Armodafinil Review | What You MUST Know

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Armodafinil

Looking for an in-depth Armodafinil Review?

Then you’re in the right place. Armodafinil is sort of the new kid on the block in the nootropic world. It was developed almost two decades after Modafinil — but shares a similar chemical structure and effect.

So, what is Armodafinil? What does it do?

And maybe most importantly: does it work?

Below we’ll review the research on this pharmaceutical and smart drug. In order to give you the answers you need to make an informed decision about adding this powerful nootropic to your optimization stack.

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This is not legal or medical advice. This article was strictly created for your entertainment. Please consult with your primary care physician or a medical professional with close working knowledge of your health -- before consuming pharmaceutical drugs or nootropics, like Modafinil. Please read my disclaimer.

Overview

Armodafinil is a prescription medication that is used to promote wakefulness [1]. It is usually prescribed to people who are experiencing excessive sleepiness as a result of sleep disorders. While Armodafinil doesn’t help to treat the disorders, it does help its users to stay awake and functional during the day.

Armodafinil is prescribed by doctors for both on-label and off-label uses. On-label uses include [2]:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Shif work disorder

Doctors may also prescribe it for several off-label uses like:

  • ADHD
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Major depressive disorder

Research has consistently shown that it is effective at the intended use: keeping people awake and giving energy [3, 4, 5].

Benefits

We know that Modafinil has a ton of incredible cognitive effects because there has been a ton of research on these. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same kind of research on the cognitive effects of Armodafinil vs. Modafinil.

Part of the reason for that is that Armodafinil is about 20 years more recent; there hasn’t been as much time to do as much high-quality research on it.

Still, there have been a few studies that generally confirm that Armodafinil has similar cognitive benefits to Modafinil. Some of the nootropic effects of Armodafinil that have been supported by research include:

  • Memory. Randomized control trials have demonstrated that participants taking Armodafinil have significantly better memory quality and speed than those that take a placebo [5, 6].
  • Wakefulness and fatigue. Several studies have confirmed that Armodafinil results in improved wakefulness and reduced fatigue, both in healthy individuals and in those with various health conditions [5, 6, 7].
  • Alertness and focus. Several studies have confirmed that Armodafinil creates increased alertness and greater attentional focus [5, 6]. This is where all the claims about insane productivity come from.
  • Mood. Research suggests that, like Modafinil, Armodafinil can result in significantly improved mood and reduced depressive symptoms [8, 9]. That’s partly why it’s used as a complementary therapy for patients with depression.

Since there hasn’t been as much research conducted on Armodafinil, it’s full range of effects has not yet been clarified. However, researchers suggest that its effects are likely very similar to its cousin, Modafinil. The following cognitive benefits of Modafinil may also be benefits of Armodafinil — although these haven’t been tested in studies on Armodafinil yet:

  • Improved spatial planning [10]
  • Enhanced visual pattern recognition [10]
  • Quicker reaction times [10]
  • Enhanced strategy creation [10]
  • Better planning for the future [11]
  • Improved decision-making [11]
  • Boosted visual processing [12]
  • Increased motivation for work [13]

Again, research has only confirmed those effects for Modafinil so far — they are still getting around to testing them in Armodafinil. Still, our own anecdotal experience suggests that Armodafinil absolutely has similar cognitive-enhancing effects to Modafinil.

More generally, researchers suggest that these two drugs are similar and work in similar ways [1], so it makes sense to expect them to also have similar cognitive effects.

Side Effects

Just like any medication, some users report side effects from Armodafinil. However, they are typically relatively uncommon and are usually not severe. The most common Armodafinil side effects, along with their estimated prevalence rates, are [14]:

  • Headaches (17%)
  • Nausea (7%)
  • Dizziness (5%)
  • Insomnia (5%)
  • Anxiety (4%)
  • Diarrhea (4%)
  • Dry Mouth (4%)
  • Depression (2%)
  • Fatigue (2%)
  • Palpitations (2%)

In addition to being generally uncommon and of mild severity, the majority of these side effects were dose-dependent. That means they were more likely to occur at larger doses.

