Modafinil and Armodafinil are both wakefulness-promoting drugs, specifically engineered to treat disorders like narcolepsy and sleep apnea. However, they found their way to the mainstream when ‘biohackers’ realized that when used on normal and healthy people, these drugs showed results that are characteristic of smart drugs. Smart drugs are compounds that alter the brain’s chemistry to enhance very specific cognitive abilities. Some of these abilities include attention, perception, memory and problem solving. Although Modafinil and Armodafinil achieve the same goal, they are chemically different and hence have different effects in the body. Read more to learn about Modafinil Vs. Armodafinil.
Modafinil was created in France by Lafon Laboratories in the 1970’s as a substitute for Adrafinil, a drug used to treat sleep disorders. Modafinil was particularly interesting because of its fast acting nature and less likelihood of liver damage, two important properties that are lacking in Adrafinil.
Armodafinil came along in 2007, just as Modafinil’s patent expired. Many people thought that Armodafinil was the result of pharmaceutical evergreening. This is a strategy whereby a pharmaceutical company will try to extend the patents for its products by slightly modifying and re-patenting them, without really improving them. The goal of this article is to give you an understanding of the differences between these two smart drugs. This will enable you to choose which one best suits your needs. You’ll also be able to decide whether Armodafinil is really an improvement over Modafinil.
Modafinil Vs. Armodafinil Chemistry
To understand how Modafinil and Armodafinil differ from each other, we need to understand them at the molecular level. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know the Periodic Table by heart as we will keep everything simple. Modafinil’s molecular structure consists of 2 molecules that are very different from each other. Nevertheless, only one these molecules, the r-enantiomer, has the cognitive enhancing properties that give us superhuman mental abilities. The other molecule, the s-enantiomer is useless in comparison. Armodafinil, on the other hand consists of 2 r-enantiomers, making it theoretically twice as powerful as Modafinil.
Now, you may be thinking that since Armodafinil contains all the brain-boosting properties, it should always be your first choice. Well, it’s not so simple. Due to their different molecular structures, these two drugs have very varying effects on different people. Some report feeling euphoria with 100 mg of Modafinil but feeling absolutely nothing with 300mg of Armodafinil (theoretically equivalent to 600mg of Modafinil).
Modafinil and Armodafinil Experience
Ultimately, both Modafinil and Armodafinil improve energy levels and boost focus and alertness. However, Armodafinil acts faster than Modafinil in most cases. Moreover, because of its superior concentration of r-enantiomers, Armodafinil is known to last much longer than Modafinil.
A standard dosage of Modafinil won’t give you any kind of rush but you’ll feel that your brain is ‘firing’. The effect lasts for about 6 hours, during which time you will feel more in control of your focus. Many Modafinil users also report experiencing an intense drive to accomplish things without stopping. Modafinil also improves fluidity of thought and increases fluency.
The Armodafinil effect feels like a powerful dose of caffeine but without the jitters or nervousness. It typically lasts for 8 hours and just like Modafinil, you will feel an elevated level of general alertness but you will be able to control when you want to break from work.
Modafinil Vs. Armodafinil Dosage Recommendations
The standard dose for Modafinil is 200mg. However, if you are not suffering from sleep disorders, it’s better to try 100mg and increase the dose if necessary. We have a whole article about the dosage recommendation for Modafinil here. Since Armodafinil is twice as potent as its predecessor, its standard dose is 100mg but 150mg is a more common dosage.
Modafinil Vs. Armodafinil Cost
Please check out our article on the cost of Modafinil.
Modafinil Vs. Armodafinil Side Effects
One of the reasons why Modafinil and Armodafinil are considered to be the holy grail of nootropics is because of an interesting lack of serious side effects. However, although very few people experience side effects, they do exist and the most common one is headache. This arises due to Choline depletion and can be remedied by supplementing with a Choline source.
Other side effects include dizziness, gas, constipation, heartburn, nosebleed, nausea and difficulty sleeping. More serious side effects can occur in very rare cases, including itching, blisters, depression, mouth sore, rash and chest pain. In case of any severe side effects, it is of utmost importance that you consult your doctor before continuing your usage of these drugs. In fact, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor before using them.