Modafinil vs Adderall Dosage, Side Effects and Alternatives Review

Updated on March 20, 2022

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In the fast-paced world of today, the main challenge is to maintain focus. Our lives are bombarded with struggles and information and it is quite difficult to maintain the work and life balance. As things are getting complicated, the quality of life depends on how we focus on the ordinary and challenging parts of our lives and manage them in different ways. Prioritizing attention effectively and channelizing your energy in the right direction is the toughest call. To cope with these focus-related issues, many people reach out to get help in the form of stimulants. These stimulants may help in depleting the energy and increasing the focus, especially while dealing with the demanding everyday work routine. 

For the curious minds of our readers, we want to do a fair and brief comparison of Modafinil vs. Adderall in this article. Both the drugs, Modafinil and Adderall, are stimulants prescribed to address the issues including ADHD, sleep, and fatigue. Both are considered under the category of central nervous system stimulant medications (psychostimulants), as they have similar properties and similar applications. Both drugs are also commonly used as nootropics to enhance cognition and performance at the workplace or school. 

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While Modafinil and Adderall have the same potential of drastically changing the quality of your performance, they are actually not the same. Adderall and Modafinil have different chemistry and even their working mechanism is also not the same. Besides, they also differ in terms of side effects, legality, and how you can purchase them online. However, both of the drugs are listed as controlled substances by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

In this comprehensive comparison, we will review Modafinil vs. Adderall and give you a better insight into how they are different and similar to each other. 

What is Modafinil?

To understand the better comparison, you have to dig out in the details about each of them. Modafinil is a prescription medication that improves wakefulness. It was developed in France during the 1980s and eventually got approved in the USA in 1998 under the brand name Provigil. Modafinil is usually prescribed to people who suffer from sleep disorders to help them combat excessive sleepiness during the day hours. It is mentioned on the label that Modafinil is also used for the individuals that have been diagnosed with the following issues:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Shift work sleep disorder

According to the recent clinical studies, it has been shown that Modafinil is effective when used as a therapy for other disorders, so it is now used for some off-label uses such as:

  • Severe depressive disorder
  • Addiction problems
  • ADHD

What is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name of a psychostimulant prescription medication that is a combined form of two drugs; amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This combination has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of the following issues:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Sleep disorder – Narcolepsy 

While Modafinil is relatively a new arrival, Adderall has been popular for the past many decades among students and individuals who experience sleep attacks during the day activities. It is also popular with the name of “Study Drug” for bringing up wakefulness for the students. 

Modafinil vs. Adderall 

Modafinil and Adderall have their own set of benefits and usages. Though some of them are similar, we will do a fair comparison below. There are different researches done to compare the effectiveness of both drugs. Here is the information about the comparisons

Fatigue and Stress: Both are equally good at improving mood swings, alleviating stress, and improving cognitive performance. However, it has been concluded that Modafinil is safer between the two with a better safety profile 

Cognitive functions: Both drugs are good at enhancing cognitive performance in sleep-deprived individuals. Though Adderall had long lasting effects than Modafinil, Modafinil had fewer side effects.

Weight loss: Both drugs contribute to weight loss. Though Adderall seems to be more effective in triggering weight loss, Modafinil is suggested as a better candidate because of its fewer side effects and lower risk of addiction. 

Benefits of Modafinil and Adderall

Modafinil Benefits 

In this section we will share a comprehensive list of benefits of Modafinil that you can expect to experience:

Enhanced Focus: Modafinil is known as a popular drug among students and individuals with immense workloads for helping them gain sustained concentration and focus. As per the clinical studies, Modafinil has been found effective in boosting focus and concentration, thus enabling users to get more work done than their usual performance bar. Unlike other kinds of stimulants, Modafinil doesn’t cause jitters or anxieties. Instead, it gives a calm and sustained focus.

