Last updated: May 1, 2019
While Dave Asprey and many popular people have lauded the cognitive enhancement possible with modafinil, there is a more powerful cousin also growing in popularity. Armodafinil is similar to modafinil, but it is pure R-modafinil, which is the most active psychoactive compound in modafinil.
Despite the similarities, armodafinil and modafinil function slightly different in the brain and have slightly altered side effects and doses. The United States FDA has approved the drug (also called nuvigil) to treat daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy, and ADD in some users. Like modafinil, high performance individuals, such as air traffic controllers, user armodafinil with great effect .
Of the two drugs, modafinil is far more researched and easier to find, but armodafinil has certain benefits and proponents as well. It will be up to you to compare the two to see which might work better for you.
Also Known As
Nuvigil, R-modafinil, Waklert, Artvigil, R-Modawake
Editors’ Thoughts on Armodafinil
I am a big lover of modafinil. I think it’s a great tool to use sparingly in order to increase cognitive function and (more important), just get a lot of work done. Even though I have armodafinil sitting on my dresser, I have never tried it. Thus far I have only tried modafinil (and continue to use it) as it seems to work for me.
I’m very sensitive to any kind of substance and modafinil is already a strong drug for me. I suspect if I were less sensitive, I’d have less problem trying out armodafinil. For the moment I will take it easy as I know armodafinil will be a more potent version of the same.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor
Benefits of Armodafinil
Many of the benefits of armodafinil are directly from the textbook on modafinil. Yet, there are studies of their own, which focus specifically on the R-modafinil compound. In 2011, a Military Medicine journal article looked at 48 Navy air traffic controllers and found that those taking armodafinil had far fewer lapses of attention compared to the control (people who didn’t take it) .
This function is similar to that of modafinil. Many of the armodafinil benefits are similar because of the structural similarity of these drugs. For example, studies suggest that usage of modafinil could help improve working memory and cognitive abilities in those suffering from methamphetamine withdrawals . It also showed equitable potency with amphetamines for military personnel working multiple night shifts .
These anti-fatigue agents are primarily studied through modafinil, but have overlap with armodafinil as well. The benefits of armodafinil are slightly different, but anecdotal confirmation suggests many of these focus and anti-fatigue benefits are the same.
Beyond that, armodafinil has unique research that other drugs in the family do not. One study showed that patients using armodafinil showed less negative symptoms of schizophrenia . The study was done in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2010 and found statistically significant improvement in symptoms even though cognitive markers were unchanged.
Finally, one major benefit of armodafinil is that you require far less of the drug to make cognitive changes. The drug only requires around 150 – 200 mg because the R-modafinil active ingredient is so much more potent than modafinil in some ways. It also reaches peak blood concentration later on than modafinil, which means it can last longer .
Side Effects of Armodafinil
That may all sound great for improving the amount of work you can get done, but what about the side effects? Armodafinil side effects can be more pronounced than other nootropic drugs because it is a potent, synthetic option.
As with modafinil, people using armodafinil sometimes find they are less able to go to sleep when taking it too late in the day. In fact, compared to modafinil, it can keep one awake (creating insomnia) for longer. Other side effects observed in some studies suggest headaches, dry mouth, and nausea.
The side effects of restlessness, anxiety, and irritability are also possible, though rare. Armodafinil can have a tendency to dehydrate users, which are the causes for headaches, dry mouth, and some of the other side effects.
The difference in armodafinil dosage versus modafinil is not huge, but it is significant. The recommended dosage (for medical patients suffering certain diseases) is 150 mg one time in the morning. This is compared to the 200 mg that users take for modafinil.
How and Where to Buy Armodafinil
In the United States, armodafinil is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While we do not recommend off-label or illegal use of the substance, it is widely available online under specific brand names. For example, our trusted vendor here has certain products like Waklert.
Be careful which online modafinil pharmacy you purchase from because there are plenty of unscrupulous vendors out there. The only reason we consider the above recommendation to be the best vendor for armodafinil and modafinil is because there are people within the Reddit community who vouch for them profusely.
They have built trust within the community and this is something that you’re going to have to find for your armodafinil vendor as well.
Selected Community Experiences
“Armodafinil – Cons: Doesn't last as quite as long for me… maybe an hour or two less. I am a bit anxious. When it stops working for the day… boom, big drop off. Slight headache. I'm not completely sure that it is caused by the Armodafinil, though. Pros: I wake up feeling refreshed. That is something I never got from Modafinil. Until I took Modafinil in the morning, I was exhausted. I always felt like I had gotten less than an hour's sleep.”  – zoohaircut
“I highly recommend getting sample packs, say 2 weeks' worth of each, because everyone reacts to these things slightly differently. For myself, modafinil works, but it makes me irritable and I noticed myself to be more easily frustrated, sometimes snapping at people for minor things. Armodafinil lasts longer and has a very minor side-effect (dry mouth) that I can easily deal with (drink more, it's actually a good thing if I think about it.)”  – rhys117
- References (Click to Expand)
- Other Scientific Resources (Click to Expand)