Adrafinil Review

Updated on December 7, 2022
 by β€” reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

In this Adrafinil review, we'll discuss the benefits and effects of this nootropic smart drug, as well as the recommended dosage and potential side effects. We'll also look at how Adrafinil compares to other similar nootropics.

Adrafinil is a nootropic that has been used to enhance wakefulness, increase concentration, and boost productivity for decades.

But what are the exact benefits of Adrafinil?

How much should you take? And what are the potential side effects?

In this article, we'll take a closer look at everything you need to know about Adrafinil, so you can decide if it's the right nootropic for you.

Let's dive in, shall we?

Adrafinil Review Summary

Adrafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent that can improve focus, mood, attention and concentration. It may also increase productivity and motivation levels. Adrafinil is considered a prodrug (2-(diphenylmethyl)sulfinyl-N-hydroxyacetamide) for Modafinil (Provigil), meaning it is metabolized into Modafinil in the body.

The recommended dosage of Adrafinil is 300-1,200 mg per day, with a half-life of around 1 hour (and 12-15 hours for Modafinil).


  • Improves mood
  • Wakefulness without jitters
  • Facilitates healthy sleep habits
  • Improves cognition, attention, and focus


  • A higher dosage is needed compared to Modafinil
  • The conversion of Adrafinil to Modafinil puts more strain on the liver

What Is Adrafinil?

structure C15H15NO3S

Adrafinil, known by the brand name Olmifon, is a wakefulness-promoting agent, and central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, used to treat excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, Jet Lag, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and obstructive sleep apnea. It is also used off-label as a cognitive enhancer.

Adrafinil was first discovered in 1974 by French pharmaceutical company Lafon Laboratories (now part of Cephalon) and was introduced in France in 1984. It was marketed until September 2011 when it was discontinued due to its unfavorable risk-benefit profile relative to Modafinil, its primary metabolite.

Adrafinil is structurally similar to Modafinil (Provigil) and inhibits the same enzymes (cytochrome P450 3A4 and 2C19). However, Adrafinil is not as potent as Modafinil and has a shorter duration of action.

Since Adrafinil is a prodrug of Modafinil, meaning it is metabolized into Modafinil in the liver, their effects are very similar. Both are considered to be eugeroics (wakefulness-promoting agents).

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, Adrafinil is unscheduled in the United States where it's considered a dietary supplement rather than a prescription drug [1]. This means that it's not approved nor controlled by the FDA and can be bought without a prescription.

adrafinil review

Adrafinil's formal names, as used in research, are:

  • 2-Benzhydrylsulfinylethanehydroxamic acid
  • 2-[(diphenylmethyl) sulfinyl]acetohydroxamic acid
  • CAS number is 63547-13-7

How Does Adrafinil Work In The Brain?

Adrafinil works by inhibiting the breakdown of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are involved in wakefulness, mood, attention, and concentration.

It's inactive in its original form and must be metabolized by the liver into its active form, Modafinil. Once metabolized, it crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and binds to the dopamine transporter protein (DTP), inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine [2].

Adrafinil also affects the release of histamine via orexin neurons as well as increases glutamate and decreases GABA levels in the brain thus affecting the excitatory/inhibitory neurotransmitter balance which is critical for normal brain function.


Adrafinil is a stereoisomer of Modafinil, with the only difference being the position of the methyl group on the central ring. Both enantiomers of Adrafinil are active, but the (S)-(βˆ’)-enantiomer is more potent by about 3-fold. The R-(-)-enantiomer of Modafinil is also sold as Armodafinil (Nuvigil).


Adrafinil is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and reaches peak concentrations in 30-60 minutes. It has a bioavailability of about 80%.

Adrafinil is metabolized in the liver by enzymes of the cytochrome P450 and 3A4 (CYP3A4) family into Modafinil, which is also the primary metabolite of Modafinil.

The elimination half-life of Adrafinil is about 1 hour, while that of Modafinil is 12-15 hours.

What Is Adrafinil Used For?

