7 Best Modafinil Alternatives | That Actually Work

Tomas Thorne

Last Updated: March 12, 2023

7 Best Alternatives Modafinil

Curious about Modafinil alternatives?

Then you’ve come to just the right place.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the best Modafinil alternatives that actually work.

Make no mistake about it:

Modafinil is the #1 smart drug in the world for a reason. Modafinil just works, and it offers insane cognitive benefits, including:

  • Improved memory
  • Decreased effects of fatigue
  • Enhanced daytime wakefulness
  • Improved motivation for work

…And so much more!

Of course, there are some drawbacks to taking Modafinil – especially if you are looking for a replacement for your daily coffee.

Most experts agree that taking Modafinil every single day is not advisable for those using it ‘off prescription’ as a nootropic.

At Modafinil.com, we follow a cycling strategy to avoid building tolerance to the powerful effects of Modafinil. We do this to let your mind recuperate, and to avoid building a ‘sleep debt’ that can leave you feeling drained and lethargic.

That’s why we’ve created this list featuring the absolute best Modafinil alternatives you can buy right now.
To find out what they are, just keep reading…

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Use this code at checkout: BUYMODA#1

Disclaimer: The contents of Modafinil.com 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 Modafinil.com is subject to our full Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

Modafinil is Amazing…in Moderation

We encourage consultation with your healthcare provider before beginning anything new.

Modafinil is the ‘gold-standard’ nootropic for one simple reason…

Nothing else comes close.

Modafinil is the nearest thing there is to a real-life “Limitless” pill.

Research shows a 100-200 mg dose of Modafinil is likely to produce [1, 2]:

  • ‘Laser-sharp’ focus for 12+ hours
  • Massively enhanced alertness
  • Better working and episodic memory
  • Inability to feel fatigued

It’s no wonder Modafinil is the #1 nootropic in the world today!

Modafinil’s exact mechanism of action is unknown, but studies have shown that it is phenomenal at increasing levels of histamine in the brain, which gives users a sense of being wide awake and extremely alert [3].

Basically, Modafinil lets you work for hours on end without feeling tired or sleepy [4].

Modafinil’s other main effect is to boost dopamine in the brain. It does this by binding to the brain’s dopamine transporter and inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine [5].

This increases the overall amount of dopamine in the brain, and helps improve things like mood and memory [6].

Modafinil has other secondary benefits, including reducing the brain’s “reactivity” to fear stimuli. This is accomplished by dulling a specific area known as the amygdala [7]. This “dulling” effect lets you think more clearly, and work more productively, even if you are under pressure or working to meet a tight deadline.

Given this impressive list of benefits, why then are we discussing Modafinil alternatives?

Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First, if you take Modafinil every day, your body will likely build a tolerance to it. This means you’ll need increasingly large doses to achieve the same cognitive benefits.

We avoid this scenario by limiting our Modafinil intake to no more than four days per week, giving ourselves a complete two-week break after two months of consistent use. This is known as a cycling schedule, and following such a schedule is one of the best ways to minimize the side effects of Modafinil.

Second, unless you are a workaholic or have an incredibly demanding job, you probably don’t need to be working flat-out for 12+ hours per day, every day.

Your brain needs at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night, and if you don’t give yourself the sleep you need, you’ll build up a ‘sleep debt’. If you aren’t careful, you could burn out and damage your brain’s health – the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve by taking Modafinil in the first place.

It’s simply not good for your body to pop Modafinil indiscriminately. You need to give your body a break from time to time… and that’s where Modafinil alternatives come in.

We like to use other research-based nootropic supplements on days when we aren’t taking Modafinil, but still want a cognitive boost.

But there’s another reason some people look for alternatives to Modafinil: they despise having to go to their doctor to get their hands on legit pharmaceutical-grade Modafinil.

To buy Modafinil, most users will either get a doctor’s prescription, or purchase their Modafinil online from a reputable source.

Getting your hands on a Modafinil alternative is far easier than trying to order the real deal online.

And with many great options on the market, we understand the desire for an over-the-counter nootropic or two.


What are Nootropics?

Before we dive into the best Modafinil alternatives, let’s discuss exactly what these products are, and why we love them.

All the supplements discussed below are classified as nootropics or “smart drugs.”

