Armodafinil, also known under the trade name Nuvigil, is the enantiopure compound of the eugeroic drug Modafinil, which is also known under the trade name Provigil . Armodafinil, consists of only the (R)-(−)-enantiomer of the racemic Modafinil. Here let’s discuss which nootropic smart drug is better and which one will best suit you and your needs!
Table of contents
- The Battle of the Best Smart Drugs
- So…What is Armodafinil? And Why Is It So Great?
- What About Modafinil? The Greatest Smart Pill
- What Is Better Modafinil or Armodafinil?
- Drug Similarities
- Pharmacological Mechanism of Action
- Effectiveness Within Medical Treatments
- Terminal Half Life
- Effectiveness While Consumed with Food
- Boosted Cognitive Functions, Focus and Productivity
- The Differences Between Armodafinil and Modafinil
- Chemical Structure Differences
- Pharmacokinetic Properties of Modafinil and Armodafinil
- Dosing with Modafinil and Armodafinil
- Modafinil vs Armodafinil: Cost Comparison
- Side Effects with Modafinil and Armodafinil
- Common Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Conclusion: Which Nootropic Drug is Better?
The Battle of the Best Smart Drugs
When it comes to the battle between Armodafinil and Modafinil, which nootropic drug will emerge as the winner?
To discover which of these similar drugs is better, first we must ask ourselves several questions:
- What are the main differences between Armodafinil and Modafinil with regards to their effectiveness?
- Does one drug last longer than the other?
- How about the side effects associated with one drug over the other?
- Is there a significant price difference between Modafinil and Armodafinil?
This definitive article was written with the sole purpose of answering all of these questions:
By the time you’re done reading this article, you will know everything there is to know about the Modafinil vs Armodafinil debate. In which you will find out what nootropic is the best one for you. let’s get started!
So…What is Armodafinil? And Why Is It So Great?
Armodafinil is a nootropic drug that has very similar properties to Modafinil. In 2016, the (FDA) Food and Drug Administration granted Mylan rights for the first generic version of Cephalon’s Nuvigil to be marketed in the United States .
The reason Mylan was granted rights for the first generic version of Cephalon’s Nuvigil, was due to Cephalon’s patent for Modafinil being set to expire in 2015, this meaning, they would lose their exclusive rights to manufacture and sell this drug. Cephalon needed a new drug to sustain their profitability. They also did not want to lose their market dominance amongst the sleep-deprived population within the market .
Therefore, being used for the same treatments as Modafinil within the medical field, Armodafinil is currently FDA-approved to treat excessive daytime sleepiness, associated with obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work disorders .
Just like Modafinil, Armodafinil also has become widely known and popular for its off-label uses. It is commonly used off-label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and major depressive disorders.
But not only that! Just like Modafinil’s use within the public services, Armodafinil has been highlighted on the radar for many professional workers and has been shown to improve vigilance within air traffic controllers .
In June 2010, it was revealed that a phase two study of Armodafinil was carried out, as an adjunctive therapy in adults with schizophrenia. Unfortunately, this study had failed to meet the primary endpoints and the clinical program was subsequently terminated . However, a study published later that year, showed that schizophrenic patients treated with Armodafinil, showed fewer of the negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia . This means that although the first phase of studies did not show any promising results, the contained studies revealed that there may be some beneficial uses for this drug for other treatments as well.
Having been so successful within its medical treatments, but at the same time becoming more successful within its off-label uses, shows that Armodafinil is one of the few great nootropic drugs that has many advantages and very little side effects.
What About Modafinil? The Greatest Smart Pill
For many people reading this article, you may already know about this great, widely-used smart drug, but for those of you who are new to this drug, lets fill you in on a little information about this wonderful cognitive enhancing agent!
Modafinil was approved for medical use within the United States in 1998. It is a drug that was manufactured by Cephalon before they were bought out by Teva Pharmaceuticals . In the United Kingdom it is a prescription only medication and is available as a generic medication .