Adrafinil has been studied in both animal and human trials for its effects on wakefulness, alertness, and memory and has shown promising results in several conditions. These conditions include narcolepsy and other sleep disorders like Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

According to a study published by the Division of Life Sciences at the University of Toronto, Adrafinil has been shown to have cognitive-enhancing effects in healthy individuals [3]. The drug has been shown to improve working memory, attention, and reaction time. It has also been shown to increase vigilance and reduce fatigue in shift workers.

Off-label, Adrafinil is commonly used as a cognitive performance enhancer by healthy individuals because of its high safety profile compared to other popular stimulants. The drug is reported to improve focus, attention, concentration, and motivation. It's also said to enhance productivity levels and fight fatigue.

That being said, the scientific data and medical evidence for Adrafinil's efficacy as a cognitive enhancer is still limited. The majority of the research on Adrafinil has been done in animals and the few trials in humans that exist are small and lack strong controls.

Since Modafinil and Adrafinil are structurally similar, the two drugs share many of the same effects which are:

Narcolepsy and Fatigue Disorders

Since Adrafinil is converted into Modafinil in the body, it could theoretically be used to treat the same disorders as Modafinil. These include narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The reason why Adrafinil isn't used more often to treat these disorders is that it has a few disadvantages compared to Modafinil.

Adrafinil is less potent than Modafinil and has a shorter duration of action. This means that it isn't as effective at treating narcolepsy and other disorders characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.

It also means that you'd need a larger dose of Adrafinil to get the same effect as Modafinil and this increases the risk of side effects.

Mood Disorders

Adrafinil has also been studied for its potential to treat mood disorders like depression. According to Milgram et al., the drug increases levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain which makes it effective at treating depression and anxiety.

However, the research on Adrafinil's efficacy in treating mood disorders is limited and more research is needed to confirm said efficacy.

That being said, a study published by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) showed that Modafinil had a positive effect on people with major depression who had not responded well to traditional antidepressant medications [4].

Mental and Physical Function

In terms of mental and physical function, there is some evidence to suggest that Adrafinil can improve cognitive function in healthy individuals.

A study from 2011 published in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal showed that Adrafinil, and Modafinil, increased vigilance and reduced fatigue in people with Shift Work Sleep Disorders as well as increased their productivity [5].

What Are The Benefits Of Adrafinil For Cognition?

According to scientific evidence and references, the benefits of Adrafinil for cognition are as follows: Adrafinil has been shown to improve memory, vigilance, and attention span. It is also known to help increase task enjoyment and motivation.

These benefits are likely due to the fact that Adrafinil increases levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain which all play an important role in motivation, focus, and concentration.

Additionally, Adrafinil has been shown to increase levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood and anxiety. As a result, Adrafinil can not only improve cognitive function but can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.

For these reasons, Adrafinil is an attractive option for those looking for a way to improve their cognitive function.

Overview of the Adrafinil benefits for cognition:

  • Improves memory
  • Improves vigilance
  • Increases attention span
  • Improves task enjoyment
  • Motivates and increases productivity
  • Reduces stress and anxiety

Where To Buy Adrafinil Online?

If you're looking for a reliable vendor to buy Adrafinil online, we highly recommend PureRawz. They offer high-quality adrafinil powder and liquids that are third-party lab tested for purity and potency.

They also offer free shipping on orders over $100, and they have a very knowledgeable and helpful customer service team.

You can buy Adrafinil online from Purerawz right here:

What Do People Say About Adrafinil On Reddit?

Reddit is a great place to find information about nootropics, including Adrafinil. There are many subreddits dedicated to discussing noots and their effects on cognitive function and overall health.

A quick search of Reddit will reveal a wealth of information about Adrafinil, including people's personal experiences with the smart drug.

Here's what people on Reddit are saying about Adrafinil:

"I take around 200-250mg of adrafinil for alertness and wakefulness if I've had a bad night sleeping the night before. At that dose, for me at least, it does its job of keeping me awake without feeling wired or weird..." - QwertyCrusader

"Day 6 - today. Took 200mg at 8 am and at 10 am I am typing this and very focused on what I am doing, saying, etc. This is what I wanted from this drug and I am happy that after this long it is working." - u/newthinkingnewlife

"I take 300mg Adrafinil as soon as I get up, and usually in 90 minutes, I can feel its effects without any negative symptoms. I don't get any high, no peak, no plateau, and no crash. I just discovered I've been more productive at work in the last 6 weeks than in the last 6 months." - u/deleteduser

How Do You Take Adrafinil For Cognitive Enhancement?

