Adrafinil Side Effects and Safety | What You MUST Know

Are you curious about Adrafinil’s side effects and safety?

If so, you’ve come to just the right place.

Many people are interested in taking this powerful nootropic, but aren’t sure about what side effects they can expect.

That’s why we put together this comprehensive guide to explain everything you need to know before you start taking Adrafinil.

We’ll explain Adrafinil’s benefits and the typical side effects you can expect at various dosages. We’ll also explain how Adrafinil impacts the liver and the differences between Adrafinil and its active metabolite, Modafinil.

P.S: This is the best place to buy Adrafinil online.

To round off this guide, we’ll explain the best ways to minimize Adrafinil side effects and use it safely for as long as you want to take it.

This is not medical or legal advice. This guide is strictly for entertainment purposes only. Always consult a medical professional before consuming any nootropic and always abide by the laws of your country. Please read my disclaimer page, too.

What is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a ‘eugeroic’, or wakefulness-promoting agent, that was discovered and developed by two scientists working for Laboratoire L. Lafon SA of France in 1974. It is a liver-metabolized prodrug of Modafinil, meaning that when ingested, it is metabolized (converted) by the liver into its active metabolite, Modafinil, which is a powerful eugeroic in its own right.

Although early trials indicated that Modafinil was more potent than its parent drug, Adrafinil, both drugs were introduced to the French market — Adrafinil under the brand name ‘Olmifon’ in 1985, and Modafinil under the brand name ‘Provigil’ in 1992.

‘Olmifon’ was marketed by Lafon (now Cephalon) as a treatment for disorders of vigilance, attention, ideomotor slowing in elderly patients, and narcolepsy to promote wakefulness [1].

Although Olmifon was discontinued in France in 2011, several companies continue to produce generic Adrafinil and market it in various countries around the world.

Today, Adrafinil is only used as a nootropic or smart drug. Individuals take the over-the-counter supplement to enhance cognition and improve focus.

Adrafinil Dosage

Adrafinil Benefits

As Adrafinil is the parent drug of Modafinil, and the two substances have virtually identical pharmacological effects and benefits [2]. Aside from its medical uses, Adrafinil’s main benefit is that it helps people fight fatigue and stay awake and active for long periods without losing concentration.

Groups of people who find Adrafinil useful include truck drivers, medical staff, and military aviators [3] as well as anyone engaged in challenging mental activities such as students preparing for exams, professors, academics, and researchers.

Adrafinil’s other benefit is as a ‘nootropic’ or ‘smart drug’. The term ‘nootropic’ was coined in 1972 by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea (the chemist who discovered Piracetam) to describe any substance that can enhance a cognitive function like memory, concentration, focus, or information processing while also protecting the mind from stress [4].

As a nootropic, Adrafinil is considered less potent than Modafinil, but still offers the following benefits [5]:

  • 8+ hours of ‘laser-sharp’ concentration.
  • Increased attention span.
  • Improved motivation.
  • Enhanced alertness [6].
  • Better working memory [7].
  • Inability to feel fatigued.

Adrafinil works by increasing histamine levels in the brain, leading to a powerful feeling of alertness that lasts for up to eight hours [8]. It acts as an appetite suppressant and prevents you from feeling tired [9].

Adrafinil helps improve working and episodic memory [10], by binding to the brain’s dopamine transporter and preventing the reuptake of dopamine [11]. This increases the amount of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain and gives your memory a significant boost.

Adrafinil’s other benefit is that it helps reduce reactivity to fear stimuli in the brain region involved in anxiety, the amygdala [12]. This helps you work or study efficiently, even if you are stressed or anxious about meeting a deadline, sitting an exam, or giving an important presentation.

Adrafinil Side Effects and Safety | What You MUST Know 

The following is not medical advice and we strongly urge you to talk to your doctor about potential side effects and allergic reactions before taking Adrafinil, especially if you are currently taking prescription medications. If you experience any adverse side effects, cease use immediately, and consult your doctor as soon as possible.

