adderall vs modafinil inforgraphic

Adderall vs Modafinil- Benefits, Comparison of the effects, Combined use and Side Effects

adderall vs modafinil inforgraphic
adderall vs modafinil inforgraphic

Most student will have heard of modafinil and Adderall.

Adderall and modafinil are the most commonly used smart drugs that are currently available.

You will often hear different opinions on which is better, with some people saying they are better combined.

Here, we will tell you which drug you should use to boost school or work productivity and what makes them different from one another.

Also covered will be the process of mixing modafinil and Adderall. Looking at how to do it safely and why someone might want to do it.

Eugeroics explained

Modafinil and Adderall are both considered eugeroics.

What does this mean?

At a basic level, a eugeroic is a compound of any kind that helps promote wakefulness.

Medicinally they are used to treat different conditions that involve excessive amounts of daytime sleepiness.

Off-label they are also used to help some people keep alert at school or work to maintain more extended working hours and to get more out of their study or work session.

Conditions that Eugeroics often treat:

  • Some side effects of multiple sclerosis
  • Shift-worker sleeping disorder
  • Narcolepsy
  • Various side effects of different medications
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Many eugeroics work by causing a stimulating effect on the brain. Often, this is referred to a central nervous system stimulant, or ‘stimulants’.

The market for stimulants has quite a few different options. Some, like caffeine, are incredibly popular.

Stimulant Medications examples:

  • Modafinil
  • Ritalin
  • Caffeine
  • Adderall
  • MDMA
  • Dexedrine
  • Adrafinil
  • Vyvanse
  • Armodafinil

Why use Stimulants?

There are many reasons people use stimulants.

Stimulants have their place in the medical world, from treating medical conditions to increasing productivity.

Overview of Adderall:

Adderall is known as one of the oldest central nervous system stimulants.

It is made up of two amphetamines — dextroamphetamine and amphetamine.

Primarily it is used to help treat ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It can also be used to treat excessive sleeping conditions such as narcolepsy.

Others may include obstructive sleep apnea, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis.

Adderall’s primary effects are on dopamine and norepinephrine.

Sadly, the drug’s effects on dopamine made the drug addictive despite how useful it is.

Side effects of Adderall:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Hair loss
  • Low libido
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle tremors
  • Mood changes
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Blurred vision

Overview of Modafinil:

Released in the last twenty-five years, Modafinil is a newer generation of stimulant.

New generations of drugs offer improvements such as how ‘specific’ they are.

What does this mean?

In many cases, a drug that is more specific in its actions is better at its job and has fewer side effects.

It can also have more predictable side effects and benefits.

Many drugs will activate different unrelated receptors in the body. There are many reasons why the drug might not be able to enable one of the receptor types. If this happens then, the effects of the drug will change sometimes producing very harmful side effects.

If the drug targets only one specific receptor and it cannot activate it, then it has no effect.

The specificity of Modafinil on target receptors allows it to be a lot safer than other older stimulant medications.

The effects Modafinil has on the Central Nervous System:

  • Increase in orexin release
  • A boost of histamine activity in the brain
  • It inhibits dopamine reuptake
  • It inhibits norepinephrine reuptake

The side effects of Modafinil:

(The following side effects happen very rarely compared to the adverse aide effects that you can get taking Adderall, but they are still worth noting)

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation
  • Nervousness
  • Diarrhoea

Comparing five common uses of Modafinil and Adderall:

1 – Increased productivity at school or work.

Increased productivity is one of the most common reasons that some may take a stimulant.

The most widely used stimulant is caffeine.

It is arguable caffeine is the most popular drug in history!

Caffeine has forever been linked with productivity being a luxury for the business elite and scholars in its early days.

The next level of stimulants to aid with productivity are pharmaceutical stimulants.

Everyone has felt the fatigue setting in later in the day. We may start feeling sluggish and tired. Keep the same productivity levels as earlier in the day can be a challenge.

That fatigue is why many people take stimulants.

The goal of the person is to delay fatigue and remain working at the highest levels of productivity for more extended amounts of time. This will result in more work being done to a high quality.

Stimulants are especially useful when working overnight to complete work or studying on a tight deadline. They can also help if the work you are trying to do is tedious, and so making you tired while working.

Modafinil and Adderall are both highly effective for this use!

Which is better for productivity?

Both of these drugs are great at boosting productivity, but modafinil is usually preferred by most.


Although the drugs are similar in effect and both are effective in delaying the onset of fatigue Adderall has many adverse side effects. Most commonly the addictive qualities can damage patient’s productivity while taking it.

When seeking better productivity, people often want to get the effects more than once. Adderall certainly boosts your productivity, but it can quickly start to have diminishing returns as tolerance to the drug forms. People begin to depend on Adderall to be productive at all.

Without taking the drug, they may start to feel foggy and dull.

Because of the addictive potential of Adderall doctors are hesitant to prescribe it compared to alternatives, and many users switch to modafinil.

