Adrafinil Side Effects and Safety | What You MUST Know

Tomas Thorne

Last Updated: February 19, 2023

Adrafinil side effects

Curious about adrafinil’s side effects? Help is at hand. This comprehensive guide will explain what you must know about this drug’s side effects and safety.

Below, we’ll outline what adrafinil is, its potential benefits, and its safety and side effects. Whether you’re a researcher, test subject or someone with a modafinil prescription, keep reading to learn about key side effects and safety concerns related to adrafinil.

P.S. order your Adrafinil today!

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 is a wakefulness-promoting drug that was discovered in 1974 and developed by Louis Lafon Laboratories. Adrafinil was released as “Olmifon” in 1985 as a prescription medication to elderly patients who were having difficulty maintaining alertness during the day [1]. Olmifon was subsequently prescribed to treat patients with narcolepsy and other sleep-wake disorders.

Adrafinil’s active metabolite is modafinil, a potent wakefulness-inducing compound [2]. Both drugs are very similar at a structural level [3]. Lafon released modafinil in France in 1994 and it quickly superseded adrafinil as the company’s premier narcolepsy treatment.

Lafon was acquired by Celaphon in the early 2000s and continued to produce Olmifon in France until 2011. Subsequently, various pharmaceutical companies and laboratories began producing generic adrafinil products for sale as “reference material.”

Adrafinil high

Adrafinil Benefits

Given that Olmifon was discontinued in 2011, you may be wondering why adrafinil is still manufactured and sold. The answer is that it offers three benefits from a researcher’s perspective:

  • Low cost
  • Readily available for research purposes
  • Cognitive enhancement potential

We’ll look at these three potential benefits in greater detail below.

Low cost

One potential adrafinil benefit is that it is generally more affordable than modafinil. This makes it appealing to researchers who want to run tests on this drug.

Anecdotally, adrafinil also appears to be popular with those who are prescribed modafinil by their doctor and are unable or unwilling to pay for brand-name modafinil such as “Provigil” [4].

Readily available for research purposes

Unlike modafinil, which is a prescription-only medication in most parts of the world, adrafinil’s sale is not restricted in the same way. In most countries, it is sold as a reference material to researchers interested in using it within experimental settings. The only country that currently classifies adrafinil as a prescription drug is Australia.

Researchers are drawn to adrafinil for its ease of availability. Many vendors routinely ship the drug worldwide without any customs or import issues.

Cognitive enhancement potential

While neither adrafinil or modafinil have ever been approved for their cognitive enhancement potential, a cross-sectional study in 15 countries found that modafinil is widely used for this purpose, especially among students [5].

Adrafinil’s purported cognitive benefits stem from animal studies that found doses of 120 mg/kg of adrafinil increased the nocturnal activity of rhesus monkeys by 400 percent [6], and a canine study that found that adrafinil significantly increased performance motivation in dogs while increasing their “electroencephalographic activity” [7].

Modafinil, adrafinil’s active metabolite, has been found to offer cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects [8], and, based on findings that both adrafinil and modafinil can be used to improve cognitive and physical performance, both modafinil and adrafinil were banned by the World Anti-Doping Organisation (WADA) in 2004 [9].

Now that we’ve discussed the potential benefits of adrafinil, let’s look at its side effects and safety.

Adrafinil Side Effects and Safety | What You MUST Know

Unlike modafinil, which is an FDA-approved narcolepsy medication, adrafinil is available only as a reference compound and does not have the same body of research documenting its side effects and safety.

What side effects can adrafinil cause?

The package insert included with “Olmifon” indicated that clinical tests had linked adrafinil to the following four side effects:

  • Stomach pains,
  • Headaches,
  • Inner tension, and
  • Skin irritations

However, the Olmifon insert stated that adrafinil had “not yet been tested on the non-elderly.” The manufacture of Olmifon was discontinued in 2011 and, to date, there have been no further human clinical trials into its side effects or safety.

Medical research has linked adrafinil to “orofacial dyskinesia,” a condition that causes involuntary facial movements. Researchers have found that this condition can persist even after adrafinil use has ceased, and is perhaps one reason why Olmifon was discontinued in 2011.

What should subjects expect when taking adrafinil?

Anecdotal evidence from real-world subjects indicates that adrafinil causes similar side effects to modafinil, including [10]:

  • Dry throat, nose, and mouth,
  • Anxiety,
  • Insomnia and/or difficulty sleeping,
  • Dependence (if taken in excessive doses for extended periods).