In our experience, some of these side effects are avoidable. We’ve found the following are effective strategies to reduce the likelihood of experiencing Armodafinil side effects:

  • Start with a low dose. That way, you can see how it affects you. Try 50 mg to start. See our Armodafinil dosage guide for more details on how to choose an appropriate dose.
  • Don’t dose higher than 150 mg. While you can find Armodafinil tablets in 200 mg and 250 mg doses, we don’t recommend them. Larger doses don’t give any added benefit and they make you more likely to experience side effects.
  • Take it early in the morning. Armodafinil can lead to sleeplessness if you’re not careful. Avoid this by making sure you take it as soon as you get up in the morning, and at least before 10:00 am.
  • Take it with food. In our experience, eating a large meal before taking Armodafinil helps reduce nausea or stomach issues. Armodafinil may decrease appetite, so it’s important to remember to eat.
  • Drink water. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to avoid dehydration and headaches.

Armodafinil Safety

There are some side effects, but is Armodafinil considered safe?

Yes. Research consistently shows that Armodafinil is well-tolerated in almost everyone and is absolutely considered safe [8, 9, 15]. But having said that, here are some considerations to ensure you use Armodafinil safely.

Recommended Armodafinil Dosage

The recommended dose for patients with narcolepsy or sleep apnea is [14]:

  • 150mg to 250mg
  • Taken orally as a single dose
  • In the morning

For those looking for nootropic benefits, we find that the best Armodafinil dosage is:

  • 150mg
  • Taken orally as a single dose
  • In the morning (before 10:00 am)
  • With or just after a large meal

Overdose

There is little direct research on the overdose potential of Armodafinil. Instead, researchers suggest that it has a safety and overdose profile very similar to its cousin Modafinil [16].

The information on Modafinil overdose is very clear. While overdoses (taking more than the prescribed dose) increases the likelihood of experiencing side effects, there is virtually no danger of permanent damage or death.

Case reports indicate individuals have taken up to 8 grams of the stuff—over 80 times the recommended dose—and remained in stable condition.

Based on the massive amounts of research on Modafinil overdose, and the similarity of Armodafinil vs. Modafinil, scientists are quite confident that Armodafinil overdose is not lethal [17].

Armodafinil Interactions and Contraindications

Interactions occur when Armodafinil changes the effectiveness or strength of another drug. To avoid interactions, it’s recommended that you don’t use Armodafinil if you’re also taking [14]:

  • Steroidal contraceptives
  • Cyclosporine
  • Midazolam
  • Triazolam
  • Phenytoin
  • Diazepam
  • Propranolol
  • Omeprazole
  • Clomipramine
  • Warfarin

Special Populations

Armodafinil is new, so it hasn’t undergone safety testing with all populations yet. Special precautions should be taken if you belong to any of the following groups:

  • People with severe liver impairment: Your doctor should consider reducing Armodafinil dosage [14].
  • Geriatric populations: Because older individuals may have a reduced ability to metabolize Armodafinil, doctors should consider reducing their dosage [14].
  • Pregnant women: Animal data suggests that Armodafinil could be harmful to a fetus. For that reason, avoid taking Armodafinil while pregnant [14].
  • Children: Safety data has not been established in children. It should not be used with this population [14].
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Legality

In the United States, Armodafinil is a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act [18]. That means that it has been determined to have accepted medical uses and a low potential for abuse. It was approved by the FDA for use in the US in 2007 with a prescription.

Similarly, in most other countries, Armodafinil is available by prescription only. It’s only available over-the-counter in a small number of countries, such as Mexico and India.

This means that the only 100% legal way to get Armodafinil in the majority of countries is to get a prescription from your doctor. To be eligible for a prescription, you will likely need to have a diagnosis of narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, or shift work disorder.

Another important legal consideration is with respect to professional sports. Armodafinil is banned by most sporting leagues and organizations, including the WADA and the USADA, as a performance-enhancing drug [19].

Pharmacology

So what is Armodafinil made out of? And how does it affect the body? This section is for the chemistry geeks in the crowd: it explains what Armodafinil is and how it works

Chemical Structure

Armodafinil and Modafinil were both designed for the same purpose by the same company, which may help explain why the chemical structure of Armodafinil vs. Modafinil is not very different.

The chemical name for Armodafinil is 2-[(R)-(diphenylmethyl)sulfinyl]acetamide. Its chemical formula is C15H15NO2S [14].

Modafinil features a two enantiomer structure—it has both the “R-” and “S+” enantiomers present. The chemical structure of Armodafinil is basically just one half that of Modafinil—it has just the “R-” enantiomer [14]

This means it typically takes a smaller dose of Armodafinil to offer similar effects to Modafinil [14].

