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Armodafinil vs Modafinil – Which One Makes You Smarter?

Armodafinil vs Modafinil is the most common thing nootropic newbies ask themselves. Let’s compare which will make you smarter!

Chemical Structure

If you are brave enough to research what these compounds actually look like, you will be surprised to find that they seem to be…the same thing? That is absolutely correct.

Armodafinil is one of the enantiomers (chemicals) in Modafinil.

Modafinil contains both enantiomers of the compound while Armodafinil contains only one.

Enantiomers are mirror images of each other but they are not the same. Think of enantiomers as your left and right hand. Same structure yet… well, not exactly the same.

In chemistry, we mostly mention enantiomers because they rotate the plane of polarized light in different directions. In biology and medicine, enantiomers also have different properties. With drugs, we often see that only one enantiomer has the desired effect.

Or, as is the case of Armodafinil vs Modafinil, the effect is slightly different.

Medical Use

Armodafinil vs Modafinil

Both Modafinil and Armodafinil are used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. They promote wakefulness but they don’t cause jitters or a sudden energy crash. Rather, their effect slowly fades away.

What is more, unlike other substances that help you stay awake, you don’t actually have to compensate for the sleep you skipped. You could miss a few hours of sleep and not suffer the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation.

This is why the U.S. military only recommends Modafinil to soldiers on long and complicated missions.

Modafinil Vs Armodafinil As Nootropics

Armodafinil vs Modafinil

By definition, nootropics are substances that improve your cognitive function.

Since your brain controls every single aspect of your life, nootropics have the power to make it all better — productivity, concentration, memory, creativity, agility, and even mood. You don’t have to be suffering from a disease to take nootropics.

In fact, the main thing that distinguishes a true nootropic is it’s ability to enhance cognition in healthy adults. It is not a matter of treating an underlying problem but rather it is about improving what already functions quite decently.

However, nootropics are rarely developed especially for that use. In the case of Modafinil and Armodafinil, those are drugs that treat narcolepsy that just so happened to have that effect as well. This is why some doctors might not even be aware of their possible benefits.

If you go to an appointment with the plan to say you have trouble focusing and you expect them to prescribe modafinil/armodafinil, you will be unpleasantly surprised.

9/10 doctors will prescribe some sort of ADHD drug like Adderall. Bear in mind that those are amphetamines… but they get prescribed more often than we would like to believe.

How Modafinil (And Armodafinil) Make A Positive Difference In Your Cognition

armodafinil vs modafinil

Although we are yet to fully understand their mechanism of action, the basics go something like that:

Neurons in your brain use dopamine to communicate. They release small amounts of this neurotransmitter to excite the next neuron in the pathway. Of course, dopamine is not the only neurotransmitter in your brain but it is the one that gets affected by Modafinil/Armodafinil.

Once the dopamine does it’s job, the neuron that released it takes it back. This happens to virtually all neurotransmitters to prevent them from continuing the stimulation. A transport protein in the membrane of the first neuron sucks the dopamine back in.

Both Modafinil and Armodafinil bind to the transporter protein so it can’t bind to dopamine. They prevent the re-uptake and the dopamine stays outside the cell for a longer period of time. Dopamine-mediated pathways have a bunch of functions.

The main one that gets affected is learning and impulse control. Those are the mesocorticolimbic pathways. They are not only involved in learning but they actually play a role in all executive functions. This includes planning, maintaining attention, delaying gratification, avoiding distractions etc. When something goes wrong in these pathways, this can often cause ADHD.

But even if your mesocorticolimbic pathways work just fine, the extra push they get from Modafinil and Armodafinil means you are even better at all that stuff I just mentioned!

You are more focused, your memory improves. you are less likely to succumb to distractions and procrastination. On top of that, you have the wakefulness promotion and the increased energy. It is no wonder people compare them to the NZT pill from Limitless.

Armodafinil vs Modafinil Inside Your Body

Chances are, you will not be taking either of these through an IV line. Once you swallow the pill it goes through your digestive system and into your blood.

