Both Adrafinil and Fladrafinil are examples of the class of drugs known as nootropics that promote wakefulness in healthy people. Even though there have been no regulated scientific trials conducted on this medication, it is nevertheless considered a smart medicine, and many individuals use it to combat tiredness.

Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between these two drugs, as well as the advantages and drawbacks of each.

Fladrafinil vs Adrafinil Difference 

Both drugs are derived from another euregoic drug called Modafinil. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for allowing you to experience pleasure, contentment, and motivation. When you feel accomplished, it is due to a dopamine spike in the brain. Modafinil works by inhibiting dopamine transporters, which greatly increases dopamine levels in the human brain. Because of this, it affects the mind, producing effects such as feelings of alertness and improved thinking and perception.

Adrafinil is a physiologically inert chemical and a prodrug, which means it must interact with the body’s metabolic processes before it may provide benefits. It is converted into Modafinil in the liver, its active form that produces the benefits.

It was once commonly prescribed to the elderly in France to be more alert, attentive, awake, and in a better mood. It functions by preventing the breakdown of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

On the other hand, Fladrafinil enhances cognitive performance in healthy individuals. It works by blocking the reuptake of dopamine in the brain. Its molecular structure is quite similar to Modafinil, which means it may provide similar effects as Modafinil. However, Fladrafinil is said to be more potent and may stay in the body for longer because it contains an extra fluoride molecule.

Both are euregoics, or wakefulness-promoting drugs, with a common off-label usage for people who want to stay awake and aware for lengthy shifts, such as night laborers.

Fladrafinil vs Adrafinil Benefits

1. Wakefulness

Because both are euregoics, both effectively trigger wakefulness and increase energy levels in healthy adults. This benefit has been demonstrated in several animal experiments without the normal stimulant side effects, such as heightened motor activity. [1]

2. Enhancement of Cognitive Activity

Both are effective nootropics that help boost memory and focus. They offer a variety of benefits, some of which include increased memory, enhanced clarity of thinking, alertness, and more. [2] Although studies show that they did not affect working memory or mental flexibility, they did increase the patient’s ability to make decisions and organize thoughts.

3. Neuroprotector

Adrafinil and Fadrafinil have comparable effects to Modafinil. They are also neuroprotective agents since they promote wakefulness and improve performance. They may be effective in the pharmaceutical intervention used in Parkinson’s disease therapy. It also has neuroprotective qualities due to its capacity to minimize or prevent oxidative damage. [3]

4. Memory Booster

According to a study, individuals whose depression had been successfully treated with antidepressants saw improvements in both their episodic and working memories when they took Modafinil at a dose of 200 milligrams.

For individuals whose depression has lifted but who are still having trouble concentrating or remembering things, Adrafinil and Fladrafinil may be effective treatment options. [4]

5. Depression

Both are known to alleviate depression in addition to being effective in improving memory and cognitive functions. This is because its mechanism of action involves blocking the breakdown of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps improve mood and reduce stress. They may also aid in sleep control and anxiety reduction by stimulating the production of serotonin.

However, it is quite doubtful that Adrafinil or Fladrafinil will become extensively used in the treatment of depression any time soon without a great deal more clinical data to back up these preliminary findings.

Fladrafinil vs Adrafinil: Which is Better?

There is no better drug between the two since every individual has different drug requirements. They also produce similar effects and are converted into Modafinil.

However, Fladrafinil is known to have anti-aggressive effects, which other euregoic drugs lack. It is also more potent than Adrafinil. This indicates that it has the potential to enhance wakefulness over a longer period. On the other hand, this difference might not be significant for those with a lower tolerance for the medicine or who are more sensitive to its effects.

Adrafinil is a prodrug, or precursor to Modafinil. This indicates that it can be consumed by the body for it to be converted into Modafinil eventually. Users can circumvent the first-pass metabolism system of the liver.

First-pass metabolism refers to the percentage of medicine that is lost during the absorption phase and is often related to the liver and the gut wall. Using this method, it is possible to improve the drug’s capacity to be absorbed and utilized by the body.

Fladrafinil vs Adrafinil Side Effects

Headaches and nausea are common adverse effects of both medications. Fladrafinil’s side effects include stomach discomfort and headaches.

On the other hand, Adrafinil may raise the chance of serious psychiatric or cardiovascular side effects. It may also be addicting.

Fladrafinil vs Adrafinil Dosage

Fladrafinil is three to four times more potent than Adrafinil. The typical starting dose of Fladrafinil is between 30 and 80 milligrams, taken twice daily over 14 to 16 hours. Its maximum dosage is 50 mg and 200 mg per day.

It is recommended that the starting dose of Fladrafinil be increased gradually when the body shows signs of tolerance to the medicine. The recommended dosage for Adrafinil is 300 – 600 mg. Its maximum daily dosage must never exceed 200 mg.

Bottomline: Fladrafinil vs. Adrafinil

There is insufficient evidence to support the use of Fladrafinil and Adrafinil for their many purported benefits. However, their final form, Modafinil, has been clinically proven as an effective medication for wakefulness, especially in treating narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, or shift work sleep disorder. Still, more studies are needed to explore both drugs’ benefits and side effects.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Edgar DM, Seidel WF. Modafinil induces wakefulness without intensifying motor activity or subsequent rebound hypersomnolence in the rat. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997 Nov;283(2):757-69. PMID: 9353396.
  • Gerrard P, Malcolm R. Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007 Jun;3(3):349-64. PMID: 19300566; PMCID: PMC2654794.
  • Kaser M, Deakin JB, Michael A, Zapata C, Bansal R, Ryan D, Cormack F, Rowe JB, Sahakian BJ. Modafinil Improves Episodic Memory and Working Memory Cognition in Patients With Remitted Depression: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2017 Mar;2(2):115-122. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2016.11.009. PMID: 28299368; PMCID: PMC5339412.
  • Gerrard P, Malcolm R. Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007 Jun;3(3):349-64. PMID: 19300566; PMCID: PMC2654794.
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Shaira Urbano, Licensed Pharmacist

Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.

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  • Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.

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Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.