Modafinil vs Adderall: Why I Made The Switch (And You Should Too)
A lot of people use Adderall as a study drug, but what they don’t know is that there is an alternative out there that is every bit as effective and potentially safer.
Modafinil (Provigil) is similar in many ways to Adderall, but it doesn’t have the same reputation as Adderall because it hasn’t been in widespread use for as long.
As a matter of fact, I hadn’t even heard about Modafinil until I started taking it six months ago.
A company called ModAlert was nice enough to send me a sample kit of 30 generic Modafinil capsules and I haven’t looked back since.
For those who don’t know, Adderall is a prescription medication that is used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy, among other things. But not everyone is so happy with the long-term effects of Adderall usage.
A blogger who goes by the handle The Narcoleptic’s Wife has posted extensively about the downside to Adderall.
In a piece entitled “I Hate Adderall…and It Hates Me,” she writes about how her husband becomes antsy and unpredictable when taking the drug.
What people don’t realize, and what I didn’t understand until six months ago, is that there are powerful and wildly effective Adderall alternatives readily available online and elsewhere.
Here we will look at both substances, comparing and contrasting their properties and effects.
Adderall is a drug that is composed of levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, respectively.
One of Adderall’s biggest cons is its ability to disturb your sleep patterns. Many who have taken it have reported insomnia as a by-product of Adderall use.
Adderall has doubtlessly helped many people who were prescribed it, but it has also hurt many others. In the words of one member on drugs.com, “I’m 100% positive Adderall ruined my life.”
Said members goes on to say, “I got prescribed 40 mg twice a day because the 20 [mg] once a day was giving me really bad comedowns, to the point where I would drive to the gym and not be able to get out of the car, and I would just sit there, like scared s***less to go outside…
After the 20 mg XR, it started making me somewhat emotional, always crying and feeling like something was wrong but I couldn’t express it…
“It was like taking a pill to make you a mute zombie. I stopped taking these because I thought they made me into somebody with no personality.”
A writer at ADHD Awareness echoed these sentiments, saying, “I have been taking Adderall for 6 years now. Since then, I have been numb to every emotion in my body.
I feel like I am the walking dead, everyday I see my life right in front of me but I am not there. I keep telling myself I need to get a grip and control myself but its beyond that.
“Adderall has control of me. I am socially withdrawn and I get nervous being around a lot of people.
I have been off this medication before and I was a train wreck! Adderall has destroyed my brain’s ability to produce dopamine.”
A woman posting on medhelp.org said that her husband’s Adderall use was destroying their family.
In her post, she talks about how her husband used to have a drug problem a number of years ago but managed to get it under control for the sake of his wife and kids.
She goes on to say that she noticed a dramatic change in his behavior a little over a year ago, noting agitation and anger among other things. She says that he became violent and secretive over time, constantly having to go out to the gas station at odd hours.
Before long, she discovered that he was abusing Adderall. This is not a rarity, Adderall addiction is extremely common as are addictions to several prescription medications that are often prescribed in the US and abroad.
A staggering percentage of those deaths occur in young people who lift prescription pills from their parents’ or relatives’ medicine cabinets and take them recreationally.
A survey has said that 50% of teens believe that prescription meds are safer than street drugs and 60% report that their home medicine cabinets are their primary source of drugs.
For those who are already taking Adderall, I suggest you quit and consider taking a viable alternative like Modafinil.
How Long Does It Take To Get Off Adderall?
Adderall withdrawal symptoms tend to last anywhere between a couple of days and several months after your last dose of the medication.
The more severe withdrawal symptoms typically go away within a month.
An increase in appetite and feelings of fatigue have been reported after the initial 30 days of withdrawal. Some people have asked, “Can you just stop taking Adderall cold turkey?”
It is not really advisable to kick Adderall cold turkey as more acute symptoms can persist when doing so.
Most medical professionals suggest that you should taper off slowly so as to avoid these more extreme withdrawal symptoms.
