Adrafinil and Adderall are both stimulants that do a lot of the same stuff, and both act by increasing the levels of dopamine in the body. While the two drugs have some similarities, they are also considerably different in various aspects and choosing one of the two can be a bit of a hassle. So here is a side to side comparison of Adrafinil and Adderall.
Mechanism Of Action:
While both the drugs work by increasing the levels of dopamine, the device that each drug use to do so is different.
Adderall acts by reversing the action of membrane transporters present in neurons. The reversal of the carriers causes the dopamine to be pumped out of the cell, increasing its levels.
Adrafinil, on the other hand, increases the levels of dopamine oppositely, by blocking its reuptake into the neurons. So while dopamine is being customarily released, it doesn’t get removed from the system.
Addiction and Drug Abuse:
Both Adrafinil and Adderall have risks of developing a dependency on the drug, but the chances are higher in the case of Adderall. This is because Adrafinil doesn’t exactly increase the release of dopamine but increases its levels, while Adderall increases the release of dopamine, which in many cases is the cause of addiction. The effects produced by Adderall and Adrafinil are both similar, including decreased fatigue and lethargy and increased cognitive function and alertness.
Efficacy & Dosage:
Adderall has a comparatively higher as compared to Adrafinil. It should, therefore, be taken only in low doses since a higher dose could lead to toxicity of the drug due to accumulation. Adrafinil, on the other hand, can be taken in comparatively higher doses without being toxic. This is because not all of the administered amount is converted into modafinil in the body (the form of the drug that acts on the body), and a part of it is converted into an inactive metabolite.
Adderall has a stronger effect and works faster than Adrafinil does. It produces more euphoric impacts than Adrafinil does, but that can also be the reason it is more addictive. Adderall helps in focusing and working more than Adrafinil does.
Adrafinil is not as strong as Adderall is and it also takes time to produce its effects. That is attributed to the fact that it has to be first converted into Modafinil by the liver before it can act on the body.
Side Effects can be the deciding factor for choosing between Adderall and Adrafinil. Adrafinil causes skin irritation and abdominal pain as its common side effects, and at times it also causes anxiety. Prolonged use of Adrafinil at high doses can also lead to liver damage.
These side effects are comparatively less harsh than those of Adderall which include hallucination, addiction, and psychosis, along with increased risk of toxicity.
If the nootropic to be used is for short-term, Adderall might be the better option as it has higher efficacy and is also the faster-acting drug of the two. But if the use is for a more extended period, Adrafinil is the safer option, as the side effects are less risky and it produces the same results as Adderall, just not quite as strong BUT considerably about the same. At the end of the day, both will get you to where you want to be.