Is Adrafinil Legal? | What You MUST Know

is adrafinil legal

Ethan Thorne

Last Updated February 9, 2022

Adrafinil is a fairly well-known wakefulness-promoting agent with nearly three decades of clinical use in France. If you’re considering running a study on adrafinil, you might have some questions regarding its legality. If so, this informative guide is a great starting point. Is adrafinil legal? Let’s find out.

The short answer is that adrafinil is legal to buy as a reference material for research purposes in almost every country in the English-speaking world. Nonetheless, each country has its own unique laws and regulations that influence how adrafinil is treated under the law, so the burden is on you as buyer to obtain accurate, up-to-date information on adrafinil’s legal status in your jurisdiction. To that end, we have created this guide as your starting point.

Below, we’ll discuss adrafinil’s history, its benefits, and its legal status in various countries around the world, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. After reading, you should have a better understanding of adrafinil’s legal status and how to safely obtain the compound for research purposes.

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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?

If you’re curious about what adrafinil is, the brief answer is that it’s a “prodrug” of the wakefulness-promoting drug modafinil. In layman’s terms, this means that when adrafinil ingested, it is converted, or “metabolized”, by the liver into its active metabolite, modafinil.

The history of adrafinil

Diving a little deeper into adrafinil’s backstory, it was discovered in 1974 by scientists working for the French pharmaceutical company Louis Lafon Laboratories. Early animal studies demonstrated that adrafinil acted as a powerful psychostimulant and had a profound effect on nocturnal behavior. One study found that when adrafinil was administered to rhesus monkeys at a dose of 120 mg/kg, nocturnal activity increased by 400 percent [1].

Adrafinil’s potential as a vigilance-promoting agent having been established, Lafon conducted a series of placebo-controlled human clinical trials on elderly test subjects before releasing adrafinil under the brand name “Olmifon” in 1985. Olmifon’s directed use was to treat elderly patients who struggled to maintain alertness during the day [2]. It was also prescribed to treat patients with narcolepsy, a rare condition that causes daytime drowsiness.

Meanwhile, Lafon started developing adrafinil’s main metabolite—modafinil—into a drug in its own right. The company released this drug under the product name “Modiodal” in 1994, and marketed it as a more effective alternative to Olmifon, causing the older drug to fall into clinical disuse. Olmifon continued to be manufactured in France until 2011, the year in which the French health authorities revoked its marketing approval.

Benefits of adrafinil

Adrafinil’s main known benefit is that it promotes vigilance in elderly patients. It is known as a eugeroic, which is derived from the French word “eugregorique,” meaning “wakefulness-promoting agent.”

According to the Summary of Product Characteristics for Olmifon (“Olmifon SmPC”), published by Cephalon France in 2011, Olmifon was used to treat elderly patients who suffered from age-related decreases in their alertness levels and/or mental clarity. The Olmifon SmPC also noted that the drug had not been tested on non-elderly test subjects and was not approved to treat any other ailment [3].

Several animal studies have investigated adrafinil’s impact on cognition. A canine study published in 2000 found that adrafinil significantly increased “performance motivation” in dogs and accelerated “electroencephalographic activity” in the animals’ brains [4]. However, a later study by Siwak CT et al. found that adrafinil actually impaired the working memory of aged beagle dogs when they were tested with a delayed nonmatching-to-position (DNMP) task [5].

Adrafinil’s vigilance-boosting properties may also enhance athletic performance, which has led the World Anti-Doping Organisation (WADA) to ban adrafinil use in competitive sports in 2004 [6].

Proponents of adrafinil’s efficacy as a cognition enhancer, or “nootropic,” point to its structural similarities with modafinil and cite research indicating that modafinil offers “cognitive neuroenhancement” in healthy individuals [7].


Is Adrafinil Legal?

If you’re wondering whether adrafinil is legal for research purposes, then this is the section for you. As we mentioned earlier, adrafinil’s legal status can vary from one country to the next. So, is adrafinil legal?

Depending on your particular circumstances, the answer is likely yes. In most of the English-speaking world, adrafinil is readily available as a reference material for researchers wishing to conduct studies on the compound. Where adrafinil is scheduled as a controlled substance, such as in Australia, researchers will likely need special authorization to run studies.

Adrafinil Legal Status Around the World?

Adrafinil’s legal status varies from one country to the next. Each country has its own mechanisms and institutions for reviewing and regulating drugs, so there is no universally agreed upon standard by which adrafinil is treated under the law. The onus falls squarely on the researcher to determine whether adrafinil is legal in their country of residence. Below, we’ll explore adrafinil’s legal status in select places around the world.

Is Adrafinil Legal in the US?

Yes, adrafinil is available for research purposes in the United States. As noted by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the United States Food and Drug Administration (“US FDA”), adrafinil is a “new drug” under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B) and/or (g)(1)(C)]” [8]. This means that adrafinil cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement or sold over the counter. Researchers in the U.S. should be wary of adrafinil mislabeled as a “supplement” or as an active ingredient in a supplement in violation of the law. Where adrafinil is sold as a reference material, it should be clearly labeled as such.

