Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil | Smart Drug Showdown

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil is an interesting debate. While the smart drugs are technically different, they’re quite similar, too. See, Adrafinil converts into Modafinil in the body, and it’s also legal.

On the other hand, most users find the effects of Modafinil to be significantly stronger than that of Adrafinil. Personally, I agree. Adrafinil is like an extra cup of coffee for me. Modafinil is like a superpower.

Still, the Adrafinil vs. Modafinil debate is more nuanced than the above. There are a few other variables to discuss before deciding which smart drug is best for your personal needs.

So let’s dive in and see whether Modafinil or Adrafinil is best for you.

P.S: It must be stated that I am in no way, shape, or form a doctor or medical professional. You should always consult a medical professional before taking any supplements or pharmaceutical drugs. 

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is the premier smart drug on the market. Originally developed to treat narcolepsy, shift sleep disorder, and more a few decades ago – the pharmaceutical drug is now being used as a cognitive enhancer by many around the globe.

Provigil is the brand name of the nootropic, but most users taking Modafinil as a smart drug buy their product from generic brands made in India. Popular generic Modafinil includes Modalert and Modvigil.

Modafinil users often experience some minor side effects (Source), but overall most consider the pharmaceutical drug safe. Learn more about Modafinil by clicking here.

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What is Adrafinil?

On the other hand, Adrafinil isn’t as popular or well-known as Modafinil. Adrafinil was designed with wakefulness, focus, and mood in mind – just like many other smart drugs.

Adrafinil was created in France as a pharmaceutical drug until it was discontinued in 2011. Originally, the drug was created as an alternative to Provigil. Since then, the smart drug has been manufactured over-the-counter as a nootropic.

Adrafinil has a similar chemical structure as Modafinil. However, there are distinct differences. Adrafinil has an additional OH (hydroxyl group) in the amide nitrogen. This forms a hydroxylamine.

Then the drug is converted to Modafinil once ingested inside the body (Source). Thus, Adrafinil is a prodrug. Modafinil is the biologically active ingredient in Adrafinil.

Modafinil and Adrafinil Are Similar

How Modafinil and Adrafinil Are Similar

Alright, so now that the basics are covered, let’s take a look at the benefits and similarities of these nootropics. Adrafinil and Modafinil were designed with similar purposes in mind.

As such, an Adrafinil vs. Modafinil debate must begin with their similarities, like:

Improved Cognition, Focus, & Productivity

Both Modafinil and Adrafinil are incredibly useful when looking to boost cognition, increase focus, and ultimately – become more productive. These are smart drugs, after all!

When you take one of these nootropics, you will feel an intense focus that’s sure to bump up your productivity or keep you focused on any task at hand. For CEOs, hustlers, and students – this seems to be the biggest benefits of any nootropic.

Promoting Wakefulness

Whether you’re working late nights or just looking to pull an all-nighter due to online work or studies, both of these nootropics do a solid job of keeping you up at night.

While Modafinil is a little stronger, you won’t be able to fall asleep after taking Adrafinil – if you dose it properly. For hangovers or days after little sleep, both these nootropics will help you stay up and at ’em.

Safe Smart Drugs

Adrafinil and Modafinil are both relatively safe. Most users experience minimal side effects when taking either smart drug. While you need to drink a lot of fluids and plan to get to bed a little later than usual, there’s no real danger when taking these nootropics. Neither Modafinil or Adrafinil have been shown to be habit forming, a huge plus for individuals with addictive tendencies – like me!

Modafinil Tablets

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil: Differences

While the Adrafinil vs. Modafinil debate certainly seems to have similarities, I found these smart drugs to be quite different regarding performance, dosing, and more. Here are a few notable differences I found through testing:

Legal or Not?

Modafinil is a pharmaceutical drug that’s technically illegal to possess or consume without a prescription. Provigil is considered a Schedule IV drug in the United States.  Adrafinil can be legally purchased over the counter without a prescription from a medical professional.

The legalities of Adrafinil and Modafinil are completely different, even though people use the smart drugs for the same things. While you won’t have any issues buying Modafinil online, it must be noted that Adrafinil is legal – a huge benefit for the consumer.

Effectiveness & Potency

Make no mistake about it – Modafinil is significantly more potent and effective than Adrafinil. While the drugs are incredibly similar and designed to offer the same benefits, Modafinil simply does a better job at it.

As Adrafinil converts to Modafinil inside the body, one would think the effects would be similar. However, only a percentage of Adrafinil is converted to Modafinil. As such, some of the Adrafinil is simply wasted.

Modafinil is pure, while Adrafinil isn’t. You’ll need a higher dosage of Adrafinil to get similar effects as Modafinil.

Dosing, Onset & Half-Life

To get similar effects as Modafinil, you’ll be taking a lot of Adrafinil. If you like to take 200 mg of Modafinil, you’ll need between 400-600 mg of Adrafinil to find similar results.

Adrafinil tends to take around two full hours to kick in. Why? Because it takes an hour or so for the drug to convert into Modafinil and then another hour for the Modafinil to kick in.

On the other hand, most Modafinil users find the effects start working around one hour after consumption.

Depending on your situation, the half-life of Adrafinil can be hugely beneficial. See, Modafinil will last at least 10-12 hours after consumption. Modafinil’s half-life can last up to 15 hours.

On the other hand, Adrafinil isn’t as potent. A normal dose of Adrafinil only has a half-life of 5-7 hours. This means you can consume the smart drug in the afternoon and still get a great night of sleep. That’s not possible with Modafinil.


Provigil, the brand name Modafinil, is incredibly expensive – even when using health insurance to buy the drug at a pharmacy. You can get generic Modafinil for as low as $0.89 per 200 mg pill.

On the other hand, Adrafinil can be found for as low as $0.69 per serving. Now, to get similar effects as Modafinil, you’ll likely end up spending more on this nootropic. However, on a serving by serving basis, Adrafinil can be cheaper.

The Best Adrafinil

The Best Adrafinil

How to Use These Smart Drugs

It must be noted that using smart drugs on a daily basis is not advisable. Personally, I keep my Modafinil usage to 1-2 times a week. I advise you to do the same.

Adrafinil can be used to replace Modafinil usage. You can also add Adrafinil into your weekly routine on days when you don’t take Modafinil. However, as Adrafinil converts to Modafinil in the body, it’s imperative to monitor usage of this smart drug, too.

Overall, a schedule of 1-2 Modafinil days and 1-2 Adrafinil days per week is doable. You could also switch to Adrafinil completely and use the smart drug 1-3 times per week.

The best thing to do is test out what type of schedule and dosing works best for you. Your body will be quick to respond and tell you what’s working and what isn’t.

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil: The Verdict

Overall, Modafinil is much more effective and potent. If you’re looking to make the most out of your smart drug day, then Modafinil is the only option. If you’re looking for 5-6 hours of intense focus now and then, Adrafinil can offer just that – without the negative sleep side effects of Modafinil.

~ To buy Modafinil, click here!
~ To buy Adrafinil, click here!



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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