Is Armodafinil better than Modafinil? A question that many smart drug users would consider a head scratcher. But there isnt much difference because both drugs have been approved by the FDA to treat daytime sleeping and promote wakefulness. In that sense, they are both considered eugeroic drugs. The use of both has evolved from treating narcolepsy and other sleep-related disorders to performance enhancement.

The drugs have been used to boost brain power, enhance energy and productivity. But many Nootropic users may not be sure what sort of drug is best suited to their needs. It is important to understand that Modafinil was first developed and tested in France by Lafon and approved for prescription in 1994.With a little modification and enhancement, Armodafinil came into existence in 2007.

It is widely considered an enantiomer of Modafinil because it has a modified chemical structure. I understand why many smart drugs users need more than a simple yes or no when choosing between the two drugs. Nootropic users want to know which drug has less harmful effects, the one that is cheaper and more efficient for performance enhancement.

These are some of the questions that many would be grappling with when selecting the ideal smart drug. Despite the significant similarities that these drugs share they also have some differences that you need to know about; experiences and feelings that may not be captured in words.

Modafinil has grown in popularity over the years especially with professionals, athletes, and students in search of enhanced performance and productivity. But little is known about the hotter cousin, Armodafinil that does almost the same job.

Similarities of both drugs

Armodafinil and Modafinil are very similar drugs that are both used to promote wakefulness and treatment of sleep related disorders. They are called eugeroic drugs because they promote wakefulness and they are less harmful compared to other psychostimulants that are highly addictive. They are both approved by the FDA.

Modafinil (Modalert) and Armodafinil (Waklert) are increasingly used as performance enhancement supplements by athletes and students. They have common side effects such as insomnia, nausea, headaches, and nervousness. Modafinil and Armodafinil are both considered as schedule IV in the United States which means that they have a low potential for abuse; one can have their prescriptions refilled up to 5 times in six months.

None of the drugs have any noticeable withdrawal symptoms and if there are any they dont last long. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include sleepiness and fatigue. Both drugs are manufactured in tablet form, are to be taken orally. They both have a little potential for abuse when someone uses them as prescribed. However, abuse may happen if someone begins to self-prescribe or uses them to attain a medical high.’ Armodafinil was developed to be a superior successor to Modafinil, but no hard evidence suggests that is certainly the case. Preference for both drugs tends to vary from personal experiences and individual variations. So what is the difference?

The most important difference that sets the two drugs apart is their chemical structure. Modafinil is a racemic compound which means that it contains both R and the S enantiomer. Also, known as the left-handed and the right-handed enantiomers. It is like having a left and right hand that tends to have very different reactions. The enantiomers are very similar, but they have very different functions.

The R enantiomers are considered the most useful and they help in stimulating the cognitive functions while the S enantiomers are much less useful. Armodafinil is an enhanced version of Modafinil because it contains only the useful and active enantiomer (R).

Thus, it is considered a more purified and pointed in its use because it only contains the most potent enantiomer. For instance, the standard dosage of Modafinil required is about 200mg, but you only need 150mg of Armodafinil to achieve the same results of its predecessor.

Is Armodafinil better than Modafinil / Modalert for cognitive enhancement? You must have already come to that conclusion. Although it is not always that black and white. It isnt as easy to choose between the two as it sounds because the drugs tend to react differently.

These wonder drugs work differently from one person to another. Some reviews state that Modafinil is the best for mood enhancement, confidence and drive boosting while Armodafinil use may lead to nervousness and anxiety. But Modafinil has also been accused of having same effects on the user.

So, this should not be taken as a definitive guide to help you when choosing between the two drugs. The route to take is to consult a licensed health physician before deciding whether to take Modafinil or Armodafinil. You may want to have both Modafinil and Armodafinil so that you can have a first-hand experience the effects of the two drugs

Another difference is that users of Armodafinil will not experience a change in sleep patterns. You will still go to bed and wake up at regular times, but the users of Modafinil find it hard to sleep 5-10 hours after taking the drug. While some consider this a positive thing, others think it is an adverse effect especially for those who want to stay awake.

The period of duration is another stark difference between these two drugs. The effects of Armodafinil lasts 2 hours more because of the R-enantiomer. The S-enantiomer found in the Modafinil takes a much shorter timer. This means that the Armodafinil has the long-lasting lifespan, more efficient and potent compared to Modafinil.

Unlike Armodafinil, Modafinil is sold as a generic drug while the generic version of Armodafinil is still unavailable. Packaging is another difference between the two drugs; Armodafinil is available in doses of 50 mg, 200 mg, and 250 mg while Modafinil is available as 100/200mg. There are some differences in the onset of action; while it takes 2 hours for Armodafinil, it might take 2-4 hours for Modafinil to take effect.

Side effects of both drugs

You must have heard the saying, there is no biological free lunch.’ That is certainly the case with all drugs. You should expect some effects, however, mild they might be if you use any drugs more so if they are as strong as most wakefulness agents tend to be. Armodafinil and Modafinil share common side effects such as headaches, nausea, insomnia, and nervousness.

