Adrafinil | Review of Uses, Side Effects, and More

Tomas Thorne

Last Updated: February 19, 2023

Adrafinil Review

Curious whether this nootropic actually works? Then keep reading this Adrafinil review.


Why would we look into analogs of Modafinil, when Modafinil itself gives all the focus and concentration one could ever need [1]?

That’s simple:

It’s far easier to order Ardafinil online than other nootropics.

Why? Because Adrafinil is 100% legal over-the-counter in nearly every country. Plus, it’s a nootropic that can safely and reliably enhance mental performance on a daily basis. Yes, Adrafinil actually works.

But there’s more to it than that, which is why we started thinking about the Adrafinil vs. Modafinil battle…

Is Adrafinil a superior nootropic to Modafinil? Is it safe for me to take? Is the price of Adrafinil worth it when measured against other smart drugs? Is Adrafinil a legitimate cognitive booster, or a waste of time and money?

To answer all of those questions, our team started doing some research and testing. It’s not enough for Adrafinil to just “work” — the nootropic has to provide a major return on investment with respect to productivity and energy.

Adrafinil is 100% legal and a solid Modafinil alternative

Disclaimer: The contents of are for informational and educational purposes only. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming Modafinil or related nootropics. Your access to is subject to our full Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

What is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil actually has some interesting history behind it!

It was first synthesized in 1974 by a French pharmaceutical company called Louis Lafon Laboratories. Adrafinil was given the brand name “Olmifon” and was released into France’s drug market in 1985 for treating narcolepsy.

Louis Lafon Laboratories was bought out by a bigger company called Cephalon in 2001, who voluntarily removed Olmifon off the market in 2011 and discontinued manufacturing the drug [2].

But why would this happen?

Why would Adrafinil — a wakefulness-promoting drug that’s free of side effects seen in other stimulants such as addiction, increased blood pressure, and heart rate — suddenly be withdrawn?

Scientists were quick to discover that Adrafinil is a prodrug to Modafinil, and that’s where the history of Modafinil began!

To simplify the science, a prodrug is an inactive drug that is metabolized (converted) by the body into a biologically active drug.

In the case of Adrafinil, its primary metabolite is none other than Modafinil itself. The only difference between the two from a structural standpoint is that Adrafinil has a hydroxyl (OH) group on the terminal amine end of the molecule.

Both Modafinil and Adrafinil offer the same cognitive benefits [3]:

  • Reduction of mental fatigue,
  • Increased short-term and long-term memory,
  • Enhanced ability to think clearer thoughts,
  • Higher levels of energy throughout the day,
  • Elevated mood,
  • Ability to stay awake for much longer, and
  • No “energy crash” as seen with other traditional stimulants.

However, Modafinil was found to be more potent and faster-acting than Adrafinil. It lasts much longer and requires a lower dosage [4].

As Modafinil is a much more effective drug, there was little financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to continue manufacturing Adrafinil.

Much like Modafinil, we do not understand the exact mechanisms through which Adrafinil exerts its effects on the human brain.

Yet researchers in the medical community are well-aware of how Adrafinil is not a traditional stimulant, mainly because it selectively acts in the amygdala and hypothalamus of the brain [5].

But enough with the history books. Does Adrafinil actually work like its more famous successor?

Review Adrafinil

Does Adrafinil Actually Work? | Our Experience

We already compared Adrafinil to Modafinil in a previous blog post, so if you’re interested in taking a deep dive, you should definitely check that out.

When it comes to Adrafinil vs. Modafinil, here is what our team found…

Both drugs gave us the intense focus we needed to sustain peak productivity for several hours. We did not experience any side effects or addictive tendencies with either of these two smart drugs.

Adrafinil took two hours for its effects to kick in, compared to one hour for Modafinil. And while Modafinil lasted for 12-15 hours, we only felt the effects of Adrafinil for a few hours, maybe 6-8 hours total.

So when we took Adrafinil in the afternoon, we could still fall asleep at night without staying awake. We did not have the same outcome with Modafinil and we were restless for the entire night.

While Modafinil is definitely more potent and effective, we can say with a straight face that Adrafinil actually works and does what it is meant to do.

But not every nootropic user had the same experience as our team members.