Mechanism of Action

Like Modafinil, it’s actually not exactly clear how Armodafinil works [20].

Scientists think that it has its effect in several, perhaps indirect ways. One way is through the dopamine pathways. Armodafinil binds to dopamine receptors and inhibits reuptake, increasing dopamine concentrations in synapses. Dopamine probably plays a role in the effect of Armodafinil on mood.

Other effects of Armodafinil are not clear, but it seems to increase the availability of a number of neurotransmitters that play a role in wakefulness [20]. These include orexin, norepinephrine, histamine, and serotonin.

Other important pharmacological characteristics of Armodafinil include [21]:

  • An elimination half-life of about 11.5 to 15.5 hours
  • It reaches peak concentration in your bloodstream at about 2.5 hours—longer when taken with food
  • Armodafinil actually seems to last longer in the body than Modafinil
  • Armodafinil is metabolized primarily by the liver, including through CYP3A4 pathways.
  • The elimination of Armodafinil is primarily done via urine.
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Where to Buy Armodafinil Online | 2020 Guide

There’s a multitude of online pharmacies that sell generic forms of Armodafinil.

One study found that there were more than 55 sites dedicated to selling Armodafinil and Modafinil [22]. You’re pretty spoiled for choice. But while lots of these sites are good and trustworthy, some aren’t. You want to be careful to choose vendors that aren’t going to scam you.

Through a bunch of trial and error, we’ve found a set of sellers that you can count on to provide a high-quality product at a good price that will actually get to you. We recommend these vendors because they:

  • Have great prices and discounts
  • Have guaranteed delivery
  • Have convenient payment options
  • Have great customer service

We recommend buying from them, especially if you’ve never bought Armodafinil online before.

You don’t want to take a risk on your first order, or you might get discouraged. If you’re looking to compare pricing, check out my article comparing all the major Modafinil and Armodafinil sellers online.

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Best Generic Armodafinil

Great, you’ve decided you’re going to out Armodafinil. Now you just have to choose what kind you want. This can be a bit confusing for Armodafinil newbies, so let’s break it down for you.

  • Nuvigil — Nuvigil is the brand name of Armodafinil. We don’t recommend purchasing Nuvigil because it’s a lot more expensive and can only be found in pharmacies throughout the USA and Europe. You’ll need a prescription from a doctor to get it.
  • Waklert — “Waklert” is to Armodafinil what “Modalert” is to Modafinil. This is the longest-lasting and most potent form of generic Armodafinil out there. It’s manufactured by Sun Pharmaceuticals and usually provides about 8 to 10 hours of enhanced cognition without interfering with your overnight sleep.
  • Artvigil — This is the “Modvigil” version of Armodafinil. It’s slightly less potent than Waklert and typically doesn’t last as long. It’s manufactured by HAB Pharmaceuticals and is ideal for individuals looking for Armodafinil at a slightly lower price.

Personally, we’ve found Waklert to be the best form of generic Armodafinil you can buy online. We highly recommend it to anyone looking to try out this nootropic.

However, if money is tight, Artvigil tends to be a little cheaper. Artvigil will save you a little money and is still a solid option when looking for an Armodafinil alternative.

Country-By-Country

Every country has different rules and regulations regarding the purchase and use of Armodafinil. This will determine whether it’s accessible for you.

Because we know it’s confusing depending on each country, we’ve compiled a library of articles with nootropic country guides to give you all the information you need to get Armodafinil or other nootropics in a ton of countries around the world. Check out your country for more specific information about how to get your hands on Armodafinil.

For convenience, here’s a quick list of the availability of Armodafinil:

  • Canada: Armodafinil is a schedule F drug. It’s only available through prescription.
  • Europe: In most European countries, Armodafinil is available by prescription only.
  • Australia: Armodafinil is a Schedule 4 under the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons [23]. It’s only available by prescription.
  • India: In India, Armodafinil is available over-the-counter.
  • China: Armodafinil is under strict control and is not available for medical use. It’s difficult to obtain even with a prescription.
  • South Africa: Armodafinil is Available by prescription only.

History

The history of Armodafinil intertwines to a great extent with the history of Modafinil.

