Modafinil, Armodafinil, FL-Modafinil, Adrafinil: The Narcolepsy Nootropics

Modafinil, Armodafinil, FL-Modafinil, Adrafinil: The Narcolepsy Nootropics

Smart drugs allow users to stay focused, sharpen their memory, and boost their productivity, energy, among other things. While students and businesspeople use nootropics quite often, these medications are also used by other people who want to improve their brain health and mental health and wellbeing. There are different types of nootropics, but in this article, we’re going to discuss eugeroic drugs such as Modafinil.

Modafinil Overview

Modafinil is a synthetic nervous system stimulant with wakefulness-promoting activity. The drug is sold under brand name Provigil, and it belongs to the eugeroic medication family like armodafinil (Nuvigil), FL-modafinil, and adrafinil. Modafinil was approved by the FDA in December 1998, and it is available with the doctor's prescription. It's not a kind of drug that you can simply purchase in the drugstore. Eugeroic drugs like Modafinil are used medically for treatment of certain sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness. Although these drugs act as stimulants, they have a low addictive potential.

How Does it Work?

Modafinil has a complex mechanism of action, but evidence shows the drug acts on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, histamine, orexin, glutamate, as well as GABA receptors. Although it has been shown that modafinil acts on major neurotransmitters in the brain, scientists have not been able to isolate a single site of action or locate major receptor binding. It appears that modafinil inhibits dopamine reuptake which leads to an increase in extracellular dopamine thus resulting in wakefulness-promoting activity and improved cognitive function.

Now that we’ve addressed potential mechanisms of action it’s important to mention how modafinil compares to other drugs of this kind. Modafinil and armodafinil are very similar, but they do have some differences. Armodafinil has a shorter time to peak (two hours compared to modafinil’s 2.4 hours), and plasma concentrations following armodafinil administration are higher late in the day compared to those following modafinil intake. Two drugs have a different pharmacokinetic profile which indicates that armodafinil could lead to improved wakefulness through the day compared to its counterpart.

On the other hand, FL-modafinil is modafinil's derivate meaning it's a lot more powerful drug that enters the circulatory system rapidly, and it exhibits more potent effects. Adrafinil is modafinil's precursor and compared to it, modafinil is more potent, and it can work at lower dosages.

What are the Benefits?


Benefits of eugeroic drugs are numerous, but some of them are more well-known than others. Below, we’re going to discuss some of the most important benefits associated with the use of modafinil and similar drugs.


  • 1. Improves Energy, Alertness, and Wakefulness

  • Modafinil and other eugeroic drugs are specifically created to aid management of sleep problems by improving wakefulness. This is their primary use. A growing body of evidence confirms that intake of modafinil exhibits and maintains a significant effect of wakefulness, functional status, and general health. The drug is well-tolerated among the patients. Regular intake of modafinil and other eugeroic drug boosts energy levels and also promotes a user’s alertness.


  • 2. Increases Focus and Motivation

  • Persons who take modafinil experience significant improvements in their ability to focus on a task at hand, which can be particularly beneficial for men and women who struggle with poor concentration. Studies show that modafinil improves attention in well-rested individuals. Repeated doses of the drug prevent deterioration of cognitive performance over a longer period of sleep deprivation. Not only do eugeroic drugs increase focus, but they also promote motivation. For example, in one study 200mg, modafinil significantly increased task enjoyment, attention, and well-being better than placebo.

  • 3. Helps Operate Under Conditions of Sleep Deprivation

  • As mentioned above, the primary use of modafinil and other similar drugs is to promote wakefulness. Thanks to the ability to keep you awake and alert, the drug can also help you operate under conditions of sleep deprivation. That's why it can be practical for persons whose jobs involve irregular sleep patterns and other factors that contribute to the lack of a good night’s rest.


  • 4. Increases Memory

  • Despite the fact that modafinil and other eugeroic medications are formulated to keep you awake, other users are also very common. These medications are widely used as nootropics or smart drugs thanks to their potential to boost brain power and increase memory. Indeed, multiple studies have confirmed that modafinil improved working memory even in healthy subjects. Intake of modafinil 100, 200, and 250mg led to a significant improvement in the delayed verbal recall, visual pattern recognition, and digit span,.


  • 5. Improves Mood

  • Similarly to other nootropics, modafinil can promote mental and emotional health by improving your mood. Studies show that modafinil in low doses has a unique physiologic profile and it enhances the efficiency of prefrontal cortical cognitive information processing while decreasing reactivity to threatening stimuli in the amygdala, an area of your brain involved in anxiety.

    Suggested Dosages

    While many studies have been conducted on the efficacy of modafinil and other similar drugs, the optimal dosage for a specific effect is still unknown. However, some dosages are taken more frequently than others. The most common dosage of modafinil is 200mg once a day in the morning. Suggested dosages of armodafinil range from 150mg to 250mg once a day, but preferably in the morning. As far as FL-modafinil is concerned, dosages range from 100mg to 200mg three times a day. Adrafinil, as the least potent medication, requires a higher dosage to exhibit its effects. The suggested dosages vary from 600mg to 1200mg.

    The best thing to do is to follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer. If you’re not sure whether the current dosage works (or would work) for you, then make sure you consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor can inform you whether it’s safe to take the drug or increase the dosage. One thing you should never do is to increase or decrease the dosage on your own.

    Possible Side Effects

    Modafinil is generally well-tolerated, it isn’t addictive and rarely causes side effects. However, that doesn’t mean adverse reactions are nonexistent. The most common side effects associated with the use of modafinil include a headache, nervousness, insomnia, and nausea. Other adverse reactions that may occur due to modafinil are:

    • Anorexia
    • Xerostomia (dry mouth)
    • Black, tarry stools
    • Chest pain
    • Blurred vision
    • Fever
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness or fainting
    • Increased thirst and urination
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sore throat
    • Tachycardia
    • Agitation

    Side effects of armodafinil, adrafinil, and FL-modafinil are similar to those of modafinil. The highest risk of adverse reactions occurs when a person takes excessively high dosages. That’s why the best way to decrease the risk of complications and unwanted scenarios is to follow dosage instructions religiously.

    It’s important to mention that modafinil and other similar medications can increase or decrease the activity of enzymes in the liver that eliminate or metabolize other drugs. The result of this action is a decreased level of some drugs thereby dampening their activity. At the same time, levels of some drugs can increase and cause higher chances of toxicity. Drugs whose activity decreases when taken with modafinil are:

    • Cyclosporine or Sandimmune - taken to prevent organ rejection
    • Theophylline - prevents and treats wheezing, shortness of breath caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other lung diseases
    • Hormonal contraceptives like progestin-only or estrogen and progesterone containing drugs

    Medications whose activity increases with modafinil use include:

    • Warfarin (Coumadin) – blood thinner
    • Diazepam (Valium) – treats anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, etc.
    • Propranolol (Inderal) – treats high blood pressure
    • Imipramine (Tofranil) – antidepressant
    • Desipramine (Norpramin) – antidepressant
    • Phenytoin (Dilantin) – an anti-seizure medication

    Overall Summary

    Modafinil and other eugeroic medications promote wakefulness, alertness, alleviate fatigue, and sharpen the memory while improving the mood. They are well-tolerated, not addictive, and carry a low risk of side effects.


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