Promotes Wakefulness: Modafinil helps the users in staying awake for up to 10-15 hours. This makes it ideal for students or professionals looking to meet tight deadlines. Modafinil also helps sleep-derived individuals to perform at their best as if they would if they have slept and rested well. One has to make sure to take this super awakened drug in the morning so that it doesn’t affect your overnight sleep. 

Improved Memory functions: Research and studies have shown that Modafinil impacts positively on various aspects of memory including spatial memory, episodic memory, and working memory. Because of its memory-enhancing capability, it is considered useful for students struggling to remember their lessons for some big exams. Overall, Modafinil improves the memorization process. 

Boosted Cognition: According to medical research, Modafinil has been found to have a large impact on a number of different cognitive functions. The list of cognitive functions that gets improved by Modafinil includes spatial planning, visual pattern recognition, reaction time, decision-making skills, visual processing, and powerful strategic planning. 

Improved Mood: The individuals using Modafinil reported to have improved moods. Though the reason behind this effect is not known exactly, it is suspected to be a side effect of upregulation of dopamine, which is closely linked with mood. Due to this quality, Modafinil is preferred to use as an effective therapy for mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Enhanced Motivation: Another exciting boon for the overburdened students and professionals is, not only does Modafinil aid in making your energy levels higher to get through the massive list of work, but it also assists in boosting your motivation to achieve your goals with increased desire and pleasure. 

Price:  Besides some well-researched benefits, another advantage that makes Modafinil a great option for many is its reasonable price. You can get a day’s dosage of Modafinil for as low as $0.80, which is even cheaper than a cup of coffee. It is very economical, especially when its benefits and effects are concerned. 

Cures Hangover: Another attractive thing about Modafinil that is loved by many is its ability to turn a hangover day into a productive one. Instead of spending the day in bed after enjoying a night out, Modafinil can help you actually to get some real work done during the day. For a working day, it is a pill of rescue. 

Adderall Benefits

Just like Modafinil, Adderall also has many benefits. Also, Adderall has an edge of having been around longer, so it is backed up by more research and studies about its uses and advantages. Following are some of the major benefits of Adderall:

Alleviated Fatigue: One of the major effects of Adderall is working as a stimulant that helps in reducing fatigue and stress. Several studies have shown that Adderall helps in increasing perceived energy levels. 

Heightened Focus: The primary usage of Adderall is for the treatment of ADHD, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is effective in improving focus. According to scientific studies, Adderall can improve sustained attention and vigilance, thus helping the user to stay intensely focused on tasks for very long periods of time. 

Improve Cognitive Functions: According to the studies it has been found that Adderall has a significant impact on a number of different aspects of cognitive functions. It can help improve mental alertness and focus while enhancing decision-making skills.

Improve Memory: According to the research Adderall has proved to be beneficial in improving certain kinds of working memory in a few groups of people. However, these effects of improving memory do not seem to be as clear and evident as for Modafinil.  

Side Effects of Modafinil and Adderall 

From the benefits comparison, we can easily notice that the advantages of Modafinil and Adderall are quite similar. However, now we are going to focus on Modafinil’s side effects in comparison to Adderall’s side effects. Though both the drugs are considered safe, however, this brief comparison will let us conclude which one is safer. As per the user reviews, Adderall typically has come stronger side effects, but its effects are seen to be consistent as per the research. 

Modafinil Side Effects

According to most medical researchers and clinical scientists, Modafinil is generally considered a safe and well-tolerated drug. However, the following are some of the side effects that one needs to know before using it. Also, these side effects are usually in nature and can be easily tolerated. 

  • Lack of sleep 
  • Mild Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight loss

Not only these common side effects of Modafinil are mild in nature, they still are not very usual to occur for every individual. As per the clinical trials, 17% or less of the participants reported experiencing some of these side effects. In addition, Modafinil is considered remarkably safe even when used in high doses. However, by taking more than the recommended dosage of Modafinil you will increase the chance of experiencing some uncomfortable side effects. None of the side effects reported are fatal and not a single death has been reported in relevance with Modafinil. 