As Adrafinil is a liver-metabolized prodrug of Modafinil, it is far easier to get hold of than legit Modafinil and is 100% legal in most countries.

However, just because Adrafinil may be unregistered or unlicensed where you live doesn’t mean that it is safe. Here are the main Adrafinil side effects and safety issues that you must know about.

Adrafinil should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding as it can reduce the efficacy of hormonal birth control. It should not be taken with alcohol as it can lead to stronger hangovers or even blackouts. You should avoid taking Adrafinil if you are at risk of conditions like diabetes, depression, or psychiatric disorders.

As Adrafinil is metabolized into Modafinil by the liver, its action is less specific than straight-up Modafinil. It produces two specific side effects that Modafinil doesn’t; skin irritation and elevated liver enzyme values [13]. Liver damage is a concern with prolonged long term use and we’ll be discussing this in more detail later in this guide.

Adrafinil has also been linked to orofacial dyskinesia, which is where the mouth and face move involuntarily in repetitive ways [14].

We’ll be discussing Adrafinil’s recommended dosage guidelines in more detail later, but for now, it’s important to know that as Adrafinil’s action is less specific than Modafinil, you need to take a larger dose of Adrafinil to obtain a similar effect to what you might expect from Modafinil.

In general, a 300mg dose of Adrafinil is equivalent to 100mg of Modafinil, so the recommended dose of Adrafinil is 300-600mg or 1-2 300mg capsules.

While there are no scientific studies into Adrafinil’s side effects and safety when taken ‘off-prescription’ as a nootropic, there have been studies into what happens when healthy individuals take Modafinil, Adrafinil’s active metabolite.

One study looked at what happened when Modafinil was given to people who had been incorrectly diagnosed with narcolepsy, i.e. non-narcolepsy suffers. It found that a 200mg dose of Modafinil caused the following side effects [15]:

  • Headaches
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Lumbago
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Rhinitis
  • Vertigo
  • Dry mouth
  • Back pain

The study noted that these side effects were mild and subsided as soon as Modafinil intake was stopped. This list provides a helpful point of reference for what you can expect when you take an equivalent dose (300-600mg) of Adrafinil.

In our experience, there are several ways to minimize or mitigate these side effects.

  • Lower the dose: As most side effects are directly correlated to the dose, the best way to reduce them is to take a lower dose of Adrafinil. If one 300mg capsule is too much, you can take as little as half a capsule (150mg). This is known as microdosing and is an effective way to build up a tolerance for Adrafinil.
  • Stay hydrated: Side effects related to dehydration such as headaches, dry mouth, and nausea can be addressed by staying well hydrated throughout the day. As Adrafinil is a powerful appetite suppressant, you should be mindful of the need to drink water during the day, even if you don’t feel hungry or thirsty.
  • Take the dose earlier: Side effects related to sleeplessness, sleep disruption and insomnia can be addressed by taking the Adrafinil dose early in the morning. This gives time for Adrafinil’s effects to wear off and prevents the drug from interfering with normal sleep patterns.

Addiction or dependence isn’t a worry when taking Adrafinil. Neither Adrafinil nor its active metabolite Modafinil are known to induce addiction, and neither nootropics are precursor molecules for substances that have the potential for misuse.

However, you should know that Modafinil has been shown to function as a reinforcer and have abuse potential under certain circumstances, especially when taken at a high dosage.

In one case, a man with bipolar affective disorder developed Modafinil dependence and later on, had hypersexuality, when he increased his dose of Modafinil from 400 to 1,000 mg/day [16]. To achieve the same effect with Adrafinil, you’d need to take between four and ten 300mg capsules, far outside the recommended dose of 1-2 capsules, so dependence shouldn’t be a concern.

Overall, Adrafinil is pretty safe when taken at the recommended dose and shouldn’t cause you any serious issues.

But again, we aren’t doctors and this isn’t medical advice, so if you are in any doubt about how Adrafinil may interact with your existing medical conditions or medications, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

adrafinil nootropic

Adrafinil and the Liver?