Modafinil was developed and tested in France throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. It finally became available for use in the USA in 1998 from Cephalon under the brand name Provigil. It became one of the most common treatments for excessive sleepiness that results from narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shiftwork sleep disorder.

Companies that develop a new prescription medication generally have exclusive rights to manufacture and sell it for almost two decades. But in the 2000s, Cephalon’s patent for Modafinil was set to expire.

In order to make up for the potential loss to profit margins that would result from the increased access to generic Modafinil, Cephalon tried to make a new drug that had similar effects as Modafinil. Armodafinil was created through that research and development.

Originally marketed under the brand name Nuvigil, Armodafinil was developed in France and approved in the US in 2007 [24]. The FDA in the USA approved the first generic Armodafinil to be marketed in 2016 [25].

FAQ

Before wrapping up this in-depth Armodafinil review, we wanted to answer a few more questions for you.

Including interesting things, like…

Is there an Armodafinil “high”?

Sort of. In the same way that there is a Modafinil high, there is an Armodafinil high, but it’s probably not the same kind of “high” that you’re used to. It’s certainly not the same as other drugs like Marijuana, Cocaine, or LSD. And it’s not like getting “drunk” either.

But you can feel Armodafinil working. The experience is one of intense focus, clear thinking, and a boost in mood. Some people even say that they feel a bit euphoric, which is likely a result of its effect on the dopamine pathways [13]. Again, though, you always have control of yourself with an Armodafinil high.

How long does Armodafinil last?

The Armodafinil half-life is about 13.5 hours [21], so it lasts in your system for quite a while. In our experience, you can get about 8 to 10 good work hours out of it—slightly less than Modafinil.

Can you sleep on Armodafinil?

No. Armodafinil is a wakefulness agent—its whole purpose is to keep you awake. And it does that very well. Armodafinil can definitely interrupt your sleep if you take it too close to when you’re going to sleep.

In our experience, it’s best to take Armodafinil before 10:00 am. That way, you get the great effects throughout the day, but you’re easily able to fall asleep by the time you want to go to bed.

Will Armodafinil show on a drug test?

It depends what kind of drug test is used.

Most drug testing panels do not test for Armodafinil. If you take Armodafinil, you will not accidentally test positive for other drugs like amphetamines [26].

However, Armodafinil can be detected in your blood and urine and it stays in your system for three or four days. It may be detected in hair samples much longer than that [27].

If you are in a context where they could screen for Armodafinil—like in a professional sporting context—then Armodafinil might show up on a drug test.

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Armodafinil. Just. Works.

Most people familiar with nootropics usually know quite a bit about Modafinil, but many are still asking:

What is Armodafinil?

Armodafinil is still not as common as Modafinil, but it can definitely stand on its own. The research shows that it is effective both as a wakefulness agent and as a nootropic.

In environments where cognitive performance matters, Armodafinil could make all the difference. It doesn’t just provide endless energy for hours, but it also helps create concentrated focus and improved memory. Studies on Modafinil suggest that Armodafinil is also likely able to boost a number of different kinds of cognitive functions like planning and decision-making.

Armodafinil is one hell of a smart drug. It will increase your cognition and help you focus. 

If you’re looking to supercharge your productivity and get more done, Armodafinil could be a great option for you.

