Modafinil Vs. Adderall | Benefits, Side Effects, and Comparison

Modafinil, also known as Provigil is a medication approved by the FDA. Despite its side effects and possible addiction potential, it’s one of the top-selling medications in America with over six million prescriptions written every year. Vyvanse (Adderall), on the other hand, is an amphetamine that has been prescribed for decades to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. How do these two drugs compare?

Modafinil and Adderall are two different drugs that have been used for a long time. They both have benefits and side effects, but they also differ in their effects on the body. This article will compare the two drugs.

Modafinil Vs. Adderall | Benefits, Side Effects, and Comparison

What’s the difference between Modafinil and Adderall?

Let’s have a look at it…

Both of these medications are stimulants used to treat ADHD, sleep problems, and exhaustion. Both are often used as nootropics to increase cognition and job and school performance.

Modafinil and Adderall, like the movie’s Limitless Pill, have the ability to significantly alter how you operate.

However, they are not the same.

Adderall and Modafinil are chemically distinct, act in different ways, and have different Consequences. They also vary in terms of legality and the methods for purchasing them online.

We’ll use research to evaluate Adderall vs. Modafinil in this complete guide, so you can see how they’re similar, how they’re different, and which one is appropriate for you.


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What exactly is Modafinil?

To understand how Adderall and Modafinil compare, you must first learn about each of them.

So, What exactly is Modafinil? Modafinil is a prescription medication that enhances wakefulness [1]. It was developed in France throughout the 1980s and 1990s and was eventually approved in the US in 1998 under the brand name Provigil.

It is administered to those who have sleep difficulties in order to keep them from becoming too tired throughout the day [1]. Modafinil’s approved uses include those who have been diagnosed with [1]:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a kind of sleep apn
  • Sleep disturbances caused by shift work

It’s also been proved to be helpful as a treatment for various illnesses lately, therefore it’s also sometimes used for off-label purposes like:

  • Depressive illness (major depression)
  • ADHD
  • Treatment for substance abuse problems


What exactly is Adderall?

Adderall is a psychostimulant prescription medicine made up of four distinct types of amphetamine salts [2].

Adderall is a reformulated version of the successful weight-loss medicine “Obetrol,” which was developed by the pharmaceutical firm Rexar [3]. It was finally phased off of the US market in the 1970s due to its ineffectiveness.

Richwood Pharmaceuticals purchased Rexar in the early 1990s. They began pushing this Loss of weight drug as a therapy for ADHD after adding some additional amphetamine salts. The name was later changed to Adderall.

Adderall is now used to treat the following conditions:

  • ADHD
  • Narcolepsy

While Modafinil is a newcomer to the scene, Adderall has long been a favorite among college students. For finals week or when that big report is due, many people consider it to be the “study drug” of choice.


Activation Mechanisms

We’ll look at how these pharmaceutical medications influence the brain and body in this section.

While the results are similar, the pharmacology and Activation Mechanisms for both these products vary.

Pharmacology of Modafinil

The molecular name for modafinil is Diphenylmethylsulfinylacetamide, and its chemical formula is C15H15NO2S [5]. Modafinil has two structural isomers: a “R-” enantiomer and a “S+” enantiomer.

Modafinil is a central nervous system stimulant, which means it stimulates and enhances activity in the brain.

Its specific working mechanism is unknown [1]. It is thought to have a number of indirect functions that contribute to wakefulness. [1] is an example of this:

  • It increases dopamine activity by inhibiting dopamine reuptake from synapses in the neurological system. This is thought to have a dual impact of improving mood and increasing alertness.
  • It also has an indirect effect on orexin, histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all of which are implicated in wakefulness.
  • Finally, it’s thought to lower GABA levels, a neurotransmitter related to lower brain activity.

While the specific mechanism of Modafinil is unknown, it does seem to function differently than amphetamines like Adderall. That means there’s no jitteriness or other Consequences associated with many stimulants [1].

Pharmacology of Adderall

Adderall is made up of four different amphetamine salts [6]:

  • (C9H13N)2•H2SO4 dextroamphetamine sulfate
  • (C9H13N)2•H2SO4 amphetamine sulfate
  • (C9H13N)2•C6H10O8 dextroamphetamine saccharate
  • (C9H13N)•C4H7NO4•H2O amphetamine aspartate monohydrate

In contrast to Modafinil, the mechanism of Adderall’s effect is fully known.

