Adrafinil, a precursor to Modafinil, is a stimulant used to promote wakefulness and reduce fatigue. (Your liver turns it into Modafinil after ingestion.)
Used to treat a wide array of conditions, ranging from work-shift disorder to a study drug for improved learning ability and productivity, Adrafinil a powerful nootropic supplement and must be used with caution.
Originally used in France as an alertness and mood drug, production Adrafinil (brand name Olmifon) was discontinued in 2011.
It is currently classified as Unscheduled in the USA, and thus continues to be sold online today. Modafinil, on the other hand, is a Schedule IV drug, requiring a prescription to buy and use (though it can also be purchased online).
Before deciding to buy Adrafinil (or any ‘afinil for that matter), let’s start with a bit of background…
What is Adrafinil?
Discovered by Lafon, a French pharmaceutical company, in 1974, Adrafinil was first introduced to the public as a treatment for narcolepsy in 1985.
Sold under the brand name Olmifon, it was eventually replaced by its active metabolite, the more-powerful wakefulness drug, Modafinil.
Adrafinil is still available for personal use today without a prescription, while Modafinil (brand name: Provigil) must be prescribed by a doctor for narcolepsy or night shift sleep disorder.
Adrafinil and Modafinil are commonly called “Smart Drugs” or nootropics, used by individuals who want to improve their cognitive function, creativity, and productivity.
Other “Smart Drugs” belong to the racetam family – Piracetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Phenylpiracetam, and Pramiracetam.
Noopept, a peptide that passes through the blood-brain barrier, and choline, a nutrient related to the B-vitamin family, are also considered effective for wakefulness and focus.
Students, shift workers, athletes, entrepreneurs and other healthy people can benefit from Adrafinil and other “Smart Drugs” if they choose the right supplement for their needs and use it safely.
Thus, Adrafinil exists in sort of “gray area” with the FDA: it’s okay to buy online, but you won’t find it on Amazon.com (nor in any local store like GNC, CVS, Walgreens or Walmart).
First time Adrafinil user? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about Adrafinil’s benefits. It’ll quickly cover the basics:
Adrafinil, along with its successor, Modafinil, and other “Smart Drugs,” offer busy students, shift workers, and others a (mostly) safe way to stay alert and focused.
Modafinil gets most of the attention from the nootropic community, but it’s a prescription drug, which may be off-putting for some people who need a quick and inexpensive aid to stay awake.
Adrafinil available in both powder and capsule forms. I like the powder form since I can measure what I need for a specific day. It’s water soluble and dissolves in a cup of hot water. (If it doesn’t dissolve, you have fake Adrafinil.)
Adrafinil is more specifically, a eugeroic, or wakefulness-promoting agent. This type of drug, originally a prescription medication to treat narcolepsy or drowsiness, has many attributes suitable for the everyday person who occasionally needs to pull an “all-nighter” or fight fatigue.
It’s a short-term solution if you need to study all night for an exam, finish a complicated presentation for work on short notice, or get through an overnight shift without falling asleep.
Like any eugeroic supplement, Adrafinil must be used according to directions for the purpose intended. A healthy person using Adrafinil to stay awake for an extra work shift will need to take a different dosage of Adrafinil (or Modafinil) than a narcolepsy patient.
Do your research before taking Adrafinil by visiting nootropic sites (like Corpina) and message boards and finding out all you can from experts and other people who’ve used the drug.
Unlike over-the-counter supplements, you can’t just look at a label and decide if Adrafinil will work for you. Check out reviews and real-life experiences from others in the nootropic community.
Most of the online reviews of Ardafinil are positive or neutral. I did a bit of research on Reddit and nootropic sites and fond a few interesting takes on Adrafinil.
Reddit user Trashpockets writes about his experience with Adrafinil:
“It’s essentially like good sleep and normal human focus in powder form. You feel rested, you feel focused and alert, and your thoughts can clear up a bit without the “I’m on some kind of drug” feeling.”
On the This is Trouble blog, Kyle’s review of Adrafinil states:
“The crash is virtually non-existent,” “no jitters, just insane focus,” and “You can build a tolerance, but it’s harder to build one compared to coffee.” If you are wondering exactly how Adrafinil can boost productivity, he adds “I built my entire niche website, Types of Tequila and wrote the first seven articles in about five hours on Adrafinil.”>/p>
Benefits and effects
Adrafinil’s primary benefit is keeping you awake and alert. That’s what it was designed for, and even though it is potent enough to treat patients with sleep disorders, it is safe for most healthy people in need of a moderate stimulant.
When you need to stay alert and focused for a demanding project at work or all-night study session, Adrafinil can help. It fights sleepiness without promoting hyperactivity.
The effect is similar to caffeine but much stronger and without the jittery side effects, you get from too much coffee or too many energy drinks. The focus and alertness last anywhere from three to six hours.
A 1988 French study showed Adrafinil and Modafinil reduced drowsiness in 83% of patients suffering from hypersomnia and 71% of patients suffering from narcolepsy.
One of the studies conducted on Modafinil involved military personnel who were required to go three nights without sleeping. The researchers discovered Modafinil was just as potent as amphetamines, but without the side effects.
You’ll feel your overall energy improve, as well as concentration. Most people who use Adrafinil in an appropriate dosage won’t feel any heart palpations or other problems associated with wakefulness supplements containing high amounts of caffeine.
Adrafinil is used primarily as an anti-fatigue supplement, but it offers cognitive and memory enhancing properties. Not just a non-caffeinated way to help you stay awake, it does offer an entire spectrum of brain-boosting advantages for users.
A Canadian study suggested that Adrafinil is useful for improving memory and attention. Adrafinil has a general effect on brain mechanisms and metabolic rates, instead of concentrating on a particular neurotransmitter.
(On a side note, the extensive research even pointed out that two test subjects experienced an interest in sex for the first time in years after taking Adrafinil.)
Enhances Learning Ability
In a separate study, older beagle dogs given Adrafinil experienced improvement in learning new tasks and increased vigilance. In human studies, Adrafinil successfully treated poor memory and attention span.
This may sound too good to be true, but every year new research points to the cognitive benefits of Adrafinil.
How It Works
Adrafinil stimulates the central nervous system and leads your adrenergic system to release adrenaline. A hormone released naturally in times of danger or excitement, it puts your “fight or flight” mechanism into gear.
Our “fight or flight” mode is meant to protect us from danger, but it also enables us to have greater concentration and focus.
Hypocretin, a neurotransmitter linked to wakefulness, may be responsible fo