If you're at all into productivity or lifehacking, you've heard of Modafinil and might be interested in trying it.
But before you take the leap, you have to decide between: Provigil vs. Modafinil.
Is there a real difference? Is the brand name Provigil better than Modalert or other forms of generic Modafinil?
We wondered the same thing.
We've been studying the various forms of Modafinil for several years now because it's such a powerful and safe nootropic. We've seen the research about the craze cognitive-enhancing effects, and we've experienced it ourselves. But we were curious if the generic Modafinil benefits were as good as the brand-name version Provigil.
We've done the research for you and you'll find it all here.
Read on for our take on the benefits of generic Modafinil vs. Provigil.
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What is Modafinil?
To really understand the differences between Modalert vs. Provigil, let's take a moment to understand what Modafinil is—its chemistry and its effects.
Modafinil is basically the NZT-48 pill from the movie Limitless: it's a potent cognitive enhancer that can boost your productivity and skill.
It's a prescription medication that has an effect on your cognition. It promotes wakefulness and alertness.
The chemical makeup of Modaifnil is C15H15NO2S and its chemical name is 2-((Diphenylmethyl)sulfinyl)acetamide. While the way that it works is not exactly known , it is thought that Modafinil changes the metabolic activity in the brain such that neurons in the area responsible for sleep and wakefulness are stimulated .
Modafinil was developed by a French Pharmaceutical company in the 1990s and is currently marketed in the United States under the Brand Name Provigil by Cephalon Inc . It's prescribed to treat excessive sleepiness that results from sleep disorders like:
- Shift work sleep disorder
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Over 900,000 people in the United States use some version of Modafinil, either Provigil or one of its generic version names like Modalert, to fight back sleepiness .
Modafinil for performance enhancement
But Modafinil isn't just used by people who can't sleep properly. Modafinil benefits have also been used in other contexts where it's important to achieve top performance. For example:
- Space agencies and astronauts have used it on space missions .
- CEOs and other startup executives, have used it to work effectively for long periods of time and to boost profits .
- Stock market traders and speculators have used it to optimize their transactions and trades .
- And militaries from countries like the UK and France have used it in high-risk missions .
Off-label Modafinil benefits
Modafinil also has a ton of off-label cognitive-enhancing effects.
Now, perhaps like you, we've been around the nootropic scene for long enough to know that not all of the fantastic claims made on the web are true. We didn't just want to trust anyone when determining if Modafinil was a legitimate “smart drug” or whether it was the nootropic equivalent of snake oil.
So we went to the research. We've talked about the effectiveness of Modafinil in a ton of other articles, but we do want to touch on it here so that you know that Modafinil is the real deal.
Studies have found that Modafinil enhances or improves a number of cognitive functions, including:
- Spatial planning 
- Visual pattern recognition 
- Reaction time 
- Episodic and working memory [9, 10, 11]
- Strategic planning 
- Decision-making 
- Rapid visual processing 
- Focus, concentration, and alertness [14, 15, 16]
- Motivation to work 
Compared to lots of other nootropics, there's been a ton of research on Modafinil. This one is real: it works.
Modafinil Side Effects and Safety
Great, but is it safe?
Again, we've got a detailed article on Modafinil side effects, but we want to give you the basics here so you can make an informed choice about the risks.
Basically, yes, it's safe.
The research pretty much all concludes that Modafinil side effects occur but are rare. When they do occur, they are typically not severe. While some other nootropics are potentially addicting, Modafinil is considered a very low risk of developing tolerance or addiction .
The most common side effects are :
Again, these are not common. Studies suggest that over 90% of users will not experience Modafinil side effects . The vast majority of research suggests that Modafinil—both Provigil and generic Modafinil—are safe, well-tolerated, and non-addictive [20, 21].
Provigil is ‘Name-Brand’ Modafinil
Okay great, Modafinil works and is safe. So…
What's the difference between Provigil vs. Modafinil?
Let's dig in:
Brand name vs. generic drugs
Generic drugs are made to work the same way as brand name drugs. The main difference is in the name and how it is marketed.
The way U.S. drug laws and patents work is that, if you develop a new drug, you get to have exclusive rights to make and sell it for about 17 years. After those 17 years are up, other companies can start to make drugs with the same chemical makeup (although they have to use a different name, packaging, etc.).
This system helps to reward companies that create new drugs and incentivize them to do research by basically giving them a monopoly on the market for 17 years. But then, after that, the good ole' free-market competition can lower prices.
There sometimes also are a few other small differences between the drugs—in terms of fillers and so on—but they work the same way and the name brands. They have to—the FDA requires generic drug makers to prove that the generic versions are just as effective as brand name ones .
Brand name vs. generic Modafinil
That's exactly what happened with Modafinil. The French company Lafon first created and distributed it under the brand name Modiodal in France. Then, the American company Cephalon then leased rights to sell it and eventually bought Lafon. They marketed it as Provigil in the U.S. Until 2012, there was no generic Provigil.
