What Is Adrafinil

Pills for Brains - ModNerdThe Adrafinil nootropic is in the eugeroic category of drugs. It is a stimulant categorised as a “Wakefulness promoting agent”. In other words adrafinil is a drug which has the effect of creating long lasting mental arousal. Adrafinil is the generic name for the Olmifon brand. Generics and brands have the same chemical structure. The main difference between Generic and Brand is place of manufacture. Lafon Labs created Adrafinil in the 1970’s and usage quickly spread to European countries. In today’s world Adrafinil is mostly sold in the United States due to it’s legal status. Adrafinil can be legally purchased in the United States without the need for a valid prescription which can’t be said for most stimulants.

Unlike Modafinil Adrafinil commonly comes in powder form, making it more difficult to dose measured quantities. Adrafinil also comes in pill form or it can be manually pressed into consumable pills by customers who have a special device. In all forms Adrafinil is consumed orally by ingestion.

Adrafinil is converted to Modafinil by the liver, this is why Adrafinil is called a prodrug of Modafinil. It’s consumption leads to increased quantities of Modafinil in blood. Because Adrafinil is a prodrug it takes a longer for the stimulant effects to happen.

In comparing Modafinil and Adrafinil it should be understood that the mechanism of action of Adrafinil along with potential side effects are not that well understood, as such caution is advised when dosing Adrafinil. As Adrafinil is an intermediary drug side-effects of the desired metabolites (in this case modafinil) can be greater than that of a direct non-prodrug dose. This problem is common among prodrugs. In addition due to it’s prodrug status Adrafinil causes a larger workload on the liver than modafinil and it is generally advised not to take Adrafinil daily, or continuously for three months unless your liver enzyme levels are being monitored by a medical professional.

Who takes Adrafinil


Adrafinil is prescribed to people with excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, narcolepsy and sometimes ADHD. It’s stimulating properties are useful in overcoming the general fatigue and lethargy in people suffering from various disorders. Adrafinil is an effective medication for sleep-related medical conditions because of its long lasting yet subtle effects.

Mind Enhancers

There is a large body of people using Adrafinil for self enhancement rather than for legitimate medical reasons. Such people experience cognitive benefits from physiological stimulation. Adrafinil has proven to be potent in creating higher mental arousal and effective in improving cognition aswell as general memory.

Where Adrafinil comes from

Cephalon previously manufactured Adrafinil under the brand name Olmifon but then abruptly discontinued the drug. The reason production stopped was because the France-FDA-Equivalent AFSSAPS informed Cephalon that they were withdrawing permission to market Adrafinil due to lack of effectiveness in treating the conditions it purports to treat. AFSSAPS said twice in their publication that insufficient clinical data was provided by the labratory (Cephalon).  Here is an extract from the AFSSAPS publication explaining Adrafinils discontinuation:

French FDA withdrawing support for Adrafinil

A review of clinical study results provided by the laboratory does not allow the conclusion on the benefit of adrafinil in disorders of arousal and alertness in the elderly. Furthermore, given the known side effects of this drug, the AMM Commission considers that the benefit / risk adrafinil is unfavorable and therefore proposes a withdrawal of the marketing authorization.


Reassessment of Adrafinil’s benefits and risks

Opinion of the Committee of 25 February 2004 – Revaluation
The actual benefit is insufficient in the therapeutic indication to justify support.

4.4. Interest in terms of public health
Given a poorly established symptomatic efficacy, lack of proof of efficacy
in terms of reduction of morbidity and no impact in terms of gain
autonomy for the elderly, adrafinil (Olmifon) has no interest in
terms of public health. – National Observatory of prescriptions and consumption of drugs. AFSSAPS, September 1999.

4.5. Recommendation of the Committee on transparency
The actual benefit of this product is insufficient in the indications of the MA.

Source: http://www.has-sante.fr/portail/upload/docs/application/pdf/ct032785.pdf


However because of its incredibly simple structure, it is easy to manufacture without complex equipment or labratory processes. Many home-grown labs around the world are producing Adrafinil in large quantities for consumer sale. As a result there is a large supply of Adrafinil making it relatively cheap.

Adrafinil’s long-winded chemical name is Benzhydrylsulphinyl-acetohydroxamic Acid. It’s synthesis is as follows:

1. Ethyl Benzhydryl-thioacetate 10.8 g (0.0378 mol) in 40 ml methanol
2. Hydroxylamine hydrochloride 5.25 g (0.0756 mol) in 40 ml methanol
3. Potassium Hydroxide pellets 7.3 g (0.0134 mol) in 40 ml methanol

Breakdown of Adrafinil into Modafinil - ModNerd

Infographic depicting the Metabolism of Adrafinil into Modafinil by the Liver – ModNerd


Regardless of form (powder, pill) the recommended daily dosage remains the same. It is not advised to exceed more than 300mg of daily. For simple fatigue 150-200mg is taken, if your medical condition is particularly prominent then dosing at 300mg is the normal procedure.

If it is your first time using then it is greatly advised to start dosages low, then slowly increase over the coming days. It is very easy to get doses wrong when taking Adrafinil in power form so with great caution measure your intake and ensure that you are being as precise as possible.