Then it crosses the blood-brain barrier and starts affecting your brain. Since it has to be absorbed through your digestive system, it matters if you have eaten or not. As anyone that has been prescribed psychoactive drugs (or that has had marijuana edibles) will tell you, it kicks in faster if you have not eaten.

It makes sense because if you are busy digesting other food it takes a bit for the drug to enter your bloodstream (it has to “wait for its’ turn”).

Additionally, the time for the effect will depend on how fast your metabolism generally is, how much you weigh and how sensitive you are to the substance. It has been suggested that depending on your genotype you might be prone to benefiting more/less from the drug.

Anecdotal advice suggests that Modafinil takes only around 30 minutes to kick in, while it might take up to a few hours for Armodafinil. However, once it gets into your bloodstream, Armodafinil actually gives a higher maximum concentration.

This is because Modafinil is a mixture of the + and – enantiomers while Armodafinil only contains the – enantiomer.

The + is eliminated much quicker for some reason. Thus, if you have the same amount of both drugs over time you will actually end up with less of the compound in your system if you take Modafinil.

Less Is More?

If the last paragraph convinced you to switch to Armodafinil, stick around for a bit more, just in case. It’s time to settle Armodafinil vs Modafinil.

As is the case with most drugs, it does not really matter how they affect you but rather how you want them to affect you. Potency is not the only factor that can help you decide which one to get. Depending on what you want to get out of nootropics—both can be excellent choices.

Let’s take addictive potential. For the most part, both are virtually non-addictive.

However, it has been recognized that Modafinil could be abused and Armodafinil hides no such risks. You can also take it at a lower dose to achieve the same effect Modafinil gives you.

This is because Armodafinil is more targeted and also because it sticks around longer in your system. With the lower dosage comes a lower strain on your liver and kidneys although both Armodafinil and Modafinil have a very low toxicity.

Armodafinil vs Modafinil – Try ‘Em Both!

Armodafinil vs Modafinil: Purity

From a clinical standpoint, it is always recommended to use a more purified and targeted form of the drug if such thing exists. However, Modafinil is not necessarily less pure. Because it has the + enantiomer it can kick in much quicker although it also lasts a shorter amount of time.

This can come in handy as Modafinil is more easily incorporated into your daily routine. You can take one upon waking up and by the time you are done with your morning routine you would already be feeling the effect. This helps immensely with planning and it does not make you a ‘slave’ to the drug.

Armodafinil, on the other hand, can take over 2 hours to kick in and in turn, it lasts you longer. This could mean that if you have overslept a bit and take it around 10 AM you would not be feeling the effect until the early afternoon.

Considering the fact that it could take up to 10 hours for the energy it gives you to ‘deplete’, you might find yourself unable to go to bed at your usual bedtime.

This messes up your sleeping patterns and can cause a plethora of problems including cognitive difficulties.

Armodafinil vs Modafinil: The Final Verdict

Both Modafinil and Armodafinil have similar mechanisms of action and some subtle (and not so subtle) differences in the effect they give. Saying that one is better than the other would practically be an offense to the uniqueness of the human body.

There are virtually no two people alike — not mentally and definitely not biochemically. With cognitive enhancers, it often comes down to experimentation, basically trial and error until you find what works best for you. I suppose this is not the answer you were looking for but it is the only correct one.

I would highly encourage you to research both of them extensively before making the decision to use them. They are amazingly beneficial, that is a given, but it’s worth getting informed about what experiences others had with Modafinil or Armodafinil so that you know what to expect.

Finally, even though it is much easier, cheaper, and more convenient to get them online, consider mentioning them to your doctor. He or she might not even know what they are in which case take the doctor’s advice with a grain of salt (MD’s make mistakes, too).

However, you could also get some valuable insight and tips to help you on the way to achieving the best brain possible!

You can conduct your own Armodafinil vs Modafinil test—Modafinil Star stocks them both. Click here or the image below!