Verified by Dr. Sundru M. Devi.
M.D. Microbiology, PhD Biotechnology, Mar 1, 2019. Updated August 22, 2022.
Adrafinil is the precursor of Modafinil. A stimulating nootropic that fights fatigue, increases brain’s capacity of processing information, boosts energy, and enhances subjective well-being. It metabolizes in the body into Modafinil. A useful tool for pulling through long, mentally demanding tasks, learning new topics, or working in shifts as opposed to fixed schedule.
What is Adrafinil?
Adrafinil is a synthetic nootropic supplement that acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Previously known as Olmifon, and often mistaken with Modafinil, it is a stimulant that does not produce amphetamine-like effects.
It is a precursor to Modafinil. That means it leads to increased concentrations of modafinil in the body. Adrafinil combats fatigue, boosts energy, improves attention, concentration and focus. It’s also known to enhance mood, motivation, and reaction time. Its potential cognitive benefits extends further to improving memory and increasing the brain’s capacity of learning, digesting, and processing information.
A 1970’s invention by French pharmaceutical company Lafon Laboratories, which manufactured, branded and marketed the invention in Europe under the name Olmifon. It spread throughout Europe and became widely prescribed by practitioners for narcolepsy and related sleep disorders that has symptoms of heavy and excessive daytime drowsiness. As well as widely used off-label for its nootropic and stimulating effects.
In 2011, production of Olmifon ended when the french regulating authorities reversed its legality.
Its unregulated in the US, Canada, and most other countries around the world. It’s found in drugstores and online on many vendors and is widely used for combating fatigue, enhancing energy, and boosting overall cognitive function
Adrafinil is a eugeroic that was formerly used in France to promote alertness, attention, wakefulness, mood, and other parameters, particularly in the elderly. – Wikipedia
Adrafinil vs Modafinil
Many people often compare adrafinil vs modafinil upon hearing of it. Usually because they try to get modafinil and find out its prescription medication, so they go for the non-prescription, online-available alternative.
What popularizes it the most as a nootropic is the fact that its the closest legal, prescription-free to the “limitless” modafinil. But for those who knew and were familiar with it before this movie association know its profound effect and can differentiate between it and that of modafinil. In fact, many users actually report preferring adrafinil vs modafinil for certain, slightly different nootropic effects that each produces.
Although Adrafinil metabolizes into Modafinil after ingestion, it still requires a higher dosage to reach the level of effectiveness that one would feel from modafinil. For example, modafinil is mostly prescribed in dosages of 100 to 200 mg. Adrafinil often sells in the lowest dosage being 300mg. So in order to achieve the same concentration level of modafinil using adrafinil, one would have to be aware of this and measure the dosage following that pattern, as required.
Modafinil is often prescribed therapeutically in doses of 50mg being the lowest effective. For comparison, taking 300mg Adrafinil, which is the smallest manufacturing dose, would actually be more effective than the lowest effective dose of modafinil.
Although it cannot be an exact figure due to the fact that breakdown and metabolizing varies from each individual to another, a general and easy way of understanding and remembering the math of adrafinil vs modafinil in terms of dosages, or at least how I personally measure it when taking either one, is that that 100mg of Modafinil is more or less equals to 300mg Adrafinil.
From my personal, own experience: the effect of Adrafinil 300mg is much more felt in comparison to Modafinil 100mg. During the period I was prescribed Modafinil, I would have to take 200mg in order to achieve what I would achieve from 300mg of Adrafinil.
Adrafinil Benefits, Uses
- Increases Mental Clarity
- Heightens Focus
- Promotes Wakefulness
- Boosts Energy
- Improves Learning Capacity
- Improves Memory Formation
Increases Mental Clarity & Heightens Focus
Although it is initially developed for its wakefulness-promoting qualities, Adrafinil continues showing significant cognitive benefits as well. For individuals suffering daytime exhaustion due to night work or sleep difficulties, adrafinil increases the physical and mental energy required for an active life. It also improves mental clarity and heightens focus.
Promotes Wakefulness & Boosts Energy
Adrafinil is an overall beneficial stimulant, preventing daytime drowsiness and dramatically increasing energy and attentiveness without the hyperactivity and jitteriness associated with stimulants. Users report a profound sense of well-being, stress reduction, and overall enrichment experiences. Those outcomes are primarily due to Adrafinil’s impact on dopamine.
Improves Learning Capacity & Memory Formation
In addition to promoting wakefulness and increasing energy, adrafinil holds many nootropic benefits such as improved learning capacity, better memory creation, as well as recollection. Reports indicate that it sharpens focus and increases the ability to maintain it, along with providing mental clarity, and easing mentally demanding work, especially that which extends over a prolonged period.