When it comes to taking compounds like Adrafinil for cognitive enhancement, it is most effective when taken immediately after waking up, on an empty stomach. If you take Adrafinil after eating a meal it will increase the time it takes to feel the effects.

That being said, some people might prefer taking Adrafinil with food, as this can help to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Adrafinil is typically taken once daily, but some people may need to take it multiple times per day for optimal results.

We recommend that you cycle Adrafinil on and off, as this can help to reduce the risk of tolerance build-up and side effects. A great way to cycle Adrafinil is to take it for 5 days, followed by 2 days off. This will help to keep the drug effects and minimize the risk of potential side effects.

Now that you know how to take Adrafinil, let's take a closer look at the recommended Adrafinil dosage down below.

Studies show that the recommended dosage of Adrafinil is 300 to 1,200 mg/day. The most common therapeutic Adrafinil dosage is 600 mg/day. Only a small amount of Adrafinil converts to Modafinil in the body, which is why a higher dosage is needed to achieve the same cognitive benefits.

Adrafinil comes in the form of tablets, powder, and liquid. The tablets are the most common form and are typically prescribed in some European countries (as Olmifon) at 300mg Adrafinil per tablet.

What Are The Side Effects Of Adrafinil?

The most common side effects of Adrafinil are:

  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pain / heart palpitations
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills

Adrafinil can also cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking Adrafinil if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

Additionally, Adrafinil is metabolized by the liver and can cause hepatotoxicity (liver damage) in high doses and in long-term users. So be mindful of this if you have any liver problems or are worried about any drug interactions.

In addition, Orofacial Dyskinesia, which is a condition characterized by involuntary movements of the face, tongue, and jaw, has been reported in some people taking Adrafinil, according to a study published in the Official Journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society in 2004 [6].

It is important to note that all of these side effects are rare and most people tolerate Adrafinil just fine.

What Nootropics Are Similar To Adrafinil?

If you're looking for nootropics that are similar to Adrafinil, it makes sense to look at Modafinil and Armodafinil since they are the active metabolites of Adrafinil.

Modafinil is more potent than Adrafinil and has a longer half-life, which means that it lasts longer in the body. Modafinil also doesn't require as high of a dose to be effective.

Armodafinil is the more potent enantiomer of Modafinil and has a slightly different effect on the brain. Armodafinil is more stimulating than Modafinil and can cause more side effects, such as anxiety and jitteriness.

What Brain Supplements Can Adrafinil Be Stacked With?

Other brain supplements that work extremely well with Adrafinil are Racetams and NooCube.

Racetams are a class of nootropics that are known for their cognitive-enhancing effects. The most popular Racetams being: Piracetam, Aniracetam, and Oxiracetam.

Racetams work by modulating the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can lead to improved cognitive function.

NooCube, on the other hand, is a nootropic blend meaning it contains a mix of natural nootropic ingredients that have been shown to improve memory, focus, and cognitive function.

NooCube is an excellent supplement to stack with Adrafinil because it contains choline, which is an important nutrient for the brain. Choline works by increasing the levels of acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory [7].

When Adrafinil and NooCube are stacked they work synergistically to improve your cognitive function, memory and focus which makes this combination an ideal nootropic stack for studying, working, or any other cognitively demanding task.

So if you're looking to take your cognition to the next level, we highly recommend looking into stacking NooCube and Adrafinil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Want more information about Adrafinil? All your questions are answered here:

How Long Does It Take For Adrafinil To Work?

Adrafinil takes about 45-60 minutes to take effect. The effects can last 6 to 8 hours depending on the dosage. If you want Adrafinil to work faster, it is best to take it on an empty stomach early in the morning.

How Does Adrafinil Make You Feel?

Adrafinil makes you feel more alert. Since it's a eugeroic, or wakefulness-promoting agent, it can also make you feel more energetic and awake. These effects are caused by Adrafinil's ability to increase histamine levels in the brain.

What's The Half-Life Of Adrafinil?