Dopamine and norepinephrine are upregulated by Adderall. It also causes higher levels of hormones and neurotransmitters including adrenaline, serotonin, and histamine to be released. It essentially operates by pushing these neurotransmitters into the synapse and increasing bonding [7].


Modafinil vs. Adderall: What’s the Difference?

Both Modafinil and Adderall provide its users with a unique set of advantages. Some are similar, while others are distinct. The advantages of Modafinil over Adderall are discussed in this section.

Modafinil Advantages

We have a big, in-depth article on the specific advantages of Modafinil, so go there for more information. However, here’s a quick rundown of what you can anticipate from Modafinil, as well as the science behind it.

  • Prolonged Attention and Focus: One of the reasons Modafinil is so popular among students and those with heavy workloads is the sustained concentration and focus it provides. Modafinil has frequently been demonstrated to improve attention and concentration, allowing users to complete more tasks than they would without [8, 9]. Modafinil, unlike other stimulants like Adderall and caffeine, does not create jitters or the sensation of bouncing off the walls. It’s a steady, quiet concentration.
  • Staying Awake: Users of modafinil may stay awake for up to 10-15 hours [10]. This is perfect for students or hustlers who have deadlines to fulfill. Modafinil has been shown to assist individuals remain awake in a variety of situations, notably for military helicopter pilots [9]. It also aids sleep-deprived persons in performing at levels comparable to those who are well-rested [9, 11]. Just remember to take this smart medicine first thing in the morning to avoid disrupting your nightly sleep.
  • Memory enhancement. Modafinil has been shown to have considerable impacts on several components of memory, including working memory, spatial memory, and episodic memory in several studies [11, 12, 13, 14]. This is one of the reasons it is so beneficial to pupils who are having trouble remembering everything for a big test. Modafinil helps you remember things better.
  • Cognition is improved. Modafinil has been shown to have a significant influence on a variety of cognitive processes in studies. Improved spatial planning, visual pattern identification, response speed [15], strategic planning and decision-making abilities [12], and even visual processing [16] are among the many benefits listed.
  • Better Mood: People who use Modafinil have better moods, according to research [17]. Doctors aren’t sure why they’re seeing this impact, but they believe it’s a side effect of dopamine upregulation, which is linked to mood. Modafinil is increasingly being utilized as a supplementary treatment for mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder [18] for whatever cause.
  • Improved motivation: For the hustler, exceptional student, or entrepreneur, Modafinil not only provides the energy to go through your large pile of work, but it also provides the drive to do so. In one research, Modafinil users reported feeling considerably better about their task and having a greater willingness to accomplish it [12].

Aside from the well-documented advantages of Modafinil, there are a few logistical advantages that make it a wonderful choice for many:

  • All things considered, modafinil and modafinil Alternatives are rather inexpensive. A day’s worth of Modafinil costs roughly Price: Modafinil and modafinil Alternatives are actually pretty cheap, all things considered. Whereas a cup of coffee at Starbucks might set you back about $4, you can get a day’s serving of Modafinil for about $0.80. It’s much more economical, especially considering how much longer it lasts..80, compared to $4 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It’s a lot cheaper, particularly when you consider how long it lasts.
  • Modafinil’s ability to convert a hungover day into a productive day is one of the things that our staff appreciates about it. Rather of resting, watching Modern Family, and tapping away on your phone the day after a night out, Modafinil may help you get some work done. It’s a time-saving mission.



Advantages of Adderall

So, what are the advantages of using Adderall? There are several Alternatives to Modafinil. Adderall also has the advantage of having been around for a long time, so there are several research on its usage.

  • Fatigue is reduced. Adderall has been demonstrated in trials to relieve tiredness and boost subjective energy levels as a stimulant [19, 20].
  • Intense Attention: Given that Adderall’s main usage is to treat ADHD, it’s no surprise that it helps with focus. According to one research, it may promote sustained attention and attentiveness, allowing users to remain on task for extended periods of time. [21]
  • Improve cognitive function: Adderall has been shown in many trials to have a considerable impact on a variety of cognitive functions [22, 23]. Other investigations, however, have indicated that these effects are not always statistically different from a placebo [24].
  • Improved memory: Research has shown that Adderall may increase some types of working memory in at least some persons, although the results are not as apparent as they are with Modafinil [25, 26].