As Adrafinil is a liver-metabolized prodrug, it can raise liver enzymes when taken for prolonged periods. Depending on the time frame and Adrafinil dosage, this can cause liver toxicity and is a particular concern for individuals who have preexisting liver issues.

If you are concerned about liver toxicity, you should start with a 150mg dose of Adrafinil (half a capsule) and gauge your body’s response. You should also limit your intake to a maximum of three times per week, and take a one week break for every two weeks of use.

During your ‘off’ week, we recommend that you use a milk thistle (Silybum marianum) supplement to detoxify your liver. Silymarin acts as a powerful antioxidant and can prevent toxins from binding to the cells in your liver [17].

In summary, the best way to minimize Adrafinil’s impact on liver enzyme values is to:

  • Limit intake to 300mg per day or less.
  • Consume Adrafinil a maximum of three times per week.
  • Take one week off for every two weeks of use.
  • Use a milk thistle supplement when you aren’t taking Adrafinil.

If you follow these guidelines, Adrafinil shouldn’t cause a major elevation in your liver enzyme values when taken as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Modafinil vs. Adrafinil

Adrafinil is a liver-metabolized prodrug of Modafinil and both nootropics have very similar pharmacological effects and side effects when taken at equivalent doses (300mg of Adrafinil for every 100mg of Modafinil).

However, there are several key differences between the two substances that you should know about.

Modafinil is faster-acting, more potent, and longer-lasting than Adrafinil, and is more liver-friendly. As we discussed earlier, Adrafinil causes additional side effects such as skin irritation, elevated liver enzyme values, and orofacial dyskinesia, while being slower-acting and less potent.

The main appeal of Adrafinil is that it is 100% legal in most countries, whereas Modafinil is a highly regulated prescription medication and may be difficult, or illegal, to obtain.

The cost of both nootropics is identical when you factor in the discrepancy in dosage sizes. A tub of sixty 300mg Adrafinil capsules and a pack of 30 Modalert (generic Modafinil) 200mg tablets both cost exactly $69 with free shipping from our recommended vendors.

Learn more…

Modafinil vs. Adrafinil

Where to Buy Adrafinil Online | 2020 Guide

As Adrafinil is currently unscheduled and unregulated in most countries, it is 100% legal to buy without a prescription. Unfortunately, you can’t just head down to your local pharmacy or supplement store and buy some.

The best way to order Adrafinil is through an online vendor. We’ve reviewed the top suppliers and have found AbsorbYourHealth to be the most reliable, efficient, and highly rated nootropics supplier by far.

These guys are highly reputable and have built a solid track record for shipping quality smart drugs since they entered the scene in 2011.

Some reasons why we rate them as the #1 Adrafinil vendor around are;

  • Rigorous 3rd Party Testing: AbsorbYourHealth has every batch of Adrafinil tested by an independent laboratory to verify its authenticity and purity before shipping. This means that it is the highest quality product you can get your hands on.
  • International Shipping to over 100 countries: AbsorbYourHealth offers free shipping on all U.S. orders over $70 and all International orders over $200. All orders are shipped within 2-3 business days and come with free tracking.
  • Fair returns policies: US customers have 90 days to return their product for a full refund if they aren’t entirely satisfied with their orders. If there is an issue with USPS, they can ask for a full refund or free reshipping in the highly unlikely event that an order does get through.

We highly recommend AbsorbYourHealth as a trusted Adrafinil vendor. They do a great job as of writing this in-depth guide.

Side Effects of Adrafinil | Verdict

If you were curious about Adrafinil’s side effects and safety, hopefully, this guide has answered all your questions.

Adrafinil is a slower-acting alternative to Modafinil that puts more strain on your liver. With proper dosage and cycling, you can minimize most Adrafinil side effects.

Overall, the nootropic offers solid cognitive benefits and few side effects. It’s why we recommend the product here at Nootropics Advisor.