For more on kicking an Adderall addiction, you can visit American Addiction Centers’ website where you will find detailed information about withdrawal methods and rehabilitation opportunities.
Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent which has a 15-hr biological half-life whereas Adderall generally has a half-life of just 11-14 hours, typically capping off at 11.
Although Adderall is the only drug of the two to be approved by the FDA, Modafinil is regularly prescribed as an off-label treatment by psychiatrists.
Modafinil has been carefully researched to see what effect the psychostimulant will have on sleep disorders, mood disorders, cocaine dependence, schizophrenia and other mental conditions. Many believe that Modafinil can improve cognitive function.
I can’t speak for others, but I can say that my own experience with Modafinil definitely seemed to make a difference on a cognitive level. I found that my writing became sharper and more streamlined.
Words, sentences, paragraphs, they all came to me with ease, and those words flowed like a babbling brook.
The experts have weighed in, saying that Modafinil can promote wakefulness more selectively than conventional amphetamines.
Select evidence also suggests that it could target precise hypothalamic regions such as the tuberomammilary nucleus and orexin neurons, peptide neurotransmitters that influence wakefulness.
It is said that Modafinil can enhance decision-making skills and improve performance on long and complicated tasks.
A study conducted at the University of Oxford in England found that Modafinil can significantly enhance thinking.
According to the co-author of the university’s review, the drug affects, “higher-brain functions that rely on contribution from multiple simple cognitive processes.”
What’s more, a study published by the University of Cambridge found that Modafinil can reduce the impulse response that leads to bad decisions.
In a blog post for Bulletproof.com, several user experiences were compiled to create a detailed overview of Modafinil. These experiences included those of a biomedical engineer.
The users found Modafinil to be safe and effective in several areas, not least of which was its eugeroic properties.
In other words, Modafinil was able to keep them awake and alert without the jitters associated with other stimulants.
Additionally, it was said to be less addictive, even assisting people with addictions in their efforts to kick their habit.
Benefits of Modafinil use can include any or all of the following:
- Relief of Fatigue
- Mood Improvement
- Increased Motivation
- Heightened Alertness
- Faster Reaction Time
- Alleviation of Short-Term Sleep Disturbance
- Sharpened Focus
- Improved Learning Ability
- Better Attention
- Reduction of Mental Fatigue
If you’re just now learning about Modafinil and have your doubts because it’s not a household name like Adderall, consider this: Modafinil has been embraced by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Wall Street power brokers and bodybuilders.
As one user on bodybuilding.com said, “Modafinil is f***ing amazing!” This user goes on to say, “I’ve been taking this for 2 weeks now and it’s been giving me motivation to get rid of anything I was procrastinating.”
Is Modafinil Addictive?
Perhaps the number one reason why Modafinil is superior to Adderall is because it is not generally known to be addictive.
Although recent research by Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse points to Modafinil being more addictive than initially thought, the evidence is still slim at best.
While abuse may still be a factor, there is no concrete evidence to allege that Modafinil carries the potential for serious addiction.
Dr. Volkow’s biggest concern is that drugs like Modafinil can have side effects that are uncertain. “Their use without proper medical oversight could lead to abuse,” she says.
But before you get all nervous about this, it is worth acknowledging that Adderall abuse runs rampant under the supervision of physicians every day.
In summary, I would highly recommend Modafinil as an alternative to Adderall. As a smart drug, it gave me the ability to multi-task and max out my work responsibilities without stressing or getting bogged down in brain fog.
I was able to take a Modafinil capsule once a day for six days straight without experiencing any adverse effects.
I felt smarter and more focused, and I started every day imbued with a sense that I wanted to seize the day and really make it my own. Negative thoughts vanished and I felt genuinely replenished.
If I had to call Modafinil anything, I would call it Gatorade for your brain. It increased my performance and endurance while instilling in me a strong sensation of accomplishment. Give it a try and see if this might be good Gatorade for your brain as well.