The term “nootropics” was coined in the 1970s by the Romanian psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu Giurgea.

In the 1960s he discovered a new substance called “Piracetam,” which had a powerful effect on memory. Dr. Giurgea believed he had discovered a new class of drugs that can change, or improve, the mind.

He coined the term “nootropics” to describe these memory boosting drugs, which combines the Greek words ‘nous’ (meaning ‘mind’) and ‘trepein’ (meaning ‘to bend’). Piracetam was the first “mind-bending” drug, or nootropic [7].

According to Dr. Giurgea, a nootropic is any substance that can:

  • Enhance cognitive functions like learning, memory, concentration, or attention span.
  • Protect the brain from stress.
  • Be non-toxic.
  • Cause minimal side effects.

Piracetam was the first synthetic, or man-made nootropic. Since the 1960s, scientists have developed hundreds of new nootropics offering impressive cognitive benefits, including [8]:

  • Sharper memory.
  • Better mood.
  • Enhanced focus.
  • Increased energy levels.
  • Higher motivation and drive.

Most major nootropic supplements vary in terms of the specific benefits they offer.

However, the research surrounding nootropics supplements is so impressive, that many individuals (including yourself!) are searching today to identify which Modafinil alternatives, or nootropics supplements, offer the best results.

Because nootropics work! These products help us get stuff done.

Nootropic Side Effects and Safety

One of the main advantages of nootropic supplements is they produce minimal side effects – especially when taken at the correct dosage.

This is in contrast to Modafinil, which does have a few side effects to consider.

Over-the-counter nootropics like Vyvamind and Qualia Mind are among the safest cognitive enhancers that we know of. These products are “clean” nootropics. They are certified as natural, and don’t produce any notable side effects in healthy individuals.

However, all nootropics have a few side effects and safety concerns that you should always be aware of, including [9]:

  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea and stomach issues
  • Dehydration
  • Fast heart rate
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Trouble with vision

Fortunately, these side effects are extremely rare, and most users experience little to no side effects when taking over-the-counter, drug-free nootropics supplements.

Any side effects experienced while taking these over-the-counter supplements tend to subside once the nootropic starts clearing from your system.

The nootropics below are SAFE.

7 Best Modafinil Alternatives

While no nootropic can quite match the power of Modafinil, the powerful Modafinil alternatives on our list do work quite well — and more than get the job done.

We’ve tested and reviewed each of the recommended nootropics below and have found them to be extremely beneficial as cognitive enhancers. They offer numerous cognitive benefits,and are ideal for anyone looking for a safe and effective alternative to Modafinil.

Without further ado, here are the best Modafinil alternatives that actually work:



If you’re looking for the PREMIER Modafinil alternative on the market today, look no further than Vyvamind.

This stuff is potent, powerful, and offers an insane cognitive boost. Oh, and it’s 110% legal for anyone, anywhere in the world. During our own tests, this nootropic helped us dial in and crush our workload for over 6 hours.

Vyvamind is not Modafinil. You won’t find 12+ hours of enhanced cognition here, but you also won’t be at risk of suffering from jittery side effects either.

What you will find is an incredible sense of focus and heightened concentration, thanks to the clinically dosed brain-boosting ingredients found within Vyvamind.

These ingredients come together to:

  • Improve memory retention
  • Boost motivation
  • Heighten mood
  • Enhance energy levels and focus
  • Protect your brain

But these aren’t the only reasons why we swear by Vyvamind. There’s one specific reason we’ve selected this as our No. 1 over-the-counter nootropic…

For the CREATIVE benefits.

Like most smart drug supplements, Vyvamind offers enhanced focus and improved memory retention. However, thanks to its ability to boost brain acetylcholine levels, it also has a powerful impact on your creativity.

Vyvamind is the perfect modafinil alternative when you want to tap into the creative side of your brain, let new ideas flow, and stay locked in while burning the midnight oil.

Overall, you’ll find heightened focus and cognition, along with an impressive creative boost when using this smart drug.

This over-the-counter supplement is tried and tested by pilots, surgeons, and other professionals who need to stay “locked in” during high pressure situations…

Vyvamind is highly recommended.

