If you are curious about adrafinil’s benefits and effects then you’ve come to the perfect place. In this A-Z guide, we’ll explore the history of this potent research chemical and summarize the available literature regarding how it works, its main benefits, and its effects.
This concise research summary about the benefits of adrafinil will highlight areas where a paucity of evidence exists and where further research may be warranted.
As a bonus, we’ll also share our top recommendation for a trustworthy and reliable adrafinil vendor that ships adrafinil worldwide to qualified researchers.
Let’s dive in.
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What Is Adrafinil?
Adrafinil is classified as a “eugeroic,” meaning it is a wakefulness-promoting agent. It was developed in the mid-1970s by the French pharmaceutical company, Louis Lafon Laboratories. The Lafon Group released adrafinil under the proprietary name “Olmifon” in the mid-1980s. Olmifon’s main use was to treat age-related difficulties with daytime alertness in elderly patients. One or two pills (300-600mg) could increase alertness for up to 12 hours, and improve mood and outlook .
Soon after adrafinil was identified, Lafon’s scientists discovered that adrafinil’s effect was primarily due to its main metabolite, which they named modafinil. Adrafinil was found to be a prodrug of modafinil, meaning that it is metabolized (broken down) in vivo (in the body) into modafinil.
The Lafon Group soon began developing modafinil as a separate drug, and in 1994, Lafon released modafinil under the brand name Modiodal. Modiodal worked much faster and had a much more pronounced effect on alertness than Olmifon and soon became Lafon’s flagship product, causing Olmifon to fall into clinical disuse.
Olmifon continued to be manufactured until 2011 when the French medical authorities reassessed the drug and decided to revoke marketing permission, citing a high risk-to-benefit ratio and adverse reactions .
While adrafinil is no longer produced as a medicine, companies continue to produce it as a research chemical to meet the growing demand for nootropics research.
Pharmacological Effects of Adrafinil
Curious about adrafinil’s pharmacological effects?
While adrafinil’s exact mechanism of action is not yet fully understood, it appears to have nearly identical pharmacological effects to modafinil. It works by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing alertness and vigilance . Computer-assisted spectral analysis tests have shown that adrafinil causes a significant increase in alpha activity, together with a decrease in delta, theta, and fast beta activity in the brain .
During the period when adrafinil was sold as Olmifon, its efficacy was assessed in a double-blind study against a placebo, and it was shown to help elderly patients stay alert during the daytime  [in French].
Since adrafinil is a prodrug of modafinil and its effects occur via modafinil, understanding how modafinil works is instructive for understanding how adrafinil works .
So what does Modafinil do?
Modafinil appears to have several actions:
1. The first is that it appears to be a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. By stopping the reuptake of dopamine, modafinil causes dopamine to linger in the synapse between nerve cells for longer, increasing its effect. This may be the reason why both adrafinil and modafinil seem to boost mood .
2. The second mechanism of action of modafinil is that it blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine—a neurotransmitter that helps prepare the body for activity. By blocking its reuptake, modafinil causes norepinephrine to stay in the synapses longer and increases its effect, contributing to wakefulness .
3. Modafinil also seems to act on several other neurochemicals that are involved in alertness and focus. These include serotonin, histamine, orexin, and GABA .
4. A fourth mechanism is that modafinil could affect the metabolic rate of the brain, increasing how quickly it burns through energy .
Together, the effect of these neurochemical changes is greater alertness, memory, and concentration.
Before we dive too deep into adrafinil’s benefits and effects, it’s worth considering its side effects and safety concerns.
Adrafinil Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Before discussing adrafinil’s side effects and safety concerns, it must be reiterated that marketing permission for the drug in France was revoked in 2011 by ANSES—the French equivalent of the United States Food & Drug Administration. ANSES had cited adverse reactions and what it deemed a high risk-to-benefit ratio as reasons for the revocation. At the time of writing, adrafinil is available solely for research purposes such as laboratory experimentation.
We should also note that while adrafinil has been found to be well tolerated by each of the clinical studies of which it has been the focus [1, 3, 8], it has not been as widely studied as modafinil [9, 10, 11]. This means that we do need to be somewhat cautious in what we conclude about adrafinil’s safety and side effects.
Research involving adrafinil has largely concluded that it is generally safe, especially compared to other stimulants :
“In summary, adrafinil is a novel stimulant that lacks the adverse effects associated with other psychostimulants.”
Nevertheless, there are several side effects associated with adrafinil use.
Short-term Side Effects
The following short-term side-effects have been linked to adrafinil use :
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased stress
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mouth dryness
- Stomach pain
- Skin irritation
Long-term Side Effects
While there is a distinct lack of data regarding the long-term side effects of adrafinil, there is strong evidence to suggest that its active metabolite, modafinil, is safe when taken for extended periods. As noted by Milgram et al , research by Bastuji and Jouvet found that “patients treated with modafinil for at least 3 years did not develop tolerance or dependence” . Furthermore, the patients experienced no other harmful side effects, peripheral side effects, or sleep issues .