Adderall Side Effects 

Some of the common side effects that have been closely linked with the usage of Adderall are listed below:

  • Mild Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disturbed sleep or sleeplessness
  • Mild pain in stomach
  • Weight loss

Some of the more serious, but less common side effects of Adderall may include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting 
  • Mental Blurness 
  • Confusion 
  • Agitation and Anger issues
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Hallucinations

In case of experiencing any of the above problematic side effects, it is important to bring it to the notice of your health care provider. 

Like Modafinil, Adderall is also considered pretty safe even after using at really high doses. However, the fatal level of sode for Adderall is about 1.4 grams for someone weighing 154 lbs. This is somewhat about 25 times higher than the recommended dosage. 

Though it is quite safe, unlike Modafinil, some cases of deaths have been reported after taking Adderall. However, the fatal side effects are known to have occurred in people with underlying heart conditions. But we can’t ignore the fact that it has happened with Adderall, which is not the case with Modafinil.

What are Adderall and Modafinil Used For? 

Modafinil and Adderall have been known to be used for similar reasons and are widely popular among a multitude of people. Some of the common users of Adderall and Modafinil are listed below:

Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals: If you are looking to be in the frontline of high achievers and bust through your massive to-do list, these are for you. Modafinil is powerful enough to help you power up for your work for 12 to 14 hour days without the signs of fatigue and stress. 

Software Developers: Another popular use of Modafinil and Adderall are the software developers and coders that really struggle hard to concentrate and work out bugs. It’s very common to get tired of coding for hours on end, but these smart drugs have proved to be helpful for many web developers and coders to boost their productivity. 

Students: Amid the massive workload and studies burden, many students struggle hard to get good grades and most of them look forward to these two stimulants for their usefulness. These drugs help the students get through their homework with better focus. These also help in enhancing concentration so that they can study for the exam in a better way with improved power of memorizing the material. 

Writers: While Modafinil and Adderall are not considered as the best nootropics for creativity, they are still used by creative people to actually sit down with focus and get things done. If you are looking for something that can help in increasing your concentration level, Modafinil is definitely the right choice. 

In short, it can be concluded that both Modafinil and Adderall are commonly used in any industry and profession where the individuals need to maintain intense focus. The use of both drugs enhances the endurance levels so that the users don’t feel tired. 

Mind Lab PRO – Best Natural Alternatives to Adderall and Modafinil 

While we have discussed all the good and bad associated with Modafinil and Adderall in this review, the fact cannot be denied that it is always a better approach to choose natural alternatives instead of these drugs. Mind Lab PRO is one of the top choices available over the counter as the natural alternative of Adderall and Modafinil. 

Mind Lab Pro is a powerful formula that is designed by scientists with a blend of 11 separate nootropics that are promising enough to enhance your daily focus and concentration. Most of the similar products target only two neural pathways. However, Mind Lab Pro optimizes cognitive functions by targeting six neural pathways. 

The powerful nootropic chemical blend is specifically designed in a way that makes it suitable for anybody, regardless of age and stress level. The formula is created to help people gain focus while improving their general cognitive functions. Mind Lab Pro is absolutely free from any additives or stimulants. Even smaller doses may do wonders for the improvement of brain function and neural regeneration and it is, by all means, a better alternative to Adderall. 

Mind Lab Pro is a formula that proactively works against aging effects and improves memory retention. It is an ideal natural alternative to Modafinil and Adderall, as it has a superior ability to multi-task by targeting multiple cognitive processes. In addition, the cocktail of vitamins in the formula of Mind Lab Pro also helps greatly in improving mood. The formula contains no caffeine, no toxins, or any harmful chemicals, and their nootropics are proven to make it one of the best and most effective natural alternatives of Modafinil and Adderall, and that too without any serious side effects.  

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.