Adrafinil Review – Uses, Benefits, Effects

Adrafinil, a precursor to Modafinil is a smart drug that is converted inside the liver to Modafinil. Its effects are pronounced in wakefulness, cognitive enhancement, and improved mood. But it is much less potent than Modafinil. Read more to find out about this nootropic!

In today’s era, people really need help focusing and improving their mental clarity and alertness during work.

And for those who still feel a bit lacking in focus and mental abilities despite working hard, there are some smart and potent drugs available like Adrafinil that can help them with memory retention, focus, concentration, and even mood stabilization.

However, there are possible side effects that come along with the benefits. 

So before you start using Adrafinil, read our research below to gain an understanding of this drug.

What is Adrafinil?

Typically used in France, Adrafinil is considered a synthetic eugeroic, which is a drug that helps clear up mental processes and improves mood, focuses attention, and even allows for more vigilance and wakefulness (1).

Adrafinil is a precursor to Modafinil which means once, inside the body, it is metabolized to Modafinil (2). Unlike other smart drugs, it is a non-amphetamine psychostimulant. 

It is sold under the brand name Olmifon and is quite widely available across the globe. 

This drug not only acts as a stimulant but also improves mental clarity as well as it also helps with concentration and relieves fatigue from sleep deprivation and even increases motivation 

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How does it work?

Adrafinil is inactive in its initial form. Once inside the body, it becomes active by getting converted to Modafinil inside the liver. 

Because it is a precursor to Modafinil, it works in quite similar ways to the latter. It upregulates the levels of nearly all the neurotransmitters found inside the body which can keep one awake and alert. 

It increases dopamine levels in the body by increasing its synthesis as well as inhibiting the breakdown.

Besides, it also increases the levels of glutamate while downregulating the synthesis of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

It also enhances our flight or fight response by increasing the levels of norepinephrine. Moreover, it is also thought to cause a surge in serotonin, one of the other happy hormones. 

Research also suggests that Adrafinil enhances histamine effects by decreasing oxerin release. 


Some benefits of taking Adrafinil are pretty obvious. This includes cognitive enhancement, increased ability to stay alert and awake, and amplified energy levels. 

Listed below are some more benefits. 

Wakefulness and Narcolepsy 

Most of the early research on Adrafinil involved administering specific doses to the older population. Because the effects of Modafinil are well pronounced in patients diagnosed with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and work-shift sleep disorder, it can be hypothesized that Adrafinil can create similar effects in patients diagnosed with the latter conditions (4). 

But it should be kept in mind that Adrafinil isn’t widely prescribed by doctors largely because it creates overall lesser effects and is not potent enough. 


Many people believe that adrafinil improves mood and has an antidepressant-like effect. Again, studies are minimal, but one conducted in older persons discovered that adrafinil produced similar antidepressant effects as the drug clomipramine but with fewer side effects.

Another study gave positive results as people administered Adrafinil experienced improvement in their depression symptoms when tested on the HAM-D scale (5). 

However, clinical trials involving the use of Adrafinil to treat depression are very limited and more evidence is needed before one uses it for improving depression and other mood disorders. 

Improves Mood

Another benefit commonly listed by users of this supplement is that it’s effective at uplifting the mood. The release of dopamine can explain this feeling as it can give you pleasant feelings. 

And although most claim the effect to last around 6 hours, there should be subtle effects even after that as well. 

Cognitive Enhancement 

Because Modafinil is more potent in cognitive enhancement, a lot of attention is given to Modafinil rather than Adrafinil but some studies suggest that Adrafinil improves memory retaining and learning processes in individuals (6). 

Although small sample size was administered Adrafinil subjects reported reduced forgetfulness and better recall power. 

Studies also suggest that Adrafinil interacts with brain waves, thus improving attention, focus, and concentration levels in individuals. 

Perhaps some users also reported mental clarity and decreased brain fog. 

Is Adrafinil Legal?

Adrafinil is legal, compared to Modafinil, its active metabolite, which was banned. However, Adrafinil has been taken off the market. It was previously marketed as Olmifon until 2011.

It is legal in the sense that it is not regulated by the FDA. This means the drug can be purchased for personal use and does not require a prescription. 

It also means the individual must use his or her own discretion to determine the ideal dosage to provide optimal benefits from this drug with minimal side effects.


When taking Adrafinil, it is important to understand that it requires a higher dosage in order to feel any effect.

According to research, it is a good idea to plan on taking a minimum of 300 mg in order to see significant benefits. But make sure to not go beyond 1200 mg as it increases the risk of adverse effects. 

