Modafinil vs Armodafinil: Your Guide To Choosing the Best ‘Afinil

If I gave you three options:

  1. Double your productivity
  2. Double your earnings
  3. Double your memory

and you only get to choose one — which one would you choose?

If you’re the smart cookie I trust you are, you will choose to double your memory and then use that to double your productivity and earnings.

Most of us try to improve our memory by meditating, reading books, playing brain games, and doing everything that the bloggers tell us to. The thing is, activities like these do help with memory and mood, but they only go so far.

In this article, I’m going to talk about Modafinil and Armodafinil – two “smart drugs” that will keep your brain running in top gear.  Here is everything you need to know about switching to an unexaggerated version of Bradley Cooper’s Limitless role in real life for a few good hours with Modafinil and Armodafinil.

Modafinil and Armodafinil: The Basics

Modafinil and Armodafinil are both nootropics that are primarily used to enhance wakefulness, focus, and cognition. I’m always looking for new ways to give my brain some extra boost so when I read glowing reviews on Modafinil and Armodafinil I had to try them to see what all the hype was about.

Although Modafinil and Armodafinil are quite similar, there are also some stark differences between the two.

In this article, I will explore everything you need to know about Modafinil and Armodafinil. If you are looking for a cognitive edge in your day-to-day life, this article will help you decide if one of these drugs is right for you.


Before getting into the details, I think it is important for you to understand the history of both nootropics. The Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment has put together a review of current research that details much of the drugs’ history.


Modafinil’s history begins with the invention of a drug called Adrafinil, which was developed to help treat sleep disorders. Researchers developed Adrafinil in France in 1970. Researchers considered it superior to amphetamines because it had fewer side effects and was less addictive. After several years of trials, France approved Adrafinil in 1986.

After the body full digests Adrafinil, it can be used properly. The body then uses the drug to create a new substance that serves as a stimulant for the body.

This metabolized substance was named Modafinil. Modafinil had the edge over Adrafinil because it did not have to be fully metabolized to work. Modafinil is also less likely to cause liver damage and is more bioavailable than Adrafinil.

France approved Modafinil as a treatment for narcolepsy in 1994. The United States approved Modafinil for the same use in 1998. Through research and trials, scientists were able to determine that Modafinil was helpful in treating other sleep disorders like sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. Over the years the FDA has also approved its use to treat these disorders.

Modafinil has a history of use in the United States military, where soldiers have used the drug to stay awake during long helicopter flights.

The drug has also been used to treat some symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Some athletes claim that Modafinil can help boost performance. World Anti-Doping Agency has banned the use of Modafinil during sports in 2004, just a few days before Summer Olympics.


Scientists discovered Armodafinil much more recently than Modafinil. The lab that owned Modafinil had an exclusivity patent on the drug that was set to expire in 2008. To maintain their market share on the drug, they sought to create a similar drug. This drug was Armodafinil, and it received approval for clinical trials in 2007.

After scientists conducted four different studies, the FDA approved Armodafinil in 2008. It is used as a treatment for the same sleep disorders as Modafinil, including narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder.

There have been trials using Armodafinil as a treatment for jet lag, but it is still awaiting approval for this purpose. Armodafinil’s history is much shorter than Modafinil because the drug is an offshoot of Modafinil. Modafinil and Armodafinil are the two most recent iterations of the same compounds originally used in Adrafinil.

Armodafinil and Modafinil were both created, developed, and tested by the French pharmaceutical company Lafon Laboratories. In 2001, the American biopharmaceutical company, Cephalon, bought Lafon Laboratories. Cephalon owns both drugs. Cephalon’s parent company is Teva Pharmaceutical Companies.

Chemical Compounds
One of the most notable differences between Armodafinil and Modafinil is the chemical makeup. Based on research done by the Chemico-Biological Interactions Journal, Armodafinil is considered to be an enantiopure version of Modafinil.

Here’s what that means –

Modafinil is made up of two stereoisomers. The University of Calgary describes a stereoisomer as one of two or more compounds that differ only in the spatial arrangement of their atoms. The stereoisomers in Modafinil have the same molecular structure, known as enantiomers.

Modafinil’s enantiomers are identical, except that they are mirror images of one another. Look at the way your left hand is a mirror image of your right hand, and you can get a sense of how these enantiomers look. According to a study published by the Biological Psychiatry Journal, the two identical enantiomers found in Modafinil are R-Modafinil and S-Modafinil.

The study goes on to say that although these enantiomers are very similar, R-Modafinil is more active than S-Modafinil. R-Modafinil is also more stable and is a longer-lasting isomer. R-Modafinil was isolated and used to create a new drug – Armodafinil. If you look closely at Armodafinil’s name, you can see that it comes from the R-Modafinil enantiomer in Modafinil.