Due to the extended amount of time needed for Adrafinil to metabolize into Modafinil, some users report waking up much earlier to take their dose of Adrafinil. This helped them use Adrafinil without messing up their circadian rhythm.

In one discussion we found on Reddit, there were mixed reviews [6]. One user reported a lack of noticeable effects while using Adrafinil:

“I think Adrafinil is just one of those things that doesn’t work on some people. I’ve never had it from [unnamed supplier], but I’ve tried it from other places and in higher doses and the only thing that it did was gave me insomnia. No focus, no energy, nothing.”

Another user said Adrafinil was only effective when they were sleep-deprived:

“For me, if I take it after a good night sleep, I really notice very little. But if I was out till four in the morning and had stuff to do the next morning, I’ll notice it and it’s really just a sort of clear-headed feeling, not really motivational”

So does Adrafinil actually work?

In theory, it should because of how it works in the body. In practice, everyone is different and the results vary. The only surefire way to find out is to try Adrafinil for a few weeks and see how you react to it.

Adrafinil Benefits and Effects | Top 5

Before you jump ahead and buy Adrafinil, let’s take a look at what the science has to say about this little-known nootropic.

A quick PubMed search using the query “adrafinil” will reveal only 38 results, which is not terribly impressive.

That’s because the majority of studies involving Adrafinil were conducted in the 80s and 90s by French scientists, whose publications are currently unavailable in any online database.

So everything we know about Adrafinil is either (a) derived from the first-hand experience of smart drugs users, or (b) based on the proven effects of Modafinil across several studies.

With this being said, there are still many established cognitive benefits of using Adrafinil…

  • Adrafinil Boosts Your Energy

The primary benefit of Adrafinil has to be its ability to make you more energetic, especially when you are feeling fatigued and tired.

This, in turn, allows you to sustain a higher level of focus for a longer period of time.

Adrafinil’s “wakefulness-promoting” effect was confirmed in studies done 20 years ago where dogs were given different doses of Adrafinil [7]:

Adrafinil produces increases in locomotor activity in aged dogs. The magnitude of the increase is dose and environment dependent. The effect persists for some time following administration and the efficacy does not diminish with repeated administration.

And when Adrafinil was given to rhesus monkeys, their nocturnal activity increased up to 4-fold without any sedative effect taking place when the drug wore off [8].

We don’t know exactly why Adrafinil makes you so alert and does such a good job of keeping sleepiness at bay.

But one possible explanation is that Adrafinil increases the production of hypocretin, a neurotransmitter that is deficient in narcolepsy patients [9].

Another possibility is that the wakefulness simply comes from Adrafinil being converted into Modafinil – which is a proven ‘eugeroic’. Lab tests on rats have shown that Modafinil ramps up levels of “histamine” in the brain [10] and other studies have shown that more histamine can definitely help promote alertness and concentration [11].

  • Adrafinil Positively Enhances Your Mood

Not only will Adrafinil lead to better cognition, but it will also improve your mood and lead to an unexplainable surge in motivation.

It’s hard to say whether the motivation is first created, or the ease of working associated with taking Adrafinil leads to the increase in motivation.

There isn’t much about this topic in the scientific literature, which points to some preliminary results taken from case studies [4]:

“There is some indication that adrafinil affects basic motivational states.

According to Saletu et al. (49), two subjects reported that they experienced an interest in sex for the first time in years after taking adrafinil.

Nicolaidis and de Saint Hillaire (45) found decreased feeding and body weight following treatment with modafinil.”

So if you’re a student who struggles to study for long hours or has trouble staying on track during boring and sometimes repetitive classes, Adrafinil would be worth a shot!

While we don’t know exactly why Adrafinil improves mood, we do know that it’s a prodrug of Modafinil so it shares many of the same effects. Studies have shown that Modafinil increases dopamine in the brain [12], and science tells us that increased levels of this neurotransmitter can lead to an elevated mood. [13].

  • Adrafinil Can Lead To Better Brain Health

Based on the effects of Modafinil, it is plausible that Adrafinil does not merely enhance productivity.

It can be used as a neuroprotectant to guard against harmful neurological processes and diseases [14]:

“The potential therapeutic implication of modafinil use in the elderly can especially be envisioned when considering aging- or Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-dependent cognitive deficits.

