Modafinil and Armodafinil are like Siamese twins. They work in almost similar ways, feel almost the same, and are not too different in chemical structure either. But whenever Armodafinil vs Modafinil conversations happen, quite a few facts stand out.
And today, we would like to bring you an honest discussion on the Provigil and Nuvigil debate. Hopefully, the following comparison will help you make up your mind on which one of the two you need to add to your routine.
- Modafinil – An Overview
- Armodafinil – An Overview
- Similarities in the Armodafinil vs Modafinil
- The Key Differences
Modafinil – An Overview
Modafinil, also Provigil, is a renowned wakefulness-promoter which is quite different from amphetamine but is medically approved for narcolepsy treatment. Unlike amphetamine drugs e.g. Adderall, modafinil only appears to activate a few regions of the brain rather than the entire brain.
Its wakefulness-promoting effects and an impeccable safety score make it a safer long-term option for most people. Note that, the smart-drug works by stopping dopamine re-uptake thereby leading to increments in dopamine levels without forcing the brain to produce more of it.
That alone lowers its risk of dependence.
The fact that it has a low risk of dependence is probably why it’s quite popular among recreational users who seek to benefit from its potent effects.
Its benefits include:
- Feelings of enhanced brain-power
- Enhanced ability to focus throughout the day
- Better cognitive functions in tackling complex tasks
- Good mood even when in the thick of things
- Clean energy with no weird side effects
- Stimulant-like benefits (though it’s not a stimulant)
Of course, the effects and results of using Modafinil may vary from one person to the next. That boils down to one’s body chemistry, genes among others.
But generally, Moda is wildly popular because compared to amphetamine, it has a cleaner bill of health. Plus, even local authorities favor it over Adderall and other potentially addictive stimulants.
Armodafinil – An Overview
Armodafinil is what’s commercially known as Nuvigil within the US. It’s Modafinil’s younger brother. The compound was developed by a company called Cephalon Inc and approved by the FDA in 2007.
The white to off-white, crystalline powder is slightly soluble in water and normally administered orally. In most cases, Armodafinil pills contain 50mg, 150mg or 250mg.
Worth noting is that the name Armodafinil was coined from the name R-Modafinil. The name R-Modafinil insinuates that this wakefulness-promoter is entirely made up of R-enantiomer. On the other hand, Modafinil comprises S-enantiomers along with R-enantiomers.
The benefits of Armodafinil are exactly similar to the ones commonly associated with its elder brother Modafinil. Physicians prescribe it for:
- Shift work sleep disorder
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Jet lag syndrome (also known as time-zone change syndrome)
Just like Moda, Armodafinil is quite popular among recreational users. That said, owing to Nuvigil’s prohibitive cost, people prefer Waklert which is a generic version of it.
Note that, Cephalon Inc.'s patent for Nuvigil ended in 2015 allowing other pharmaceutical companies to create generic versions of the drug. Waklert is created by Sun Pharmaceutical, a popular pharmaceutical company based in India.
Similarities in the Armodafinil vs Modafinil
There are numerous commonalities shared by these nootropic compounds. And it’s, therefore, not surprising that the two are used for exactly similar roles. In fact, you have to dig really dip to fully understand why the two are sold as two different products.
1. Similar Effects
The two work by activating specific regions of the brain instead of revving up the entire brain. Plus, because of their ability to block dopamine reuptake and organically boosting dopamine concentration in the brain, they indirectly enhance feel-good-effects with minimal risk of dependency.
Both smart-drugs are absorbed quite fast once in the digestive tract. In fact, some people report experiencing the effects within the first 1 hour of using either one of them. The fastest effects are felt when these noots are taken on an empty tummy, at least 30 minutes before feeding.
Eating food while taking either Armodafinil or Modafinil may slow down the onset of their effects.
3. Same Half-Life
The R-enantiomer, in both brain-pills, has a documented shelf-life of 10 hours. That explains why a single dose of either is typically enough to last you throughout the day. Plus, that should explain why it's unwise to take either of them just a few hours before bedtime.
4. FDA Categorization
Both are schedule IV controlled substances according to the FDA. According to the DEA, Schedule IV compounds have a low potential risk of abuse. The FDA notes that none of these two smart-drugs lead to an increase in dopamine release which further lowers their risk of dependence when used responsibly.
That said, Moda was classified as reinforcing following a self-administration test done in monkeys that had previously been trained on self-administration of cocaine.
So, much as the two are safe, you might want to stay away from them if you have had a history of cocaine or methylphenidate abuse.
5. Effectiveness in Prescription
Both are equally effective in the treatment of the conditions they’re commonly prescribed for. A past randomized clinical trial noted high levels of efficiency in the management of shift work sleep disorder with modafinil scoring 74.29% and armodafinil 72.12%.
The minor difference in scores is not statistically significant. And, therefore, the study concluded that there was no difference in efficacy and safety levels in both armodafinil and modafinil.
Most importantly, Nuvigil and Provigil provide exactly similar cognitive-enhancing benefits. Some of the most commonly reported ones by different users include:
- Fatigue-free work experience
- Extreme focus in demanding situations
- Enhancing wakefulness while trans-nighting
- Enhanced mood
- More energy and productivity
- Longer attention span
The good news is that if you happen to experience any side effects with these noots, chances are that they’ll be minor ones. Ones worth keeping in mind include:
- Nausea (rare)
- Dry Mouth (rare)
- Dizziness (rare)
- Diarrhea (rare)
To this end, Armodafinil and Modafinil come out as highly similar drugs with very few differences. Talking about the differences, it’s now time to focus on them. The following section can help you decide which one might be better for you.