Probably one of the most common questions I hear about Modafinil and Armodafinil is what is the difference in how they affect the body. Below I’ve outlined some key differences and similarities.


As I mentioned earlier, scientists created Modafinil as a therapy for those suffering from certain sleep disorders. It was one of the first medications on the market to provide genuine relief for people who experienced chronic tiredness and exhaustion. The drug can help normalize your sleep cycle and can work to keep sleeplessness at bay.

Modafinil acts as a wakefulness agent that can help you feel more awake and alert. Patients report that after taking Modafinil, they experience intense, pleasant energy. In my experience, the drug also enhances cognitive ability, and can help improve memory, productivity, and focus.

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, Modafinil can help patients improve their mood.  Modafinil can help combat fatigue and make you both happier and more productive throughout the day. It has also been proven to promote motivation and reaction time in healthy adults.

According to another study by the University of Cambridge, Modafinil can even help reduce impulse response in stressful situations. The drug can help minimize poor decision making during times of emotional or physical anguish. Modafinil is a tried and true smart drug that has helped improve my productivity and cognitive function.


In my personal experience, Armodafinil’s effects are quite similar to those of Modafinil. Some have reported that the sense of wakefulness on Armodafinil is more pronounced than on Modafinil, which I haven’t felt was noticeable. I’ve also heard people compare the effect of Armodafinil to the jolt of wakefulness you experience when you consume caffeine.

Another difference is that Armodafinil does not have as strong of an impact on your existing sleeping patterns. If you are seeking a drug to help normalize sleep patterns or treat a sleeping disorder directly, I would say Modafinil is probably a better choice. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Armodafinil is most effective at treating the symptoms of a sleep disorder, but not the sleep disorder itself.

Armodafinil can also help improve focus and attentiveness, but some users report that it may not be as strong as Modafinil. Due to its effectiveness in enhancing cognitive functionality, many people use Armodafinil to treat jet lag after a long flight. Similarly to Modafinil, Armodafinil can also improve memory, focus, and mental fluidity.

Common Effects Showdown

I want to give you a sense of how these drugs might differ, especially when it comes to some of the most common effects.

Below I’ve detailed how each of drugs performed for different purposes. I’ve mostly focused on some notable differences, but there are still plenty of ways that Modafinil and Armodafinil are similar.

Keep in mind that drugs can affect different bodies in different ways. There are so many factors that contribute to how a drug impacts your system. Some of these are long-term factors, like your weight and gender. Others are short-term factors, like how much you’ve had to eat or drink that day. So, the way these products affect me and the way they may affect you won’t necessarily be the same.

Effect on Sleep

I have found in my research that people fall asleep more readily when they are taking
Armodafinil than when they take Modafinil. When people take a similar dose at a similar time, they tend to sleep easier on Armodafinil. This effect can be a pro or a con depending on why you are taking the drug.

If your goal is experience enhanced cognition during the day, but still easily fall asleep at night, Armodafinil is probably a better choice for you. If you want to stay up late or would like to thrive on less sleep, then you may want to go with Modafinil. Many people find it almost impossible to fall asleep after taking a dose of Modafinil.

That “High” Feeling

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, Modafinil does not produce a discernable sense of euphoria. However, many people report that Modafinil produces a feeling similar to a small “high.”

I was slightly concerned since I wasn’t necessarily looking for mind-altering effects. That said, this feeling of euphoria can make certain mundane tasks more enjoyable. It also means Modafinil might be an option if you are looking to enhance a night out on the town. Of course, I would recommend exercising caution here.

With Armodafinil, I didn’t notice the same moderate “high” as Modafinil. It still provides you with plenty of steady energy, but that extra boost of euphoria will not necessarily be present. If you are looking for an energy boost that is smoother and more stable, Armodafinil may be a better choice for you.

Brain Cognition

Both Armodafinil and Modafinil are great for enhancing brain cognition. There is a reason why successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, and athletes use both of these drugs. They work! However, I have found that Modafinil has a slight edge over Armodafinil when it comes to increasing brain cognition.

Modafinil is a little bit stronger than Armodafinil and users have reported that they have a longer and more sustained focus on Modafinil. However, both drugs will do a solid job of keeping you awake and focused, so you can improve your grades, expand your business, or enhance your day-to-day life.

Weight Loss

According to the Journal of Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, Armodafinil can support weight loss and act as an appetite suppressant. Armodafinil simulates stimulation of the brain’s dopamine receptors. This process can help increase the speed of your metabolism and can also help decrease your appetite. Some Armodafinil users claim that any time they start the drug, they begin to lose weight almost immediately.

Armodafinil users have reported that food moves through their systems much faster when