Similar to the treatments used for Armodafinil, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approved Modafinil in 1998 under the brand name “Provigil” to treat, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorders .
Just like Armodafinil, Modafinil is mostly known for its off-label uses within the public services such as the armed forces, to keep soldiers alert and on-point throughout their battle against sleep deprivation and fatigue. Modafinil is also used as a cognitive enhancement tool for people in high-performance careers such as medical and law students, entrepreneurs, CEOs and surgeons along with others.
Being such widely used within these professions, it is hard to justify the differences between these two smart agent nootropic drugs, but let’s drive deeper and take a look at the differences between these two amazing compounds!
Which Is Better, Modafinil or Armodafinil?
When comparing these two powerful cognitive enhancement agents, you will find that there are more similarities than there are differences. In other words, whether you choose to use Armodafinil or Modafinil as your smart pill, both will provide amazing results with little risk of running into any side effects. Although there many similarities, we are here to find out the differences between these two drugs. So let’s take a look…
Firstly, here is a brief look at some of the similarities between Modafinil and Armodafinil:
|Brand name||Nuvigil (Armodafinil)||Provigil (Modafinil)|
|What is the generic name?||Armodafinil||Modafinil|
|Is a generic version available?||yes||yes|
|What is this drug used for?||improves wakefulness in people with narcolepsy, OSA, or SWD||improves wakefulness in people with narcolepsy, OSA, or SWD|
|What form does this drug come in?||oral tablet||oral tablet|
|What strengths does this drug come in?||50 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg||100 mg, 200 mg|
|What is the half-life for this drug?||about 15 hours||about 15 hours|
|What is the typical length of treatment?||long-term treatment||long-term treatment|
|How do I store this drug?||at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C)||at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C)|
|Is this a controlled substance?||yes||yes|
|Is there a risk of withdrawal with this drug?||no||no|
|Does this drug have potential for misuse?||yes||yes|
As you can see from a first glance, these drugs appear to be very similar in many different categories. But, being two structurally different compounds, there must be some slight differences between the two. But first let’s take a look at some other similarities between these two closely matched nootropics:
Pharmacological Mechanism of Action
The good news regarding both Armodafinil and Modafinil is that, unlike amphetamines and other traditional stimulants, there is a very low potential for drug dependency or drug abuse associated with either of these nootropic drugs.
When it comes to the mechanism of action regarding both of these drugs, the exact reason for their ability to promote wakefulness is still unknown to this very day.
While their exact mechanism of action is still unknown, Armodafinil and Modafinil are believed to work in the central nervous system (CNS) and boost dopamine activity within the brain. Their effects may be similar to other stimulants such as amphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Concerta) . However, they are structurally different than these other stimulants, which is why they do not carry the harsh addictions and side effects that these other agents can promote.
In turn, they stimulate localized regions of the brain instead of broadly activating the brain itself. – Both Modafinil and Armodafinil block dopamine reuptake, by binding to the dopamine transporter and increasing dopamine concentrations in certain regions and areas of the brain. However, dopamine receptor antagonists (e.g., haloperidol) and dopamine synthesis inhibitors (e.g., a-methyl-p-tyrosine) do not block modafinil’s mechanism of action .
Effectiveness Within Medical Treatments
In a recent double blinded clinical study, it has been shown that both Armodafinil and Modafinil had great success rates within the treatments for their prescribed conditions :
“Both Modafinil and Armodafinil significantly improved sleepiness mean grades as compared to baseline (P < .0001). Responder rates with Armodafinil (72.12%) and Modafinil (74.29%) were comparable (P = .76). Adverse event incidences were comparable.
Conclusion. Armodafinil was found to be safe and effective in the treatment of SWSD in patients. The study did not demonstrate any difference in efficacy and safety of Armodafinil 150 mg and Modafinil 200 mg.”
Within this study, both drugs clearly worked wonders for their patients and possessed minimal side effects, also while being well-tolerated by the patients involved. This shows that both Armodafinil and Modafinil are clearly well-matched winners when it comes to their performances within medical treatments.