How Adrafinil Works
Mechanism of Action
Adrafinil acts on the adrenergic system, the part of the nervous system that releases adrenaline. Typically considered in charge of the “fight or flight” response, a rapid release of adrenaline boosts energy and increases alertness. While not all of adrafinil’s actions are entirely understood, it is assumed to replicate the positive effect of adrenaline release by supporting adrenergic neurotransmitters.
Adrafinil is a synthetic prodrug, which means that its an inactive compound that metabolizes into an active form inside the body. The process of metabolizing it produces the drug, modafinil, which is an FDA-approved treatment for necropsy and similar sleep disorders. The pharmacological effects of adrafinil are practically identical to those of Modafinil.
Though the exact chemical mechanisms of it are unclear, researchers hypothesize that in its metabolized form it functions as an adrenergic receptor agonist. One of its first actions is the enhanced production and release of the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which in turn triggers the increased production of dopamine, histamine, and norepinephrine; all of which are directly related to alertness and energy, which considerably explains adrafinil’s stimulant qualities.
The remarkable mood and cognitive effects it produces result from different actions, such as the positive modulation of glutamate receptors, and inhibiting the breakdown of glutamate. Those actions lead to better neuronal communication, which improves memory and focus and creates better cognitive functions.
It also stimulates the release of serotonin, which enhances mood by reducing anxiety levels. It also inhibits the breakdown of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is mainly responsible when it comes to the brain’s pleasure and reward responses.
Typically, Adrafinil is manufactured and produced at the dosage of 300 mg. However, most nootropist would say, and prefer, a dose of 600mg taken once in the morning. While the highest, yet credible, dosage is 1,200 mg per day, taken as two doses. A morning dose of 600 mg and an afternoon “boost” of another 600mg.
At 300 to 600 mg, it is a safe and very effective, mildly stimulating nootropic.
Its potent, therefore it’s advised to start with lower end and allow your body the time to adapt to it. Once you familiarize yourself with it, you can then gradually increase as you desire while keeping in mind not to go over the daily recommendation of 1,200 mg.
I’ve taken Adrafinil frequently over the past year or two, but never more than 600 mg per day. And even the times I took 600 mg were so few, I’m almost sure it was less than 4 times in total.
Due to its potency and wakefulness-promoting properties, it is advisable to take it in the morning or early afternoon only to avoid interfering with the sleep cycle, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to fall asleep easily at night. It is also advisable to take it on an empty stomach to allow for optimal absorption.
It kicks in around 45 minutes to an hour after ingestion.
For continuous and prolonged use, it is very advisable to use on a sequence (or cycle) of two weeks on, and one week off to detox and maintain tolerance as well as prevent potential dependency for certain people.
- Adrafinil dosage recommendations vary greatly among different users.
- For beginners, start with 300 mg per day and see how your body reacts to it
- For a stronger dose, you may take 600 mg
- Maximum allowance per day is 1,200 mg taken in two doses of 600 mg
The daily dosage that is recommended is between 150 mg to 300 mg. It is a strong Nootropic, and people are usually advised to start off with a small dose and allow the body to adjust before working upwards. It is not advisable to take this drug for long-term use. But then you should take it in cycles. For example, one week on, two weeks off and so on. This helps to prolong its effects without the bodybuilding too much of tolerance level. It is also very important to consult the doctor or qualified healthcare provider if planning to use it for an extended period of time. Without doing this, it may be disastrous for the liver as the supplement is known to elevate particular enzymes within the liver. – Nootropics City
Adrafinil Side Effects
The most typical side effects of adrafinil are headaches, dizziness, nausea, and stomach discomfort. The most severe relates to liver function. Additionally, there is potential for increased risk of high blood pressure and heart problems when taking high doses.
Should you experience any side effects, stop using and seek professional medical advice.
I love adrafinil for a once-every-couple-of-weeks ‘I need to work 11 hours today’ usage. I can take 300mg at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, and still be alert and clear headed at the office when 7 or 8pm rolls by. But I try not to use it any more than once a week, because of the possible liver implications.
Reddit review #2
Adrafinil is very strange for me. I noticed somewhat sporadic efficacy. Additionally, for me, I was getting bad headaches. I called them “core headaches” as they seemed to originate from the very “core” of my brain. and not in the front like other areas. now I am still uncertain if this was because of adrafinil or phenylpiracetam. but once I started experiencing core headaches frequently even without taking any nootropic whatsoever, I quit adrafinil. It did go away after a while, but again I am not sure if this was just a rebalance or due to…other things I have been up to. Good write up though. I am not certain I can answer any of the questions since I haven’t gone back to adrafinil yet…thinking of trying modafinil if I can manage to procure it, and see if that has a cleaner, more mildly-stimulating/focusing effect like I was looking for.