This study notwithstanding, the fact that modafinil does not seem to be clearly associated with any long-term side effects does not necessarily carry over to adrafinil. The lack of long-term safety data regarding adrafinil indicates that this could be a fruitful area for further research.
There is no evidence linking adrafinil to any overdoses or accidental deaths. In common with modafinil, it appears that the lethal dose of adrafinil is very, very far above a normal dose. Citing a 1986 study by Salteu et al, Milgram et al noted that in a study on rats, the LD50 (the average adrafinil dose that is capable of killing about half of the test animals under observation) was about 1,250 mg per kg . For a 100 kg person, that would equate to a dose of about 12.5 grams. In other words, a test subject would have to accidentally ingest an inordinate amount of adrafinil before having to worry about a lethal overdose.
While there are no documented cases of anyone intentionally overdosing on adrafinil, Bastuji and Jouvet described a case of a person who unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide by taking 45 tablets of modafinil at once (15 times greater than a normal high dose) . This suggests but does not prove that a lethal dose of adrafinil would be similarly high.
Now that we have reviewed the research on adrafinil’s side effects and safety concerns, it’s time to review its main benefits and effects.
Adrafinil Benefits and Effects | 2022 Guide
Now we’re getting to the meat. What are the benefits of adrafinil? What does it do?
Again, the research is very limited for most adrafinil uses. We need to be cautious not to make too much from the relatively small number of clinical trials that have been conducted.
Still, the research does outline the likely adrafinil effects and the impact that this research chemical may have when administered to test subjects.
Improved Learning and Memory
Several small clinical trials in elderly populations have found that adrafinil can improve memory performance and learning.
In one French study by Kohler et al, 50 subjects aged 65 years and older were given three tablets (900 mg) of adrafinil a day for 90 days . The study found that scores were significantly higher on a recall task than a placebo-controlled group. The improvements were seen by 45 days and they continued to become more evident up until the 90-day mark.
In another French study by Israel et al, researchers looked at the effect of adrafinil in a group of 45-88 year-olds who displayed attention issues . Researchers found that 900 mg of adrafinil per day for three months resulted in significant improvements in memory function among other effects.
The improvements in learning or memory seen in these trials are consistent with the memory boost that has been observed with modafinil. For example, this 2012 randomized controlled trial by Sugden et al found that sleep-deprived doctors who received 200 mg of modafinil performed better on tests of higher cognitive function than those who received a placebo .
The study by Kohler et al, involving a group of 65-year olds found that adrafinil significantly improved vigilance, attention, and concentration , while the separate clinical trial by Israel et al conducted on 45-88 year-olds, found that adrafinil caused statistically significant increases in vigilance, attention, and concentration .
Adrafinil was developed as a wakefulness agent and has been found to be effective at reducing fatigue and daytime sleepiness in elderly patients . Clinical trials involving elderly patients found that those treated with adrafinil (Olmifon) reported feeling less fatigued, more energetic, and less sleepy [3, 8].
These findings have been mirrored by several other clinical trials involving narcoleptic patients who received modafinil. For instance, a 1997 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of modafinil by Broughton et al found that a “200-mg daily dose of modafinil is an effective and well-tolerated treatment” for excessive daytime sleepiness caused by narcolepsy .
Improved Mood and Motivation
In addition to cognitive enhancement, adrafinil also seems to have a significant effect on one’s mood.
Results from several clinical trials have found that participants treated with adrafinil report feeling happier than those in placebo-control conditions . In a group of adults with symptoms of depression, adrafinil created a significant improvement in the degree of depression and scores on a measure of anxiety .
While there is evidence from animal studies that modafinil has neuroprotective effects, such as counteracting the reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in male rats following a partial transection of the dopamine pathway , we’re not aware of any research that directly assessed the neuroprotective effects of adrafinil.
Given how similar adrafinil is to modafinil, it is fair to assume that it may also provide neuroprotective effects, but we cannot extrapolate the results of tests conducted with modafinil to adrafinil. At best we can surmise that modafinil research suggests that adrafinil could have neuroprotective effects on test subjects, potentially highlighting avenues for future research.
In the following section, we’ll share our top recommendation for a reliable adrafinil vendor, so keep reading.
Where To Buy Adrafinil Online? | 2022 Guide
Throughout this guide, we’ve highlighted multiple areas where further research into adrafinil could prove fruitful. From adrafinil’s effects in non-elderly test subjects to its long-term safety, there are numerous avenues to explore.
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Adrafinil Benefits | The Verdict
While adrafinil lacks the potency of modafinil, our review of the evidence highlights multiple lines of inquiry for researchers curious about exploring this fascinating research chemical.
Adrafinil’s effects on non-elderly test subjects is a notable area of interest, as is its long-term safety. As adrafinil’s pharmacological effects are almost indistinguishable from those of modafinil, an investigation into whether it could prove useful for patients who find modafinil too strong is also compelling.
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