Data from three randomized studies in healthy adult subjects, receiving single doses of either Armodafinil (50, 100, 200, 250, 300 or 400mg) or Modafinil (400 mg) were pooled and subsequently dose-normalized to a 200mg dose for each drug.
Under this study, it was found that:
“Armodafinil and Modafinil both had a mean single-dose terminal elimination half-life of approximately 13 hours, with similar mean maximum plasma drug concentration (C(max)) and median time to C(max) values. After reaching C(max), plasma concentrations appeared to decline in a monophasic manner with Armodafinil, but in a biphasic manner with Modafinil due to the initial rapid elimination of its S-isomer. As a result, mean area under the plasma drug concentration versus time curve (AUC) from time zero to the time of the last measurable concentration (AUC(last)) and AUC from time zero to infinity (AUC(infinity)) values were 33% and 40% higher, respectively, with Armodafinil compared with Modafinil on a milligram-to-milligram basis.”.
“Despite similar half-lives, the plasma concentrations following Armodafinil’s administration are higher late in the day than those following Modafinil’s administration on a milligram-to-milligram basis. The different pharmacokinetic profile of Armodafinil may result in improved wakefulness throughout the day in patients with ES compared with Modafinil.”
In essence, it has been noted that Armodafinil, may have a longer lasting active half-life than that of Modafinil due to other concentrations, but we will look closer at this within the differences.
Effectiveness While Consumed with Food
The bioavailability for both Armodafinil and Modafinil will remain unchanged when consumed with food. The only change that has been noted while consuming either nootropic drug alongside food, is that the onset time for both drugs will be delayed for up to 1-2 hours from the time of consumption .
Although most oral tablets are recommended to take alongside food to avoid any issues towards the lining of the stomach and other organs, with both Modafinil and Armodafinil, no studies have shown that it is unsafe to consume these medications without the consumption of food.
If you require a quicker “kick in” time for either of these substances, it is recommended to consume either of these nootropic drugs without the consumption of food for quicker effects to take place.
Boosted Cognitive Functions, Focus and Productivity
Now we come to the most important part of the similarities. Does Armodafinil provide the same cognitive enhancing effects as Modafinil?
The answer is yes! Within many of reports filed from studies, it has been found that both of these nootropic drugs work and promote the same cognitive enhancing effects and advantages. These same advantages from studies include :
- Heightened Confidence
- Increased Motivation
- Enhanced Attention Span
- Enhanced Alertness
- Enhanced Focus
- Improved Memory
The only noticeable difference when debating between the use of Armodafinil and Modafinil, is which drug will provide more of these known effects and also which drug will promote these effects for longer periods of time. This is sometimes dependant on each individual basis, due to people’s tolerance levels to these drugs being or becoming slightly higher than one and other.
Now we have seen all of the similarities from both drugs, let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two similar but slightly different chemical structured compounds…
The Differences Between Armodafinil and Modafinil
This is where things get interesting. As we have seen, both nootropic drugs provide the same benefits and advantages, both are tolerated well, both have little side effects or addictive traits and both have the same mechanism of actions along with other similarities. So what’s different about these two closely-matched smart drugs?
Here is an example of a dosage regime used within the medical field for these two similar, but different compounds:
|Condition||Nuvigil (Armodafinil)||Provigil (Modafinil)|
|OSA or narcolepsy||150–250 mg once daily in the morning||200 mg once daily in the morning|
|Shift work disorder||150 mg taken once daily about one hour before work shift||200 mg taken once daily about one hour before work shift|
As you can see, to treat OSA or narcolepsy, the dosages are very similar, but for shift work disorders, the dosage for Armodafinil is slightly lower . Let’s find out why…
Chemical Structure Differences
Modafinil is what’s known as a “racemic” mixture of two separate compounds. R-(-)-Modafinil and S-(+)-Modafinil are what are known as “enantiomers”, having the same atoms and the same structures, but although the structures are the same, both molecules are non-superimposable mirror images of each other when in the third dimension. .
