Modafinil vs. Adderall: Which is Best?

Summary

When comparing modafinil vs. Adderall, the concept of which is “better” is certainly subjective. However, there are a few things that you should know in order to make a decision between modafinil and Adderall.

If we had to choose between modafinil vs. Adderall, we would have to say: Modafinil

This is why:

  • Modafinil is as effective as Adderall – in one study, military personnel were kept awake 64 hours for operations and tested on cognition and mood. The study showed that modafinil was comparable to amphetamine (like Adderall) in retaining cognitive abilities and mood [1].
  • Modafinil is safer than Adderall – the brain chemical changes associated with Adderall can be unsafe because they are addictive. Even though modafinil interacts with similar brain chemicals as Adderall, it is not strong enough to induce addiction or euphoria in the same way as the amphetamine-based drug [2].

Modafinil vs. Adderall – Effective Treatment

Adderall is primarily used as a drug that treats ADD or ADHD. The amphetamine based drugs used for treatment of these disorders are prescribed to approximately 11% of the child population [3].

In one 6-week study, modafinil was able to reduce the symptoms of ADHD by up to 48% (such as hyperactivity, attention, and cognitive abilities) [4]. The use of modafinil was also found to support methamphetamine addicts (much worse than regular amphetamines or Adderall) in their reaction time and general cognitive abilities [5].

Overall, it seems that modafinil is an effective treatment for many of the ailments that afflict ADD and ADHD patients. Even those who want to concentrate more without the use of such a strong drug will benefit from modafinil over Adderall.

Safety of Modafinil and Adderall

Both modafinil and Adderall are considered prescription drugs in the United States, which means taking it outside of these bounds is technically illegal. However, at Nootropedia we want to provide the information to help maintain safety.

As mentioned before, amphetamine based drugs, interact with specific brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. These two drugs can alter mood and happiness, which is why many people who take Adderall become addicted to it in some way. The “addiction potential” is higher among users of Adderall because of this reality.

In contrast, modafinil is a drug that interacts with both of the same things (dopamine and norepinephrine), but does not have the same drastic response. The drug is not considered to induce feelings of euphoria (as Adderall often does) and does not have the same addiction potential.

If you are interested in buying modafinil as an alternative to your current Adderall regime, we recommend you do so from this vendor.

Modafinil vs. Adderall for Prescription Patients and ADHD

One common problem that we have found when comparing modafinil and adderall is that many of the people who take these drugs are considered to be prescription drug patients. This means that a doctor may have prescribed adderall for an ADHD or ADD medication as opposed to modafinil (which is usually for narcolepsy).

For those who are trying to do what is right for them and at the same time listen to a well-trained and trusted doctor, it is often highly confusing. We understand how confusing this can be and there really is no good answer.

However, if you have been prescribed adderall or some similar amphetamine-based drug for ADHD, there is a good chance the doctor gets a kickback and those drugs are all part of the system. Without creating any kind of conspiracy theory, adderall (and similar brand name drugs) are the go-to when certain symptoms arise. It’s just standard practice.

That being said, it is important to consider your own personal biochemistry and which one might work better. As we have made clear, taking modafinil has less of a drastic effect as adderall and can lead to fewer long-term damaging effects. In the short-term, some studies suggest modafinil can actually improve cognitive abilities (such as working memory), which may be the opposite of adderall’s action.

References (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10607161
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17712350
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16322134
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20653641