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Adrafinil is a nootropic agent that increases attention in healthy adults. Adrafinil is a prodrug for modafinil, meaning it is metabolized into modafinil and thus carries many of the same physiological and cognitive effects as modafinil. It is similar in structure to modafinil, without the terminal amide hydroxyl group.

Pharmacology of Adrafinil

Adrafinil is a prodrug for modafinil, and is naturally converted to modafinil in the liver.1


Adrafinil is a prodrug for modafinil. It is converted to modafinil in the liver.

Adrafinil produces various pharmacological effects. In animals, the most prominent effect is increased behavioral activity. For example, in mice, it has been found that at doses of 60 mg/kg, there is a 100% increase in activity while at doses of up to 90 to 120 mg/kg there is about a 300% increase in activity.1

One study in 10 elderly individuals found that adrafinil administration results in a significant central nervous system effect. Specifically, there is an increase of alpha activity and decrease of delta and theta activity.2Alpha activity is associated with sustained wakefulness in normal adults.3

Adrafinil and Cognition

While there are few studies directly studying the effect of adrafinil on cognition, there is a large body of research involving the effects of modafinil on cognition, particularly with respect to attention.4,5,6,7,8Some studies have observed improvements in creativity9and mood10as well.

Side Effects of Adrafinil

As with modafinil, it is important to note that there are various side effects associated with adrafinil usage and withdrawal.

Sources of Adrafinil

Adrafinil is a synthetic compound. It can be obtained either over the counter or with a prescription. Adrafinil cannot be obtained through natural food sources.


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