The same benefit to productivity is given with modafinil but without risk of addiction.

Overall, for productivity, the winner has to be modafinil!

Treatment of ADHD

Is Adderall or Modafinil better for ADHD?
Is Adderall or Modafinil better for ADHD?

Adderall and modafinil are used for ADHD treatment. But, only in the United States is Adderall is allowed for this use.

ADHD is a complex neurological dysfunction. The issue can be often linked to dopamine function in the brain.

People with ADHD have less dopamine expression on average in the reward centre of the brain than a normal person. The reward centre is used to communicate with the other parts of the brain to reward positive behaviour using dopamine.

This is done by it releasing smaller doses of oxytocin. Known as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, it is triggered in the brain whenever we do something that benefits us or is of interest like sex or eating.

A lack of dopamine makes it much harder to trigger the oxytocin release, causing them to work harder to be able to stimulate it. This is shown by distracted behaviour, hyperactivity and fidgeting movements.

Modafinil and Adderall increase dopamine levels by preventing it from being reabsorbed and then destroyed by the neurons in the brain.

Dopamine is kept floating around for more substantial periods, allowing for it to create stronger effects.

The results of boosting Dopamine:

  • Better memory
  • Less fidgeting
  • Less feeling of frustration
  • Better concentration
  • More stable energy levels

Which is Better for ADHD?

Both medications work for ADHD, but Adderall is better as it focuses more on dopamine than modafinil.

The effect on dopamine is a significant effect but is also the main factor in its addictive nature.

Another primary cause of addiction is the reward centre. When this region is stimulated, an addiction is developed as the body craves for it to be stimulated when not on the drug.

Even so, if a direct improvement of ADHD symptoms is what is required Adderall will produce more benefits overall. However, you should always be aware of the addictive nature of the drug.

If wanting to avoid addictive side effects then modafinil and drugs such as Vyvanse are brilliant options for treating ADHD symptoms.

Overall, the winner is Adderall.

The increase of reaction times

Should Modafinil be Banned from eSports Tournaments like this?
Is Adderall or Modafinil better for Reaction Times ?

More modern use of stimulants is to increase reaction times for professional or regular video gaming.

The popularity of E-sports has exploded in recent years!

The world finals of the video game League of Legends in 2015 had 27 million online viewers and an attendance of over 45,000. The money for the winner was more than 2 million dollars.

As E-sports grows so does the size of the stakes.

Because of this people are looking for opportunities to get ahead of their competition.

E-sports, unlike traditional sports, requires an enhancement of the brain rather than the muscles or blood.

This makes stimulants popular among E-sports athletes as it improves reaction speeds. Reaction speeds are pivotal as in these events even slight improvements can make massive differences.

For many, it can be the difference between winning and losing.

As well as modafinil and Adderall stimulants like Ritalin and caffeine are popular.

Which is the best drug for helping to increase reaction time?

Because of some professional E-sports players and champions speaking out on their use of stimulant medications most gaming commissions have now started testing for Adderall.

They have also mentioned modafinil, but it is currently not being tested for in professional players at events.

Overall, modafinil wins!

Improving Athletic Performance

Modafinil or Adderall for Athletic Performance?
Modafinil or Adderall for Athletic Performance?

Modafinil and Adderall are sometimes used at more traditional sporting events too. However, it isn’t nearly as universal.

The benefit of the stimulating effects of the drugs can also apply to athletes. They are sometimes used for high-intensity training or longer training events.

The drugs help the athletes stay focused and alert while doing sports like all-day or night biking events or ultramarathons.

It is not recommended to take Adderall or modafinil for these sports unless under the direct supervision of a trained and certified medical professional.

However, it remains an application of these drugs that is widespread.

Which drug is Better for athletic enhancement?

Currently, ever sporting commission has banned the use of Adderall, but it is still used secretly by lots of top-level athletes.

The most significant factor concerning athletic stimulants is drug testing.

The after-effects of the drugs are also important to consider.

Dopamine levels can drop the day after taking Adderall, which may negatively affect performance.

One study found that top athletes had the best dopamine efficiency.

Modafinil, however, has not been shown to lower levels of dopamine after dosing while offering the same stimulating effects on the brain. Modafinil is then the preferred option as a performance enhancement stimulant for athletes.

Overall, for athletic performance, the winner is modafinil!

Ecessive Daytime Sleepiness treatment

Is Adderall or Modafinil best for Ecessive Daytime Sleepiness?
Is Adderall or Modafinil best for Ecessive Daytime Sleepiness?

Excessive sleepiness is a symptom that often develops along with medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

Modafinil and Adderall are both approved for treating excessive sleepiness and are often prescribed for these conditions.

Both modafinil and Adderall stimulate the brains central nervous system. This causes an increased level of alertness keeping them wide awake all day.

Which drug is better for Daytime Sleepiness?