However, this also means a strain on your liver as well and a longer period until you see the effects. It can take up to 90 minutes to find your mental processes to seem sharper. 


I would advise to cycle the drug or take it for a two-week period, then take a break for a week or more, then take the drug again for no more than two weeks. 

This allows the liver to recover from the effects of the drug and minimizes health risks that could be long-term in nature.

How to Use Adrafinil? 

Many recommendations suggest Adrafinil be taken on an empty stomach. Consider taking it with milk, as having fat with it can increase the rate of absorption.

Since it takes an hour or more for the effects to kick in, it is advised to take it at minimum an hour before you need it to work. Taking it in the morning is a good idea. 

Taking Adrafinil Sublingually

In certain cases, taking drugs sublingually can be a vast improvement. When it comes to adrafinil, this is highly recommended because the drug then, crosses the blood-brain barrier faster. This means no waiting from one to three hours for the effects, thereby missing the opportunity to be effective and have heightened thought processes and energy levels.

Well, it is important to understand that sublingual use is not recommended for a daily undertaking.

Taking It Orally With Food

It is not advisable to take Adrafinil with food because it takes an extended period of time to digest the drug and allow it to pass the blood-brain barrier. If you choose to consume a meal while you are taking this drug, it can take that much longer to fully digest the drug and gain the benefits of its consumption.

Side Effects

Surely, taking a drug that provides a stimulant effect can cause concern in those who are using it regularly. It is important to know the potential side effects of this drug and also the reasons these can occur.

Headache and nausea are some of the common side effects reported by users. 

It may also damage the liver because that is where Adrafinil is converted to Modafinil so the metabolites can cause liver damage.

Decreased libido and weight loss are also some of the rare side effects reported by the audience. 

Make sure to not overdose at all! 

Safety and Interactions

Avoiding alcohol is recommended when taking Adrafinil, because adrafinil may interact with alcohol. Users have experienced some significant negative effects from consuming alcohol while taking Adrafinil. One user reported a blackout, while others supported that statement. 


Studies have shown that the half-life of Adrafinil is one hour. For example, the half-life of Adrafinil is only half the story of the impact of the drug. This is because Adrafinil becomes Modafinil when broken down within the body. Therefore, the effects of the drug are felt for far longer than the supposed half-life.

Your body is done dealing with Adrafinil in a short amount of time. However, it has broken the drug down into its primary metabolite, which has significant effects and has a notably longer half-life. 

Reviews & User Experiences

Most Adrafinil reviews are not favorable. However, certain users who have done their research definitely understand the potential issues of taking Adrafinil and who take sufficient precautions report satisfactory results and a great benefit from taking this drug. 

Let’s hear what some Reddit users have to say. 

One of the anonymous Reddit users says, 

“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.”

Another user, hoodyhoodyhoo said, 

“Adrafinil obviously affects me in some way, increasing focus and energy, but nowhere near enough to match the universal appraise it seems to have garnered. It appears to be relatively ineffective on its own and in low doses but works synergistically with Caffeine, decreasing the body load (jitters, tachycardia) while increasing the mental stimulation (energy, concentration).

Would I recommend Adrafinil to others? No. With its high price, toxicity to the liver, and high dosage needed for effects, the benefits just don’t outweigh the costs.”

Another user stated,

“I found Adrafinil to work very well, but it was really tough on my stomach. I think, however, that I was just taking it orally in powder form. I definitely want to try it again with capsules because it gives me a ton of focus and energy.”

Well, it’s quite evident that adrafinil works at its optimum when taken in the right amount. 

Adrafinil Stacks

Adrafinil and Noopept

Stacking Adrafinil with Noopept is a great combination because Adrafinil helps you stay awake and provides a significant amount of cognitive energy. 

Meanwhile, the boost to thought processes and the ability to process and store data at an improved rate comes from combining Adrafinil with a drug in the racetam family. 

Furthermore, learning capabilities and the reduction of memory fog are both attributed to Noopept, thus allowing the individual a better chance of having an extended period where they are awake, aware and retaining all the information they seek to retain during an extended period.

Adrafinil and L-Theanine

Individuals looking to improve focus, motivation, and memory are directed to a stack that includes these two drugs, as well as several others. This stack is reported to be the best combination to increase your mental abilities, as per a user who shared a personal experience.

