Adrafinil Not Working? | Here’s What You MUST Know

best adrafinil stack

Ethan Thorne

Last Updated February 9, 2022

Adrafinil is a vigilance-boosting compound that has shown strong efficacy as a cognition enhancer, but some researchers embark on research and find that their adrafinil is not working on test subjects as intended.

The goal of this guide is to give researchers a complete overview of adrafinil’s benefits, side effects, and safety, including how to use it effectively, and the types of effects it may have in a research setting. This guide will also offer specific advice for researchers who plan to experiment with this compound and explain what they must know before beginning research.

Researchers looking to purchase adrafinil will find our recommendation on where to buy high-quality adrafinil online at the end of this guide, so stick around!

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Disclaimer: The contents of are for informational and educational purposes only. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming Adrafinil or related nootropics. Your access to is subject to our full Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

What is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a type of drug known as a “eugeroic,” which means it is a wakefulness-promoting agent. After ingestion, adrafinil is metabolized to modafinil, the latter being one of the world’s most widely used compounds for pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE) [1].

Adrafinil was first synthesized in France in 1974 by Louis Lafon Laboratories of France and early animal studies found that it had a significant effect on the nocturnal activity of monkeys [2]. The Lafon Group developed adrafinil and released it under the brand name “Olmifon” in 1985. Olmifon’s main use was to increase vigilance and alertness in elderly patients [3].

Human trials involving Olmifon found that it had a significant positive effect on subjects’ mood, outlook, powers of recall, and level of anxiety. Nurses observed that subjects who received adrafinil reported having much higher levels of happiness and levels of clarity than those in the control groups [4, 5].

Later research found that adrafinil also offers cognitive-enhancing potential, with one animal study concluding that adrafinil increased performance motivation in canines [6]. Adrafinil has been shown to act as an antidepressant and has been linked to a variety of cognitive benefits including improved memory in elderly patients [3].

The majority of adrafinil’s effects are believed to come from its main active metabolite: modafinil [3]. Adrafinil is a liver-metabolized “prodrug” of modafinil, and research has shown that modafinil can increase cognitive performance [7], reduce fatigue during periods of work [8], and improve mood and memory [9].

In 1994, Lafon released modafinil under the brand name “Modiodal” and it quickly became the company's flagship product. Modafinil has been approved by numerous medical agencies worldwide, including by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“US FDA”), as a treatment for excessive sleepiness associated with conditions like narcolepsy.

Olmifon ceased being commercialized in 2011, following the French medical authorities’ decision to revoke the drug’s marketing approval in that country. Independent pharmaceutical companies have continued producing generic versions of the drug, and it is currently available as a research material in the United States.


Adrafinil Side Effects and Safety

Human trials have supported the idea that adrafinil is a safe and well-tolerated drug. According to Cephalon France, which acquired Lafon in the early 2000s, a review of clinical studies linked Olmifon (adrafinil) to the following side effects [10]:

  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings (Psychic excitement)
  • Gastralgia
  • Tremors
  • Agitation/confusion/agression
  • Oral-facial dyskinesias [11]

Cephalon France’s product summary of Olmifon states that adrafinil has not been linked to any fatal overdose and that its side effects are mild and temporary [10]. It is worth noting that while this document is dated to 2011, we have not been able to identify any adrafinil-linked fatality as of this writing.

Researchers should also note that adrafinil has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Organization (WADA), as it can be used to enhance athletic performance [12].

Having reviewed adrafinil’s side effects and safety, we’ll now turn our attention to the question at hand, that of adrafinil not working.

Adrafinil Not Working?

Adrafinil’s primary benefit is that it can increase daytime vigilance, focus, and alertness in elderly patients. However, it has yet to be tested in non-elderly populations and, to date, adrafinil has not been used to treat any other age group or ailment, including the use of adrafinil for cognitive enhancement purposes. Therefore, researchers interested in adrafinil’s potential as a research chemical should consider all available research before concluding that adrafinil is a compound that “does not work.”

For New Users?

