Adrafinil Dosage: What to Know Before You Get Started

A powerful nootropic that promotes wakefulness, adrafinil is one of the most popular drugs on the market for those looking to get an edge and maximize the amount of time that they are awake and productive each day.

Compared to other stimulants, adrafinil is a much safer option that presents far fewer side effects. Even so, it’s critical that you understand this powerful drug fully before you begin adding it to your regimen. While it’s regarded as safer than many alternatives, there are still some caveats to be aware of. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at everything you need to know about adrafinil and adrafinil dosage.

What is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a non-amphetamine psychostimulant that is designed to keep you alert and promote wakefulness. Developed in France in 1974, adrafinil was stumbled upon by accident. French scientists tasked with developing new analgesics found that adrafinil produced psychostimulant-like effects in animal testing.

Shortly after that, the scientists began testing modafinil, which proved even more effective than adrafinil at a lower dosage. Realizing that these new compounds could prove to be an effective treatment for degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s or Dementia, further research was conducted, and both adrafinil and modafinil made it to market.

While modafinil is available with a prescription in most parts of the world, adrafinil is an unscheduled substance which can be purchased over-the-counter in most parts of the world, including the United States, the UK, and Canada.

Both drugs have been used to treat a variety of issues, including dementia and narcolepsy, and they also are a favorite of nootropics users who are looking to gain an edge in their everyday lives.

As a psychostimulant, adrafinil helps keep you awake, alert, and more capable of being productive. Most importantly, since it’s not amphetamine-based, it doesn’t carry nearly as many side effects of other drugs which provide similar benefits.

How does Adrafinil work?

Adrafinil in its original form, is useless to us, but it’s a precursor to modafinil. As a precursor, adrafinil converts to another compound in the liver once it’s ingested. In this case, it becomes modafinil. Once converted to modafinil, it’s ready for use.

Much of the original dose of adrafinil is lost in the conversion process, leaving whatever is left to be used as modafinil. This fact helps illuminate why modafinil became the favored version, since it’s immediately bioavailable, and doesn’t require conversion by the liver. But, since adrafinil is so much easier for most people to obtain, it’s become the more popular version within the nootropic community.

Once absorbed, adrafinil quickly converts to modafinil within about an hour. While it has a very short half-life, once converted to modafinil, the half-life becomes 12-15 hours. For this reason, it’s best to take adrafinil in the morning, as opposed to later in the day.

Researchers have suggested that modafinil increases serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine while also increasing histamine release, increasing glutamate, and reducing GABA. These factors are responsible for the effects of adrafinil, which not only helps users feel more alert and awake while also affecting alertness, focus, and reaction time.

Why do people take Adrafinil?

You may be thinking, “why don’t people just take modafinil instead of adrafinil if it’s more effective?” The answer to that lies in how the two drugs are scheduled.

In most countries, modafinil is classified as a prescription drug. Depending on the country, it may be used to treat things like narcolepsy, dementia, or other diseases. While most doctors would agree that adrafinil does provide nootropic benefits, those benefits aren’t recognized as cause for a prescription. So, for the nootropic community, modafinil is rarely an option.

Meanwhile, adrafinil is largely unclassified in most parts of the world. In France, it was available by prescription until the producer discontinued the drug in 2011. As an unscheduled substance, adrafinil is available at many online retailers.

So, while adrafinil may not be as effective as modafinil, you can still realize the benefits of modafinil by taking adrafinil.

Adrafinil benefits

From its use as a treatment for certain diseases and illnesses to its usage as a nootropic, there are a variety of reasons to consider adrafinil, and a large body of research suggests that adrafinil or modafinil have many benefits that we’re only beginning to understand. While virtually all the research about these two drugs centers around modafinil, it’s still applicable to adrafinil as well.

The main draw of adrafinil is it’s stimulating effect that helps keep you alert and focused. In studies of sleep-deprived individuals, modafinil seemed to dramatically increase the reaction time and short-term memory of the test group, suggesting that when you’re crashing, adrafinil may be able to keep you focused and effective.

As an age-related cognitive decline treatment, modafinil seemed to help a large test group of older individuals complete basic daily tasks more easily compared to the control group. Other studies have suggested that modafinil assists in memory formation and recall and exhibits a neuroprotective effect as well.

Adrafinil may even be able to help fight the effects of depression. Compared with a test group that was provided antidepressants, the modafinil group found that their symptoms of depression were reduced. The same held true for the group that took antidepressants, although that group experienced many more side effects than the modafinil group.

Adrafinil dosage

Depending on the user, there is a variance in adrafinil dosage. Reddit users suggest a dosage of 200-600mg per day, with 1,200 being the absolute highest dose. The adrafinil maximum dose for most people is 900mg, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a benefit to increasing your dosage beyond that. In fact, you’re much more likely to experience side effects with a dosage that high.

Adrafinil tablets and capsules are most commonly available in 150mg, 300mg, and 600mg sizes. Powdered adrafinil is also available, and for an adrafinil powder dosage, users typically weigh out the proper dosage into capsules. It’s a bit of extra work, but making your own capsules is a great way to save money.

Preliminary research suggests that peak adrafinil levels are reached in the blood about an hour after a dose is administered. After two hours, the peak effects of the drug can be felt. While the peak effects of modafinil last for around 4-6 hours, the long half-life of modafinil means that after-effects can be felt for as long as another six hours.

Considering that, most users take their dosage immediately in the morning, to avoid any complications with sleeping when it’s time for bed.

One exceptionally important clarification to make about an adrafinil dosage compared to modafinil is that since modafinil is utilized by the body quicker and more effectively, much smaller doses are necessary. For example, Provigil, which is the prescription name for modafinil in the United States, is available in 100 and 200mg tablets. The recommended daily dose is 200mg.

Dosage notes for beginners

Whether you’re taking adrafinil, or any nootropic, as a new user, you should be especially vigilant and exercise caution with any new drug you’re taking. You have plenty of time to decide if adrafinil is right for you, so start with a dose on the lowest end of the spectrum and ramp up from there.

For most beginners, a dose of 200-300mg per day is ideal. From there, you can ramp up the dosage until you’ve reached the desired effect.

Adrafinil side effects

One of the many reasons why adrafinil and modafinil are popular is that they provide the desired effect of other psychostimulants with far fewer side effects than drugs like Ritalin or Adderall. Adrafinil exhibits low potential for addiction, and it’s been well-tolerated in the majority of studies.

While side effects are usually mild or non-existent, some users report adrafinil side effects which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin reactions
  • Nausea

The most common side effect is difficulty sleeping, which can usually be remedied by taking your dosage earlier in the day. Side effects are more common at higher doses, and they’re usually an indication that you’re taking too high of a dose.

While there have been virtually no reported drug interactions, one study participant with high blood pressure experienced raised blood pressure while taking modafinil.

It’s important to note that unlike modafinil, which is immediately available for use by the body, the conversion of adrafinil to modafinil may raise liver enzymes, which research suggests may contribute to liver disease. For this reason, you should avoid taking adrafinil daily, or for prolonged periods.

For this reason, most adrafinil users consider the drug an “ace in the hole” so to speak. When they need an extra push to get through a particularly difficult day, or they know they need to perform at their highest level, that’s when they reach for a dose of adrafinil.

Conclusion

Perhaps the most effective readily available nootropic stimulant on the market, adrafinil can be a great way to give yourself an edge, and help you reach your true potential.

When taking adrafinil or modafinil, be sure to always follow dosage guidelines, and discontinue use if you’re experiencing any adverse side effects.