Adderall and modafinil are both central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Both are approved by the FDA to treat narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders. Both have become popular with off-label users for ADHD, fatigue, and now most popularly as a nootropic drug used to get an edge in fields that require extra mental effort. This article will be looking at ways in which they are the same and the ways in which they are different.
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What is Adderall and Modafinil
Adderall is a mixture of amphetamine salts that stimulate the central nervous system to give a euphoric experience that can sometimes be associated with anxiety and agitation. Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance because it has a high potential for abuse and dependence, whereas modafinil is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance because it has a much lower potential for abuse.
Both drugs are effective at improving wakefulness but have significant differences in their mechanism of action. Adderall increases the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, while modafinil inhibits the reuptake of dopamine.
History of Modafinil and Adderall
Adderall is a reformulation of an old anti-obesity weight loss pill called Obetrol, made by Rexar pharmaceutical. In the 1970s, Obetrol was withdrawn from the US market due to inefficacy. However in the late 1990s Richwood pharmaceuticals bought the Rexar Company and reformulated the Obetrol into Adderall to be used as a prescription stimulant used to treat ADHD.
Modafinil is a brand new prescription drug that has been used as a central nervous system stimulant to treat excessive daytime sleepiness and has been available in the market since 1994 under various brand names, including Movigil, Provigil, Modasomil, Resotyl, Modvigil, Modiwake, Stavigile, Modiodal, etc.
The FDA approval of modafinil was first granted in 1998 for sleep disorders to the pioneer brands; Provigil and Modiodal. Since its approval, modafinil has been prescribed to millions for obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, excessive sleepiness, and is the most common substitute for anyone experiencing excessive negative reactions from prescription stimulants.
Weight loss effect of Modafinil and Adderall
People often misunderstand modafinil as a weight loss drug. However, the weight loss effects of modafinil are a side effect instead of approved applications in medical research studies. It aids weight loss by suppressing the appetite, increasing fullness feeling, and decreasing the calorie intake per day. As a result, users experience loss of appetite and reduction in weight, and claim Modafinil as a weight loss pill.
In the same way, Adderall can also help weight loss by causing euphoria, loss of appetite, increased energy consumption, and helping extra weight reduction. Modafinil and Adderall do not directly work on the weight and their potential might help weight loss goals are more of a side effect.
Modafinil vs Adderall for Cognitive Performance
Investigating the impact of both Modafinil and Adderall on cognitive ability, researchers found similar effects. Adderall has been shown to provide longer cognitive benefits than modafinil but with more side effects. Modafinil provides similar cognition for enough periods without disturbing the sleep pattern compared to Adderall. Interestingly, some trials found no impact of Adderall on cognitive performance during research on Adderall only. In comparison, modafinil can positively modulate reaction time, decision-making ability, help with mood disorders, and strategic and spatial planning. Importantly, one must remember that both Adderall and modafinil are not approved options for cognitive performance.
Unlike Adderall, modafinil is most popular for its off-label use and is popular among college students, entrepreneurs, athletes and more. In the world of smart drugs, modafinil is king. Claimed to drastically enhance cognition, many claim modafinil as a wonder drug.
Because the side effects are rarely severe, substance abuse is not common amongst modafinil users. Other negative drug interactions are also rare and many will turn to modafinil for addiction treatment as a way to boost will power in order to get users through a period of physical dependence and has been shown to have positive effects on people going through alcohol rehab.
Adderall vs. Modafinil for Anxiety
Based on medical research studies, both modafinil and Adderall show mixed outcomes in anxiety management. They both help depression and mood but may elevate the level of anxiety. Other studies reported no evidence of the anxiety caused by these smart drugs. Additionally, modafinil up-regulates the dopamine neurotransmitter, responsible for happiness and optimal mood, and in general, is a much milder stimulant.
In comparison, Adderall slightly impacts mood but may also produce awkward behaviors in the users, such as crying, insomnia, unhappiness, sadness, and even nightmares. In addiction Adderall often causes increased blood pressure which can have a negative impact on the well being of the user.
Which has the most side effects?
Adderall is more likely to cause side effects because it has a narrower therapeutic index than modafinil. The most common side effects of Adderall include anxiety, sleepiness, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and headaches. Withdrawal symptoms are much higher with Adderall as well as increased blood pressure.
Modafinil is less likely to cause side effects but the most common ones include headache, nausea, anxiety, chest pain, and insomnia. Trouble sleeping is the most common milder side effect but can affect how likely a user will keep on using modafinil. It is recommended to take modafinil as early in the morning as possible to avoid this negative side effect.
Which is more addictive?
Adderall is more addictive than modafinil because it has a higher potential for abuse and dependence. It’s important to note that both drugs can be habit-forming, so it’s important to use them only as directed by a doctor. Both drugs are controlled substances but Adderall is the only schedule ii controlled substance and comes with significant withdrawal effects as well as the potential for Adderall overdose.
Do they really make you smart?
Adderall and modafinil are often called “smart drugs” because they’re used to improve cognitive function. However, there is no evidence that taking modafinil or Adderall will actually make you smarter. They have stimulant effects but are not shown to improve performance on anything like an IQ test.
These are prescription drugs that are used for treating adhd and work by affecting your serotonergic system. They can make you feel better which can result in more productive activities but will not actually affect your intelligence.
Modafinil vs Adderall in the Smart Drug Communities
There is a big difference in the way smart drug users perceive Adderall and modafinil. Modafinil is often seen as the better option because it’s less likely to cause side effects and is not as addictive as Adderall. Additionally, many people believe that modafinil actually does improve cognitive function, while there is less evidence that Adderall does.
Modafinil is often prescribed under its brand name provigil. Users report less stimulant abuse and American addiction centers have far less modafinil patients than Adderall. Because they are both serotonergic drugs, it’s always best to seek professional medical advice before undertaking anything that might have extreme adverse effects.
Use by the Military
Adderall has long been used by the military to help soldiers stay awake during long missions. Modafinil is also used by the military to help pilots and air traffic controllers stay awake during long flights. As of 2017 the United States military switched away from Adderall and to modafinil as their only approved “go pill” used for high intensity missions.
When it comes to Adderall vs modafinil, they both have similar effects on the brain. Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Modafinil is used to treat narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Both drugs increase alertness, improve concentration, and make it easier to focus. Adderall and modafinil are also used by some people without a medical condition to improve cognitive function.
In most situations and with most users, the preference is to choose modafinil. The negative side effects are considerably lower on all accounts and so the choice becomes easy for most users. For modafinil vs Adderall, we highly recommend going with modafinil. Be sure to check out our blog on the best places to buy modafinil according to Reddit.
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