Vilafinil: Review of Nootropic Benefits, Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on February 20, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
An overview of Vilafinil's nootropic benefits, uses, and effects on cognitive enhancement.

Vilafinil, a renowned wakefulness-promoting nootropic drug, has gained popularity for its remarkable ability to promote wakefulness and cognitive enhancement. As a generic form of Modafinil, this product shares many of its benefits and uses but often at a more accessible price point. 

This comprehensive review aims to provide insightful information on Vilafinil, exploring its uses, particularly in treating disorders like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder, where excessive sleepiness is a significant concern.

Apart from its primary use in treating sleep disorders, Vilafinil has found a niche in cognitive enhancement, often used off-label by students and professionals seeking improved focus and mental clarity. However, it’s crucial to balance this use with an understanding of the risks, including examining the potential for dependence or adverse reactions.

Taking Vilafinil offers a promising solution for those struggling with excessive sleepiness due to various disorders. However, like any medication, it requires careful consideration and consultation with healthcare providers to ensure safe and effective use.

By understanding Vilafinil’s optimal dosage, interactions, risks, and benefits, you can better understand if this is the right nootropic supplement for you!

What is Vilafinil?

Both Vilafinil and Modafinil (also known by the brand-name Provigil) in the class of medications known as chemical wakefulness-promoting agents. Modafinil, developed in the 1960s, has a long-standing reputation in the healthcare sector for managing sleep disorders and enhancing alertness. Vilafinil, as a generic version, is a smart drug with the same effects as Modafinil.

Vilafinil is a medicine also known for its wakefulness-promoting properties. Primarily used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder, Vilafinil has gained recognition in the medical community for its efficacy in managing excessive daytime sleepiness. 

As an active pharmaceutical agent, it functions similarly to Modafinil by altering neurotransmitter activity in the brain.(1)

In the realm of cognitive enhancement, Vilafinil has also been observed to have off-label uses, such as in individuals with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Its ability to increase focus and alertness makes it a sought-after option for those seeking to improve concentration and cognitive performance.

Interestingly, Vilafinil has been studied for its potential effects on anxiety. While it’s not primarily indicated for anxiety treatment, some users report a reduction in anxiety symptoms, likely due to its impact on overall cognitive function and alertness. However, this aspect of Vilafinil requires more clinical research for conclusive evidence.

Another aspect of Vilafinil that garners attention is its potential to help people struggling with methamphetamine addiction and alcohol withdrawal.(2) However, while it’s generally considered to have a lower risk of addiction compared to other stimulants, there’s still a possibility of Vilafinil dependence and overdose, especially when used without medical advice. The euphoric effects, although less common, can occur, particularly at higher doses, contributing to its misuse potential.

Overall, Vilafinil, a generic Modafinil that is also similar to Armodafinil, remains a valuable medicine with clinical effects that have the potential to treat sleep-related disorders and enhance cognitive functions. However, the effects of this medication must be carefully managed to avoid medical conditions like withdrawal and addiction.

Like most generic medications, Vilafinil is available to purchase without a prescription.


  • Ability to treat narcolepsy, work shift sleep disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Reduced social anxiety, nervousness, and stress
  • Improved focus, concentration, working memory, and cognitive ability


  • Not approved by the FDA
  • Despite a lower addiction potential, there is still a risk of misuse and dependence when used over a longer period of time

Mechanism of Action

When compared to traditional stimulants like amphetamines, the Vilafinil nootropic supplement has a different mechanism of action.

Vilafinil is known to have a significant impact on several neurotransmitter systems within the brain, which contributes to its ability to promote wakefulness and enhance cognitive functions like working memory and executive function.

Main Neurotransmitter Systems Affected:

  1. Dopamine: One of the main neurotransmitter systems affected by Vilafinil is the dopaminergic system. Vilafinil inhibits the reuptake of dopamine, leading to increased levels of dopamine in the brain. Just like the effects of Modafinil,(3) this increase is believed to be one of the primary reasons for Vilafinil’s wake-promoting effects and its ability to enhance cognitive functions. Unlike amphetamines, which also increase dopamine levels but do so more potently and with a higher risk of addiction, Vilafinil’s action on dopamine is subtler, which might explain its lower potential for abuse. Overall, Vilafinil has its own set of risks and benefits to consider due to this activity.
  2. Histamine: Vilafinil also appears to increase histamine levels in the brain, which plays a role in its ability to help individuals stay awake. Increased histamine levels are associated with greater alertness and wakefulness.
  3. Other Neurotransmitter Systems: Vilafinil also interacts with other neurotransmitter systems, including the serotonin, norepinephrine, and orexin systems. These interactions contribute to its overall effect on wakefulness and cognitive enhancement.

Nootropic Benefits of Vilafinil

Like most generic drugs, Vilafinil does not require a prescription and is a once-daily pill. This means Vilafinil provides convenience alongside its cognitive benefits. Here is an overview of the benefits of this medication for those looking to sustain cognitive function.

1. Episodic Memory Improvement

Vilafinil can enhance episodic memory, enabling users to recall past experiences more clearly.

2. Increased Focus and Concentration

Vilafinil users often experience improved focus and concentration as a result of this medication. Vilafinil can also induce a state of extreme alertness without the overstimulation that is typical with some other stimulants.

3. Enhanced Cognitive Flexibility

Vilafinil can enhance cognitive flexibility, allowing for better adaptation to changing tasks or strategies.

4. Reduced Fatigue

Vilafinil helps in reducing fatigue, which can result in increased productivity and alertness.