Get your hands on the world's best over-the-counter nootropic... Vyvamind


waklert armodafinil

Calling Armodafinil a ‘Modafinil alternative’ is a bit of a stretch; it’s extremely similar to Modafinil in almost every way. The only difference is how our bodies react to it.

Here’s the deal:

Armodafinil is the little brother to Modafinil. The stuff is a pharmaceutical drug just like Modafinil.

The only difference?

Armodafinil only contains one of the active ingredients found in Modafinil, while Modafinil has a chemical structure that features two active ingredients [10].

This means that Modafinil probably has stronger overall effects. In contrast, Armodafinil passes through the system faster and usually causes fewer side effects.

When we want 12+ hours of focus and heightened cognition, we stick with Modafinil.

But when we’re happy to work for 9-11+ hours and still get a good night’s sleep, then we find Armodafinil to be absolutely ideal.

Armodafinil is still an extremely potent nootropic. We just find that it’s much easier to get a good night’s sleep with Armodafinil than Modafinil, which is why we use this nootropic as a solid Modafinil alternative.

Definitely worth a look.

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Just use this code at checkout: ENJOY10OFF



If you’re looking for an incredible, non-prescription Modafinil alternative that offers similar benefits to Modafinil — look no further. Adrafinil is what you want.

Adrafinil has the following advantages as a Modafinil alternative:

  • 100% over-the-counter in the United States
  • Can be purchased online with a credit card
  • Ships extremely quickly

But not only that, this nootropic just works.

Here’s why…

Adrafinil is Modafinil’s parent drug, or “prodrug.” when you ingest it, your body converts (metabolizes) it into Modafinil [11].

As such, the effects of Adrafinil are eerily similar to those of Modafinil. However, Adrafinil is not nearly as strong as Modafinil, and its effect doesn’t last anywhere near as long.

With Modafinil, we tend to feel the effects within an hour of taking it, and can expect 12+ hours of straight focus and concentration.

With Adrafinil, it usually takes around 90 minutes to start “feeling” the smart drug. In contrast to Modafinil, which provides cognitive boosting effects for 12+ hours, Adrafinil only stays in your system for 7-8+ hours.

Sometimes that’s all you need, which is why Adrafinil is an ideal Modafinil alternative.

Another massive benefit when using Adrafinil is that this stuff is cheaper than most other nootropics. You’ll save some money when buying this product and likely have a more comfortable experience.

Adrafinil is 100% legal and a solid Modafinil alternative



Flmodafinil is one of the best alternatives for people who experience side effects on the “recommended” Modafinil dose of 100-200 mg per day.


Flmodafinil is four times more potent than regular Modafinil. It’s also much more bioavailable, meaning your body can get more out of a smaller dose of the product. This means that you can take a lower dose (around 50mg) and still expect the same sense of alertness as you would with a 100-200mg dose of Modafinil.

Because you are taking a smaller dose, you can expect fewer overall side effects.

The only “downside” is that Flmodafinil is shorter-acting than ordinary Modafinil; it typically gives us a solid 6 hours of focus, compared with 12+ hours when taking real Modafinil.

However, Flmodafinil still provides all the same great benefits as the real deal, including [11, 12]:

  • Intense alertness
  • More motivation to learn, work, and study
  • Better working and short-term memory

Flmodafinil’s killer advantage is that it’s an over-the-counter nootropic that is 110% legal for everyone, everywhere. You can buy it without a prescription anywhere in the world.

The other reason why we recommend it as a Modafinil alternative is simple: it doesn’t mess with your sleep cycle like Modafinil can.

On days where you don’t need 12+ hours of alertness, Flmodafinil is ideal. It leaves your system quicker and doesn’t interfere with your natural sleep pattern the way that Modafinil can.

Highly recommended!

Get your hands on a great Flmodafinil now!

Qualia Mind


If you’re looking for a natural, over-the-counter Modafinil alternative, Qualia Mind is one of your best options.

In our tests, we found that Qualia Mind gave us a solid 8 hours of focus and concentration, and kept us energized and creative all day long.

Qualia’s secret is that it contains a stack of two powerful natural nootropics:

  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Citicoline

This combination is our favorite natural nootropic stack, as it gives a massive boost in alertness and cognition.

