Enjoy an Exclusive 2% Discount on Your First Purchase of Selected Medications -Shop Now!

Customer Support

Adrafinil vs Modafinil: A Comprehensive Comparison

Adrafinil vs Modafinil: A Comprehensive Comparison


Adrafinil is converted into Modafinil in the body through metabolic processes. As a result of this conversion, the effectiveness and mechanism of action of both Modafinil and Adrafinil are similar. 

However, Modafinil stands out as a better option due to its enhanced safety profile, affordability, extensive research backing, and greater potency as a Nootropic than Adrafinil.



Adrafinil and Modafinil are two popular stimulants known for their wakefulness-promoting effects and cognitive benefits. Understanding their differences is necessary for making informed decisions about their usage. 

This blog examines the similarities, differences, and safety profiles of Modafinil and Adrafinil in more detail to help you make an informed decision. 


Modafinil And Adrafinil- An Overview Of The Stimulants 

Modafinil is a wake-promoting agent initially marketed in France in the 1990s as an excessive daytime sleepiness treatment associated with narcolepsy. Its use was later approved by the FDA and is considered a Schedule IV drug. 

Adrafinil is a drug that promotes activeness and alertness. It was developed in France by Louis Lafon Laboratories [1]. Adrafinil is a prodrug metabolized to Modafinil through the liver [2].  A prodrug is a medicine that becomes active only after your body metabolizes it. 

Adrafinil was discontinued in 2011 and has been available ever since as a dietary supplement without a prescription. 


Modafinil Vs Adrafinil- Similarities 

Adrafinil is metabolized to Modafinil; therefore, both Modafinil and Adrafinil have similar clinical uses, as explained below. 

Better Cognitive Functions:

Adrafinil and Modafinil are known for enhancing cognitive functions. Users also report improvements in focus, memory, decision-making, problem-solving, and creativity.

Wakefulness-Promoting Effects:

One of the primary benefits of Adrafinil and Modafinil is their ability to manage excessive daytime sleepiness by promoting wakefulness and alertness.

Non-habit forming:

As both Adrafinil and Modafinil do not target the neuronal pathway, thus they are not reported to cause addiction and are considered safe for long-term use. 

A neuronal pathway is the route where nerve signals travel to perform different functions, such as sensing, moving, thinking, and feeling.

Benefits For Specific Conditions:

  • Narcolepsy: Adrafinil and Modafinil are FDA-approved medications for treating narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden sleep attacks.

  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder: Modafinil and Adrafinil can help individuals working irregular hours or night shifts to stay awake and alert during work hours.

  • ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder): Modafinil helps manage ADHD symptoms. As Adrafinil has the metabolite Modafinil, it can help manage ADHD as well.


Adrafinil Vs Modafinil- Differences 

There are a few notable differences between Modafinil and Adrafinil, some of which are listed below. 


Modafinil is a prescription drug and is not available over the counter, whereas Adrafinil is an over-the-counter drug. However, unlike Modafinil, Adrafinil is not easily available in all parts of the world. 


Modafinil is considered to be more effective and potent than Adrafinil. 

Like all prodrugs, Adrafinil first needs to be activated in the liver, which slows its metabolism. This makes it take longer to start working and reduces its potential. 


The half-life of Adrafinil is 1 hour, meaning half of Adrafinil is converted to Modafinil in 60 minutes. Thus, it takes 1 hour to enter the bloodstream and two hours to metabolize the compound into Modafinil to produce its effects. Thus, the peak effects of Adrafinil take 3 to 5 hours. In comparison, Modafinil takes 2 to 4 hours to reach its highest drug concentration. 

The Onset Of Action

Modafinil takes 30 minutes to start working. On the contrary, it takes 1 hour for Adrafinil to work as this medication is first metabolized to Modafinil, which is further broken down by the liver to start acting. 

Duration of Action

The duration of action of Modafinil is 10 to 14 hours, whereas the effects of Adrafinil last about 8 to 10 hours. 


As only half of the Adrafinil dosage is metabolized to Modafinil, a higher dose of Adrafinil is needed to show a similar effect as Modafinil. The standard dose of Modafinil is 200 mg, whereas that of Adrafinil is 600 mg. 

Effect on the Liver

Many clinical studies suggest the effect of Adrafinil on the liver, indicating its harmful impact on the hepatocytes (liver cells). It may also be attributed to the longer metabolism process of the drug compared to Modafinil. Thus, it is safer to use Nootropics such as Modafinil that do not showcase any liver toxicity. 


How Much Adrafinil Equals Modafinil? 

The rate of metabolism for each Adrafinil metabolite- Modafinil and Modafinilic acid is 50%. It means that only a part of Adrafinil gets converted to Modafinil in the body. It thus takes a higher dose of Adrafinil to get a similar effect to Modafinil. 

According to reports, to get a similar effect as Modafinil 200 mg, about 400 to 600 mg of Adrafinil dose is needed [9]. 


Adrafinil vs. Modafinil: Which Is More Affordable?