My simple protocol for Adrafinil is to only take it if I sleep poorly. and know that I still need to perform the next day. For me that means that I take it infrequently, but it’s a lifesaver every time.
Adrafinil’s mixture of mental and physical benefits make it valuable for individuals looking for more energy, stamina, and psychological acuity. Its a powerful nootropic with potent stimulant qualities. Used responsibly, it offers a unique and profound nootropic boost that one grows to appreciate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Adrafinil Used For?
Adrafinil is a eugeroic that was formerly used in France to promote alertness, attention, wakefulness, mood, and other parameters, particularly in the elderly. It was also used off-label by individuals who wished to avoid fatigue, such as night workers or others who needed to stay awake and alert for long periods of time. Additionally, “adrafinil is known to a larger non scientific audience, where it is considered to be a nootropic agent.” Adrafinil is a prodrug; it is primarily metabolized in vivo to modafinil, resulting in very similar pharmacological effects. Unlike modafinil, however, it takes time for the metabolite to accumulate to active levels in the bloodstream. Effects usually are apparent within 45–60 minutes when taken orally on an empty stomach.
Can Adding Adrafinil to a Daily Adderall Regimen for ADHD Help?
Speaking from experience, J. Robert says: I had been taking a moderate level dose of adderall and experiencing the typical side effects associated with it. I researched Modafinil and took trail doses after discussing with my psych. I have since lessened my dose of adderall to a minimum 15 mg prn and am primarily on Armodafinil(the adrafinil/modafinil successor) now hoping to remove the adderall component in the near future. My experience has been overall positive. I am more focused cognitively without the overall body stimulant side effects I was getting from the adda. The one negative for me is sleep difficulty if the dose is taken later than upon getting up in the AM. Trying a test dose while decreasing or eliminating the adderall might provide a better result for you cognitively. make sure you discuss with your psych
Which Is Better – Adrafinil or Modafinil?
Adrafanil is a “prodrug” – in other words, it must be metabolized in the liver to its active form, which is modafanil (the same drug that people can take directly by prescription). Unfortunately, this causes some problems. For one, it takes longer to start acting, given it is dependent on this transformation, and it may stay in the system longer, as well – may keep you awake. Two, there are frequent reports of liver enzyme elevation with this form of the drug (not seen with modafanil). Probably best not to use the adrafanil, and stick with the criminally expensive prescription form.
Can Adding Adrafinil to a Daily Adderall Regimen for ADHD Help?
No! Aside from the fact that they are both pretty potent stimulants, Adrafinil impacts the liver and is not for daily use. I am ADHD myself and I take Ritalin XR, and often I would take Adrafinil 300mg as well because I appreciate the effect and boost it gives me – but I would never take it on daily basis. You can use it on and off, play around with the dosage and timing, but not on daily basis especially when already on other stims. For continuous and prolonged use, it is very advisable to use on a sequence (or cycle) of two weeks on, and one week off to detox and maintain tolerance as well as prevent potential dependency for certain people. “The daily dosage that is recommended is between 150 mg to 300 mg. It is a strong Nootropic, and people are usually advised to start off with a small dose and allow the body to adjust before working upwards. It is not advisable to take this drug for long-term use. But then you should take it in cycles. For example, one week on, two weeks off and so on. This helps to prolong its effects without the bodybuilding too much of tolerance level. It is also very important to consult the doctor or qualified healthcare provider if planning to use it for an extended period of time. Without doing this, it may be disastrous for the liver as the supplement is known to elevate particular enzymes within the liver.”
Where Can I Buy Adrafinil?
I can only recommend products I personally tried, and in the case of Adrafinil, I only bought and tried Nootropic Depot’s 300 mg Adrafinil capsules. Although I’ve seen it available in a few different websites, there was always something sketchy about the website, or negative reviews about the vendors adding some unknown fillers to the products. And surprisingly, I actually found that I prefer Adrafinil over Modafinil greatly, even though I’ve always (on the occasions that I took it) maintained a dose of 300mg once per day only. If you decide to purchase from another vendor, make sure you research, find out more information about them from Reddit’s nootropics forum, find reviews on google and whatnot, before making a transaction. If you are in Dubai, you can buy Adrafinil as well as many other nootropics from Nootropix shop.
- The Ultimate Nootropics FAQ
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