulants, targeting the brain chemical systems found in the hypothalamus and amygdala. Since these eugeroics (wakefulness-promoting agents) do not target overall psychomotor activity, their effects last longer than other stimulants.

As a result of their cognitive enhancing effects, eugeroics have become very popular with shift workers, students and others who intend to extend their wakefulness while working at peak cognitive levels. A major advantage of these drugs is that they work effectively without leading to hyperactivity or messing up sleep patterns.

Differences between Adrafinil and Modafinil

Adrafinil And Modafinil

While the two drugs work in almost similar ways and produce the same effects, they differ significantly in some respects. Knowing these differences is vital when choosing which of the two to use. Here are the top differences between Adrafinil and Modafinil;

Adrafinil is much less potent than modafinil. Therefore, higher doses of adrafinil are needed to achieve the same level of effectiveness as a lesser dosage of Modafinil. This is because, upon ingestion, Adrafinil is first metabolized in the liver to Modafinil and modafinil acid. Since not all Adrafinil is converted, a dosage several times higher than that of Modafinil is required to get the same effect.

Modafinil typically acts much more quickly than Adrafinil. That’s because Adrafinil
needs to be processed by the liver before taking effect. The half-life of Adrafinil is much shorter than that of Modafinil, with the former lasting about five hours while Modafinil can take up to 14 hours.


The fact that Adrafinil must first be processed in the liver gives it some potential for toxicity. However, this toxicity is only reported with high dosage and prolonged use. Modafinil, on the other hand, is generally safer.


Modafinil can be quite expensive compared to Adrafinil. In the US, the price of a
20-tablet prescription for Modafinil can be more than $300, while Adrafinil sells for a fraction of that, Slow food Nation sells this nootropic supplement.

Legal status
Perhaps the most important distinction between Adrafinil and Modafinil is the difference in legal status. Modafinil is heavily regulated in the US and can only be sold to people with a doctor’s prescription.

Adrafinil is not regulated and is thus widely available as a cheaper, legal alternative to Modafinil.


When a doctor prescribes Modafinil due to a medical condition, follow the doctor’s direction. To enhance wakefulness and brain capability, without a prescription, Adrafinil is the practical option due to its affordability and availability without prescription. As with all drug use, the direction of a medical professional is advised. This information in this story is not medical advice.

Awais Ahmed is a student, blogger and digital marketer who helps small entrepreneurs to improve their online presence. He has a range of interests including technology, apps and small business.