…Thus, on a speculative note, the modafinil-driven [functional connectivity] effects we are reporting to occur in areas that are controlling attention and inhibitory control may help to counteract deficits of the aging brain as well as in the brain of [mild cognitive impairment] or AD patients.”

It’s no wonder why Adrafinil was initially targeted towards elderly patients who suffered from depression brought on by neurodegenerative disorders.

But for a healthy individual, Adrafinil may help keep the brain sharp and fully functioning well into old age.

  • Adrafinil May Improve Memory

This one is a bit of a stretch, and requires us to go back to canine studies [4]:

“…we trained aged beagle dogs on size and intensity discrimination learning tasks, with the training sessions given 2 h following treatment with either 20 mg/kg of adrafinil or a placebo control.

…Treatment with adrafinil produced significant improvement in learning as indicated by a decrease in both errors and trials to criterion.

This improvement also appeared to be related to baseline cognitive function: the most severely impaired dogs appeared to show the greatest improvement.”

Based on our experience, we can’t say for sure if Adrafinil directly leads to an improvement in memory.

However, the direct improvement of several mental qualities — focus, motivation, energy, etc. — may indirectly lead to more retention of complex information.

  • Adrafinil Could Improve Reaction Time

With all of the above benefits working in your favor, you’ll notice your reaction time shortening dramatically when you take Adrafinil.

Your fingers type faster on the keyboard. You can react quickly in challenging situations without going off the deep end towards straight-up impulsivity.

Again, we need to look at a study involving Modafinil to reach this conclusion [15]:

“Middle-aged female rats (18-20 months old) were administered oral doses of modafinil (0, 8, 32, and 64 mg/kg) and tested in a 3-choice visual discrimination and sustained attention task.

Modafinil produced a dose-dependent pattern of improved response accuracy and impulse control (fewer premature responses) and shorter response latencies, without affecting omission errors, motivation or motor control”

You’ll notice the same thing with Adrafinil, but only when its effect is maximized. This means you may have to wait until Adrafinil fully kicks in.

Review Adrafinil

Ideal Adrafinil Dosage Guide

So what is the BEST Adrafinil dosage for anyone looking to get a massive pile of work done?

To answer that question, we need to understand exactly how Adrafinil gets metabolized in the body [16]:

“Adrafinil peaks in the blood of elderly humans approximately one hour after oral ingestion, although neurological effects occur mostly after this peak due to the time it takes to convert it to modafinil, its active metabolite. 

Adrafinil can be metabolized into modafinil, which is then metabolized to the inert modafinilic acid or modafinil sulfone. Adrafinil may also be metabolized directly to modafinilic acid without producing modafinil.”

Here’s what all of that means…

Not all of the Adrafinil gets converted into Modafinil, and some of it is lost in the metabolization process.

Since the prodrug Adrafinil takes time to be broken down into the active drug Modafinil, it will naturally take a longer time for its cognitive effects to kick in.

Modafinil generally peaks at 60-90 minutes, so add on another hour or so for Adrafinil.

Additionally, the effects won’t last as long. Adrafinil will give you a lighter surge in focus for 2-3 hours, unlike the 10-12 hours you get with Modafinil [17].

Therefore, you will need MORE Adrafinil to confer the same cognitive effects as Modafinil.

(NOTE: All of the above is entirely dependent on your body chemistry and the Adrafinil dose you take)

A good rule of thumb is to take 300 mg of Adrafinil for every 100 mg of Modafinil you want to “experience.”

As we know that most people do well on 100-200mg of Modafinil per day [18], this means you could take between 300-600mg of Adrafinil [17]. However, if you’re taking it for the first time, we suggest starting with 300mg.

Based on our experience with using Adrafinil, this is what we recommend…

  • Ideal Dose: 300 mg once a day, can be divided into two smaller doses
  • When To Take It: First thing in the morning to avoid troubles with falling asleep at night
  • What To Take It With: A glass of water right before breakfast, as food can lengthen the time it takes for Adrafinil to kick in

We recommend taking Adrafinil no more than 3 times a week in evenly spaced doses.

If you’re using Adrafinil with Modafinil, take Modafinil 1-2 days within a week and Adrafinil 1-2 days within the same week.