Studies of direct comparisons

While the majority of research on these two medicines has not evaluated their efficacy, some researchers have made direct comparisons of Adderall and Modafinil. A couple of these studies are listed below.

  • Fatigue: Researchers compared Adderall and Modafinil on several cognitive components in a 41-person study. They discovered that they were equally effective in boosting mood, reducing tiredness, and boosting cognitive function. They determined that Modafinil was the safest of the two options since it has a higher safety profile [27].
  • In another study, researchers discovered that Adderall and Modafinil were equally effective in improving cognitive function in sleep-deprived people. They discovered that although Adderall lasted longer than Modafinil, it also disrupted sleep. Modafinil was reported to have less adverse effects [28, 29, 30].
  • Loss of weight: Both Modafinil and Adderall have been shown to help people lose weight. Although Adderall seems to be particularly helpful in this regard [31], researchers indicate that Modafinil, which has less Consequences and a reduced risk of addiction, may be a better choice for this purpose [32].



As you can see, the benefits of Modafinil and Adderall are somewhat similar. But what about Modafinil Consequences compared to Adderall Consequences? Is one safer?

The high-level takeaway is this: while both are considered safe, Adderall typically has some stronger Consequences. That’s what we hear from users and it’s also consistent with what we see in the research [28, 29, 30].

Modafinil Consequences

Most researchers and scientists consider Modafinil safe and generally well-tolerated [33, 34]. Consequences are usually mild and can include:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Loss of weight
  • No Temptation

While these have been found to be the most common of the possible Modafinil Consequences, they are even still not very common. In clinical trials, 17% or fewer of the participants reported experiencing any of these Consequences [33, 34].

Modafinil overdose: Modafinil is remarkably safe, even at really high doses. While taking more than the recommended Modafinil dosage will increase your chance of experiencing uncomfortable Consequences, it won’t kill you. There hasn’t been a single reported death attributed to Modafinil [34, 35, 36, 37, 38 39, 40].

Adderall Consequences

Adderall, also, has several commonly experienced Consequences [41]:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Mouth feeling dry
  • Appetitelessness
  • Sleeplessness
  • stomach ache
  • Loss of weight

Some other more serious—but less common—Adderall Consequences include [42]:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Vision is hazy.
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Allergic responses

If you experience any of the above Consequences, you should report them to your health care provider.

Adderall overdose: Adderall, like Modafinil, is mostly safe even at very high dosages. For someone weighing 154 pounds, the deadly dosage of Adderall is roughly 1.4 grams (70 kg). This is around 25 times the recommended dosage.

However, unlike Modafinil, it is normally relatively safe, although there have been a few incidents of people dying after taking it [43]. This is quite uncommon. It generally happened to those who had underlying cardiac problems. However, it has occurred. Modafinil has never caused this.


Our Knowledge

We’ve tried both, so Our Knowledge might be useful to you.

Here are some of the things our team noticed when evaluating these products:


While we have experienced some Consequences like Headaches, indigestion, trouble sleeping, and diarrhea, these have been minor and are avoidable. In Our Knowledge, you can reduce these effects by:

  • Staying hydrated and reducing headaches by drinking water
  • To prevent stomach problems, eat a large breakfast and dinner.
  • Take it in the morning to avoid keeping you awake at night.


In Our Knowledge, the Consequences are worse. We sometimes get what feels like a nasty Adderall “hangover” the morning after taking it. We’ve woken up after taking an Adderall and felt like someone punched us upside the head while you were sleeping.

It is not enjoyable. We’ve generally quit taking it because of hangovers like these; now, we utilize one of the various Adderall substitutes available.


Dependence and Addictive Properties

Will you get addicted to Adderall or Modafinil if you start using it?

According to the research:

Addiction to and reliance on modafinil

One of the best things about Modafinil is that it has a very minimal risk of misuse, according to study [39, 40]. It’s also been used to assist individuals stop using other drugs they’re attempting to quit, such as cocaine and — curiously enough — amphetamines [44, 45].

Adderall dependency and addiction

When utilizing the modest daily dosages suggested for ADHD, the risk of addiction is quite minimal. However, when taken in larger doses—which is frequently the case when it’s used recreationally—addiction becomes a significant concern [46]. 