Bacopa Monnieri has been shown to give your reaction times a massive boost [13]. It’s also a proven cognitive enhancer that has been shown to decrease choice reaction time [14].

Citicoline works in synergy with Bacopa to boost memory and recall, while also providing strong neuroprotective properties [15, 16].

Qualia Mind also contains 19 other natural nootropics, including:

  • Huperzine A, known for its strong neuroprotective properties [17].
  • Phosphatidylserine, which can help with cognitive functioning [18].
  • Ginkgo biloba, which has been shown to improve short term recall and memory [19].

Overall, if you’re looking for a natural Modafinil alternative that you can take year-round, we highly recommend Qualia Mind.

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Qualia Mind...


Are you looking for a dirt-cheap nootropic that can be purchased on Amazon? If you answered “yes,” then Neuro-Peak is what you want.

Considered a “lighter” Modafinil alternative, this smart drug is ideal when you’re looking to crush 5-7+ hours of highly focused work in. It’s not nearly as strong as Modafinil or Adderall, but that’s perfectly fine.

Neuro-Peak has over 9,000 positive reviews on Amazon, proving that this stuff really works! This means you’re getting a product that truly does offer some cognitive benefits. Is it the best nootropics supplement in the world? No, but…

You won’t find a decent nootropic for cheaper.

For Lowest Price on Neuro-Peak...


Here’s the thing…

Alpha BRAIN was the first natural nootropic we ever reviewed. Yet years later, it’s still our top pick for a clean, effective cognitive enhancer.

Here’s why we still love Alpha Brain:

  • Consistently effective
  • Easy to get your hands on
  • Produces virtually ZERO side effects

Alpha BRAIN helps us stay focused on churning out work for over 8 hours. Offering a plethora of natural nootropic ingredients, Alpha BRAIN just works.

While the “high” isn’t as strong as Modafinil’s, there’s no denying this smart drug is the more prudent choice when compared to the other nootropics.

Plus, you won’t have to deal with the come-down effect you may experience while on Alpha BRAIN. There’s no “Modafinil hangover” when taking this smart drug, and it likely won’t interrupt your sleep pattern.

If you’re looking for something that works, but isn’t too strong, then Alpha BRAIN fits the bill.

For Lowest Price on

Modafinil vs. Alternatives?

While we’ve already compared Modafinil and its over-the-counter alternatives to some extent, we wanted to dig a little bit deeper…

Modafinil is the king of nootropics.

It offers 12+ hours of intense cognitive enhancement and benefits. If we’re looking to work all day (and most of the night), then this nootropic is exactly what we use.

However, there are times when working for 12+ hours simply isn’t necessary. Some days, we’ll only need to be in the zone for 5-10+ hours — give or take.

In these situations, we’ve found the Modafinil alternatives listed above to be preferable to Modafinil. You still get the insane cognitive “pump” so to speak, but you’re able to cool off later in the evening, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up the following morning without the usual side effects.

Not only that, cycling nootropics is a smart idea for us long-term users. As with most things in life, do NOT want to build up a tolerance to Modafinil, nor do you want to become reliant on the smart drug, either.

As such, we practice rotating or switching between smart drugs every week — to ensure we never build up a tolerance to any single product.

This is why the alternatives to Modafinil above are preferred.

7 Best Alternatives Modafinil

Fantastic Modafinil Alternatives | Verdict

We love Modafinil, but we simply can’t take the drug every day… no one can!

Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. We need to rotate the smart drugs to maximize their benefits, and minimize any potential side effects.

Modafinil is the king of smart drugs for a reason, but the alternatives on our list are solid picks for those chasing an immense cognitive boost – whatever the reason.

We fully tested all of the available Modafinil alternatives and found the top 7 nootropics that work. Give them a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Get your hands on the world's best over-the-counter nootropic... Vyvamind


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  6. 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
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  12. Battleday RM, Brem AK. Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Nov;25(11):1865-81. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.028. Epub 2015 Aug 20. PMID: 26381811.
  13. Adrafinil. Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2022, from https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB08925
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  15. Iulia C, Ruxandra T, Costin LB, Liliana-Mary V. Citicoline – a neuroprotector with proven effects on glaucomatous disease. Rom J Ophthalmol. 2017;61(3):152-158. doi:10.22336/rjo.2017.29
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