Are Modafinil and Armodafinil the Same Thing? How Smart Drugs works?

To be honest, there is no correct answer to this question. It can be said both yes and no, depending on the point of view. For average users who do not have medical knowledge, these two drugs will be very similar because they are based their experience only on the principle of action of both medicines. However, the differences exist, primarily in the chemical structure. We can say that their basis is the same, but that Armodafinil is an improved, concentrated version of Modafinil.

Modafinil is a nootropic that was discovered nearly 30 years ago, while Armodafinil is one of the represents of the newest generations of smart drugs. More specifically, the prototype of Armodafinil was developed in 2007, when licenses for Modafinil expired so pharmaceutical companies had to found an adequate replacement for it.

As Modafinil proved to be very successful and effective and became one of the top products on the market, pharmacists tried to create the new substance as an equivalent to this smart drug. Armodafinil was formed by the extraction of R and S stereoisomers from its “ancestor”, whereby the new substance was named R-Modafinil.

how smart drug works

You see that their chemical structures are similar, but in the chemical sense, Armodafinil represents the enantiomer of its predecessor. It means that their molecules are related to objects and figures in the mirror; their structure is not quite alike, but they show the same physical and chemical properties.


The first similarity between these two drugs is that they have the same on-label use. Modafinil and Armodafinil are used to treat sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep apnea. In addition, both drugs are subjects of further research in the management and treating of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. Also, there are indications that both substances can be used in treating attention deficit disorders, as they affect the focus and direction of energy.

As for the use of these drugs in healthy people, the effect is both related to improved brain power. Cognitive functions have been increased, concentration is higher than usual – people using nootropics know this means improved performance and better results. The focus is on one task, and interference from external factors is drastically reduced. Better work experience brings more motivation, and when you’re motivated, you have the will to work and create.

Personally, I think the effect of Modafinil is a bit stronger; I tried Armodafinil once, and I felt no difference except the excessive sleepiness. From the experience of the people I know, but also from the impressions I have found on the Internet, it seems that those who tried both drugs give a slight advantage to the Armodafinil.

Duration of Armodafinil and Modafinil effects is another similarity. For both of them, effects can last up to 13 hours; however, in Modafinil, there were cases when the influence of the drug was recognized after 24 hours. As we have said, based on a few exceptions, we can’t draw a conclusion which one is more effective in this regard. As for half-life, or the period that the organism needs to eliminate the substance, in these nootropics, it is up to 15 hours.


Again, we note that the effect of the drug is individual and that the benefits do not have to be displayed in each user. The same applies to side effects. We will mention here what is the main difference between these two nootropics, and it is mostly reflected in contraindications.

If Armodafinil and Modafinil are used as “study drugs”, some of the side effects that can occur are increased sleepiness or inability to sleep. Personally, when using Modafinil, as I mentioned earlier, there was no problem as when I took Armodafinil. That was the major reason why I did not want to experiment with Armodafinil anymore. When the effect of Armodafinil stopped, even after 15 hours, I did not feel sleepy. I was tired, but I could not calm and relax. My heartbeats were accelerated; nothing alarming, but enough to keep me on the alert.

Still, reading the user experience, I note that in many of them, Modafinil was a solution to staying awake. There were cases feeling the same thing with this drug as I did with Armodafinil. As I said, the effect is a subjective matter.

Considering Armodafinil as a new-generation drug, the presumption is that it has fewer side effects than Modafinil. In particular, fewer cases of common contraindications, such as tiredness, loss of appetite, or nausea, should be noted. Although Modafinil and Armodafinil are on the list of allowed substances, and have a low possibility of abuse, in this situation when we have to compare them, the slight advantage is on the side of the Armodafinil.

Since Modafinil is on the market for a long time, numerous copies of medicines have been developed over the years and can be found for free sale. This is not the case with the Armodafinil. Also, for the new-generation medicine, it can be said to have zero addictive potential. Modafinil is not addictive too, but there still are higher chances than in Armodafinil.

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User experiences

If we exclude my personal example, it seems that users have more positive experiences with the Armodafinil. Modafinil has built a brand and is regarded as one of the best-selling nootropics. That is why Armodafinil is considered a decent replacement, which will surpass its ancestor, given the improved performance compared to Modafinil.

The choice of the smart drug depends largely on the individual because each organism has different needs and reactions to a medicine. The best advice we can give you is to try to use both of these nootropics, for example, for a week. It’s an optimal period to see the difference in their performance, to evaluate whether there are some contraindications, but also whether the drug is effective at all.