Armodafinil is the R- (-) enantiomer of the racemic synthetic agent Modafinil. Because Armodafinil consists of only the “R” enantiomer. This is why it is commonly referred to as an “enantiopure” compound 
Armodafinil has only the “R” compound from Modafinil, this is where it gained its name as Armodafinil, which is pronounced R-Modafinil. So what does this mean? These two enantiomers actually interact with your body’s enzymes in very similar, but yet different ways!
Pharmacokinetic Properties of Modafinil and Armodafinil
The pharmacokinetic properties within these two drugs are where these smart drugs start to show their differences. For this we need to look into the different enantiomer (R- and S-) properties:
The R-enantiomer has a half-life of 10 to 14 hours, compared to a half-life of 3 to 4 hours for the S-enantiomer . So, what does this mean?
The S-enantiomer has a three-time shorter duration than the R-enantiomer and is also eliminated 3x faster than the R-enantiomer from the body .
The R-enantiomer has a three-time higher affinity to the dopamine transporter than the S-enantiomer and because of this, it is 3x more effective at inhibiting dopamine uptake .
In actual fact, the R-enantiomer is biologically active and exerts its effects, while the S-enantiomer is biologically inactive. So what does this mean for the half-life times of these smart drugs? While we noted earlier that these two drugs have the same half-life times, in fact, the enantiomers themselves, have significantly different half-live times.
Due to these enantiomers having different half-life times, this is where we see that in actual fact, Armodafinil stays active within the system for longer. Due to the higher concentrations of plasma levels within the blood, it is shown that Armodafinil can actually last up to 16 hours after the consumption of this drug.
This is why, within the dosage table above, the dosages of Armodafinil were slightly lower for the treatment of shift work disorders. As, due to the different enantiomer half-life times, taking 150mg of Armodafinil is actually compared (or the same), as taking 200mg of Modafinil .
Within the three randomized studies that we have spoken about under the terminal half-lives of these two nootropic drugs, this is the conclusion regarding these studies:
“Despite similar half-lives, plasma concentrations following Armodafinil administration are higher late in the day than those following Modafinil administration on a milligram-to-milligram basis. The different pharmacokinetic profile of Armodafinil may result in improved wakefulness throughout the day in patients with ES compared with Modafinil.”.
This shows that due to the different enantiomer half-lives and heightened plasma concentration levels, it is shown that Armodafinil actually is active for longer within the body than Modafinil, which studies have shown may be able to promote wakefulness and enhanced cognitive abilities for longer.
Dosing with Modafinil and Armodafinil
Now that we have discovered the differences between Modafinil and Armodafinil, what does this mean for their off-label dosages?
For the use of either drug for their many off-label purposes, like their cognitive enhancement abilities, it is best to consume this medication one hour prior to starting your day. This will be the perfect time for these drugs to begin to become active within the body and set you up ready for those intensive or mentally strenuous tasks.
Remember: consuming these nootropic drugs with food, will slow down their ability to work fast within the system.
While the maximum daily dose is well-tolerated for Armodafinil at 250mg daily and Modafinil at 400mg daily, there are no additional benefits consistently proven beyond these recommended doses  .
Even as little as 50-100mg daily helps some people to stay on the right path and mentally strong. Here we have some reviews regarding dosages with both Modafinil and Armodafinil:
“What I have learned is that less is more. I used to take 200mg every morning then moved to 100mg each morning because 200mg makes you too wired to act normal. On 100mg I feel like a productive person every single day, unlike my entire life where I felt like shit constantly from the never ending barrage of thoughts that tired me out.
I highly recommend this drug to anybody in the same position as me. Even 50mg might be enough for those of you who feel mostly normal each day but need a little bit of spice at work.”
“37.5mg Armodafinil is my sweet spot. I’ll bump that up to 50mg if I need a boost.” .
When it comes to selecting the perfect dosage for you, remember that each individual will be slightly different, so what works for one person, may not work for another. It is up to you to trial the recommended dosage and see how your body tolerates each drug.
