Adrafinil: History, mechanism and benefits

24/02/2015 Tags: all

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only. We do not endorse intake of adrafinil or any nootropic agent. Any undesirable effects from intake of adrafinil are sole responsibility of the user.

Adrafinil was discovered by the French pharmaceutical company, Lafon in the late 1970s. It was first sold in France as a treatment for narcolepsy or excessive daytime sleepiness. Lafon however were able to develop modafinil – adrafinil’s metabolite. Many users and primary health physicians have favored modafinil because of its higher potency and lesser side effects. Still, those who are interested in using the nootropic effects of modafinil but does not have any sleeping disorder to have it prescribed prefers adrafinil. While more potent than adrafinil, modafinil is heavily regulated in the US.

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What is adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a nootropic agent that has stimulating properties. Unlike conventional stimulants (e.g. methylphenidate, methamphetamine, amphetamine salts) however, adrafinil is able to increase alertness and mental energy without being addictive to the user. Moreover, it does not produce any side effects that are normally seen with amphetamines including insomnia, increased heart rate, anxiety and jitteriness.

How is adrafinil metabolized in the body?

Adrafinin has a similar chemical structure with its metabolite modafinil. Note that when adrafinil is maetabolized by the human body, it becomes modafinil. As such, both nootropic agents demonstrate similar effects. Both modafinil and adrafinil belongs to the new nootropic class known as “eugeroics” which means “good arousal.”

Chemical name: Benzhydryl sulphinyl-autohydroxamic acid

Chemical formula: C15H15NO3S [2]

Appearance: Light pink solid

Usage: alpha adrenergic agonist; nootropic agent; stimulant


How does adrafinil work?

Adrenergic mechanism

Adrafinil is able to release its effects via stimulation of adrenergic receptors located in the hypothalamus and brain stem. Remember that these brain regions are responsible in the regulation of normal wakefulness and alertness through norepinephrine stimulation. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with focus, attention, memory and learning. Through stimulating the alpha-1 adrenergic receptor sites of norepinephrine, learning, attention and memory are maintained and enhanced. Studies even suggest that it exerts some neuroprotective properties protecting the brain from free radical damage.

Glutamatergic mechanism and GABA inhibition

Research studies revealed that adrafinil helps in increasing the levels of glutamate in the thalamus. It is also said to prevent the action or inhibit gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in several parts of the hypothalamus. This particular mechanism then helps in promoting wakefulness and alertness.

Neuroprotective mechanism

Adrafinil is thought to be indirectly associated to any of the brain’s neurotransmitter. Instead, it is said that adrafinil helps in improving cerebral metabolism in the amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus. This specific activity leads to the synthesis of glutamine. Note that glutamine synthesis is related to wakefulness and increased awareness promotion.

What are the benefits of adrafinil use?

Adrafinil is well-known for a wide range of benefits it offers to its users. It is an active cognitive enhancing drug known to increase mental energy, speed up one’s though processes whilst promote clearer brain functioning. It also helps in promoting wakefulness and alertness without causing any undesirable side effect associate with consuming your standard stimulant (e.g. caffeine). Due to its brain and mental energy boosting capabilities, it has attracted attention from students, young entrepreneurs to high profile businessmen and academician. This particular nootropic drug is well known amongst individuals who want to maximize their productivity.

Other than promoting wakefulness and mental energy, adrafinil helps in increasing recall fluidity and memory. Anecdotal evidence shows that it makes it easier for some to recall specific figures and facts effortlessly. Some even reported that they were able to hold intelligent conversations longer without requiring any extra effort on their part. It makes a good study pill for its ability to increase attention, focus and concentration. We recommend that you take adrafinil before going to a dry, boring class that normally lulls you to sleep – this way, you are able to stay alert and awake while being able to absorb all the information that you need.

Since adrafinil has the ability to regulate your mood, it can help in improving your overall mood while reducing your anxiety and stress levels. For this reason, many individuals find adrafinil as more effective than other stimulants like Adderall. Adrafinil also helps in inhibiting an individual’s procrastination tendencies. Through elevating your mood and motivating you, you will surely accomplish and finish projects more than you usually do.

What are the side effects of adrafinil intake?

Generally, adrafinis is well-tolerated, has low toxicity and is safe for human consumption. Moreover, there might be some side effects upon use including indigestion, fever, skin irritation and headache. Preclinical data also shows that adrafinil may cause liver conditions when used for prolonged periods. Although this evidence is insufficient, we suggest that you cycle adrafinil and use it within the recommended dosage.