The Key Differences
Moda was created in the 70s and offered as an experimental drug in France. Close to 4 decades later, someone figured out that they could create a variant of it and that led to the production of R-Modafinil (armodafinil as we all know it). So, is the new kid on the block any better than the original formula? It’s time to find out in this Modafinil vs Armodafinil duel.
1. The Arrangement of Atoms (Stereochemistry)
Many pills currently used in cognitive-enhancing tasks are either categorized as single enantiomers (enantiopure) or a mixture of enantiomers (racemates).
What are those? You might be wondering.
Simply put, Modafinil (a racemate) has a much more complex structure than Armodafinil (an enantiopure).
Modafinil brings together two components in its atoms i.e. r-enantiomer and s-enantiomer. Armodafinil, on the other hand, solely contains r-enantiomers.
It’s, therefore safe to say that Nuvigil is simply a spin-off of Provigil.
2. Levels of Concentration in the Blood
We’ve already mentioned that the two have similar half-life data. However, since they have significantly different pharmacokinetic profiles (i.e. structure), they tend to behave slightly differently throughout their half-lives.
Scientists so far report that while the concentration of Armodafinil in the blood declines in a monophasic manner, that of modafinil declines in a biphasic manner.
In biphasic situations, the rates of concentration decline tend to be higher at earlier points of the day (assuming the pills are taken early in the morning) but slow down at later times.
Monophasic situations on the other hand are characterized by gentle but steady declines throughout the day. So, the curve is smoother in this case.
3. The Feelings
Modafinil hits you harder at the beginning giving you a bit of an oomph which you might not experience with Armodafinil. However, the surge of energy after taking Moda often causes jitters among first-time users.
On the contrary, Armodafinil which is gentler off-the-blocks provides stable results that last throughout the day with no significant surges or declines changes until the end of half-life.
The reason for this is that Moda contains r-enantiomers and s-enantiomers. S-enantiomers have a half-life of 2 hours. So, within the first two hours of taking Moda, you experience the cognitive enhancing-benefits of both isomers.
2 hours later, the s-enantiomers deplete and you’re left with nothing but r-enantiomers which have a half-life of 10 hours.
Armodafinil, on the other hand, is purely made up of re-enantiomers. So, you won’t experience the extra kick brought about by s-enantiomers if you opt for it.
4. Period of Efficacy
When two similar dosages of the two noots are given in the morning, by afternoon, the levels of armodafinil will be significantly higher.
As we told you earlier, the difference here is due to the monophasic vs biphasic declines whereby biphasic declines lead to faster depletion earlier in the day.
Therefore, early morning sleepiness or sluggishness might be best dealt with Modafinil but afternoon sleepiness symptoms are best controlled with Armodafinil.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for the best results from Modafinil in the afternoon hours, it’s generally recommended to split the dose.
For instance, some people report great success in taking 100mg in the morning and another 100mg at around 1 pm.
Most biohackers report no differences between the two in the management of afternoon sleepiness. However, if you have a particular problem with that, you probably might have better luck with R-Modafinil.
Since it’s a purer version of Moda, Armodafinil is typically recommended in smaller dosages. These start from as low as 50mg to as high as 250mg. On the other hand, Modafinil is recommended from dosages as low as 100mg to as high as 400mg.
Doctors generally prescribe 150mg of Armodafinil often equating it to 200mg Modafinil.
Please also note that Modafinil comes in doses of 100mg and 200mg.
For optimal effects, the drugs are taken in the fasting mode (after long hours without eating). Ideally, they should be taken approximately 1 hour before embarking on a work shift.
250mg and 400mg are the maximum recommended dosages for R-Modafinil and Modafinil respectively. There are no significant gains to be made by exceeding these dosages.
The average price of Modafinil in US-based pharmaceutical stores is $1878 for 30 tablets of 200mg. That’s according to the latest data from Drugs.com.
Likewise, the same source indicates the price of Armodafinil within US-based stores such as CVS, Walmart, Target, and Walgreens as $893 for 30 tablets of 150mg.
As you can see, those prices are quite high. Luckily, the patents for both drugs have since elapsed giving way for other pharmaceutical companies to create generic versions of the originals.
Talking about the generics, we’d vouch for Walklert (Generic of Armodafinil) and Modalert (Generic of Modafinil). Both are available from legitimate online vendors such as:
This is a leading supplier to Canada and USA. They ship the product in discrete packaging and provide a money-back guarantee. Above all, they have a pretty good reputation out there.
Their 150mg Armodafinil and 200mg Modafinil will cost you $0.89 per pill.
This company primarily focuses on shipping to the American market. They’ve got great products and above all provide you with an opportunity to try out 20 tabs of your favorite noots for free (exclusive of shipping fees).
Both generic versions of Provigil (200mg) and Nuvigil (150mg) will set you back $0.89 per pill.
NeoModafinil is yet another vendor with an outstanding track record. The company has a great customer support team and only ships pharmaceutical-grade products. They also do provide a money-back guarantee.
Their 200mg Armodafinil costs $0.92 per pill while Modafinil goes for $0.87 per pill.
The sibling rivalry pitting Armodafinil vs Modafinil ends in a draw. Both are quite effective at boosting cognition. However, some people respond slightly differently to each one of them.
We'd suggest trying both to see which one works best for you. Luckily, legitimate online vendors enable you to order small samples.
You might want to test-drive the two first. They’re powerful, effective, and safe. It’s just a matter of finding the one your body likes best.
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I’m Daniel. Just an average guy trying to share his love for nootropics, biohacking, and life optimization. Follow me on my journey to learning how I use nootropics on a daily basis.