However, some of the side effects listed above may be mitigated or avoided entirely if the subject takes a few simple precautions:

Adrafinil should be taken early in the morning

As with modafinil, it is commonly recommended to take adrafinil early in the morning to prevent it from interrupting sleep.

Hydration following adrafinil administration

Like modafinil, adrafinil is known to cause a loss of appetite. Individuals who take adrafinil may forget to eat and drink as normal, leading to some side effects such as headaches, a dry mouth, throat and mouth. Adrafinil researchers have suggested that staying well hydrated and drinking at least two liters of water on days of adrafinil administration can help avoid these side effects.

Doses should be tailored to each subject

Whereas modafinil is typically sold in 200 mg pills, adrafinil is sold as a reference material and comes as a solution or powder. This lets researchers easily test the drug on a wide range of doses.

While the recommended dose stated on the original Olmifon package insert was 2-4 tablets per day (600-1,200mg), we were able to establish alternative guidelines based on our experience researching the drug for cognitive enhancement purposes. We have found that the drug is effective on healthy subjects at the following doses:

  • A “threshold dose” (or “microdose”) of adrafinil is around 100 mg per day.
  • A “typical” dose of adrafinil is between 200-300 mg/day. This is thought to be roughly equivalent to 100 mg of modafinil.
  • A 600 mg dose of adrafinil is considered to be equivalent to a standard 200 mg of modafinil.

It’s important to note that these doses are based on our own specific findings and to date, there have been no clinical trials into adrafinil’s use as a cognitive enhancer. Individuals or test subjects who experiment with adrafinil are advised to start low and see how it affects them before increasing the dosage until reaching the desired effect.

Cycling adrafinil with other nootropics

As a prodrug of modafinil, adrafinil should be administered responsibly. Modafinil is a prescription drug in most countries and has shown a low risk of dependence. While one review of clinical data indicated that “intoxication and dependence associated to modafinil are uncommon” [11], limited research has shown that high doses of modafinil for extended periods can result in dependence and hypersexuality [12].

Our experience suggests that adrafinil intake should be limited to three days per week to prevent it from becoming habit-forming. At the time of writing, there has been no research into long-term adrafinil use among non-elderly individuals.

Adrafinil high

Adrafinil and the Liver?

Both modafinil and adrafinil are metabolized in the liver but in slightly different ways. While modafinil is metabolized into modafinilic acid and then modafinil sulfone, adrafinil must first be metabolized into modafinil before the last two stages can take place. A portion of adrafinil remains as modafinilic acid and is not metabolized into modafinil [3]. This is one reason why adrafinil is considered to be less potent than modafinil.

This extra step in the metabolization of adrafinil has been cited by Cephalon (the US pharmaceutical company that acquired Lafon in the early 2000s) as a potential danger of adrafinil. Research indicates that adrafinil may elevate liver enzyme values if consumed in high doses for extended periods.

Extremely limited anecdotal evidence from one individual who took liver enzyme readouts before and after using adrafinil suggests that the drug does not significantly increase levels when taken at doses of 100-200mg per day [13].

Despite this, medical literature from Olmifon’s original manufacturer, Lafon, and from Cephalon, indicates that patients with preexisting liver conditions should not take products containing adrafinil.

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil

Although adrafinil is a liver metabolized prodrug of modafinil, there is no research indicating that the two drugs are interchangeable. Anecdotally, some patients who are prescribed modafinil do use adrafinil as a cost-effective alternative, but there are discernible differences between the two drugs.

Modafinil is an FDA-approved narcolepsy medication

A key difference between modafinil and adrafinil is that only modafinil is an FDA-approved narcolepsy medication. Adrafinil, by contrast, has never received FDA approval for any use and therefore has not been subject to the same degree of medical scrutiny. The only country that currently classifies adrafinil as a medication is Australia, where it is an S4 prescription-only medication. In all other countries, adrafinil is sold as a reference material and is available to researchers who wish to use the drug in experimental settings.

Modafinil is faster acting

Patients with sleep work shift disorder (SWSD) are advised to take modafinil one hour before they start work [14], indicating that modafinil has a one-hour onset period. Limited anecdotal evidence from adrafinil users indicates that modafinil is faster acting than adrafinil [4], with one user suggesting that adrafinil has an onset period of between one and two hours [15].

