Modafinil vs Adderall What's the difference? { Complete Guide }
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Modafinil vs Adderall What’s the difference?

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Modafinil (Provigil) and Adderall seem like comparable medications – they are both utilized in the treatment of narcolepsy and as study drugs. In any case, is Modafinil more successful and less habit-forming than Adderall?

Let’s elaborate on the differences below.

Modafinil has an interesting characteristic it is not a hardcore stimulant like Adderall, yet it enhances cognitive functions and promotes wakefulness. Specialists aren’t by and large sure how it functions, despite the fact that they have clarified that it improves a few synthetics and synapses in the cerebrum including dopamine, serotonin, histamine, glutamate, and GABA. Despite the fact that reviews have not shown any critical withdrawal impacts, any medication that gives stimulating benefits to the brain contains some potential of drug dependency  

Modafinil was first endorsed by the FDA in 1998 to treat narcolepsy and is additionally used to treat over-the-top tiredness brought about by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or shift work.

Off-label it has been utilized to assist individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis stay alert, and has been supported by students, leaders, and the military as an approach to battle lack of sleep and exhaustion.



The brand name for a combination drug of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (frequently called blended amphetamine salts) is Adderall. Adderall is typically recommended to treat individuals with narcolepsy or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). With its high potential for abuse and drug dependency Adderall has become the infamous illegal party drug used and abused by 1/4th of the secondary school going population.

Adderall was primarily used for treatment of ADHD in 1996 and for narcolepsy in 1998. Adderall works by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the mind.

Modafinil is also a controlled substance but classified at a much lower level of severity than Adderall. Modafinil is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance while Adderall is a Schedule II substance. The difference in the formal classification of Adderall and modafinil indicates that the overall general research and the opinion of the federal government is that Adderall is a significantly more dangerous drug of abuse than modafinil.

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Which has more side effects? Modafinil or Adderall?

Side effects of Modafinil When compared to other nootropics modafinil can be labelled as a safe and well tolerated drug if taken in moderate quantities. No potential risk has been associated with long term use of the drug till date. Some mild side effects may be observed in people introduced to the drug. Common Symptoms may look like.

  • Headaches
  • Fluctuating BP
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety

Some of the severe side effects which is less commonly noticed includes:

  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sores
  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Severe skin rashes Having said that the side effects are nearly non-existent in users (i.e., Only about 17% of the users get affected)


People with heart diseases should avoid using it as it may increase heart rate and blood pressure. Modafinil can also decrease the viability of hormonal contraceptives. Researchers are not sure about the long term effect of modafinil on the brain however no deaths from modafinil overdose have been recorded ever.

Adderall on the other hand has a more extensive range of side effects.

  • loss of appetite (36%),
  • dry mouth (35%),
  • short-lived blood pressure elevations (up to 35%),
  •  insomnia (up to 27%),
  • headache (up to 26%)
  • abdominal pain.
  • Disturbances in sexual function,
  • a slowing of the growth rate in children,
  • fast heart rate, and
  • nervousness is also commonly reported.


Individuals with excessive sensitivity to stimulus may even experience psychiatric symptoms regardless of the dosage taken like:

  • hearing voices
  • becoming dubious for reasons unknown,
  • becoming hyper.
  • It can also worsen symptoms for individuals suffering from bipolar.


Adderall cannot be taken if an individual is suffering from

  • glaucoma;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • severe anxiety or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse);
  • high blood pressure;
  • heart disease or coronary artery disease;
  • vascular disease or hardening of the arteries; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.


Modafinil has a very high potential for abuse and drug dependency. The drug must be very carefully administered only on prescription and one may also experience withdrawal symptoms on stopping the drug. Unlike modafinil Off-label use of Adderall should be strictly prohibited to avoid dangerous consequences on health.

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