Then in 2012, generic Provigil became legal to make by other companies. That's when we started to see a bunch of the generic versions start to come out: Modalert, Modvigil, and others.
It's important to understand that there is no chemical difference between generic Modafinil vs. Provigil.
They are the same chemical: C15H15NO2S
How is Provigil different?
The difference is that Provigil is sold by the company that owns the patent, so they have been making it about 17 years longer than the other guys. Because they've been selling it longer, they have more name recognition.
They also sell it at about 5 times the price.
That means you have two options when you're buying Modafinil:
- You buy it in a bottle called “Provigil” that is made by Cephalon. It's really expensive.
- Or, you buy it in a package called “Modalert” or something similar that is made by another manufacturer. It's much cheaper.
The effects it has on you is the same either way.
So, why on earth would anyone use Provigil when generic Modafinil is so easy to buy online?
Well, some people have concerns about Indian pharmacies. Those fears are generally overblown since companies like HAB Pharma and Sun Pharma are both creating fantastic products these days and, to be sold and approved in the US, they still have to pass the FDA's rigorous standards.
If anything, it's the vendors that you have to be careful of, not the manufacturers. That's why we recommend only some online Modafinil vendors—and not others.
In any case, we've used both Modvigil 200 mg and Modalert 200 mg on a consistent basis and found the quality to be excellent. You're not going to notice a difference between Modalert vs. Provigil.
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Provigil Costs | Why is It So Expensive?
Let's break down the cost of Provigil for you.
According to Drugs.com  in 2023, Provigil costs over $1,200 for a pack of 30. That's about $40 per pill.
The reason it's so expensive is that it has name recognition and a good marketing team. So people trust it. It's the reason you pay a buck more Heinz ketchup rather than generic. You know it's basically the same thing, but something about the name makes you feel better.
In our view, it's just a psychological trick… one that is costing people an extra $39 per pill. We'd rather keep the cash, thanks.
Generic Modafinil vs. Provigil
One possible difference is that there is less quality control in the factories that produce generic drugs. It's possible you get a bad batch. But again, anything that's sold in the US and approved by the FDA goes through testing, including the inspections of the manufacturing process .
We just want to emphasize this: these are the same thing. They have the same chemical formula. They both have the same effects. Both of them will turn you into a productive powerhouse.
The difference is one thing: price.
Again, we've used both. We can't see a difference between generic Modafinil and Provigil.
So what is the difference in costs?
- Provigil, in a pharmacy. As we said, Drugs.com  notes the cost of a 30 pack of Provigil is $1,200, or about $40 per pill.
- Generic Modafinil, in a pharmacy. Drugs.com  also says that a 30 pack of generic Modafinil costs about $244, or about $8.10 per pill. That's about 80% less than the brand name price.
- Generic Modafinil, online. Now, we think even $8.10 per pill is expensive. We get ours from Buy Moda. You can pay $69 for a 30 pack, which is about $2.30 per pill.
- Generic Modafinil, online, in bulk, with discounts. But actually, it's better than that. We usually buy about 300 pills at a time, which costs $319. But we get a 10% discount, and then pay with Bitcoin, so we get a further 20% off. And, we have an account, so we get an extra 20% of the pills for free. And, we get an extra 30 pills on top of that for spending over $150. It comes out to $223 for 390 pills. That's $0.57 per pill of Modalert.
Don't pay $40 per pill. Don't even pay $8 per pill. If you're paying more than $1 per pill, you're doing something wrong.
Where to Buy Generic Modafinil Online? | 2023 Guide
So, where can you buy generic Provigil online for such a good price?
World-Class Customer Service
Buy Moda. As I said, the prices are fantastic. They also have amazing quality. But more than that, they're not sketchy. We've had some bad experiences with other vendors, but Buy Moda has demonstrated to us over and over that they're legit.
Here are some of the things we like about them:
- Great guarantee. The “Modafinil Mike Guarantee” is great. They say you should be 100% satisfied with your order or you get your money back (up to 30 days after you receive it). That's one of the best guarantees in the game.
- Free shipping on orders over $100. The website says that orders can take up to 6 weeks to get to some countries, but we've never heard of them taking more than 3.
- Great discounts. This really is one of the cheapest places to get Modafinil on the Internet that's not a scam.
Overall, these guys do a fantastic job offering generic Modafinil at a low cost — with great customer service.
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Generic Modafinil vs. Provigil | The Verdict
When comparing Modafinil vs. Provigil, there isn't much of a difference.
If you buy Modalert 200 from a reputable online vendor, you'll receive a product that offers the exact same chemical structure and results as Provigil — but at a significant discount.
If you're made of money, cool. Fill your boots with Provigil. But if you're basically anyone that isn't Bill Gates, don't waste your money on the brand name.
Get Modalert or another generic version of Modafinil instead.