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Modafinil & Armodafinil: Are They Colleagues or Opponents?

If you are facing a dilemma of which nootropic you should use, Modafinil or Armodafinil, then you are in the right place.

First of all, you should know that both drugs are approved by the FDA.

Modafinil and Armodafinil are chemically and pharmacologically very similar drugs. Modafinil is a racemic mixture containing 50% of R-Modafinil and 50% of S-Modafinil, while Armodafinil contains 100% R-Modafinil. Both drugs have wake-promoting effects similar to those with psychostimulant drugs (such as Amphetamine), which is why they are used in the treatment of patients suffering from shift-work disorder, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and narcolepsy.

Modafinil was developed in 1994 in France, while Armodafinil was developed 13 years later and in fact represents a chemically modified form of Modafinil, and exerts more potent effects.


Although the FDA states that elimination half-life is identical for both drugs, my experience is a bit different. Modafinil kept me awake for longer (about 3 hours) than Armodafinil. I have to admit that this effect has surprised me because Armodafinil should have more potent effect than Modafinil if we look into their pharmacological profiles. Therefore, if you want to work longer or stay awake late in the night, then Modafinil is a better choice.

Absorption of both drugs depends on food, but Armodafinil is generally absorbed more quickly than Modafinil, which is why the Armodafinil effects begin 1-2 hours after oral use, while effects of Modafinil starts a bit later, 2-4 hours after oral use. Therefore, if you want to start working efficiently as soon as possible, then Armodafinil is a better choice.

As for metabolism, both drugs are mainly excreted through the liver (about 90%) while the smaller portion is excreted via the kidney (less than 10%). Therefore, both drugs must be very carefully used in patients who have liver problems or history of alcohol abuse (because alcoholics often have liver damage or liver cirrhosis).

Effects on Cognitive Abilities

Generally, both drugs significantly speed up learning, increase brain’s ability to memorize important information more easily, and positively affect concentration and creative problem solving. My experience has shown that Armodafinil exerts a stronger effect on my brain, because I was significantly more effective when I took Armodafinil than Modafinil. When I took Armodafinil, I managed to write more articles (5-6 articles/day) than when I took Modafinil (3-4 articles/day). Normally, my average productivity (without taking these drugs) is just 1-2 articles a day.

But what I also noticed was that when Armodafinil stopped working, I felt more tired than with Modafinil. That is why I slept 2-3 hours longer after using Armodafinil than after using Modafinil.

The FDA states that Modafinil Modalert can affect mood and produce euphoric effects as opposed to Armodafinil, which does not exhibit these effects. This has also proved true in my experience. Modafinil boosted my mood as opposed to Armodafinil, which primarily boosted my creativity and productivity.


The recommended dose of Modafinil in the treatment of excessive sleepiness is 200mg once a day, while the recommended dosage for improving learning, concentration and memory is 100mg once daily.

The recommended dose of Armodafinil in the treatment of excessive sleepiness is somewhat smaller (since it is a chemically purer drug) – 150mg once a day, while doses of 50-100mg once daily are used to improve cognitive functions.

Both drugs should not be administered more than five times a week, especially in high doses because they (although very rarely) may cause physical dependence.


Both drugs can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, which is why it is necessary to use alternative contraceptive methods while taking these medicines.

Modafinil and Armodafinil exhibit a very similar potential for interactions and should not be used concomitantly with narcotic analgesics (Fentanyl, Alfentanil, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone), antidepressants (Citalopram), and medicines used in the HIV treatment.

Side Effects

Although they have similar side effects, it seems that Modafinil Modalert causes adverse reactions more frequently than Armodafinil does. For example, headache affects 34% of patients taking Modafinil compared to 17% of patients taking Armodafinil. Modafinil causes following side effects more frequently than Armodafinil:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Anorexia
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)

Armodafinil may also cause fatigue, upper abdominal pain, contact dermatitis, decreased appetite, disturbance of attention, dyspnea, migraine, while Modafinil does not cause these side effects.

The following adverse effects occur equally often with both drugs:

  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Palpitations
  • Agitation
  • Increased sweating
  • Nervousness

Both drugs can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis – both conditions may be very serious and may have a fatal outcome. However, these adverse reactions occur very rarely (in less than 0.01% of patients).

I did not notice any side effects when I used Modafinil Modalert while I felt tired after using Armodafinil. You should contact your doctor if you notice any adverse effects.

The occurrence of cross-hypersensitivity between these two drugs is possible, as patients who are allergic to Modafinil will probably be allergic to Armodafinil as well, mostly due to a very similar chemical structure of these two drugs.

Price Differences

The difference in price is not significant, and you can find both drugs at the website at a very good price. Thus, 10 tablets of Armodafinil in a dose of 150mg (brand name Waklert) will cost you only $1.81, while 10 tablets of Modafinil in a dose of 100mg (brand name Modalert) will cost you $1.99. Given the small difference in price, you shouldn’t think about money when you’re making decision which one to choose.

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Final Verdict

Keep in mind that each of us will probably react differently to these drugs. That’s why my experience does not have to be reflected to each and every one of you, but I believe that most of you will have similar experience. In any case, either of these two drugs can significantly help you increase productivity and efficiency at your work or college. Be careful about the doses you are taking and how long you are using these medicines, because both drugs can cause habit formation. These nootropics can really make life easier if you are using them wisely.

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