The half-life of Adrafinil is about 1 hour. This means that it takes about 1 hour for the body to break down and eliminate half of the Adrafinil.

Is It Safe To Use Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is safe to use when taken at the recommended dosage of 300-1200 mg per day. However, it can cause some side effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore it is not recommended for use by people with cardiovascular disease.

Is Adrafinil Prescription Only?

Although Modafinil is a prescription drug in the United States (Schedule IV), Adrafinil is unregulated and available as an over-the-counter supplement and can be purchased without a prescription.

Will Adrafinil Give Me Energy?

Adrafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent that does increase energy levels and alertness. Adrafinil will give you energy in dosages of 300-1200 mg per day and without any crash afterward.

Does Adrafinil Help You Focus?

Adrafinil helps you focus by increasing histamine levels in the brain. Histamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for wakefulness, alertness, and focus.

Does Adrafinil Keep You Awake?

Adrafinil keeps you awake for up to 8 hours which is why it's important not to take it close to bedtime. Insomnia is a common side effect of Adrafinil, so if you find yourself having difficulty sleeping, it's best to take it earlier in the day.

Is Adrafinil Legal in The United States?

Yes, Adrafinil is legal to purchase and use in the United States. Adrafinil is not a controlled substance and is not regulated by the FDA.

What Does The World Anti-Doping Agency Say About Adrafinil?

Both Adrafinil and Modafinil are on the prohibited list of substances for athletes subject to doping control as specified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

What Is The Evidence For Adrafinil's Effectiveness?

In human studies, Adrafinil has been shown to be effective in the treatment of narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. Adrafinil has also been shown to improve cognition in elderly patients.

What Are The Possible Drug Interactions With Adrafinil?

Adrafinil increases the effects of other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and opioids. Adrafinil also increases the risk of seizures in people who are predisposed to them.

What Are The Storage Requirements For Adrafinil?

Adrafinil should be stored at a temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit, in a cool and dry place, away from light and moisture. As with any medication, it is important to keep Adrafinil out of the reach of children and pets.

Adrafinil: Final Verdict

Adrafinil is a powerful nootropic that has numerous benefits for cognition. It is well-known for its ability to improve focus, motivation, and energy levels.

Adrafinil can be purchased online without a prescription and comes in capsules, liquid, and powder forms. It can be stacked with other nootropics, such as NooCube and racetams, for enhanced effects, or taken on its own as needed.

When taking Adrafinil, it is important to start with a low dosage and increase gradually as needed. Adrafinil is generally well-tolerated but can cause side effects, such as headaches and nausea, at higher doses.

If you're looking for a nootropic that can boost your cognitive function and energy levels, Adrafinil is definitely worth trying.

And as always, be sure to speak with a qualified medical professional before starting any new supplement regimen.


↑1Lowe, D. W., Dobson, E., Jewett, A. G., & Whisler, E. E. (2021). Adrafinil: Psychostimulant and purported nootropic? American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal, 17(1), 7–9. 
↑2Volkow, N. D., Fowler, J. S., Logan, J., Alexoff, D., Zhu, W., Telang, F., Wang, G.-J., Jayne, M., Hooker, J. M., Wong, C., Hubbard, B., Carter, P., Warner, D., King, P., Shea, C., Xu, Y., Muench, L., & Apelskog-Torres, K. (2009). Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain. JAMA, 301(11), 1148.
↑3Milgram, N. W., Callahan, H., & Siwak, C. (2006). Adrafinil: A novel vigilance promoting agent. CNS Drug Reviews, 5(3), 193–212. 
↑4Price, C. S., & Taylor, F. B. (2005). A retrospective chart review of the effects of modafinil on depression as monotherapy and as adjunctive therapy. Depression and Anxiety, 21(4), 149–153.
↑5Gude, D. (2011). Waking up to modafinil in shift work sleep disorder. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 20(2), 145.
↑6Thobois, S., Xie, J., Mollion, H., Benatru, I., & Broussolle, E. (2004). Adrafinil-induced orofacial dyskinesia. Movement Disorders, 19(8), 965–966.
↑7Cohen, E. L., & Wurtman, R. J. (1976). Brain acetylcholine: Control by dietary choline. Science, 191(4227), 561–562.