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References

    1. Chapman, J. L., Vakulin, A., Hedner, J., Yee, B. J., & Marshall, N. S. (2016). Modafinil/armodafinil in obstructive sleep apnoea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Respiratory Journal, 47(5), 1420-1428.
    2. FDA (n.d.). Armodafinil: highlights of prescribing information. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/021875s023lbl.pdf
    3. Hirshkowitz, M., Black, J. E., Wesnes, K., Niebler, G., Arora, S., & Roth, T. (2007). Adjunct armodafinil improves wakefulness and memory in obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome. Respiratory Medicine, 101(3), 616-627.
    4. Nishino, S., & Okuro, M. (2008). Armodafinil for excessive daytime sleepiness. Drugs Today, 44(6), 395-414.
    5. Harsh, J. R., Hayduk, R., Rosenberg, R., Wesnes, K. A., Walsh, J. K., Arora, S., … & Roth, T. (2006). The efficacy and safety of armodafinil as treatment for adults with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 22(4), 761-774.
    6. Czeisler, C. A., Walsh, J. K., Wesnes, K. A., Roth, T., & Arora, S. (2009, November). Armodafinil for treatment of excessive sleepiness associated with shift work disorder: A randomized controlled study. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 84(11), 958-972
    7. Roth, T., Rippon, G. A., & Arora, S. (2008). Armodafinil improves wakefulness and long-term episodic memory in nCPAP-adherent patients with excessive sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep and Breathing, 12(1), 53-62.
    8. Calabrese, J. R., Ketter, T. A., Youakim, J. M., Tiller, J. M., Yang, R., & Frye, M. A. (2010). Adjunctive armodafinil for major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder: a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept study. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71(10), 1363-1370.
    9. Calabrese, J. R., Frye, M. A., Yang, R., & Ketter, T. A. (2014). Efficacy and safety of adjunctive armodafinil in adults with major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 75(10), 1054-1061.
    10. Turner, D. C., Robbins, T. W., Clark, L., Aron, A. R., Dowson, J., & Sahakian, B. J. (2003). Cognitive enhancing effects of modafinil in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 165(3), 260-269.
    11. Müller, U., Rowe, J. B., Rittman, T., Lewis, C., Robbins, T. W., & Sahakian, B. J. (2013). Effects of modafinil on non-verbal cognition, task enjoyment and creative thinking in healthy volunteers. Neuropharmacology, 64, 490-495.
    12. Lees, J., Michalopoulou, P. G., Lewis, S. W., Preston, S., Bamford, C., Collier, T., … & Kapur, S. (2017). Modafinil and cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia and healthy volunteers: The effects of test battery in a randomised controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 47(13), 2358-2368.
    13. Volkow, N. D., Fowler, J. S., Logan, J., Alexoff, D., Zhu, W., Telang, F., … & Hubbard, B. (2009). Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain: Clinical implications. JAMA, 301(11), 1148-1154.
    14. Drugs.com (2019). Armodafinil. https://www.drugs.com/pro/armodafinil.html
    15. Chapman, J. L., Vakulin, A., Hedner, J., Yee, B. J., & Marshall, N. S. (2016). Modafinil/armodafinil in obstructive sleep apnoea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Respiratory Journal, 47(5), 1420-1428.
    16. Hirai, N., & Nishino, S. (2011). Recent advances in the treatment of narcolepsy. Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 13(5), 437.
    17. Drugsandme.com (n.d.). Modafinil: Armodafinil, Adrafinil, Daffy, Provigil, Modalert, Modvigil, Artvigil, Waklert. https://www.drugsand.me/en/drugs/modafinil/
    18. Lankford, D. A. (2008). Armodafinil: a new treatment for excessive sleepiness. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, 17(4), 565-573.
    19. U.S. Anti-doping agency. (2018). Wallet card of prohibited and permitted substances. https://www.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/wallet-card.pdf
    20. Gerrard, P., & Malcolm, R. (2007). Mechanisms of modafinil: a review of current research. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 3(3), 349.
    21. Darwish, M., Kirby, M., Hellriegel, E. T., & Robertson, P. (2009). Armodafinil and modafinil have substantially different pharmacokinetic profiles despite having the same terminal half-lives. Clinical Drug Investigation, 29(9), 613-623.
    22. Hockenhull, J., Wood, D. M., & Dargan, P. I. (2020). The Availability of Modafinil and Methylphenidate Purchased from the Internet in the United Kingdom Without a Prescription. Substance Use & Misuse, 55(1), 56-65.
    23. Government of Australia (2018). Poison Standards March 2018. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00168/Html/Text#_Toc500931888
    24. FDA (n.d.). FDA Approved Labeling Text for NDA 21-875/NUVIGIL™ (armodafinil) Tablets. https://corpina.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Armodafinil_FDA_Approval-.pdf
    25. MyLan (2016). Mylan Launches First Generic of Nuvigil® Tablets. https://newsroom.mylan.com/2016-06-01-Mylan-Launches-First-Generic-of-Nuvigil-Tablets
    26. Singlecare.com (2020). Armodafinil vs. modafinil: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/armodafinil-vs-modafinil/#:~:text=Will%20armodafinil%20show%20on%20a,positives%20for%20amphetamine%20are%20rare.
    27. The Recovery Village (2020). How Long Does Armodafinil Stay In Your System? https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/armodafinil-addiction/how-long-stay-in-system

Table of Contents

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