5. Improved Executive Functioning

Executive functions, such as planning, decision-making, and problem-solving, are often enhanced with the use of Vilafinil.

6. Mood Stabilization

Some users report mood stabilization as an indirect benefit of improved cognitive function and alertness. This makes Vilafinil a potential supplement for people fighting depression.

7. Reduced Impulsivity

In some cases, Vilafinil (as a deivative of Modafinil) can lead to reduced impulsivity for people with ADHD, aiding in better decision-making.(4)

8. Ability to Reduce Anxiety

Some individuals report experiencing reduced anxiety symptoms as a secondary effect of Vilafinil. This reduction in anxiety might be attributed to the enhanced sense of alertness and cognitive control that Vilafinil provides, which can indirectly influence one’s ability to manage stress and anxiety in certain situations.

Uses of Vilafinil

Vilafinil, a generic form of Modafinil, has several uses that are recognized and examined by medical authorities.

Primarily, Vilafinil is used for treating sleep disorders like narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea. Its effectiveness in promoting wakefulness helps individuals manage excessive daytime sleepiness associated with these conditions. Vilafinil gives these individuals the energy boost they need to stay awake.

Additionally, due to its cognitive-enhancing effects, as well as its ability to help users stay awake and alert, Vilafinil is sometimes used off-label for conditions like ADHD. Vilafinil is also used as a cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals. 

However, it’s important to use Vilafinil under medical supervision to prevent habit formation and to ensure its use aligns with the guidelines set by health authorities.

Where to Buy Vilafinil

You can order and buy Vilafinil online from one of our most trusted retailers, ModafinilXL. 

Here, you will find the best library of third-party tested generic modafinil nootropics sold at affordable prices and available for domestic shipping. Simply order Vilafinil, use the payment portal to complete your purchase, and wait for your delivery.

Orders can take up to 3-4 days, depending on where you are located.

Simply contact the customer service department if your chosen product takes longer than usual to arrive.

Vilafinil Dosage

The typical dosage for Vilafinil, which is available as a 200 mg tablet, varies depending on the condition being treated:

  • For narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea, the standard dose is usually 200 mg taken once daily in the morning.
  • For shift work sleep disorder, the recommended dose is 200 mg taken one hour before the start of the work shift.

It’s crucial to consult your physician and follow the dosage prescribed by a healthcare provider, as individual needs may vary. Additionally, it’s important not to alter the dose or frequency without consulting a doctor first in order to avoid the risk of adverse effects.

Vilafinil Side Effects and Safety

Vilafinil, like any nootropic supplement, can have side effects.

While many are mild, such as:

  • Headache
  • Nausea

There are some severe side effects that may include:

  • Allergic Reactions: Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rashes, hives, or swelling, should be promptly addressed by seeking medical attention for the physical condition.
  • Liver Issues: There may be an impact on liver function, so individuals with pre-existing liver conditions should use Vilafinil cautiously.
  • Severe Psychological Effects: Rarely, there might be a burst of severe psychological effects like depression, insomnia, or anxiety when users are on high doses.
  • Risk of Dependance: Although Vilafinil has a lower risk of dependency than most other stimulants, misuse of Vilafinil is still dangerous and can lead to addiction. Vilafinil users must use caution and stick to clinical dosage instructions.


In conclusion, Vilafinil, a generic form of Modafinil, is a prescription medication primarily used to treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder. It is a wakefulness-promoting agent developed in the 1960s, and it helps manage excessive daytime sleepiness. Each tablet, typically 200mg, also aids in sustaining alertness and cognitive function. 

Off-label uses of Vilafinil include treatment for ADHD and as a nootropic drug to enhance cognitive abilities like working memory and executive function. 

While it offers benefits like increased focus and reduced anxiety, it’s important to be aware of the potential for addiction.

Remember: Vilafinil, as a part of the class of stimulant medications, must be used responsibly, following the doctor’s advice and considering all medical information available.


How long does vilafinil take to work?

Vilafinil usually starts working within 2 hours of ingestion. However, the effects can vary depending on individual metabolism and stomach content.

What is the elimination half-life of vilafinil?

Vilafinil has an elimination half-life of approximately 15 hours. This means that it takes around 15 hours for half of the drug to be removed from your system.

Should you cycle vilafinil?

Yes, it’s recommended to cycle vilafinil to avoid tolerance. A common strategy is to use it for 5 days and take 2 days off, but this may vary based on individual needs and responses.

Can I stack vilafinil with other nootropics?

Yes, vilafinil can be stacked with other nootropics. However, it’s important to understand the interactions and potential side effects of each substance. Consulting a healthcare professional is advised.

How should I store vilafinil?

Vilafinil should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat so it does not expire or react to the high temperature. The storage place should also be out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental consumption.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Ballon, Jacob S, and David Feifel. “A systematic review of modafinil: Potential clinical uses and mechanisms of action.” The Journal of clinical psychiatry vol. 67,4 (2006): 554-66. doi:10.4088/jcp.v67n0406 ↩
  2. Karila, Laurent et al. “Pharmacological approaches to methamphetamine dependence: a focused review.” British journal of clinical pharmacology vol. 69,6 (2010): 578-92. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2010.03639.x ↩
  3. Volkow, Nora D et al. “Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain: clinical implications.” JAMA vol. 301,11 (2009): 1148-54. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.351 ↩
  4. Turner, Danielle. “A review of the use of modafinil for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Expert review of neurotherapeutics vol. 6,4 (2006): 455-68. doi:10.1586/14737175.6.4.455 ↩