It’s always a dilemma for a lot of folks who are trying to figure out which cognitive enhancer suits them. They end up using multiple nootropics in the hope that one will give them the desired high.

The key point to note is that not everyone will be getting the high point from Modalert 200mg. Each individual has unique physiological configuration within their bodies that will react differently to a given drug. Even for perfectly healthy individuals, the drugs will have varying degrees of efficacy. Some of these smart drugs may also be more effective in individuals with certain conditions that impair cognitive function.

A lot of folks engage in trial and error, testing all kinds of drugs and getting confused in the process. If you’re one of those then you need to know for sure which brand will give you satisfaction.


Modafinil VS Adderall

We are going to compare two smart drugs, Modafinil and Adderall and see what features differentiate the two.

The two drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which is the regulatory body in the U.S. Both act on the central nervous system and are approved for the treatment of narcolepsy.

Adderall is also used in the treatment of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When ingested Modafinil will last for 8-12 hours in the body while will last between 11-13 hours.

Adderall can be found in the form of immediate release and extended release. These variants are much affordable and prices drop even further when one buys the generics. The extended-release capsules are mostly recommended for use in the morning. A shorter, 12-hour extended-release formulation is available under the brand Adderall XR. This particular variant is designed to give a therapeutic effect and plasma concentrations which are identical to a user taking two doses that are 4 hours apart. The longer extended-release formulation, which is spread out for 16 hours, is available under the brand Mydayis. The immediate and extended release (XR) formulations of Adderall are both available as generic drugs making affordable.

Modafinil, on the other hand, comes in tablet form under different brands including Modiodal, Modvigil, and Provigil. 

waklert 150 tablets on the table

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The smart drug Modafinil was originally formulated for the management of narcolepsy more than three decades ago. With time, doctors realized that the drug was also effective in treating sleep apnea. Also known as Provigil, the drug proved to be effective against other conditions such as shift sleep disorder.

Within a short period of time, users who were experimenting with it discovered that the drug could be used to improve concentration, focus and cognitive function. These are benefits that are widely sought by students who want to improve their cognitive prowess, CEOs who want to improve their business acumen and digital nomads out to enhance their productivity and make a quick buck. A combination of all these resulted in a widespread demand for this drug across continents.

The FDA has classified Modafinil as a schedule IV controlled substance. This means that it falls in a category of drugs with valid medical uses and low addiction potential. Studies have shown that the addiction and dependence liabilities of Modafinil are very low compared to other similar acting substances. Adderall, on the other hand, is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that it has a high potential for addiction both physiologically or psychologically. Adderall increases the motivation to perform a task by enhancing cortical network efficiency. It promotes goal-oriented behavior in individuals by increasing their wakefulness.

Adderall essentially arouses dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine within the body. The adrenaline arousal leads to an increase in alertness and focus on the task at hand. This is the effect that helps the drug to counter ADHD.


Modafinil is known to stimulate the following chemicals within the brain;

  • Glutamate
  • Histamine
  • Orexin (Hypocretin)
  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin
  • Norepinephrine
  • GABA

While these effects on the brain result in cognitive advantages, Modafinil maintains a very low risk of dependency which is common among amphetamine-like stimulants. Adderall’s effect, in contrast, is so potent in a way that is capable to counteract ADHD.

What Is Modafinil and Adderall Made Of?

modafinil chemical composition

The two smart drugs share a lot of similarities in terms of the general effects but their formulation is quite different.

Provigil is made up of the active ingredient Modafinil and other inactive ingredients such as lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, pregelatinized starch,  magnesium stearate, and povidone.

Adderall is made up of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall’s active ingredient is amphetamine.


Provigil vs Adderall: Medical Value23

The medical uses of the two drugs are significantly different. Modafinil is used in the treatment of sleep disorders. It’s also used in alleviating the symptoms of depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease and in the treatment of narcolepsy. It is also used in individual behavior therapy to reduce dependence on cocaine.

In several studies, it has also been found to have the potential to manage schizophrenia.


Potential Abuse & Addiction

Most cognitive stimulants that affect the brain chemical dopamine have great potential for addiction. Dopamine is a “feel good” neurotransmitter that the body produces on its own volition. Exciting this chemical provokes the brain’s reward system and therefore creates a near perfect scenario of yearning for a repeat every so often.

Adderall is the culprit in this particular scenario. The drug normally stimulates the chemical norepinephrine and dopamine. If this excitement is sustained over a period of time the brain will start demanding regular flow of the stimulant for it to remain alert and productively functional.

Similarly, Modafinil will excite dopamine but its action is more mild and friendly in nature. However, Modafinil can also be abused if the user ingests higher doses over a period of time triggering a euphoric experience. The addiction to Modafinil is as a result of amplified emotions of general well-being, happiness, and excitement. This euphoria is largely due to the high doses ingested rather than the organic action of Modafinil.

woman rehydrating with water

Side Effects

The general observation is that Modafinil remains safe to use under recommended doses and will exhibit no extreme side effects. This is observed for healthy users. The drug can, therefore, be used effectively to enhance cognitive abilities without any significant harm. Modafinil is particularly unique because it has minimal to no negative side effects when used correctly and for the intended purpose. As a cognitive enhancer, Modafinil provides an incredible sense of concentration, alertness while at the same time enhancing your mood with a sense of mild euphoria that is related to the brain’s reward system.

However, if the drug is bought from unreliable sources one may experience undesirable conditions such as;

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Sore inside the mouth or lips
  • Sore throat
  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Chest pain

However, the drug has some common side effects which may not be severe such as dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, headaches, backache, diarrhea and insomnia. Other reactions to the drug are itching, difficulty breathing, swelling, hives and wheezing.

Contraindications for Modafinil include kidney and liver disease, heart problems, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, lactation, pregnancy and allergy to other medications.

Adderall has a combination of common side effects as well as more severe ones. The common ones are mood swings, dry mouth, irregular heartbeat, stomach pain, insomnia, weight loss, and headache.

On the severe side the following side effects are observed;

  • Muscle twitches
  • Chest pain
  • Difficult breathing
  • Fear
  • Hallucination
  • Seizures

Adderall has allergic reactions that include difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of tongue, throat, lips and the face.


Which One Is Better for Studying?

It has been reported that Adderall and Ritalin are effective study drugs. This, however, is open to discussion. For many users, it’s a matter of perception as to whether the particular drug can enhance one’s cognitive ability to the extent that their school grades will improve.

There’s no hard research-based evidence to support claims that Adderall and other ADHD drugs can indeed improve school grades.

Adderall is known to enhance focus, keeping the brain alert which is the secret behind studying. The drug does not contain any ingredient that can help the brain recall or retain information.

Adderall cannot, therefore, improve the memory and capacity of the brain.

Cognitive enhancement drugs that work on acetylcholine and glutamate transmission are believed to improve learning abilities and neuroplasticity.

Both Adderall and Modafinil (Provigil) enhance cognitive function. This helps an individual to focus, which may improve memory consolidation and in turn lead towards an improved ability to recall information.

However, Modafinil is more inclined to help improve memory, learning, and decision-making compared to Adderall. Therefore if you want to improve learning abilities and memory, you may as well give Adderall a wide berth.


Closing Thoughts

The experiences of users who have ingested Adderall indicate that they felt relief when they switched to Modafinil. They attribute this to the absence or minimal occurrence of side effects. The drug improves working memory, inhibitory control, cognition and aspects of attention that are critical in productivity.


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