At most, you should be using it in a “one week on, one week off” cyclical fashion (or when needed) to avoid elevating your liver enzymes.

And for the same reason, we do not advise taking Adrafinil daily for an extended period.

If you are feeling cautious, you can even start at 150 mg of Adrafinil per dose and gradually work your way up.

Due to the lengthy metabolization process, you WILL have to take Adrafinil at an earlier time than you would normally take Modafinil.

Follow these rules and you will have no problem dosing Adrafinil safely and effectively.

Where to Buy Adrafinil Online? | 2023 Guide

So where exactly should you buy Adrafinil, and what is the best online vendor to help you get your hands on this nootropic?

First, know that we are very selective about where we buy Adrafinil online, or any smart drug for that matter.

For us to recommend a vendor, they need to be reliable, offer fair shipping prices to numerous countries, and provide an outstanding customer experience.

And no other Adrafinil vendor fulfills our needs better than AbsorbYourHealth.

These guys are extremely reputable and have been in the nootropics game since 2011.

Here are some of the things that we believe make them the #1 online Adrafinil vendor around:

  • Rigorous 3rd Party Testing: Every product we have seen on their site comes with test results from independent laboratories to verify their identity and purity, Adrafinil included. It’s no wonder why they have some of the highest-quality Adrafinil around.
  • International Shipping To Over 100 Countries: There is a very high chance you can get Adrafinil shipped to your country. And you get shipping FREE when your order is over $75. All orders are shipped within one business day.
  • Several Five-Star Reviews: We have heard nothing but great things about AbsorbYourHealth from the people who have bought from them. Many of them are loyal repeat customers. We’ve made a ton of orders from them and never had an issue.
  • Fair Return Policies: American domestic customers can return their purchase within 90 days of their order for a full refund. You can also get a refund OR a replacement if your order does not arrive due to a USPS problem.
  • Numerous Payment Methods: All major credit cards are accepted by AbsorbYourHealth, so paying for your order will be easy and secure.

The only thing we dislike about AbsorbYourHealth is that they don’t offer refunds for international orders unless the shipment does not pass through US customs.

Outside of these minor conveniences, we highly recommend AbsorbYourHealth as a trusted Adrafinil vendor.

How to Order Adrafinil in Your Country

Adrafinil is currently an unscheduled and unregulated drug in most countries. This means you can legally buy it without requiring a prescription.

However, you will not be able to find it at your local pharmacy or supplement store. You must order it through an online vendor like AbsorbYourHealth.

If your chosen online vendor doesn’t ship to your country, you will have to find an alternative vendor.

We know for a fact that you won’t have a problem with using Adrafinil in countries like the UK, Canada, and the USA.

We cannot speak for other countries, so you will have to look up the laws of your country and determine if you can legally buy and use Adrafinil where you live.

Some countries may require you to have a prescription for Adrafinil.

But as long as you are using Adrafinil for yourself and not attempting to sell it for a profit, you should be fine.

This makes Adrafinil a fantastic legal alternative to Modafinil, which requires a prescription for use in most countries.

One final note: Adrafinil is banned by various doping organizations such as WADA, USADA, and NCAA.

So if you’re a competitive athlete reading this, make sure you are NOT using Adrafinil to boost your performance!

Stacking Adrafinil with other Nootropics?

Adrafinil is awesome on its own, but can it be stacked with other smart drugs for a kick-ass synergistic effect?

One where you amplify the positive attributes of Adrafinil while reducing or eliminating its side effects, or even enhance a separate part of cognition?

We believe it’s entirely possible, so here are some stacks worth trying out:

  • Adrafinil and Noopept

Noopept stacks well with Adrafinil for laser focus and extreme concentration over several hours.

This Russian nootropic is perfect when you have an all-nighter ahead of you, or a very difficult task which requires 100% of your attention.

It also has the nice effect of lowering your anxiety, which helps you remain grounded and calm while working.

20-30 mg is what we recommend to take alongside Adrafinil.

  • Adrafinil and Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a natural extract that will counteract any potential damage done to your liver by taking Adrafinil.

This is a stack we recommend for improving your overall health, rather than boosting your cognitive performance.

Take 75-150 mg of Milk thistle with Adrafinil for the best results.

  • Adrafinil and Piracetam

Piracetam will do wonders for your memory while enhancing the speed at which you process and learn new information.

