Armodafinil is closely related to Modafinil, a drug used to promote wakefulness in people suffering from excessive sleepiness during daytime caused by various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy and shift work disorder. This drug is also sometimes used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and major depressive disorder.

A Brief History

Armodafinil was developed by Cephalon, the same company that holds the license to Modafinil, which is marketed under the Provigil brand. Modafinil was originally created in France by Lafon Laboratories in 1994 and was used in the treatment of narcolepsy. Lafon was later purchased by Cephalon. In 2007, they developed Armodafinil,  an enantiomer of Modafinil.  The resulting drug was determined to be more powerful than its predecessor.  Generic versions of the drug are sold under the names artvigil and waklert.

The Benefits of Armodafinil

Armodafinil works similarly to Modafinil, which shouldn’t be a surprise since one is basically the other, except for a small change in chemical structure. The main benefit and effect of this drug are that it promotes wakefulness, with the sensation being quite noticeable. Some liken it to taking a strong dose of caffeine but without the unpleasant nervousness, jitters and sometimes feelings of anxiety it can cause. It also doesn’t have any effect on heart rate or blood pressure, which certainly makes it a better option than many wakefulness agents out there, including caffeine.

This drug is often preferred over Modafinil because the chance of a patient becoming addicted to it is almost zero, whereas the addictive potential of Modafinil is somewhat higher. It also takes longer than its predecessor to hit its peak in terms of concentration in the blood, which can make it a better option when treating people suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness.

It is also completely safe for most people and won’t have any adverse effects on current sleep patterns, which means that patients will be able to sleep as they normally do.

Some people claim that there is no way they can get to sleep within 5 to 10 hours of taking Modafinil, but with Armodafinil, this is not the case. This might be problematic for anyone looking to keep them awake for longer than usual, but for some people, especially those suffering from sleep disorders, this is certainly a benefit.

It also seems to have the ability to improve focus, like Modafinil, but the effects aren’t quite as intense, which might actually be a good thing. A lower intensity means the drug can be used more frequently or even continuously, whereas its predecessor should be part of a cycle or, better yet, used only on occasion, when absolutely necessary.

Anecdotal evidence suggests a significant increase in productivity, along with improved mental fluidity and a boost to memory. There is also some evidence to support the fact that Armodafinil might be able to help alleviate symptoms of jet lag.

Armodafinil vs Modafinil

These two supplements differ in their chemical structure, with Armodafinil being an enantiomer of Modafinil. The latter is classified as a Racemic, which means it has both (L) and (R)-enantiomers. An enantiomer refers to one of a pair of molecules that mirror each other but cannot be superposed. In our case, the supplement only has the (R)-enantiomer, and since this is Modafinil’s active component, it means that Armodafinil is, technically, a better targeted and purer rendition of its predecessor.

It should be noted that people have experienced different reactions to these supplements, especially when comparing them. Some have found that Modafinil has a better capacity to improve their mood, thereby injecting more positive feelings and increasing drive and confidence. These people also state that they have experienced stress, anxiety or nervousness when taking Armodafinil. In fact, some even find that it makes them feel slightly aggressive and like they are constantly on edge. Of course, some people also experience this with Modafinil.

The latter isn’t indicative of all the differences in reactions between the two supplements, but it is a good starting point. It also serves to show that reactions to these two supplements will differ from one person to the next. You might find you do a lot better on Armodafinil, whereas someone else will have a less pleasant experience than you.

Unfortunately, the only way to really tell which supplement is better for you is by getting a prescription for both from your doctor so you can test them yourself. Your experiences could differ significantly from other people’s, which is why a little self-experimentation is necessary.

Possible Side Effects…

This drug is quite safe, especially when prescribed by a doctor. However, side effects can occur, such as nausea, anxiety, dry mouth, headaches and issues sleeping. These side effects tend to be rare and mild when they do occur. They also tend to be the result of people taking a larger dose than recommended or when it’s used continuously for a longer period of time.

Dosage Guidelines

This drug is marketed as Nuvigil and can be purchased in 50, 150 or 250 mg tablets. Dosage for the treatment of a medical condition will depend on the physician and the neurochemistry of the patient. However, the standard recommended dosage for someone suffering from narcolepsy, for example, is between 150 and 250 mg per day.

While there is little chance of you overdosing on this supplement, you really shouldn’t go over 250 mg every 24 hours or you increase the risk of side effects occurring.

When used as a nootropic, the best option is to start out with a low dosage of 50 mg and then adjust the dosage higher or lower until you are able to achieve the effects you desire while using the smallest dosage possible.

It should be noted that some people claim Armodafinil is 30% more powerful than modafinil, which would make a 150 mg dosage equivalent to a 200 mg dose. There are some, though, who feel that this supplement is much stronger than Modafinil.


Armodafinil shouldn’t be taken lightly. It does have powerful effects and can certainly be an effective nootropic, but it is quite potent. This is why you should always be careful, especially considering that in the US, it’s only available by prescription.

Nicole Sanders

Hi, I'm Nicole, chief editor at Nootropics Revealed. Learn more about me and my mission here.