Modafinil vs Armodafinil: Cost Comparison
When comparing drug prices, it is always best to check the original brand vs the generic brand for cost. According to Drugs.com, here is what you can expect to pay if you purchase either drug from an actual pharmacy without insurance:
• For 200mg Provigil tablets, you pay $41.55USD per pill. For generic Modafinil, the cost is lowered to $5.86USD per pill .
• For 150mg Nuvigil, you pay $42.95 per pill. For generic Armodafinil, you can save a lot more by paying $5.33 per pill.
When researching the online market for the best and cheapest nootropic smart drug, waklert 150 seems to be the most popular in terms of strength, validity and also price! Coming in at anywhere from $2-$6. Makes this generic version of Armodafinil the best on the market as of today!
Here is one of many reviews from Reddit, the online forum, showing how good waklert 150 is with regards to its effectiveness and cheap price:
“As like artvigil , waklert 150 is also one of the best medicine which is used for the treatment of wakefulness and this is a globally well-known product in the world. Most of the user have its own trust and reputation for this manufacture and they are always trying to buy waklert online at a very cheap and discounted price from the market.” .
Side Effects with Modafinil and Armodafinil
With regards to the side effects associated with these great smart drugs. Both have very low risk of any occurring side effects. With that said, some users do note some side effects, but these are considered very mild.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with both Modafinil and Armodafinil are:
- Nasal Congestion;
- Back pain;
- Decreased Appetite.
Most of these possible side effects are shown in people who are living unhealthy lifestyles or have been using other drugs alongside these nootropic drugs. The likelihood of a young healthy individual encountering any of these effects are very slim .
With these mild side effects, if any of these present themselves, they should go away in a short space of time with no interventions needed. Drink plenty of water while consuming any of these nootropic medications to ensure that you stay well-hydrated.
There are some more severe side effects that can be noted, but these have only mainly been seen when used in conjunction with other drugs that do not interact well with either
Modafinil or Armodafinil. These include:
- Allergic reactions;
- Shortness of Breath;
“Armodafinil and Modafinil share many of the same drug interactions. These medications can act as inducers of the CYP3A4 enzyme and inhibitors of the CYP2C19 enzyme. In other words, they can affect how certain drugs are processed in the body.”.
The main drugs that both Armodafinil and Modafinil will interact badly with are:
- Steroidal Contraceptives
- CYP2C19 Substrates
If you experience any severe side effects while using these medications, please see your physician immediately for more advice.
Conclusion: Which Nootropic Drug is Better?
Finally, we come to the conclusion!
From what we have learned throughout this article, we can say that:
Modafinil has a slightly shorter half-life but its effects can hit you faster and also hit you “harder”. You may even experience a complete “feel-good high” from the use of Modafinil. To avoid sleep interference, you should take Modafinil no later than 10am, this will give the drug time to work within the day and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
As for Armodafinil, this leads to a longer-lasting boost in focus that feels “cleaner” and “smoother” but isn’t as pronounced as the effects from Modafinil. Some users claim they experience fewer jitters and less distractibility. After reading this article, If Armodafinil is your desire choice, it is best to take it 1-2 hours earlier than you would do with Modafinil.
These start times will obviously depend on your daily working or awakening hours. It is up to you to choose the correct time within your day to consume these great smart drugs and make them a part of your daily routine, so that you may open and enhance your mind and be able to achieve great things.
The only major difference between both of these great smart drugs, is how you respond to them. Modafinil tends to provide a stronger boost in cognitive abilities that is shorter in duration, while with the use of Armodafinil, this provides a slightly weaker, yet longer-lasting boost in the cognitive abilities.
Typically, from reading this information, Armodafinil is better suited for regular, long-term usage, while Modafinil would be best suited for those months where you need that ultimate mental push! But regardless of this, both of these nootropic’s will give you amazing neurological enhancements, along with little to no side effects… what more could you ask for?
The answer to which one is best… is down to you! Both have great abilities and advantages. The only way to test which one is better and best for you, is to order a few weeks’ worth of both and see which one will work with your mind to give you that limitless potential!
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