Last updated: June 28, 2018
Imagine you’re working on a project that has taken you months to accomplish and cost you blood, sweat, and tears. As you near completion, the realization dawns on you that the extra motivation and attention could mean the difference between success and failure. Sifting through the online databases, you find people speaking of adrafinil and hope it is the wondrous drug everyone claims.
Alas, adrafinil will not be the magic pill to help you complete the project perfectly, but this smart drug may give you the stimulation to be more prepared. Adrafinil is a synthetic nootropic, which is a prodrug for the famous cousin modafinil. Both are powerful wakefulness agents used to treat sleep deprivation  and improve other markers of cognition .
Adrafinil is the oldest of this synthetic family of drugs, but it is considered less effective than modafinil because it must be converted by the liver into modafinil (the main active ingredient). It is also important to note that although adrafinil gets converted into modafinil, there are some variations in the effects (and risks) .
Also Known As
Editors’ Thoughts on Adrafinil
Adrafinil is a curious smart drug and not completely the same as modafinil. For someone that wants to remain on the up and up (legally), adrafinil may be a good choice because it is unscheduled in the United States currently.
The irony of the DEA in the US (and similar organizations in other countries of the world), is that adrafinil may actually be more risky for your health. Due to the fact adrafinil is converted into modafinil in the liver, this means extra work, more interference with liver enzymes, and other issues.
If I had to choose between modafinil and adrafinil I would definitely choose the former, but that’s my personal preference.
As far as the drug itself, it works wonders and they are probably one of my favorite smart drug tools. As I write this, I’m using modafinil so I am a big believer in the drug’s effects. I’ve had the best experiences using it once every week or two so keep that in mind as well.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor
Benefits of Adrafinil
While there are undoubtedly differences, much of the research for adrafinil come from modafinil studies. Numerous studies show that modafinil is a powerful stimulant and wakefulness agent that is comparable in effects, but lacking in side effects with amphetamine based drugs like Adderall .
Although most people discuss adrafinil benefits in terms of the focus and concentration enhancement, there are others. Namely, the drug can improve short-term memory  and reaction time  in people who are sleep-deprived. This is one of the reasons the drug is considered a “wakefulness agent” as opposed to a stimulant. The properties are different than most stimulants though there are similar characteristics.
Another benefit of adrafinil is the mood altering aspect of the drug. While the drug is able to increase general subjective well being and mood  it does not do so in a habit forming way like Adderall and other amphetamine based drugs .
Given that many children are using amphetamine based drugs daily and have problems related to withdrawal in adulthood, it is important to note the potential replacement therapy of modafinil and adrafinil compared to amphetamine-based prescription drugs.
Side Effects of Adrafinil
The side effects of adrafinil are similar to modafinil. Some people experience insomnia if they take the drug too late in the day. This is obviously due to the wakefulness aspect of the drug and is related to the user’s timeline and not the drug itself.
Other adrafinil side effects include anxiety and irritability, which are exacerbated when using the drug. Many studies suggest increased heart rate and blood pressure are associated with modafinil and adrafinil as well . While the effects are minor, they seem to be consistent.
Using adrafinil may also have the side effect of reducing appetite, which can be a positive or negative side effect depending on the person’s outlook. In general, these drugs reduce the desire for caloric consumption.
Finally, one side effect of adrafinil unique to this specific drug is increased liver enzymes . While this is not inherently bad, it can create other interactions with your health that are undesirable and creates unnecessary strain on this organ. The adrafinil liver concerns may depend highly upon the person, but are usually not problematic.
Adrafinil is converted into modafinil in the liver, which means some of the substance is lost in the process. The adrafinil dosage is in the 300 – 900 mg range. When the drug was used as a treatment for narcolepsy, doses were around 600 mg twice a day.
The adrafinil dosage is considerably higher than armodafinil (150 mg) and modafinil (200 mg) because so much of the drug is lost in metabolism. While the adrafinil dosage may depend highly upon the individual, you can bet it will be higher in the case of this smart drug compared to the other that are in the family.
Because the drug interacts with liver enzymes, it is recommended to take this drug no more than three times per week and no longer than 5 months at a time.
