One of the most distinguished characteristics of life in the 21st century is that it comes packed with stress and anxiety, leading to a massive toll on the mental and physical health of many people.
Stress and anxiety are two of the leading causes of sleep disorders, such as insomnia. People who don’t get an adequate, peaceful night’s sleep may suffer from various health issues, including daytime sleepiness, lack of energy, reduced focus and attention, and others.
The best, long-term solution to such problems would be making changes and improvements to your lifestyle. That’s not the topic of this article, because here I’d like to focus on one specific quick fix that many people are using or interested in using, and that is a drug called adrafinil.
What is Adrafinil?
Adrafinil is a prodrug for modafinil, i.e. it gets metabolized in the liver into modafinil. The latter is the only known active metabolite of adrafinil and it is responsible for all the medicinal properties of the drug.
The main use of adrafinil is to improve vigilance and alertness, especially for old people suffering from sleep disorders. Adrafinil was approved as a prescription treatment in France and some other countries, and it was available under the brand name Olmifon.
It was later found that modafinil is more potent than adrafinil, so in 2011 Olmifon (brand name adrafinil) was officially discontinued in favor of modafinil, which is now available worldwide as a prescription drug sold under different brand names.
But even after the plug was pulled on the brand version of adrafinil, many generic manufacturers continued to produce and sell adrafinil, and today it is widely used off-label as a cognitive enhancer or nootropic.
Mechanism of Action
Adrafinil is a weak non-amphetamine-based psychostimulant. It stimulates the release and increases the levels of certain neurotransmitters that are associated with wakefulness, alertness and arousal.
Adrafinil’s active metabolite, modafinil, has been found to act as an atypical dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Although various mechanisms of action have been examined, the exact mechanism of action of both adrafinil and modafinil still remains to be determined.
Who Can Benefit From Adrafinil?
This drug was originally intended for patients suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy. It was notably more effective for old people suffering from low energy or fatigue during the day due to sleep problems.
Many healthy individuals use this drug to boost vigilance, focus and energy. It is also believed to enhance mood and cognitive functions, although there is no clinical evidence to back this up.
Where to Buy Adrafinil?
Adrafinil is an unscheduled substance in the U.S. and it is not approved by the FDA. It is not available at most local drug stores, but there are many reliable places on the internet that sell adrafinil in capsule and powder form.
One important thing you should check before buying adrafinil from an online store is to make sure that they do third-party testing of the product to verify its purity. Since most manufacturers source their materials from China, this is a very important measure, and most nootropics vendors perform lab tests on all their raw materials before processing and packaging the final product.
The following are three top-grade vendors that offer adrafinil as well as several other nootropic supplements:
How to Take Adrafinil?
The standard dose is 300mg — up to three times a day. You can either purchase adrafinil in powder form or as capsules, and take it with a glass of water or any other drink. The powder has a bitter taste, so mixing it with a citrus drink can help.
For best results, adrafinil should be taken in the morning, preferably before breakfast. Taking it in the afternoon or later may cause insomnia for some people, so be careful about that.
It is better to restrict your usage to 3 days or less per week to avoid developing tolerance to the drug, although it is not known to cause tolerance.
Does Adrafinil Have Health Risks?
Adrafinil is generally well tolerated and does not cause any significant side effects if used moderately.
Some of the possible side effects include: headache, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, excitement, euphoria, insomnia.
It is not recommended to consume more than 1,200mg in a single day, and most users shouldn’t need that high of a dose to notice positive results.
Since adrafinil is metabolized in the liver, it does cause elevation in liver enzymes. You should avoid taking it with alcohol or other drugs that cause liver enzymes to go higher.
There haven’t been any clinical studies to evaluate the long-term safety of adrafinil, so it is better not to take it for a prolonged period of time, at least not without consulting with a doctor first.
Conclusion: Is Adrafinil Worth Buying?
Adrafinil is a serious drug that affects the way your central nervous system, especially the brain, works. It is intended for people who suffer from sleep-wake problems, and there is little evidence that it helps healthy individuals.
Although this drug can be bought over the counter and it does not normally lead to abuse or dependence, it is advised that you be very careful when using any unapproved drug for off-label purposes.
Yes, adrafinil can temporarily improve vigilance and energy, but it may not be effective for everyone. If you are looking for a short-term quick fix, then you may give this drug a try, but it is probably not a healthy long-term solution as it may take a toll on your liver and brain.