Because of Adderall’s addictive nature, modafinil is the preferred treatment by doctors.

The effects of both on sleepiness are similar, but modafinil is considered stronger.

This is probably because of modafinil’s more significant level of specificity in the brain. This creates more target effects which reduce side effects.

Adderall, however, affects more receptors in the brain. This can cause more side effects and make the drug more unpredictable depending on the individual.

Overall, for Daytime Sleepiness the winner is modafinil!

Which one is better: Adderall or Modafinil?

Both drugs are brilliant pharmaceutical stimulants.

They increase dopamine levels, force the brain into a waking state, and help to get tasks done to better quality and finished faster due to long periods of productivity.

The decision of which is best will depend on the use of the drug.

If used for ADHD treatment then Adderall is better, though it comes with sometimes worrying side effects.

If used for an increase in productivity, improving athletic performance, staying alert and awake and boosting reaction times then modafinil is the best option.

Can Adderall and Modafinil be mixed?

Often people choose to mid their Adderall with modafinil. This is because by mixing two compounds with similar effects but work in different ways they hope to provide more reliable results.

Is mixing the drugs safe?

It is unknown if the combination of Adderall and modafinil is safe.

Due to the way the drugs work, it is possible that combining them will only increase side effects or cause overstimulation. Overstimulation could cause a reduction in productivity and negate the reasons a person would want to take the medications, to begin with.

Using a bath as an example mixing modafinil and Adderall would be like plugging the drain and turning the tap on fully. The tub will fill up quickly and will start to overflow.

This matches the reaction of the brain when taking the two together. The massive amount of dopamine could cause cognitive problems such as anxiety, headaches, twitchiness and irritability. More long-term effects can happen too like lack of motivation, depression, insomnia and low libido.

Should I mix modafinil with Adderall?

Most commentators on the discussion of mixing modafinil and Adderall agree they should not be combined.

Online communities like Reddit or Quora recommend that these drugs should not be mixed.

Most tend to agree with them.

Both drugs are powerful, and there is a lack of studies on mixing them.

The combination could be favorable but may also lead to many serious side effects.

A recommendation would be only to take one stimulant at a time no matter its strength. For example, I wouldn’t take modafinil with a lot of caffeine. Adderall and modafinil work fine on their own, so there is no need to mix them.

Paul Turner
MODPURE 100 mg Modafinil, in a 30 x capsule bottle. My favorite
MODPURE 100 mg of Modafinil

The Common Side Effects of Mixing Adderall and Modafinil:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Jitteriness

How to mix Adderall and Modafinil safely:

If despite the information you would still want to mix Adderall and modafinil what is the safest method?

Because of the similarities of their effects, it is recommended to take them both in smaller doses if mixing.

For modafinil, the standard dose is 200mg per day. The equivalent to this is around 60 mg for Adderall.

So, if you’re going to mix them, start with half a dose of each. 30 mg of Adderall and 100 mg of modafinil.

Modafinil can be purchased in the 200 mg dose and broken in half with the manufacturer’s crease for even 100 mg doses.

Adderall isn’t usually sold with a manufacturer’s crease, so it is recommended you buy either the 10 mg or higher 30 mg dose to mix with the modafinil.

Make sure to start at a low dose and increase it gradually:

It is important to remember to start with a lower dose. This is a rule for any new combination of supplements or drugs.

This makes sure there are no severe side effects from taking the medication.

You should start with a half dose and build up slowly to higher doses.

If the effects are not as strong as you had hoped after the first day, wait until after the next day before increasing the dose.

Problems can be created by taking a second dose out of impatience at the lack of effects before giving the first one time. This is how many people have died overdosing on illicit drugs such as MDMA which is very close in design to Adderall.

It is important to remember that Adderall does not reach it’s peak concentrations for about three hours after use. Modafinil takes around two hours.

Final Thoughts on the mixing of Modafinil and Adderall:
Modafinil may seem like the perfect pairing but it can be unsafe and it unnecessary.

If you are still set on mixing them, then start with smaller doses and build your way up to higher.


Although similar Adderall and modafinil have distinct differences.

Modafinil is superior in keeping you productive and awake for hours while Adderall is better for the treatment of ADHD.

Both drugs are potent and provide the same benefits.

Modafinil is the better option as while having the same benefits it is less addictive and has fewer side effects than Adderall.

However, for the treatment of ADHD Adderall may be a better option, although only slightly. It is up to discretion which is used.

If mixing the two is your aim, take it slow. Start with a lower dose and build until you know how the drugs will affect you individually.

Adderall vs Modafinil - Benefits, Comparison, Side-Effects
Article Name
Adderall vs Modafinil - Benefits, Comparison, Side-Effects
We explain which drug you should use to improve studying or work productivity and what makes them different. Also the process of mixing modafinil and Adderall.
Publisher Name
Dr Modafinil
Publisher Logo

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 − eight =