Is Adrafinil Legal in the UK?

Adrafinil has not been reviewed by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) [9]. Adrafinil is not listed as a controlled substance on either the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 [10] or the Medicines Act 1968 [11], so its sale and distribution are unregulated. Although adrafinil is not a prescription drug in the UK, it is an offense to supply adrafinil. Researchers who are interested in purchasing adrafinil as a reference material in an experimental setting can do so provided they have the correct authorization.

Is Adrafinil Legal in Australia?

Under Australian law, adrafinil is classified as a “Schedule IV” medicine according to the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration [12]. This means that adrafinil is a prescription-only medication in Australia. While there are online vendors, both domestic and international, that will ship adrafinil to Australian consumers without a prescription, the onus is on the buyer to provide proof of either a valid prescription or special authorization. If a package containing adrafinil is intercepted by the Australian Border Force, they may destroy the package if the recipient cannot produce valid documentation within a three-month timeframe.

Is Adrafinil legal in Europe?

In the European Union, adrafinil has not been evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and is not manufactured, distributed, or prescribed to treat any medical ailment [13]. However, the EMA is not meant to replace the review and oversight functions of European member-states’ own regulatory bodies, so EU-based researchers should carefully check with their national agencies. As of this writing, adrafinil is not, to our knowledge, a controlled substance in any member-state of the European Union.

Adrafinil vs. Modafinil | Legalities?

There is a key difference between adrafinil and modafinil in terms of their legal status. Unlike adrafinil, modafinil is a prescription drug in almost every country worldwide. Due to strict regulations on its production and distribution, it is certainly not as easy to obtain modafinil for research purposes compared to adrafinil.

Adrafinil is not subject to the same restrictions and is not as tightly controlled as modafinil, but it is still classified as a “drug” in the US, UK, Australia, and across Europe. Most commonly, adrafinil is available to researchers as a reference material in powder or solution form, whereas modafinil is typically available in solution form when sold as a reference material.

Where to Buy Adrafinil Online? | 2022 Guide

While adrafinil is widely available as a reference material, buying some is a little trickier than heading down to your local pharmacy. Those interested in buying this compound can find many online vendors, but therein lies the problem—how can you trust that the adrafinil you order is research-grade quality?

In fact, buyers have very few, if any, legal protections in case they receive a low-quality product. That is why our team has reviewed a number of adrafinil suppliers and rated them in terms of the quality of adrafinil they supply, the speed of their delivery, and their reliability. Our top recommendation for a trusted adrafinil vendor is:

Basedo our tests, the most efficient and reliable adrafinil vendor serving the market right now is We found that they offer extremely high-quality adrafinil powder and solution in a timely fashion and have some of the fastest delivery times of any vendor we reviewed.
Here are some of the things we loved about them:

  • Independent testing on all adrafinil products: Our favorite thing about is that they get every batch of adrafinil tested by an independent lab. They post the lab report on their website so you’ll know the exact purity of the adrafinil you are buying before you make a purchase. This level of transparency is rare for the industry and helps build trust between and their customers.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee: Even with a lab report, you may be wary about the quality of any adrafinil bought online. That’s why also offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee for peace of mind. This guarantee gives you enough time to test the adrafinil and return it for a full refund if it fails to meet your expectations.
  • Product selection: Unlike some other vendors, offers both adrafinil solution and adrafinil powder. This gives you a variety of dosing options, including the ability to test “microdosing” protocols, and lets you experiment to find the appropriate dosage for your research aims. Both the solution and powder come in UV-resistant packaging, meaning that they have a very long shelf life.
  • Worldwide shipping and same-day dispatch: offers same-day dispatch on all orders, meaning that you won’t have to wait for long when you order here. All domestic orders over $100 ship for free.

Hopefully, you can see why we rate so highly. We have yet to find an adrafinil vendor that offers such a high level of transparency with such comprehensive buying protections in place. Order with confidence when you shop here.

Highly recommended!


Legalities of Adrafinil | Verdict

Adrafinil’s legal status varies somewhat from one country to the next. Certain countries, such as Australia, classify it as a prescription medication, while other countries have little to no controls or restrictions in place on adrafinil’s sale and distribution. Regardless of where it is available, adrafinil should be marketed as a reference material aimed at researchers.

The main difficulty that buyers may encounter when shopping for adrafinil is finding a reliable, trustworthy vendor. We have no qualms about recommending to any researcher interested in buying adrafinil.

Ready to order Adrafinil from the top-rated online vendor?


  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Siwak CT, Tapp PD, Milgram NW. Adrafinil disrupts performance on a delayed nonmatching-to-position task in aged beagle dogs. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Aug;76(1):161-8. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00211-9. PMID: 13679229.
  6. 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.
  7. Battleday RM, Brem AK. Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015;25(11):1865-1881. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.028
  8. Peak Nootropics LLC aka Advanced Nootropics – 557887 – 02/05/2019. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from
  9. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. GOV.UK. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from
  10. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from
  11. Medicines Act 1968. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from
  12. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from
  13. European Medicines Agency. European Medicines Agency. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from

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