  1. Milgram, N.W., Callahan, H. and Siwak, C. (1999), Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent. CNS Drug Reviews, 5: 193-212. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x
  2. Murillo-Rodríguez E, Barciela Veras A, Barbosa Rocha N, Budde H, Machado S. An Overview of the Clinical Uses, Pharmacology, and Safety of Modafinil. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018;9(2):151-158. doi:10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00374
  3. Ooi T, Wong SH, See B. Modafinil as a Stimulant for Military Aviators. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019;90(5):480-483. doi:10.3357/AMHP.5298.2019
  4. Giurgea C. Vers une pharmacologie de l’activité intégrative du cerveau. Tentative du concept nootrope en psychopharmacologie [Pharmacology of integrative activity of the brain. Attempt at nootropic concept in psychopharmacology]. Actual Pharmacol (Paris). 1972;25:115-156.
  5. Siwak CT, Callahan H, Milgram NW. Adrafinil: effects on behavior and cognition in aged canines. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2000;24(5):709-726. doi:10.1016/s0278-5846(00)00103-2
  6. Brühl AB, d’Angelo C, Sahakian BJ. Neuroethical issues in cognitive enhancement: Modafinil as the example of a workplace drug?. Brain Neurosci Adv. 2019;3:2398212818816018. Published 2019 Feb 15. doi:10.1177/2398212818816018
  7. Battleday RM, Brem AK. Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015;25(11):1865-1881. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.028
  8. Ishizuka T, Sakamoto Y, Sakurai T, Yamatodani A. Modafinil increases histamine release in the anterior hypothalamus of rats. Neurosci Lett. 2003;339(2):143-146. doi:10.1016/s0304-3940(03)00006-5
  9. Brown RE, Stevens DR, Haas HL. The physiology of brain histamine. Prog Neurobiol. 2001;63(6):637-672. doi:10.1016/s0301-0082(00)00039-3
  10. Zolkowska D, Jain R, Rothman RB, et al. Evidence for the involvement of dopamine transporters in behavioral stimulant effects of modafinil. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009;329(2):738-746. doi:10.1124/jpet.108.146142
  11. Rasetti, R., Mattay, V. S., Stankevich, B., Skjei, K., Blasi, G., Sambataro, F., Arrillaga-Romany, I. C., Goldberg, T. E., Callicott, J. H., Apud, J. A., & Weinberger, D. R. (2010). Modulatory effects of modafinil on neural circuits regulating emotion and cognition. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(10), 2101–2109.
  12. Minzenberg MJ, Carter CS. Modafinil: a review of neurochemical actions and effects on cognition. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008;33(7):1477-1502. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1301534
  13. Ballas CA, Kim D, Baldassano CF, Hoeh N. Modafinil: past, present and future. Expert Rev Neurother. 2002;2(4):449-457. doi:10.1586/14737175.2.4.449
  14. Thobois S, Xie J, Mollion H, Benatru I, Broussolle E. Adrafinil-induced orofacial dyskinesia. Mov Disord. 2004;19(8):965-966. doi:10.1002/mds.20154
  15. Lopes E, Pereira D, da Silva Behrens NS, et al. Cataplexy as a side effect of modafinil in a patient without narcolepsy. Sleep Sci. 2014;7(1):47-49. doi:10.1016/j.slsci.2014.07.015
  16. Swapnajeet S, Bn S, Gourav G. Modafinil Dependence and Hypersexuality: A Case Report and Review of the Evidence. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2016;14(4):402-404. doi:10.9758/cpn.2016.14.4.402
  17. Abenavoli L, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future. Phytother Res. 2010;24(10):1423-1432. doi:10.1002/ptr.3207


After utilizing nootropics for the better part of a decade, I realized the potent results these products produce -- with regards to productivity and cognitive enhancement. Soon thereafter, I became obsessed with finding the premier smart drugs on the market. Then using them to improve my life. When I'm not devouring everything I can about nootropics and the science behind why they work, you'll find me traveling around the world or in the gym.

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