Some people think that ingesting a single R enantiomer should have fewer side effects compared to swallowing both the S and the R enantiomers found in the Modafinil drug, but the strength of the effects vary from one person to another. The side effects of the Armodafinil are expected to last longer because the effect of the drug also takes much more duration than Modafinil.

Furthermore, lower doses of the Armodafinil might have the more much more severe impact than a bigger dosage of Modafinil because the drug is much more potent and some cases, there might be a severe reaction of the skin also known as the Stevens-Johnson syndrome.


However, it is important that there are not many significant differences as it relates to the usage of both drugs. The severity of side effects might be caused by differences in individual physiology and dosage of the drug that one has ingested.

Efficacy of both drugs

Some people speculate that Armodafinil drug is more potent compared to Modafinil because it has a single R enantiomer compared to the Modafinil that has both R and S enantiomers. Some say it is as twice as potent but how true that remains to be seen. In my view, it all comes to personal preferences and individuals experience with the drug.

Both drugs have a therapeutic ceiling meaning beyond a given recommended dosage there can be no more effect. The therapeutic limit for Modafinil is 200 mg per day while that of Armodafinil is thought to be about 150mg in a day. The effects of Armodafinil sets in in about 2 hours after taking the drug while the onset of effects peaks at 2- 4 hours for Modafinil.

Modafinil helps to normalize sleep patterns for people who have sleep-related disorders such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Armodafinil has the same effects as Modafinil, but the only difference is that it doesnt disrupt sleep patterns meaning that you can go to bed and wake up at the regular time.

The duration for the onset of effect is perhaps the clearest indication that Armodafinil might be more potent. But asking about the potency of the drug may not give you a complete picture because there are those who prefer a drug for something else much more important; the experience of using a smart drug. People have different experiences with drugs based on the effects that they have on them. With that in mind, there arent many significant discrepancies in the effects and effectiveness of both drugs.


Given that the two have similar effects, it is the matter of trying the two to find the one that works best for you. If all of them work just fine for you, then it may have to come down to price.


  1. Wittkampf LC, Arends J, Timmerman L, Lancel M. A review of modafinil and armodafinil as add-on therapy in antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012
  2. Golicki D, Bala MM, Niewada M, Wierzbicka A. Modafinil for narcolepsy: systematic review and meta-analysis. Med Sci Monit. 2010
  3. Turner C, Belyavin A, Nicholson A. Duration of activity and mode of action of modafinil: Studies on sleep and wakefulness in humans. J Psychopharmacol. 2013
  4. Wisor J. Modafinil as a catecholaminergic agent: empirical evidence and unanswered questions. Front Neurol. 2013
  5. Aagaard L, Hansen EH. Adverse drug reaction labelling for atomoxetine, methylphenidate and modafinil: comparison of product information for oral formulations in Australia, Denmark and the United States. Curr Drug Saf. 2013
  6. Pierard C, Liscia P, Chauveau F, Coutan M, Corio M, Krazem A, Beracochea D. Differential effects of total sleep deprivation on contextual and spatial memory: modulatory effects of modafinil. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011
  7. Murphy HM, Ekstrand D, Tarchick M, Wideman CH. Modafinil as a cognitive enhancer of spatial working memory in rats. Physiol Behav. 2015
  8. Joo EY, Hong SB, Kim HJ, Lim YH, Koo DL, Ji KH, Tae WS. The effect of modafinil on cortical excitability in patients with narcolepsy: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Sleep Med. 2010
  9. Schwartz JR, Roth T, Drake C. Armodafinil in the treatment of sleep/wake disorders. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010
  10. Gasior M, Freeman J, Zammit G, Donnelly P, Gao J, Ferreira-Cornwell MC, Roth T. Maintenance of wakefulness with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, compared with placebo and armodafinil in healthy adult males undergoing acute sleep loss. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014
  11. Sukhal S, Khalid M, Tulaimat A. Effect of Wakefulness-promoting Agents on Sleepiness in Patients with Sleep Apnea Treated with CPAP: A Meta-analysis. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015
  12. Krystal AD, Harsh JR, Yang R, Rippon GA, Lankford DA. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of armodafinil for excessive sleepiness in patients with treated obstructive sleep apnea and comorbid depression. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010
  13. Lankford DA. Armodafinil: a new treatment for excessive sleepiness. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2008
  14. Lower EE, Malhotra A, Surdulescu V, Baughman RP. Armodafinil for sarcoidosis-associated fatigue: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2013
  15. Harsh JR, Hayduk R, Rosenberg R, Wesnes KA, Walsh JK, Arora S, Niebler GE, Roth T. The efficacy and safety of armodafinil as treatment for adults with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006






Review Date
Reviewed Item
Modalert vs Waklert
Author Rating