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Armodafinil vs. Adderall: Which Is Better?

Why do healthy people use nootropics? Are armodafinil & Adderall safe? Depending on your question, you’ll probably hear different stories about which nootropic is better, while some individuals still say that different “smart drugs” are better when mixed. If you’ve tried armodafinil or Adderall, you know which one offers the most potent effect depending on the purpose of using it & which one is easily sourced currently on the market.

Armodafinil vs Adderall

Here, we’ll reveal to you what makes these “smart tabs” different & which one is better for ameliorating your productivity at work or augmenting your cognitive function at school or during challenging tasks that necessitate extra brainpower. Aside from revealing the top 5 common uses of these “smart tabs” & the first-rate online nootropic vendors that offer these products, we’ll also go over what to expect if mixing Adderall & armodafinil — why you might want to try it & how to do it safely. By the end of the review, you’ll have a clear comparison between armodafinil vs. Adderall & can determine which one is the greatest for you to use!

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It’s a combination of equal parts dextroamphetamine & amphetamine. Both ingredients belong to a class of substances known as stimulants.

It is a product of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., an Israeli pharmaceutical company. Originally, it was designed to treat narcolepsy & attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD), but now it’s also used off-label for the treatment of other health conditions such as anxiety, depression, as well as bipolar disorder. This drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use in 1996.

What Is Armodafinil?

You’re probably familiar with a popular nootropic that has been classified as the “world’s first safe “smart tab” – modafinil. Armodafinil is like its cousin. Technically understood, it’s an enantiopure compound of modafinil. Its pharmacological properties are almost alike, but it functions in a slightly divergent way. It is produced & marketed by the pharmaceutical company Cephalon (the firm that makes modafinil) under the trade name Nuvigil®. This product was approved for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by the FDA in 2007 [1].

Modafinil (available under the trade name Provigil®) is a racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers, while armodafinil has only the isolated R-enantiomer [2]. However, the latter has a longer half-life, so it is considered more efficacious at improving wakefulness. An armodafinil dose of 150 mg is comparable to a 200 mg modafinil tablet, meaning that it is 1.33 times more powerful than the famous drug modafinil.

Why Do People Use Nootropics?

While armodafinil is relatively new on the scene, Adderall has been popular with students for about 2 decades. As an original cognitive augmenter or a “study tablet,” it has been administered by countless university students to aid them with cramming for challenging or final exams that necessitate super brainpower. It can help heighten the ability to pay attention, stay focused & concentrated on an activity, as well as control behavior hurdles. It may also assist users to organize tasks and ameliorate listening skills & memory.


Generally, various nootropics give healthy users who use them very few — and only short-lived — rewards while putting their cognitive health at peril in the long run. Adderall was originally produced to allow people with the earlier said conditions to remain alert & focused. However, at a rising rate, a high percentage of healthy young adults have begun procuring & using Adderall & similar nootropics as a potent means of “hacking” their brains to ameliorate performance while working or studying.

A 2016 study found that in the USA, the nonprescribed use of Adderall had risen by 67% among young adults in approx. 6 years [3]. Although it is widely applied as a cognitive augmenter, it may impair the memory of “smart tab” abusers. While prescription stimulants carry real perils, they don’t make people smarter [4].

On the other hand, armodafinil offers vast brainpower advantages such as 12+ hours of insanely great yet pure focus & dramatically ameliorated memory. The drug, unlike Adderall, doesn’t comprise highly stimulating amphetamines. It only offers powerful cognitive effects with fewer negative reactions. Business executives, hustlers, IT professionals, factory workers, military, astronauts, & straight-A students, among others, now prefer using armodafinil in place of Adderall to improve their cognitive abilities and boost productivity.

When contrasting these 2 meds – armodafinil vs. Adderall, it should be pointed out that both offer similar advantages, including the following:

  • ameliorated overall cognition;
  • heightened focus;
  • fostered wakefulness;
  • boosted productivity & workflow;
  • increased energy levels.

With such desired benefits, which one of these nootropics is better for you? The most frequently used drugs that are ingested to augment cognition are armodafinil & modafinil. These products have been extensively studied and deemed to be safe with fewer negative effects that aren’t severe if taken correctly.

Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance. Simply, it can be abused or lead to dependence. It’s paramount to prevent misuse & abuse. Similarly, armodafinil (Nuvigil®) is also a federally controlled substance (Schedule IV), but it has low abuse potential and low risk of dependence.

Armodafinil vs Adderall: Difference Between…

While both “smart tabs,” armodafinil & Adderall, offer similar cognitive effects, they may differ in dosages, side effects, and the way of getting the user “high.” Let’s discover the main differences between the two products. This coverage may eventually assist you to choose the ultimate nootropic for your needs.


The branded version of armodafinil, Nuvigil, is available in dosages of 50 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, and 250 mg. The advisable dose of the drug for patients with OSA or narcolepsy is 150 mg or 250 mg administered as a single dose in the morning. For those diagnosed with OSA, doses up to 250 mg per day, given as a single dose, have proved to be well-tolerated, but there is no steady evidence that these doses confer an additional advantage beyond that of the 150 mg per day dose. For SWSD, the advisable dosage is 150 mg given once daily approx. an hour before the beginning of the work shift [5].

If planning to use armodafinil for off-label purposes, take it exactly as advised by a physician. If you want to use it for productivity or brainpower effects, it’s best to take it an hour before the planned tasks. The best tip regarding this is to ingest the nootropic and put yourself in the activity before the effects kick in.

Consultation with a Doctor

On the other hand, Adderall is available in 4-hour (5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, & 30 mg strengths) as well as 8-hour (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, & 30 mg strengths) forms. The latter option is called Adderall XR and comes in capsules. These tabs are now available in generic form – just like armodafinil.

Here are some of the prime tips on how to correctly consume Adderall:

  • it should be used exactly as prescribed;
  • tabs are usually taken 2 to 3 times a day. The first tab is consumed in the morning, another 1 or 2 more doses may be ingested during the day, 4 to 6 hours apart. Taking Adderall late in the day may lead to insomnia;
  • like armodafinil, Adderall can be ingested with or without food;
  • while you’re on Adderall, your physician may do regular checks of the heart, blood, & blood pressure.

Doses of armodafinil and Adderall are based on the user’s medical condition as well as response to the remedy. A physician may adjust the drug dose to find the ideal one that’s best for you.

Like armodafinil, Adderall is used regularly to get the most advantage from it (only if using it for an approved or a physician’s prescribed condition). To assist you to remember, take them at the same time(s) each day.

For the case of Adderall, during the treatment, your medical specialist may occasionally advise you to halt the medication for a short time to track whether there are any alterations in your behavior as well as whether the drug is still required.

Side Effects

The adverse effects of armodafinil are minor when compared with those of Adderall. Besides, the latter tends to cause remarkably more side effects than the former.

Armodafinil’s common negative effects are as follows [6]:

  • nausea;
  • sleeplessness;
  • anxiety;
  • rash;
  • headache;
  • loss of appetite;
  • dry mouth;
  • diarrhea.

Although it’s known to cause such side effects, not everyone can experience them. Overall, armodafinil is more likely to be very safe if taken as prescribed and having consulted a physician. Its negative effects are even much milder than those triggered by modafinil.

Side Effects

Adderall is associated with the following side effects:

  • nausea;
  • stomach upset/pain;
  • dizziness;
  • headache;
  • nervousness;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • loss of appetite;
  • fever;
  • weight loss;
  • muscle spasms & twitching;
  • dry mouth;
  • diarrhea;
  • high blood pressure;
  • heart attack (particularly if combined with alcohol) [7][8][9].

If another side effect or any of the listed ones persists or worsens, let your physician know promptly. While many Adderall users don’t experience any negative effects when administering it, some can experience them. Extra caution should be taken with this “study tab.”

Abuse or misuse of amphetamine can cause serious (perhaps fatal) blood pressure & heart hurdles. Note that amphetamine-type meds can be habit-forming. It’s always advisable to use Adderall only as directed. If it is taken for a long time, it may make the user dependent on it & may cause withdrawal symptoms after stopping its usage.

Getting ‘High’

First, let’s discuss the armodafinil “high.”

We’ve already discussed the modafinil “high” in our other guide Modafinil High: How, and What Does it Feel Like? And we can say that armodafinil offers similar effects. It’s not an amphetamine-like stimulant, but you still feel ameliorated cognition, focus, wakefulness, concentration, & overall sense of wellbeing.

Until today, there haven’t been any case studies in the scientific literature of “smart tab” users experiencing “high” from armodafinil or modafinil. However, since the latter is similar to the former, on the Internet, there are many reports of people feeling “high” after taking modafinil. Though such reports have not been backed by clinical research, & there’s no clarity about the safety of high doses of the nootropic, it’s hard to deny the large number of “smart drug” users’ reports revealing their encounters with the modafinil “high.” So, the same way that there is modafinil high, there is armodafinil “high.” However, it’s certainly not the same as “high” offered by other products like cocaine, marijuana, or LSD. It’s also not like getting drunk.

The best thing is that you can certainly feel armodafinil working – with various benefits such as clear thinking, intense focus, & an augmentation in the mood. According to some “smart tab” users, they feel a bit euphoric, a condition, which is likely a result of its effect on the dopamine pathways [10].

As for the Adderall “high,” because the drug is a stimulant containing amphetamines, its effects are felt more than those of modafinil or armodafinil & it rewards with a more direct “hit.” When Adderall is ingested, the user’s prefrontal cortex (an area of the brain that controls memory, behavior, & attention span) changes & becomes further receptive to dopamine [11]. While dopamine becomes further available, the user tends to feel more cracked out, attentive, & optimistic. If that’s what you desire to achieve, then Adderall is the “smart tab” for your needs.

Happy Man

After about 60 minutes or so on Adderall, it’s easy to feel much happier. Even tedious things you don’t desire to perform like menial paperwork will be enjoyable after taking this nootropic. However, these advantages aren’t without downsides. With Adderall, jitters will kick in. The desired energy levels will skyrocket, & whatever you do will start to be fun, even reading a 213-page book or writing a 22,000-word book report on a dull topic will seem enjoyable & swift to finish in a few hours.

Overall, Adderall provides more powerful “high” than any other nootropic available, including armodafinil & modafinil, because of only one reason: it contains amphetamines. It’s perfectly true “high.” For some Adderall users, this is their huge benefit. It allows them to get a strong sense of productivity, happiness, & focus.

Comparing Adderall and Armodafinil for 5 Common Uses

Armodafinil vs. Adderall can be challenging to compare. That’s because their advantages are so similar. However, you should consider that each product offers varying positives and negatives. Let’s differentiate the advantages of Adderall & armodafinil regarding the following rewards.

Increasing Focus for Studying

Armodafinil is known as the super focus-enhancing nootropic. It ameliorates cognition & heightens vigilance as well as focus. Like any “smart tab,” you’ll notice prime cognitive advantages when using armodafinil. You’ll be able to focus for several hours on end, & your planned productivity will improve greatly. Besides, armodafinil can heighten the ability of a person to pay attention, be vigilant, & concentrate while studying or during their learning session. Overall, it is a great safe nootropic for increasing focus for studying. To safely achieve this experience, it’s advisable to take it in low doses or as recommended by a physician.

Similarly, Adderall is widely used by both sick patients suffering from ADHD and healthy individuals to ameliorate focus & concentration since it is a direct CNS stimulant. Despite the risks as well as the fact that it’s a controlled substance, students often use it for studying. It assists them to focus, concentrate, & remain vigilant for long periods without falling asleep or losing interest.

Although both of these nootropics are excellent for ameliorating focus & productivity, armodafinil is preferred by most. Why? The severe side effects are common to Adderall – particularly its addictive negative effects. It can certainly affect productivity & focus in the long run. Armodafinil offers virtually identical advantages regarding focus, concertation, & productivity, but it isn’t addictive.

Improving Athletic Performance

During sports competitions, only athlete skills can determine outcomes. However, athletes can gain an outstanding advantage from the stimulating effects of “smart tabs” such as armodafinil, modafinil, & Adderall. They sometimes administer them when they are aiming for success during competition or when they plan to perform high-intensity training or even during long training events that necessitate over 10 hours of strength & performance. Besides, these nootropics assist them to stay focused & alert while doing all-day/night biking events, short races like 100 meters, or ultramarathons.

Athletes Train

But, which nootropic is better for athletic enhancement?

Although armodafinil & Adderall effectively work giving performance-ameliorating effects, we don’t advise using any of these drugs for these activities. Besides, both medicines are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Despite being banned during athletic competitions, these products remain widespread in gaming or other professional sports.

One research depicted that the best athletes involved in the study had high dopamine efficiency [12]. Adderall sometimes causes dopamine levels to decrease the day after consuming it. This negatively affects individual performance. However, armodafinil hasn’t been depicted to lower dopamine levels after dosing. This makes it the chief option as an athletic performance augmenting stimulant.

Overcoming Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

There are various causes of daytime sleepiness. This symptom may be associated with sleep deprivation or certain sleep disorders like narcolepsy & OSA. Also, depression as well as psychiatric problems, certain meds, & health problems affecting the brain & body can give rise to daytime drowsiness.

Adderall & armodafinil are approved for the treatment of excessive sleepiness. Both “smart tabs” stimulate the CNS in the brain, causing a heightened level of vigilance, concentration, & alertness, and keep users wide awake and more productive throughout the day.

But which “smart tab” is better for daytime sleepiness?

Armodafinil is the preferred remedy for excessive sleepiness. The fact is that it’s far less addictive compared to the earlier stimulants such as Adderall. The effects of both drugs on sleepiness are very similar. Nonetheless, armodafinil is considered slightly stronger in ameliorating wakefulness for a longer period. The reason is due to the armodafinil’s higher level of specificity in the human brain compared to Adderall. This makes the drug’s effects more targeted, hence lessening the chance of negative effects.

Because Adderall affects more receptors in the brain, it can lead to more pronounced negative effects, making the nootropic unpredictable from one user to the next. Overall, armodafinil is the winning “smart tab” to overcome excessive daytime sleepiness.

Increasing the Reaction Time

Like modafinil, armodafinil is known to generate cognitive augmenting effects & lessen stop-signal reaction time in healthy adults. Notably, the “smart tabs” have been known to improve reaction times for experienced professionals or amateur video gamers.

Stimulants are popular among sports professionals including gamers because they ameliorate vigilance, mental acuity, & reaction speeds. Studies have depicted that in addition to the mentioned effects, stimulants, such as caffeine, amphetamines, & nicotine, can also allay fatigue, prolong effort, as well as generally foster work output [13]. At high concentrations, even a slight amelioration in reaction times can make a remarkable difference – winning and losing. Armodafinil & Adderall are both frequently used nootropics in this arena, as well as other stimulants like Ritalin & caffeine.

As to which “smart tab” is best for fostering reaction times, we can deduce it to be armodafinil. Various e-sports champions said that they took stimulant meds to win. Due to this, some gaming commissions regulating the industry have initiated testing for modafinil, armodafinil, & Adderall. However, armodafinil, just like modafinil, is currently not being tested for in professional e-sports events. Overall, armodafinil becomes the clear winner.

ADHD Treatment

Both armodafinil & Adderall are used to treat ADHD. But only the latter drug is approved for this condition in the USA.


ADHD is a complex neurological disorder. In most scenarios, the issue can be associated with dopamine function in the brain. The reward system uses dopamine to effectively communicate with the rest of the brain to reward positive behavior. It achieves this effect by releasing small amounts of oxytocin, or the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, in the brain when we need to achieve or perform something interesting.

The lack of dopamine in the brain makes it challenging to trigger this oxytocin release, making the reward system work harder to stimulate it. This activity is demonstrated by distracted behavior, fidgeting movements, as well as hyperactivity.

Both nootropics heighten the dopamine levels in the brain by averting them from being reabsorbed & affected by the neurons. These remedies keep dopamine floating around for a prolonged time, letting it exert stronger effects.

Generally, if comparing both drugs for ADHD and focus, Adderall is slightly better than armodafinil for this condition because it has more of focus on dopamine than armodafinil. Its effect on this chemical is great, but it’s the chief reason for its addictive nature. The reward center is also one of the prime causes of addiction. By stimulating the region of the brain too much, we tend to develop an addiction to it, as our body (particularly the brain) craves its activation when we’re not on the “smart tab.”

If searching for a direct refinement in ADHD symptoms, Adderall is your winner because it’s going to generate stronger benefits overall. However, it’s best to be aware of its addictive nature. If you need to avoid Adderall’s addictive negative effects, armodafinil & other meds like modafinil or Vyvanse are also great options used to treat ADHD.

Can you Mix Armodafinil with Adderall for Better Results?

Some “smart tab” enthusiasts often choose to combine armodafinil with Adderall. But is this combination safe? The idea is that if people mix these 2 compounds that have similar effects but function through different mechanisms, they can achieve more reliable results. There’s also another feeling like doubling up on these meds can ameliorate their ability to remain highly productive while studying or working.

In general, mixing Adderall & armodafinil can be associated with some risks. If you combine 2 stimulant-like substances at once, it may trigger overstimulation, which can increase the chance of negative effects of either of these nootropics. For instance, you may be more likely to feel anxious & nauseous and experience heart palpitations, twitchiness, irritability, or head pain if armodafinil & Adderall are coadministered. Long-term negative effects can include low libido, depression, insomnia, as well as lack of motivation.

Those negative effects can be attributed to high levels of dopamine & other neurotransmitters that can cause short-term cognitive hurdles. Some physicians may prescribe a mix of armodafinil + Adderall to be used together for patients diagnosed with ADHD. However, this is something that should only be left up to a medical specialist!

Famous forums like Reddit and Quora often advise that users don’t combine these compounds. That’s true. Although both drugs are very potent, there are no studies looking into the combined use of them. We always recommend using only one stimulant at a time & don’t even advise consuming caffeine with armodafinil or modafinil.

Armodafinil is confirmed to work fine on its own – just like Adderall. There’s no need to combine the two. It serves no reasonable benefit to do so, but it increases the chance of negative effects.

If you still want to mix armodafinil with Adderall, despite all of the info above, how can you do this safely? Because both meds have similarities in their effects, we can advise ingesting them each ONLY in low doses if you need to consume them at the same time.

The advisable armodafinil dose is 150 mg/day. The dosage equivalent of Adderall is about 60 mg. If mixing both nootropics, start with a half dose of each: 75 mg of armodafinil & about 30 mg of Adderall. Start low & increase gradually after being given the okay from a physician.

Where to Buy Adderall and Armodafinil Tablets Online?

Buy Pills Online

There are a multitude of e-pharmacies that sell generic forms of armodafinil. Several modafinil & armodafinil sellers, which you can count on, exist to offer high-quality products that are sourced from approved pharmaceutical companies at a good price & deliver them swiftly to your doorstep. We recommend BuyModa.org (a great armodafinil vendor for shoppers from New Zealand, Canada, as well as Thailand), BuyModafinilOnline, and ModafinilXL. Other greatest vendors that are new to the “smart tabs” scene are BuyArmodafinil and FreeModafinil. We recommend these pharmacies for several reasons:

  • great drug prices + huge discounts to save more cash;
  • guaranteed parcel delivery to various parts of the globe,
  • convenient payment options;
  • refund or reshipment;
  • first-rate shopper service.

Without a doubt, we recommend purchasing generic armodafinil such as Waklert and Artvigil from the mentioned vendors, especially if you’ve never shopped for generic armodafinil online before. Finally, there’s one quick tip we’d like to share in this review. If you buy armodafinil using Bitcoin, you’ll receive a prime discount. Often, you can save 20 to 23% off your order!

Adderall can be bought online from reputable pharmacies such as Walmart, Walgreens, etc., or a local drugstore that stocks it. Generic Adderall is covered by Medicare & other insurance plans. Adding the pharmacy’s coupons can make the drug’s cost lower.

Armodafinil vs Adderall – Which One Is Better for You?

Overall, armodafinil is safe & well-tolerated and offers great cognitive-augmenting advantages without any of the frequent Adderall negative effects. While some individuals still prefer Adderall, nearly every business executive, IT professional, or just a healthy individual from any walk of life, has switched from Adderall to armodafinil.

It’s not hype. These “smart tabs” are truly working like the pill in the Limitless movie, and you’ll experience insanely great brainpower benefits after ingestion. Both nootropics are extremely efficacious, and Adderall provides almost the same effects as armodafinil. However, the latter has a unique benefit – it’s not addictive & has fewer side effects than Adderall.


  1. Drug Approval Package: Nuvigil (armodafinil) Tablets NDA 21875. Retrieved: May 7, 2021. Accessdata.fda.gov.
  2. What is the role of modafinil and armodafinil in the treatment of primary hypersomnia? By Adrian Preda, MD. Edited by Ana Hategan, FRCPC. Updated: September 5, 2018. Medscape.com.
  3. Prescriptions, Nonmedical Use, and Emergency Department Visits Involving Prescription Stimulants. By Lian-Yu Chen, Rosa M. Crum, Eric C. Strain, et al. Published: April 17, 2018. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  4. Focus boosting drugs not worth the risks, studies warn. By Maria Cohut, Ph.D. Fact checked by Isabel Godfrey. Published: August 12, 2019. Medicalnewstoday.com.
  5. Nuvigil. Last reviewed on RxList: March 24, 2021. Retrieved: May 7, 2021. Rxlist.com.
  6. Armodafinil. Edited by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP. Reviewed on September 19, 2019. Rxlist.com.
  7. Acute myocardial infarction induced by concurrent use of Adderall and alcohol in an adolescent. By Jayendra Sharma, Carlyle de Castro, Partha Chatterjee, and Rohit Pinto. Published: January 2013. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  8. Myocardial infarction associated with Adderall XR and alcohol use in a young man. By Xiangyang Jiao, Sonia Velez, et al. Published: March-April 2009. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  9. Cardiac irritability and myocardial infarction in a 13-year-old girl following recreational amphetamine overdose. By Matthew D. Sztajnkrycer, Selena Hariharan, and G. Randall Bond. Published: August 2002. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  10. Effects of Modafinil on Dopamine and Dopamine Transporters in the Male Human Brain: Clinical Implications. By Nora D. Volkow, Joanna S. Fowler, Jean Logan, et al. Published: March 18, 2010. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  11. This Is How Adderall Really Affects Your Brain. By Vera Papisova. Published: February 17, 2016. Cliffordsegil.com.
  12. Optimal physical performance in athletes: key roles of dopamine in a specific neurotransmitter/hormonal mechanism. By C. Gilbert. Published: October 1995. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  13. Effects of d-amphetamine in human models of information processing and inhibitory control. By Mark T. Fillmore, Thomas H. Kelly, and Catherine A. Martin. Published: October 2011. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

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