Finally, if you buy adrafinil, it is best to have a scale for measurement. Any milligram scale should provide an accurate measure. It is unsafe to form an adrafinil dosage based on “eyeballing” alone. Getting the dose wrong with adrafinil can come with side effects quickly so do not make this mistake when dosing.
Without a scale, many vendors provide a small red scoop. This small red spoon is approximately 10 – 15 mg so you can measure the adrafinil dosage that way.
Protective Adrafinil Dosage
Some people go to the extra precaution of consuming a small dose of adrafinil to test the effects as a beginner. This method suggests an adrafinil dosage of around 25 – 50 mg to test for allergies or adverse effects.
After verifying there are no adverse effects, it is okay to bump the adrafinil dosage up to 300 mg before moving to the 600 mg (recommended) dosage. This method is commonly referred to as the “Shulgin method” derived from famed chemist, Alexander Shulgin.
Adrafinil Nootropic Stacks
More than likely if you are using adrafinil, it’s worthwhile to consider how it might work with other substances. There are few nootropics we can say are truly synergistic with adrafinil (at least from a scientific perspective), but there are advantageous smart drugs that operate on another useful aspect of cognition.
Adrafinil and milk thistle – while it is not a nootropic per se, milk thistle is one of the best tools to aid in liver health especially against acute damage. Adrafinil does not create damage per se, but does influence the liver and enzymes in a potentially harmful (or at least stressful) way. It is useful to have some type of liver support and milk thistle is your best bet.
Adrafinil and racetams – adrafinil is typically used as a focus enhancer and wakefulness / alertness drug. This is quite a different advantage than comes from the racetam family (such as piracetam, aniracetam, or phenylpiracetam). For all of these cholinergic drugs, the main benefit is for memory formation and learning. Some people find enhanced creativity using racetams like phenylpiracetam too. While adrafinil and racetams do not go together per se, they can compliment one another due to different benefits.
Adrafinil and unique blends – this is where users must be careful. Uniquely blended nootropic stacks (things like Qualia, Mind Lab Pro, Alpha Brain, OptiMind, or even some Four Sigmatic products) often have many ingredients. For some, the ingredients combined are too highly stimulating in addition to adrafinil. Remember, adrafinil is a potent stimulant and combining with dozens of other ingredients can be problematic.
How and Where to Buy Adrafinil
Adrafinil is unscheduled, but you will not find this at your local health or supplement food store. There are many vendors online and some of them are more reputable than others. We have continually recommended purchasing from either Nootropics Depot and Pure Nootropics because we have done extensive inspections of the facilities and vetted the owners.
If you buy adrafinil online, make sure that you find a vendor that is reputable as this is a synthetic drug. We recommend Pure Nootropics adrafinil simply because capsules are more affordable. If you would prefer to purchase adrafinil from Nootropics Depot instead, you can find it here as well.
Selected Community Experiences
“Second day taking 300mg Adrafinil (which metabolizes into about 100mg modafinil in the body). Both times I have felt ultra creative. I want to start up my personal business again, start a marketing campaign, Make a movie, load new software on my computer, write a book, write this post, upgrade my computer, build a new computer… and so much more.”  – Toppguy
“I take 300mg Adrafinil as soon as I get up, and usually in 90 minutes I can feel its effects. 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.”  – Player
“I had my liver function test done prior to using adrafinil: AST = 31 u/L ALT = 19 u/L After approx 6 weeks of using adrafinil dark or Noofen 2-3 x week @ 100-200 mg per dose: AST = 32 u/L ALT = 25 u/L. These results suggest that adrafinil, at this very low dose, does not seem to to be causing liver stress.”  – synaptophysin
As these adrafinil reviews suggest, there are primarily positive experiences with the drug. Anecdotal reports, such as the adrafinil liver report, do not translate directly to you, but can help inform your experiences. A large set of anecdotal evidence does not mean it is data, but these adrafinil reviews can show you what to avoid and how to proceed.
Much of the research on adrafinil focuses on sleep deprivation, diseased patients with narcolepsy, and other sleep disorders. Few study the effects of the drug on healthy adults, which is why these adrafinil reviews can be helpful supplemental evidence for your decision making process.
Nootropedia Disclaimer: While we support psychedelic science and support usage of entheogens like ayahuasca (DMT) and psilocybin, it is recommended to avoid using other substances such as adrafinil alongside them. We do not recommend using them together.
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