Armodafinil vs Modafinil

Working the night shift is a tough thing to get used to, especially if you struggle with getting tired or sleepy during the day. Fortunately, there are some ways to make the process of being awake all day a little easier. For example, you can take Nuvigil (Armodafinil) or Provigil (Modafinil) to stay awake while working the night shift.

As wakefulness-promoting agents, armodafinil and modafinil work to promote wakefulness. They act in the central nervous system (CNS) and boost dopamine activity in the brain.

A recent study has shown that armodafinil, a fast-acting medication for excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, and modafinil, a similar but more mild stimulant used for excessive sleepiness associated with shift work, are not only very effective in alleviating daytime sleepiness but may also have the potential to treat other neurological disorders as well.

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil (Provigil) is a wakefulness agent used to treat sleep disorders. It is an extended release drug that needs to be taken once a day with or without food. It is effective for most people but some people may experience headaches, difficulty concentrating or blurred vision.

Modafinil was originally developed to treat excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which the person experiences periods of excessive daytime sleepiness (cataplexy) and sleep paralysis.

The most common side effect of modafinil is headache, which is usually mild and short-lived. Other side effects include insomnia, anxiety, agitation, and nausea. Modafinil is usually taken for three to six months before it becomes habit-forming.

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What is Armodafinil?

What is Armodafinil


Armodafinil is the brand name of modafinil, a nootropic drug (a stimulant). It increases wakefulness and cognitive functions in those who use it. The FDA-approved daily dose is 100 mg, and it can be taken with or without food. It is indicated for treatment of excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, shift-work sleep disorder, idiopathic hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and other conditions that cause excessive daytime sleepiness.

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It belongs to a class of drugs called stimulants and works by increasing the number of “sleep centers” in the brain that contain special chemicals, called neurotransmitters, that make it difficult to stay awake. The medicine is taken orally, about two hours before bedtime, to increase the likelihood that you will get a good night’s sleep. 

Armodafinil, sold under the brand name Nuvigil, is also used to prevent the occurrence of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in patients with narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia (IH). It works by improving the ability to stay awake and alert throughout the day.

Modafinil Vs Armodafinil: What’s The Difference?

While their exact mechanism of action is unknown, armodafinil and modafinil are believed to work in the central nervous system (CNS) and boost dopamine activity in the brain. Their effects may be similar to other stimulants like Adderall and Concerta.

Although they may share certain structural similarities, each stimulant has its own unique method of action and affects the brain and body differently.

Armodafinil (Nuvigil) is one of a new class of wake-promoting agents approved by the US FDA in 2007. The drug is the S-enantiomer of modafinil and is used to promote alertness.

Enantiomers are molecules that have two distinct but mirror image (left-right) forms. In the case of armodafinil, there are several distinct differences between the chemical structure and the modafinil molecule.

Armodafinil and modafinil have similar effects on wakefulness but armodafinil is believed to have a slightly longer half-life compared to modafinil, which could result in the former drug having a stronger effect. 

Modafinil vs Armodafinil: What’s More Effective?

Modafinil vs Armodafinil

Modafinil is a longer-acting version of the wakefulness-promoting medication known as amphetamine and was developed in the 1980s. It comes in a variety of dosages and may be used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Armodafinil was first introduced in Europe in 2010 and is often called “the new modafinil.” The drug is also used to treat narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder.

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Modafinil will last longer in your body. But because Armodafinil is not absorbed by your stomach or intestines, it won’t be absorbed into your bloodstream. This means that Armodafinil does not affect your sleeping patterns like Modafinil does.

For smart drug users, the Armodafinil vs. Modafinil debate is primarily about which provides a better experience and is longer-lasting. If you’re not really concerned about the effects or duration, it’s not even worth discussing.

Modafinil Vs Armodafinil Mood And Benefits

Modafinil (Provigil) and Armodafinil (Nuvigil) appear to provide the same cognition-enhancing effects. After years of scientific research on modafinil’s safety and efficacy, the results are very promising for the treatment of sleep disorders, including Narcolepsy.

Provigil and Nuvigil are two of the most common medications used for treating the symptoms of sleep disorders like narcolepsy, shift-work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.

According to the drugs’ labels, both medications reach maximum concentration in the blood in about 2 to 4 hours. Food doesn’t affect the drugs’ effectiveness, but it can sometimes lengthen the amount of time it takes for the drugs to start working.

In a clinical trial of modafinil and armodafinil, patients reported improvements in scores measuring excessive sleepiness and maintaining wakefulness. Unlike amphetamine, modafinil and armodafinil generally do not cause severe crashes or withdrawals.

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Modafinil and Armodafinil Side Effects

Modafinil is taken orally, which means it is absorbed into the body when you swallow it. It can take up to 1 hour to begin taking effect. Armodafinil takes only 15 minutes to begin working and can last up to 36 hours. Both can have side effects, however, including difficulty falling asleep, drowsiness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

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Other side effects include allergic reactions, persistent sleepiness, psychiatric symptoms and in people with cardiovascular disease, the effect such as palpitations or increased blood pressure.

Modafinil and Armodafinil: Drug Interactions

Modafinil and Armodafinil

Armodafinil and modafinil share many of the same drug interactions. While this medication may work well for you, there are potential risks with it and other medicines. For instance, it can be an inducer of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 enzyme, and can inhibit the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C19 enzyme. This means that it can affect how certain drugs are processed in the body.

While these medications do not affect the effectiveness of most contraceptive methods, alternative methods of contraception should be used during treatment and for one month after the drugs are discontinued.

The effect of the combination of two different medications (armodafinil/modafinil) was examined in the context of patients with autoimmune diseases on the use of cyclosporine. While armodafinil and modafinil had varying effects on the CYP2C19 substrates, they also showed an effect on the clearance of cyclosporine which was not desirable. The effect of the combination of these two medications should be evaluated further.

Drug levels can increase or decrease based on the amount of drugs given. When too much is administered, there is a chance that the drug may accumulate and this may lead to an adverse effect, as well as the drug becoming too concentrated.


Both Modafinil and Armodafinil are used for the treatment of sleep disorders and can help patients with narcolepsy and shift-work sleep disorder. They work by enhancing the neurotransmitters that are involved in the sleep cycle.

Both drugs can cause nausea, dizziness, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Both medications are generally well-tolerated and do not cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Modafinil has been around for more than a decade, while armodafinil is newer, but has been around for only a few years.

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