Researchers who decide to focus their efforts on adrafinil should note that test subjects who have not been exposed to adrafinil before may not experience any immediate effects. According to the Cephalon France document, elderly patients receiving a dose of 2-4 Olmifon (adrafinil) tablets (600-1,200 mg) per day may experience the following effects [10]:

  • 8-10 days into therapy: Feelings of fatigue start to diminish.
  • 15-30 days into therapy: Daytime activity begins to increase.
  • 30-90 days into therapy: Cognitive effects such as intellectual function and recall start to increase.

Two Olmifon trials lasting at least 90 days noted that patients experienced considerable improvements in their mood and outlook towards the end of the respective studies [4, 5].

Timing of Doses

The timing of doses also appears to play an important role in adrafinil’s effectiveness. Adrafinil has an absorption half-life of 12 min ± 3 min and is rapidly absorbed when taken on an empty stomach [10]. This strongly suggests that test subjects should be administered adrafinil first thing in the morning.

For Long-Term Users?

There is a paucity of evidence regarding adrafinil’s long-term effectiveness, with the majority of Olmifon trials lasting 90 days or less [4, 5]. While some modafinil studies have noted that modafinil works effectively for over three years without causing side effects [3], these results cannot be extrapolated to adrafinil. Therefore, the long-term effectiveness of adrafinil remains a key area where further research appears warranted.

Based on the design of previous human trials, researchers would be well advised to limit adrafinil experiments to 90 days or less before running cognitive and physical tests on subjects. As noted in the Olmifon product summary, “in case of prolonged treatment (with adrafinil), it is advisable to monitor alkaline phosphatase” [10].


Interactions with Other Compounds?

According to DrugBank, 439 substances interact adversely when combined with adrafinil [13]. Adrafinil’s prescription drug interactions range from lowering the efficacy of the prescription medication to elevating the risk of chronic conditions such as hypertension. Researchers are therefore advised to check for drug interactions before administering adrafinil to test subjects.

How We Make Adrafinil Work

As adrafinil’s only clinical use is to treat a medical condition that cannot be self-diagnosed (i.e. age-related difficulties with vigilance), we cannot provide a guide in layman's terms for how to safely use this compound. As a research chemical, adrafinil does not have a “safe” or “recommended” dose. However, we can summarize how Olmifon was prescribed to elderly patients in the past [10] and how it was dosed in clinical trials [4, 5].

  • Test subjects should be administered adrafinil first thing in the morning on an empty stomach [10].
  • Test subjects should stay well hydrated during the day to minimize the risk of headaches.
  • Elderly patients with vigilance difficulties have been prescribed 2-4 tablets of Olmifon per day (600-1,200 mg/d) [10], but most clinical trials have administered adrafinil at 900 mg/d [4, 5].
  • Subjects with hepatic or renal impairment should have their doses limited to 300-600 mg/d [10].
  • Test subjects in prolonged studies should have their alkaline phosphatase levels closely monitored [10].

Where to Buy Adrafinil Online? | 2022 Guide

Researchers who find that adrafinil is not working may have inadvertently sourced low-quality, low-purity adrafinil. Unlike modafinil which is a pharmaceutical drug, adrafinil is neither US FDA-approved nor currently in production as a licensed drug anywhere in the world. As a result, the quality of adrafinil available for sale online can vary significantly from one vendor to the next.

For researchers who are curious about where to buy adrafinil online, our team has tested all the main vendors.

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  • High-Quality Adrafinil Solution: offers 99% pure adrafinil solution at fair prices. The advantage of using a solution, instead of pills, is that you can easily customize doses on a subject-by-subject basis.
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  • Third-Party Lab Report: The main difficulty of buying adrafinil online is that researchers can never be sure about the quality of what they will receive. That’s why gets every batch of adrafinil lab tested by a third-party lab before shipping it out. Researchers can see the lab report online and know exactly what they are buying before placing an order.
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Adrafinil Not Working? | Overall

Researchers who have tried experimenting with adrafinil and found it is not working should find the data and information in this guide useful. Adrafinil offers a range of vigilance-promoting and cognitive-enhancing benefits when administered correctly, and researchers should dose adrafinil properly and continue the experiment for sufficient time before assessing whether adrafinil is producing a desired outcome.