Some people find they are more creative when taking these two together, but we have found this stack to be more neuroprotective than anything else.

The ideal Piracetam dosage to take with Adrafinil is 4-5 grams, once or twice a day.

  • Adrafinil and Caffeine

This is a “wild card” stack, as it can either work for you or against you.

Some people will become far more alert and focused when stacking Adrafinil and caffeine. Others will feel anxious and jittery, with a few outliers reporting a faster heartbeat and higher blood pressure.

If you try this stack, we would limit your caffeine supply to 1-2 cups of coffee in the early morning when you take Adrafinil.

Review Adrafinil

In-Depth Adrafinil Review | Verdict?

So what can you take away from this deep-dive Adrafinil review?

We think Adrafinil is a very powerful smart drug that can be used by healthy individuals who want to achieve supreme levels of productivity.

However, it would not be our first choice if we had direct access to Modafinil. We still regard it as the BEST nootropic in the world.

While Adrafinil has been discontinued for several reasons mentioned in this article, it is a 100% legal and cheaper alternative for people who cannot get their hands on Modafinil.

Think of Adrafinil as another choice when the #1 option is unavailable. It still works like a charm and does wonders for anyone in a stressful high-performance career.

P.S. order your Adrafinil today!


  1. D;, Ivanenko A;Tauman R;Gozal. “Modafinil in the Treatment of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in Children.” Accessed February 25, 2021.
  2. Billiard M, Broughton R. Modafinil: its discovery, the early European and North American experience in the treatment of narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, and its subsequent use in other medical conditions. Sleep Med. 2018;49:69-72. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2018.05.027
  3. Adrafinil: Amazing Breakthrough in Perception Stimulation. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  4. Milgram NW, Callahan H, Siwak C. Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent. CNS Drug Rev. 1999;5(3):193-212. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x
  5. Simon P, Hemet C, Ramassamy C, Costentin J. Non-amphetaminic mechanism of stimulant locomotor effect of modafinil in mice. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1995;5(4):509-514.
  6. Anyone else purchase Adrafinil from here and not feel it? Retrieved April 26, 2020. r/NootropicsDepot
  7. Siwak CT, Callahan H, Milgran NW. Adrafinil: effects on behavior and cognition in aged canines. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2000;24(5):709-726.
  8. Milhaud CL, Klein MJ. The effect of adrafinil on the nocturnal activity of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). J Pharmacol. 1985;16(4):372-380.
  9. Mignot EJ. A practical guide to the therapy of narcolepsy and hypersomnia syndromes. Neurotherapeutics. 2012;9(4):739‐752. doi:10.1007/s13311-012-0150-9
  10. Punzi M, Gili T, Petrosini L, Caltagirone C, Spalletta G, Sensi SL. Modafinil-Induced Changes in Functional Connectivity in the Cortex and Cerebellum of Healthy Elderly Subjects. Front Aging Neurosci. 2017;9:85. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2017.00085
  11. Morgan RE, Crowley JM, Smith RH, LaRoche RB, Dopheide MM. Modafinil improves attention, inhibitory control, and reaction time in healthy, middle-aged rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2007;86(3):531-541.
  12. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Liver Damage. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  13. Adrafinil. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  14. Punzi, Miriam, Tommaso Gili, Laura Petrosini, Carlo Caltagirone, Gianfranco Spalletta, and Stefano L Sensi. “Modafinil-Induced Changes in Functional Connectivity in the Cortex and Cerebellum of Healthy Elderly Subjects.” Frontiers in aging neuroscience. Frontiers Media S.A., March 30, 2017.
  15. Morgan, Russell E, Jaime M Crowley, Roland H Smith, Ronee B LaRoche, and Marsha M Dopheide. “Modafinil Improves Attention, Inhibitory Control, and Reaction Time in Healthy, Middle-Aged Rats.” Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. U.S. National Library of Medicine, March 2007.
  16. “Adrafinil Supplement – Health Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects.”, September 18, 2019.
  17. Young, Jared W. “Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptor Family Contributions to Modafinil-Induced Wakefulness.” Journal of Neuroscience. Society for Neuroscience, March 4, 2009.
  18. “Modafinil Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD. WebMD. Accessed February 25, 2021.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents