Have you ever wondered about the difference between Vyvanse and modafinil?
Although there are quite a few similarities between the two— both are used off-label for increasing focus and concentration— there are some important differences between them that you need to be aware of.
Vyvanse is a brand name drug and comes at brand name prices.
It’s also an amphetamine, similar to Adderall, which is another popular smart drug.
Amphetamines come with a set of issues not found in next-generation smart drugs like modafinil.
Here, we discuss what makes these two drugs different and why we prefer modafinil to Vyvanse.
Central Nervous System Stimulants
Central nervous system stimulants (often just called stimulants for short) are a class of drugs that force the brain into an aroused state.
This class of drugs is the most commonly used class of drugs in the world, aside from caffeine in coffee and tea.
The reason for taking these drugs is to give the brain a boost.
It’s preferred amongst people who need to perform at the highest cognitive level possible or achieve superhuman levels of productivity on a daily basis.
It’s like hitting the turbo in the brain, forcing it into overdrive to get more speed and performance out of it.
Who Takes Stimulants?
A lot of the people who use these stimulants are people with heavy workloads or high expectations to perform.
CEOs, students, business professionals, and designers all use stimulants to get more work done.
Other industries also have unique uses for these medications.
Truck drivers use it to stay awake on long, overnight hauls, and E-sports contestants use them to increase reaction times during competitions.
Even the military has used it in their special forces units to stay awake and vigilant on long overnight missions.
The fact of the matter is that anybody who needs to get a lot of stuff done, or who want to get through a tough, tedious task can benefit from stimulants.
Choosing the right one can be a challenge when there are so many options available.
What is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a central nervous system stimulant used for treating narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea.
It forces the brain into a waking state where we become more alert and focused.
Modafinil works to increase dopamine levels in the brain, helping us stay motivated for several hours at a time. It can delay the onset of fatigue, and can dramatically improve productivity.
This drug has fewer side effects than many other stimulants and is easy to buy online both with or without a prescription.
How Much Does Modafinil Cost?
There are two types of modafinil that we need to talk about in order to discuss price.
There’s brand name modafinil, which can cost anywhere from $25 to $52 per tablet. The brand name versions are Provigil® and Nuvigil®.
There are also generic modafinil that are significantly cheaper.
The range of generic modafinil available through the online vendor AfinilExpress.com is between $0.80 and $2.80 per tablet.
The cost variation depends on how much you buy (bulk orders are cheaper) and whether you buy modafinil or armodafinil (armodafinil is slightly more expensive).
What’s the Dose for Modafinil?
Modafinil Comes in Three Main Doses:
- 100 mg (modafinil)
- 150 mg (armodafinil)
- 200 mg (modafinil)
The most common dosage is 150 mg for armodafinil, and 200 mg for modafinil.
Most of the manufacturers making generic modafinil and armodafinil make them with a crease down the center. This allows the user to break the pill in halves to get two equal doses.
Some people choose to take a higher dose and will double up instead.
We don’t recommend going higher than 400 mg modafinil or 300 mg armodafinil due to the increased chances of side effects.
Modafinil is very safe— there are reports of people taking more than 4000 mg of modafinil in a single day!
Though it’s not recommended, there were no lasting side effects on this account, the side effects, while the drugs were circulating in the body, were severe and very uncomfortable.
Within the normal 200–400 mg range, side effects are rare and highly manageable.
(Image credit: Rx Pharmacy)
How Modafinil Works
Modafinil works through three main activities:
- Increases dopamine levels in the brain by preventing its reuptake and destruction
- Increases norepinephrine levels in the brain by blocking its reuptake and destruction
- Triggers the release of the neuropeptide orexin from the hypothalamus, forcing the mind into a state of arousal
The combined effects of the drug force us into a waking state. We feel alert, even when we would typically feel tired.
Modafinil also helps us concentrate through its ability to increase dopamine concentrations, which is a critical component of focusing on a given task, and staying motivated to work or study.
Where to Source Modafinil
The best way to get your hands on some modafinil for yourself is to buy it online through a community-vetted online vendor like AfinilExpress.com.
These sources offer discounted generic modafinil at prices significantly cheaper than brand name options. They take credit card or Bitcoin payment and have some of the best customer service in the industry.
Tip: Use the discount code MODAFINILORG when shopping at Afinil Express to save 10% on your order.
The Side Effects Of Modafinil
The most common side effects of the drug are headaches, anxiety, and insomnia. Both of these side effects can be avoided if by following these simple tips.
The mild side effects of modafinil include:
- Poor appetite
- Dry mouth
- Faster heartbeat
- High blood pressure
More severe side effects include:
- Severe depression
- Chest pain
- Severe skin reactions
What is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is a pharmaceutical drug used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and severe binge-eating-disorder (BED) in adults.
Vyvanse is the brand name for the compound known as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, an amphetamine stimulant medication. Its chemical structure makes it similar to Adderall, another amphetamine stimulant used to treat ADHD.
The company that makes the drug, Shire Pharmaceuticals, claim that their drug medicine is the #1 prescribed branded ADHD medication.
Some people are taking Vyvanse for boosting productivity and increasing focus and concentration.
(Image credit: Vyvanse.com)
What Are People Saying About Vyvanse?
Online forums like Reddit and Longecity are great online resources for anecdotal reports and opinions about the drugs from people who’ve tried it and aren’t incentivized to promote or discourage the use of the drugs.
After In-Depth Combing Through These Forums, Here’s the Highlights:
- It’s great for increasing mental energy but isn’t as useful for boosting concentration or focus as other, similar drugs, and commonly produces a brain fog.
- It hinders the creative thought process.
- Can make you feel distant and prevents you from being a “functional member of society.”
- It lowers appetite
- It can cause a rollercoaster of effects, sometimes working well, other times not at all
- It can produce bad headaches
Unfortunately, as you can see, the general opinion on these forums is negative.
There are, of course, a lot of positive benefits of the drug, but it appears to be unreliable in its effects.
On top of this, the cost is very high for the drug, forcing a lot of daily users to seek out other options.
How Much Does Vyvanse Cost?
According to Goodrx.com, the average cost of Vyvanse is about $270 for a 30 day supply.
That’s about $9 per dose.
Walmart lists slightly lower pricing, which is as follows:
Number of Tablets
Cost Per Tablet
Interestingly, buying in bulk offers almost no cost savings on the drug.
The difference between the smallest dose to the largest for the same number of tablets is only $5.
Are There Generic Versions of Vyvanse?
Modafinil has been around for over 20 years, and there are now a variety of generic options available at a fraction of the cost.
These generic medications are perfectly equivalent to the brand name versions and exposed to the same rigorous quality assurance measures taken by the FDA to brand name manufacturers.
There is yet no generic version of Vyvanse available to the public.
This allows the manufacturers of Vyvanse, Shire Pharmaceuticals, to control all sale and marketing of the drug. All sales go directly into their pockets no matter how much they want to sell the drug.
To maximize profits, pharmaceuticals will charge different amounts in different countries depending on the prevalence of the condition its approved to treat and how much the average person living in that area is willing to pay for the medication.
A lack of generics is a problem for the general public interested in taking Vyvanse.
The company will continue to hold a monopoly over the drug until 2023 when the patents finally expire.
Until then, I hope you brought your checkbook with you, Vyvanse is going to cost a lot more than the other options currently available.
What’s the Dose For Vyvanse?
Vyvanse comes in 3 main dosages:
- 30 mg
- 40 mg
- 60 mg
All three dosages cost the same. However, the dosage given by a doctor must be adhered to. This means you can’t buy 60 mg Vyvanse and split it into two 30 mg doses or three 20 mg doses to save money.
Doctors will decide on the dose according to how it affects you because nobody reacts the same on the drug.
Generally, they will prescribe a 20 mg dose for two weeks and tell you to come back.
If at the end of the two weeks you report that the drug had little benefit, they’ll increase to a 40 mg dose and repeat.
The highest they will prescribe is 60 mg, and only if the drug is producing little to no effects at lower doses.
If the drug is still not working, they will usually change you over to either Adderall or modafinil.
What is Chewable Vyvanse?
There is another form of Vyvanse, designed for children six years and up.
It’s a chewable flavored tablet to help kids swallow the pharmaceuticals more easily.
This version comes in a greater range to account for the high variability in children’s sizes and metabolisms affecting the drug effects.
The doses for chewable Vyvanse includes:
- 10 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
- 40 mg
- 50 mg
- 60 mg
What is Mixable Vyvanse?
Vyvanse takes the cake for having the most amount of administration formats in the world of stimulants. They also have a mixable version of the drug, again, aimed at making the drug easier to give to children with ADHD.
They advertise this on the Vyvanse official website. The method is to buy the capsulated versions, which are the normal swallowable option, but to then open the capsule and mix it in with juice, water, or yogurt.
The dose for this method is the same as the swallowable version of the drug.
How Vyvanse Works
Vyvanse is considered a prodrug. This means that for the drug to produce any effects, it needs to be metabolized by the liver into something else first.
The metabolite then goes on to produce the effects throughout the body.
The main effects of the drug are to increase the concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine. These compounds are very similar in structure, and often when a drug affects one of them, it will also affect the other.
Vyvanse works on ADHD because people suffering from this condition often have lower dopamine levels in the brain. Low dopamine levels make it harder to stay focused and on track.
By increasing the concentration of dopamine to increase, it makes it easier for patients suffering from the condition stay focused on the task at hand.
The increase in norepinephrine causes a stimulating effect in the brain, making us feel alert and focused. It can also cause us to lose our appetite and can produce side effects like headaches and dry mouth.
When To Avoid Vyvanse:
- If you’ve taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the past 14 days
- If you’re sensitive to stimulant medications
- If you’re under the age of 6
- If you suffer from any psychiatric conditions (including depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts)
- If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome
The Side Effects of Vyvanse
Minor Side Effects
- Dry mouth
- Fast heartbeat
- Heart palpations
- High blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Poor appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
- Tingling sensation in the hands and feet
- Weight loss
Serious Side Effects
- Heart attack
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Serotonin syndrome
- Suicidal thoughts
Any side effects of this drug should be reported to the FDA.
Comparing Vyvanse & Modafinil
|Dose||50–400 mg||10–60 mg|
|Mechanism of action||Increases dopamine
Stimulates the release of orexin
|Cost per brand name tablet||$20–$51||$6.5–$9.00|
|Cost per generic tablet||$0.70–$2.50||Not available|
|Available online without prescription?||Yes||No|
Modafinil vs. Vyvanse? Which Should I Take?
Vyvanse is a popular medication for treating ADHD. It increases dopamine levels slightly more effectively than modafinil, but lacks most of the other beneficial effects modafinil offers.
For example, Vyvanse doesn’t delay fatigue nearly as effectively as modafinil and has many downsides.
Anecdotal reports from people using these drugs often complain about the unreliability of Vyvanse. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Being an amphetamine, Vyvanse also tends to cause tolerance and addiction, making it difficult to go without the drug after a while.
For all of these reasons, we believe modafinil to be the superior smart drug and the one we choose to take on a daily basis.