The stack includes Adrafinil in a dose of 300 mg twice daily and L-theanine at 200 mg in the morning and again late in the day. This, according to this particular user, helped improve the effects of the Adrafinil and allow him to be highly successful in his efforts to complete a significant amount of work.

Where to Buy Adrafinil? 

Because there is a better alternative to Adrafinil available in the market, it is less commonly sold in the market. Nonetheless, I have tried finding one of the solid vendors that you can make your purchase! 

Adrafinil by Nootropics Depot

Nootropics Depot offers Adrafinil capsules at a price range of $39.99 to $89.99. Each serving constitutes 300 mg which is pretty enough for a day. 
The two versions available at Nootropics depot are either 30ct or 90ct. Depending on how long you are planning to take Adrafinil, you can buy either the 30 servings bottle or the 90 one! 
Not only this, but Nootropics Depot also offers the powder form of the supplement. Adrafinil powder is also available in multiple forms, including 5 grams, 15 grams, and 30 grams. Note that the price range of Adrafinil powder is $24.99 to $89.99. 
With same-day shipping and free shipping on orders above $200, Nootropic depot becomes one of the top choices to make your purchase from. 
Also, the customer reviews of the product, as well as the brand, speak volumes of what Nootropic Depot offers. 
Visit the store and add Adrafinil into the bucket immediately and see the change yourself!


  • Powder and Capsules are both available 
  • Same-day shipping 
  • Positive customer reviews


  • Prices may be relatively high

Adrafinil vs Other Compounds

Adrafinil vs Modafinil

Modafinil is actually the active metabolite in Adrafinil, discovered two years after Adrafinil was discovered.

Adrafinil is believed to help with motivation, improving mood, increasing drive and energy levels during the day, as well as alertness. Meanwhile, the drug does not come with many of the annoying side effects of a stimulant, like anxiousness and irritability.

Modafinil, in contrast, requires a prescription despite being considered non-addictive. This drug primarily helps the individual stay awake when necessary. It is used to help treat those with narcolepsy, a serious illness where the individual can fall asleep suddenly and be put in potentially dangerous positions as a result.

Modafinil also stimulates the central system and improves the activity of histamine, which in turn helps neurotransmitters fire more efficiently. This helps with focus, mental clarity, and even memory recall.

Noopept vs Adrafinil

Now Noopept is a drug that provides mental acuity with minimal side effects and at a low dosage. This can be a preferable option to Adrafinil, as there are significant potential side effects to Adrafinil.

Noopept is not a member of the racetam family. However, it does have a similar impact on mental processes, which causes it to be grouped with the racetam family.

Noopept has four mechanisms of action: the first being anti-oxidation. The drug also inhibits glutamate neurotoxicity, similar to the actions of Aniracetam. This keeps cells healthy and alive and decreases the advancement of health issues like Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

The third mechanism of action is an increase in neuronal plasticity and the final mechanism of action is increased expression of endogenous Nootropics. 

In contrast, Adrafinil increases hypocretin, a neurotransmitter. This in turn helps increase the individual’s feelings of appetite, wakefulness, and even arousal.

Is Adrafinil Legit?

Now you can probably agree that Adrafinil is among the highly beneficial nootropic compounds available today. With minimum to nil potential side effects, this brain stimulating agent is getting popular by the day. 

In today’s market, the competition is tough among almost any product, and it goes without saying that adrafinil isn’t the only brain-stimulating agent you’ll find. 

But if you were to take my suggestion, I would totally recommend using Modafinil which is a more potent, effective, and well-trusted option! 

How does Adrafinil make you feel?

They boost dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine release. Fatigue is lessened, alertness is increased, and vigilance performance improves.

Is adrafinil a controlled substance?

Unlike modafinil, adrafinil is not classified as a controlled substance.

Is adrafinil harmful?

Individuals reported unpleasant symptoms following adrafinil discontinuation in nine cases (18%). Although withdrawal symptoms varied, they included weariness, hypersomnia, poor concentration, irritability, mental exhaustion, headache, nausea, vomiting, and worsening mood.

Is adrafinil still available?

It is currently legal in the United States as a dietary supplement but remains a banned substance in many other countries.

How fast does Adrafinil work?

Effects usually are apparent within 45–60 minutes when taken orally on an empty stomach. 

Is adrafinil over the counter?

Adrafinil is sold as an unregulated supplement and is available without a prescription.


Kartik Kumar Rathi

Kartik is a Doctor in training currently in his second year of medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful cardiologist, he currently contributes to health blogs, research papers and also founded a social health startup to help educate others.

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