Armodafinil vs Modafinil – Which Drug Is More Effective?


It is an oral drug that is used to promote wakefulness and it works by increasing the amount of dopamine (a chemical that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers) in the brain by considerably lowering the reuptake of dopamine into nerves.

This drug is sold as a prescription drug under the names Nuvigil and Waklert and has been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration since 2007.

Also, in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration granted Mylan (an American global generic and specialty pharmaceutical company) rights for the 1st generic version of this drug to be marketed in the United States.


It is a supplement that is typically used to boost mental performance, based on its capacity to increase alertness and wakefulness. The recommended dose for individuals with narcolepsy or sleep apnea is 150 mg or 250 mg given as a single dose in the morning.

Moreover, this drug is used along with breathing devices to prevent excessive sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, a sleep disorder that involves cessation or a considerable decrease in airflow in the presence of breathing effort.

Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanism of action of this drug has yet to be fully elucidated. But, it is known that it increases the amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that serves as a chemical messenger in the nervous system.

Side Effects And Precautions

Side effects may include:

  • dry mouth;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • upset stomach;
  • diarrhea and nausea;
  • a sore throat;
  • dizziness and headaches;
  • feeling nervous.

Serious side effects (rare) may include:

  • tremors;
  • vomiting;
  • mental problems;
  • increased blood pressure, especially if the user has hypertension;
  • irregular heartbeat;
  • chest pain;
  • breathing problems;
  • allergic reactions such as – itching or hives, skin rash, swelling of the tongue, face, or lips.

Some medicines are known to interact with this and may cause additional side effects.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

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There are no studies regarding its use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, hence, stay on the safe side and avoid it.

This drug is not approved to use for children. Because it may impair your reactions, be careful if you do anything which needs you to be alert (like driving a car).


It is a medication that promotes wakefulness and commonly sold as Provigil. This drug works by increasing the amount of dopamine (a chemical in your brain that affects your movements and your sensations of pain and pleasure) in the brain by notably lowering the reuptake of dopamine into nerves.

In addition, this drug has been shown to improve mood and increase the resistance to fatigue. Also, it is thought to boost short-term memory by about 10 percent due to its influence on glutamate, a neurotransmitter that nerve cells use to send signals to other cells.

It was first produced in the 1970s by a French professor – Michel Jouvet. The FDA approved this smart drug for the treatment of shift work sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, and narcolepsy.

It is mainly prescribed as a single-dose drug, where a dose is usually at 200 mg per day. Doses up to 400 mg a day have been well-tolerated, however, according to research, there is no evidence that this dose has an additional benefit beyond that of the 200 mg a day dose.

This drug shouldn’t be bought online from an unregulated pharmacy and should only be taken under the proper direction of a doctor.


It is commonly used to help sufferers of narcolepsy, a neurological condition that affects wakefulness and the control of sleep, by keeping these individuals from falling asleep and preventing drowsiness. Lately, this drug has been reported to be used by journalists, professional athletes, and individuals with high job demands.

Furthermore, it is used along with breathing devices to prevent excessive sleepiness caused by OSAHS.

Also, armed forces of some western countries are known to enquire about the possibility of using this drug as an alternative to amphetamine, a potent central nervous system stimulant traditionally used in long missions where troops face sleep deprivation or combat situations.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dry mouth;
  • insomnia;
  • headaches;
  • diarrhea;
  • feeling agitated;
  • nausea;
  • dizziness.

Serious side effects may include:

  • uneven heartbeats;
  • chest pain;
  • anxiety;
  • aggression;
  • unusual thoughts;
  • depression;
  • hallucinations;
  • sores in your mouth;
  • red skin rash;
  • easy bruising;
  • numbness;
  • muscle weakness;
  • fever.

It is not recommended to do anything (like driving a car) which requires mental alertness until you know precisely how this drug affects you due to the fact that it may influence your concentration.

Drug Interactions

It may interact with the following drugs:

  • ketoconazole/Nizoral;
  • itraconazole/Sporanox;
  • triazolam/Halcion;
  • midazolam/Versed;
  • diazepam/Valium;
  • Rifater;
  • Rimactane;
  • Rifampin/Rifadin;
  • Gengraf;
  • Cyclosporine;
  • Propranolol.

Armodafinil vs Modafinil – Which Drug Is More Effective?

Both drugs have notably different pharmacokinetic profiles despite having been used for the same reasons – to enhance energy, boost brain power, and productivity.
Both drugs can be found as brand-name medications as well as generic drugs. Also, neither can be purchased without a prescription since both may interact with other medications you are already taking.

However, according to research, armodafinil (brand name – Nuvigil) may result in improved wakefulness during the day in individuals with excessive sleepiness compared with modafinil (Provigil).

Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty Images

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