Based on the Adrafinil price listed on the website Healthbynaturals, 60 tablets of Adrafinil 150 mg is $85 ($1.41 per pill) [10]. Meanwhile, the cost of Modafinil 200 mg is $1.37 per pill. 

Since Modafinil and its brand medications are approved by the FDA, its cost is also covered by most health insurance and Medicare Plans. 


Safety Profile- Modafinil Vs Adrafinil 

There are many case studies indicating the safety profile of Adrafinil. Michel Jouvet, a researcher, found inconsistent results with administering large doses of Adrafinil in patients with Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia [11]. 

Reported benefits based on clinical trials [11]-

  • Improves memory, vigilance, attention, and orientation. 

  • Symptoms of mild depression are improved. 

Reported side effects in the clinical trials-

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Dry mouth

  • Agitation

  • Arrhythmia

  • Dizziness 

A few prominent case studies reporting a few other side effects of Adrafinil treatment are mentioned below. 

According to a case study- A 35-year-old man with ADHD and depressive disorder was coadministering 900 mg of Adrafinil with 40 mg of Paroxetine. After treatment, the individual was reported to experience insomnia, muscle twitches, irritability, and tachypsychia.

Modafinil Safety Profile

On the other hand, Modafinil is considered one of the safest Nootropics in the market by researchers at Oxford and Harvard Universities [12]. It is a Schedule IV medication, indicating a lower possibility of addiction and dependency. There are also reports of Modafinil’s side effects- 

A 63-year-old woman with hypertension experienced an elevation of blood pressure from Modafinil dosage. When switched to Adrafinil, the same individual experienced the same issue and was thus removed from the treatment. 

Some of the other notable adverse effects of taking Modafinil are listed below. 

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Constipation

  • Insomnia

  • Dry mouth

  • Flushing

  • Sweating

  • Rash

Headache is also one of the adverse effects of Modafinil. According to research, about 34% of users experience Headaches caused by Modafinil. Theoretical evidence further suggests weight loss by Modafinil due to its ability to suppress one's appetite. However, using the Nootropic for weight loss is not medically approved. 


Is Adrafinil Better Than Modafinil?

The metabolism of Adrafinil converts it to Modafinil, and thus, they have similar effects. 


  • It is available over the counter, unlike Modafinil, which can be purchased only with a prescription. 

  • Adrafinil is a good choice for people wanting a mild effect, since Modafinil produces a prolonged effect that takes 10 to 14 hours to wear off completely. 

  • Neither of the two stimulants is known to cause dependency and abuse.  


  • Modafinil takes 30 minutes to work, but Adrafinil takes 1 hour to start working. 

  • It takes a larger Adrafinil dosage to show similar effects as Modafinil. 

  • The effects of Modafinil last longer than Adrafinil. 

  • Modafinil may be a safer option for patients with hepatic disorder. 

  • The use of Adrafinil is not approved by the FDA. 

  • Modalert 200 mg or Modafinil is a much more affordable option. 

  • Modafinil has better tolerability than Adrafinil. 

Hence, we can conclude that based on our findings and understanding of Adrafinil vs Modafinil, if we have to choose one of the two, our answer, hands down, will be MODAFINIL. 


In 2011, a committee reviewing the clinical studies of Adrafinil was unable to determine the benefits provided by the Nootropic. Also, the known side effects of the Nootropic were also responsible for the discontinuation of the drug.

No, Modafinil is more effective and potent in comparison to Adrafinil. It also takes a larger amount of Adrafinil to show a similar effect as Modafinil.

Yes, the use of Adrafinil can help you stay awake and alert for about 8 to 10 hours after intake.

Yes, similar to Modafinil, Adrafinil also stimulates the secretion of serotonin in the body.

The cost of both medications may differ depending on the pill package and the pharmacy. However, the cost of Modafinil is more affordable.

Modafinil is the active form of Adrafinil, which is a prodrug. Thus, the beneficial effect of Adrafinil is conferred by Modafinil.

Adrafinil is converted to Modafinil which is primarily responsible for its medical benefits. Thus, apart from the conversion of Adrafinil to Modafinil, both drugs have a similar mechanism of action.


  1. Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent, imageevent. 

  2. Adrafinil: Psychostimulant and Purported Nootropic, psychiatryonline. 

  3. Prodrug, Wikipedia. 

  4. A Review of the Effects of Modafinil on Cognition in Schizophrenia, academic.oup.com. 

  5. Modafinil improves cognition and response inhibition in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ScienceDirect.

  6. Effects of modafinil on cognitive functions in first episode psychosis, springer. 

  7. Effects of Modafinil on Wakefulness and Executive Function in Patients With Narcolepsy Experiencing Late-Day Sleepiness, journals.lww.com. 

  8. Modafinil, springer. 

  9. Adrafinil vs Modafinil | A-Z Guide, Modafinil.com. 

  10. FL-Adrafinil - 60 Capsules | 150 mg, healthbynaturals. 

  11. Adrafinil: Psychostimulant and Purported Nootropic, psychiatryonline. 

  12. Narcolepsy medication modafinil is world's first safe 'smart drug', theguardian.