Researchers who follow the guidelines outlined above and still find that adrafinil is not working should consider switching to a reputable vendor like



  1. Maier LJ, Ferris JA, Winstock AR. Pharmacological cognitive enhancement among non-ADHD individuals-A cross-sectional study in 15 countries. Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Aug;58:104-112. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.05.009. Epub 2018 Jun 11. PMID: 29902691.
  2. Milhaud CL, Klein MJ. Effets de l'adrafinil sur l'activité nocturne du macaque rhésus (Macaca mulatta) [The effect of adrafinil on the nocturnal activity of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta)]. J Pharmacol. 1985 Oct-Dec;16(4):372-80. French. PMID: 4094435.
  3. Milgram, N.W., Callahan, H. and Siwak, C. (1999), Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent. CNS Drug Reviews, 5: 193-212. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x
  4. Israel, L., Fondarai, J., Lubin, S., Salin, B., & Hugonot, R. (1989). Olmifon et patients âgés ambulatoires: efficacité, versus placebo, de l'adrafinil sur l'éveil dans les activités de la vie quotidienne [Olmifon and elderly outpatients: efficacy of adrafinil, versus placebo, on wakefulness in day-to-day activities]. Psychologie Médicale, 21(8), 1235-1255.
  5. Kohler, F., & Lubin, S. (1990). Etude, en médecine générale de l'intérêt thérapeutique d'Olmifon chez des malades présentant des symptomes précoces de vieillissement cérébral handicapant leur activité quotidienne: étude ouverte pragmatique chez 304 patients [General medical study of the therapeutic benefits of Olmifon in patients presenting early symptoms of cerebral aging that hinder their day-to-day activities: open pragmatic study in 304 patients]. La Vie Médicale (1969), 71(8), 335-344.
  6. Siwak CT, Callahan H, Milgram NW. Adrafinil: effects on behavior and cognition in aged canines. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;24(5):709-26. doi: 10.1016/s0278-5846(00)00103-2. PMID: 11191710.
  7. Baranski JV, Pigeau RA. Self-monitoring cognitive performance during sleep deprivation: effects of modafinil, d-amphetamine and placebo. J Sleep Res. 1997 Jun;6(2):84-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.1997.00032.x. PMID: 9377538.
  8. Pigeau R, Naitoh P, Buguet A, McCann C, Baranski J, Taylor M, Thompson M, MacK I I. Modafinil, d-amphetamine and placebo during 64 hours of sustained mental work. I. Effects on mood, fatigue, cognitive performance and body temperature. J Sleep Res. 1995 Dec;4(4):212-228. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.1995.tb00172.x. PMID: 10607161.
  9. Chapotot F, Pigeau R, Canini F, Bourdon L, Buguet A. Distinctive effects of modafinil and d-amphetamine on the homeostatic and circadian modulation of the human waking EEG. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2003 Mar;166(2):127-38. doi: 10.1007/s00213-002-1315-8. Epub 2003 Jan 28. PMID: 12552359.
  10. OLMIFON, comprimé pelliculé, 2011/02/21 | RESUME DES CARACTERISTIQUES DU PRODUIT [OLMIFON, film-coated tablet, 02/21/2011 | SUMMARY OF PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS]. (2021). Retrieved 26 November 2021, from
  11. Thobois S, Xie J, Mollion H, Benatru I, Broussolle E. Adrafinil-induced orofacial dyskinesia. Mov Disord. 2004;19(8):965-966. doi:10.1002/mds.20154
  12. Ameline A, Gheddar L, Raul JS, Kintz P. Identification of adrafinil and its main metabolite modafinil in human hair. Self-administration study and interpretation of an authentic case. Forensic Sci Res. 2020 Jan 29;5(4):322-326. doi: 10.1080/20961790.2019.1704482. PMID: 33457050; PMCID: PMC7782130.
  13. Adrafinil | DrugBank Online. (2021). Retrieved 18 April 2021, from

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