The reason why we compare Modafinil and Adderall is because of their significant action similarities. The two drugs are cognitive substances that affect the central nervous systems of humans. In their effect, they raise specific chemical compounds of the brain, such as dopamine, to mostly encourage wakefulness

Modafinil in specific works against sleep disorders of various kinds; narcolepsy, shift work disorder (SWD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and a lot more. Adderall, on the other hand, works similarly; however, its use is more defined towards attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom treatments. Modafinil also treats ADHD only that it is yet to be approved for that purpose. 

So, considering all these similar facts, are these two drugs any different so far? Yes, they are, and this article has it all, the information we need to differentiate these two. In an art-shell, however, it is all about side effects and effects that bring the difference. Modafinil exhibits low risks of abuse, and its side effects are never apparent. Adderall does have a high risk of abuse and similarly severe side effects on that. 

For better comprehension of these two, let’s begin with the basics, the definition. 

What is Modafinil

Modafinil, also known as Provigil by generic name, is a schedule IV cognitive substance used for narcolepsy conditions. It is one drug also belonging to the eugeroics class of medicines which promotes wakefulness. Its action affects the brain chemicals managing the typical sleep pattern. 

For other uses, Modafinil reveals significant effects on the management of these other ill-health conditions;

  • multiple sclerosis-related fatigues
  • cocaine dependence
  • acute unipolar and bipolar depression 
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 
  • cancer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently only approves Modafinil for narcolepsy treatment alongside other sleep disorders. On an off-label usage, Modafinil has played a part in managing the ADHD symptoms. So far, its results on this are positive and now only awaits the FDA’s approval.

Advantages of using Modafinil

It increases;

  • Wakefulness
  • Alertness
  • Body energy: You will never feel tired out of lack of enough sleep

Other than the positive effects by Modafinil, it also results in various side effects which include;

  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • heartburn
  • Body shaking

What is Adderall?

Adderall is the primary medical treatment procedure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD conditions. The drug shares remarkable similarity with Modafinil more so on its functionality. Like Modafinil, it affects the brain’s CNS causing wakefulness and body activeness. 

Adderal is a prescription drug with a daily dosage of 1-3 tablets daily. The recommended house for their consumption is 4-6 hours. It means, therefore depending on your condition; you will either have less or more dosage.

Side effects

Adderal is never 100% safe. Long term use often result in various side effects as illustrated below;

  • headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • fever
  • dry mouth
  • weight loss
  • stomach upset/pain
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping

Note that these effects could get worse in some cases. When this happens, report as soon as possible to your doctor.

Similarities between Modafinil and Adderall

Both Modafinil and Adderall share quite several similarities owing to their existence and functionality. Here below are these likeness features.

Functioning mechanism

Both drugs tend to affect the human’s central nervous system more correspondingly. These drugs increase the chemical levels in the brain to influence the wakefulness effect. Among these chemicals are norepinephrine, dopamine, and histamine.

Risk of abuse

Though the level of risk of abuse on Modafinil could below, it still exists. Adderall tends to have a higher risk compared to Modafinil.

User restricted

Both Adderall and Modafinil belong to different schedule groups, II and IV, respectively. Despite the difference, they both face restrictions in their use – all are user-controlled by FDA. In most cases, you will need to have a doctor’s prescription for acquaintance.

Differences between Adderall and Modafinil

There is substantial evidence to prove the dissimilarity between these two stimulant drugs. Here are the key facts that separate them.

FDA approval 

FDA approves the use of each of these drugs towards sleep disorder ailments. However, in the more particular description, Modafinil same to Adderall have their designated complaints to treat. Modafinil, for instance, only treats ADHD off-the label – FDA has not approved it for this yet. Nevertheless, it is highly recommendable for narcolepsy and other related illnesses. 

Structural difference

Both drugs have a similar chemical design but a different structure. For this reason, their uses slightly differ. In this way, Modafinil remains less stimulus than Adderall is. 


Sleep disorders are controllable and manageable. Modafinil and Adderall are among the key medications usable in this entire procedure. While you can get them on online platforms, the law always requires that you have a prescription. It is worthwhile noting that, despite the positive effects these drugs might bring to you, they still harbour side effects, which may be critical. Always you should report to your doctor soon enough when you notice any severe conditions from side effects.  

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