Adrafinil is cheaper than modafinil

As a reference material, adrafinil is more cost effective than modafinil. This makes it popular among researchers who wish to experiment on eugeroics. Adrafinil’s legal status means that it is generally easier to access than modafinil in most countries.

Adrafinil high

Where To Buy Adrafinil Online | 2023 Guide

Although adrafinil is a reference material, buying some is not as simple as it sounds. While there are dozens of online suppliers to choose from, finding a reliable, trustworthy vendor is far from straightforward.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and found an established, reputable supplier:

Our top pick for an adrafinil vendor is Having fully reviewed their service and made some test orders, we’ve concluded that they offer the purest, most consistent adrafinil solution and powder on the market today.

Here are just a few of the things they do exceptionally well:

  • Well-Established Quality Control Practices: Buying adrafinil online can be a little hit and miss. Powdered adrafinil looks orangey-whitish and you can’t tell much, if anything, about its purity by its color of smell alone. Fortunately, has well-established quality control practices in place. They get every batch of adrafinil (both solution and powder) tested by an independent lab. This ensures that each batch meets exacting standards, giving you the best possible experience.
  • Certificate of Analysis: For maximum transparency, publishes the certificate of analysis for each batch of adrafinil on its website. This lets you verify the exact grade and purity of the adrafinil before you make a purchase. Every product is batch and lot coded so you can see exactly what it contains before making an order.
  • Tamperproof, UV-resistant Packaging:’s adrafinil solution and adrafinil powder come in tamperproof, UV-resistance packaging to guarantee purity and freshness. This innovative packaging extends the lifespan of the product and ensures you get the finest quality product.
  • Worldwide Shipping and Same-Day Dispatch: offers same-day-dispatch on all orders and ships worldwide. Orders over $300 ship free.
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee: In the unlikely event that you aren’t completely satisfied with your order, you’ll get 30 days to return it for a full refund. This lets you order with complete peace of mind.

As you can see, offers everything you’d expect from a top-quality vendor. We’ve found their customer support staff to be highly responsive to any inquiries, taking the hassle out of placing an order.

Highly recommended!

P.S. order your Adrafinil today!

Side Effects of Adrafinil | Verdict

If you were curious about the side effects of adrafinil, we hope that this guide has answered your questions. Adrafinil is an oral non-amphetamine wakefulness drug that was developed to enhance alertness in elderly patients. It is known to produce minimal side effects and is readily available to researchers as an experimental drug that offers cognitive enhancement.


  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. Burnat P, Robles F, Do B. High-performance liquid chromatographic determination of modafinil and its two metabolites in human plasma using solid-phase extraction. J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1998 Mar 20;706(2):295-304. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(97)00550-1. PMID: 9551816.
  4. Modafinil User Reviews for ADHD at (2021). Retrieved 27 March 2021, from
  5. Maier LJ, Ferris JA, Winstock AR. Pharmacological cognitive enhancement among non-ADHD individuals-A cross-sectional study in 15 countries. Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Aug;58:104-112. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.05.009. Epub 2018 Jun 11. PMID: 29902691.
  6. Milhaud CL, Klein MJ. Effets de l’adrafinil sur l’activité nocturne du macaque rhésus (Macaca mulatta) [The effect of adrafinil on the nocturnal activity of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta)]. J Pharmacol. 1985 Oct-Dec;16(4):372-80. French. PMID: 4094435.
  7. Siwak CT, Callahan H, Milgram NW. Adrafinil: effects on behavior and cognition in aged canines. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;24(5):709-26. doi: 10.1016/s0278-5846(00)00103-2. PMID: 11191710.
  8. 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
  9. Ameline A, Gheddar L, Raul JS, Kintz P. Identification of adrafinil and its main metabolite modafinil in human hair. Self-administration study and interpretation of an authentic case. Forensic Sci Res. 2020 Jan 29;5(4):322-326. doi: 10.1080/20961790.2019.1704482. PMID: 33457050; PMCID: PMC7782130.
  10. Ba. (2021). Modafinil Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD. Retrieved 6 May 2021, from
  11. Sousa A, Dinis-Oliveira RJ. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic of the cognitive enhancer modafinil: Relevant clinical and forensic aspects. Subst Abus. 2020;41(2):155-173. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1700584. Epub 2020 Jan 17. PMID: 31951804.
  12. 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
  13. (2021). Retrieved 27 March 2021, from
  14. Ba. (2021). Modafinil Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD. Retrieved 6 May 2021, from
  15. (2021). Retrieved 27 March 2021, from

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