Abuse, dependency, and addiction are all at an increased risk.



Common Applications

Modafinil and Adderall are widely utilized by a large number of individuals.

Among the high-achievers are:

  • Business executives and entrepreneurs. This is for you if you want to go through your big to-do list. Modafinil will allow you to work for 12 to 14 hours without becoming exhausted.
  • Developers. Anyone would weary of coding over long periods of time. Modafinil and Adderall may help programmers focus and find flaws. We know a lot of web engineers who benefit from these smart medications.
  • Students. These two stimulants will be beneficial to anybody who is concerned about their grades. They’ll assist you in completing your assignments, focusing on preparing for the test, and actually remembering the subject.
  • Writers. While Modafinil and Adderall aren’t the finest nootropics for creativity, they may nevertheless assist you in sitting down and getting things done. Modafinil may definitely help you focus and get your daily word count in if you need it.

Modafinil and Adderall are both routinely used in industries where extreme concentration is required. They’ll boost your endurance so you don’t get exhausted.


Main Distinctions

The biggest differences between Adderall vs. Modafinil are in their Clinical Applications as well as in their Consequences.

Clinical Applications

Modafinil and Adderall are both used to treat narcolepsy, however Adderall is mostly used to treat ADHD. Its primary purpose is to aid in the improvement of attention.

Modafinil’s primary Clinical Applications are for sleepiness, stemming from sleep disorders (including Narcolepsy, as well as shift-work sleep disorder and sleep apnea). It’s also used for depression and to reduce fatigue. While it can be used as a treatment for ADHD, this is much less common.


The Consequences of Adderall are worse than Modafinil. That’s the case in our own experience and it’s been corroborated by research [xx]. You also have a significantly greater chance of becoming dependent on Adderall than you do for Modafinil.


Is Modafinil permissible? What about the stimulant Adderall?

As long as you have a prescription, Modafinil and Adderall are both lawful. Both are illegal if you don’t. However, since Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act, but Modafinil is classified as a Schedule IV substance, it is a little simpler to get Modafinil and it is treated with less seriousness.

You’ll want Adderall or Modafinil Alternatives if you’re seeking for anything legal. There are a number of legal nootropics that genuinely function.


You should also keep in mind that there are Modafinil and Adderall alternatives to consider. We’ve published a number of articles on various nootropics and over-the-counter Adderall substitutes that you may get online or at your local pharmacy or supplement shop.


What Is Your Best Option?

Over be honest, we prefer Modafinil to Adderall.

The following are the key reasons:

  • Similar powerful effects: Modafinil and Adderall have many of the same cognitive effects. They’re nearly equal in that regard.
  • Modafinil doesn’t feel as powerful as Adderall, which is a positive thing. Modafinil, rather than giving you a “high,” helps you feel calm and concentrated, allowing you to get things done.
  • Consequences: Our Knowledge is that Modafinil has much milder Consequences. That’s corroborated by research.
  • Far reduced risk of addiction: Modafinil has a much lower risk of being misused, which is a big benefit.
  • It’s lot simpler to obtain Modafinil than it is to get Adderall. It’s also usually less expensive.



Modafinil vs. Adderall: Which Is Better?

While the discussion over Modafinil vs. Adderall continues, you must pick a nootropic that works for you.

Modafinil is our favorite.

This “Limitless” pill works well for us, offers little or no Consequences, and provides insane productivity. Is Modafinil legal? Not really, unless you have a prescription. But it is easy to buy online, anyways.

While we’ve taken Adderall in the past, we generally no longer use it. The drug was too harsh and resulted in several Consequences. We especially didn’t feeling hungover the day after using Adderall. If you’re looking for a good nootropic, we suggest one of the many over-the-counter Adderall Alternatives. It’s not worth the headache — literally.

Modafinil is the go-to nootropic whether it comes to achieving higher grades or generating more money. Right now, there isn’t anything better on the market.

Get your hands on the most potent smart medicine on the planet…Modafinil!

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Modafinil is a drug that has been used for decades to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. It is also used as an anti-narcoleptic agent, and can be used to treat ADHD. Adderall is a stimulant that has been prescribed by doctors for years. The two drugs are similar in many ways, but there are some key differences between the two. Reference: modafinil adhd.

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