Adderall vs Modafinil Comparison

modafinil vs adderall

In my never ending quest for self improvement I’ve encountered a lot of different strategies for enhancing my performance. So far, the best strategies for me have been exercise, proper dieting and nootropics.

Experimenting with different substances that you don’t know much about can be scary. That is what we are here for.

Today I want to talk about the two biggest substances out there for cognitive enhancement. Those substances are Modafinil and Adderrall.

I consider both of these to be very popular options for cognitive enhancement and I’m going to go in depth with each of them to figure out which is better!

What is Adderall?

Unlike Modafinil, Adderall is something that we haven’t discussed on this site yet.

Adderall is a prescription drug that is commonly prescribed to patients to combat ADHD as well as Narcolepsy.

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both of these combine together and act as a stimulants on your central nervous system.

Adderall falls into a larger category of drugs called psychostimulants. This category includes amphetamines such as Adderall and Vyvanse. It also includes methyphenidates such as Ritalin and Concerta.


Psychostimulants work to speed up the central nervous system and subsequently other parts of the body such as the heart, speed of breath and brain.

These drugs receive a lot of criticism because they are in the same family of drugs as the hard drug methamphetamine. Furthermore, they are given to children like candy which is something I am completely against but won’t get into here.

However, when drugs such as Adderall are given to healthy adults in the proper quantities, they can provide focus and general cognitive enhancements. It does so by promoting the release of catecholamines. Catecholamines are neurotransmitters such as a dopamine and Norepinephrine. Release of the neurotransmitters have many effects on mood and the brain in general.

Is Adderall Safe?

It is important that when you take Adderall that you take the proper dosage because it is more dangerous than other drugs out there.

adderall vs provigil

Some of the known side effects are:

  • Sleep problems
  • Fast heart rate
  • Anxiety, nervous feeling
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

When it comes to stimulants these symptoms are pretty common. but the real danger with Adderall lies in the chemical structure.

Since Adderall is an amphetamine it has addictive properties similar to Methamphetamine. People refer to these ADHD amphetamines as weaker, legal versions of Meth. There is good reason for this too.

When taken for a long period of time and then stopped there are a slew of negative effects. The main ones include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Unhappiness

Basically when people that were prescribed this stuff stopped taking it everyday they had trouble functioning normally. This is why you shouldn’t take this stuff everyday.

What is Modafinil?

I’ve already written extensively on Modafinil but for those who are new I recommend checking out my Beginners Guide to Modafinil.

Modafinil is a drug that falls under the category of stimulant but is more specifically a wakefulness promoting agent.

It is used to treat narcolepsy, sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder.

However, when you do not have any of these conditions taking Modafinil can increase focus and provide powerful nootropic effects.

Modafinil vs Adderall: Comparison

Both are powerful substances and can be a great help when it comes time to get stuff done but which one is better?

Both have similar goals but different mechanisms. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant while Modafinil is a wakefulness promoting agent.

modafinil guide

Studies have shown Modafinil is successful in enhancing memory, impulse control, sustained attention and is known for making tough tasks seem bearable.

Adderall has also been shown in various studies to be successful in enhancing motivation, concentration and alertness.

The one leg up that Modafinil has is the fact that the addictive potential is very low. There are other effects that come with taking Modafinil consistently for a long period of time such as adrenal fatigue, a general crash and the drug becoming ineffective. However, these effects are to be expected when you abuse any type of stimulant.

Adderall on the other hand, has a strong addiction potential. There is a lot of research on the addictive potential of the amphetamine family and it can be a pretty dangerous for your health.

Another thing to consider is availability. Modafinil is pretty easy to purchase online and you can check out our supplier reviews for more information. Adderall on the other hand is not easily purchased online and you have to have a prescription.

Finally, I would like to add that Adderall is definitely stronger. If Modafinil doesn’t do anything for you and your doctor prescribes it, then you might want to consider Adderall.

Modafinil vs Adderall: Experiences

In this section I want to take a more subjective route which I think will be more effective for this specific comparison.

While I have personally taken both and will be writing about my experience I wanted to take it to the next level and ask other people about their experiences.

As a college student Adderall is fairly common so I simply went to some of my friends and asked them their experiences with it.

Here are a couple of their responses:

“I personally took it everyday when I was younger because I had ADHD and I didn’t really like it too much. I felt like a zombie while taking it. There were no emotions but I got everything done so yeah it works.”

“The couple times I’ve taken it were pretty good. I was in the zone jamming to music for around 4 hours but then after I felt pretty sh***y on the comedown.”

“It definitely saved my life one time when I had this paper due at midnight but then I was really anxious and didn’t really sleep so there’s that. *laughs*”

There aren’t as many people I know that have taken both Adderall and Modafinil but here’s what two people had to say:

“I personally liked Modafinil better than Adderall. I felt pretty amped up on Adderall and for a while there I couldn’t get myself to focus. There was that kind of numb focus with both but I liked Modafinil’s effects better.”

“I’ve only tried Modafinil a couple times but I could see myself using it more. In terms of effects I think the Adderall worked a bit better but I felt a little more out of control while on Adderall.”

Adderall vs Modafinil: My Opinion + Final Thoughts

I, unlike many of my friends have tried both of these substances and I have to say that I like Modafinil a lot better.

I enjoyed the focus from Adderall, but a couple times I had some bad anxiety. Maybe in the future I would try it again with a lower dose but for now I am personally sticking to Modafinil.

I have been trying to avoid trying any crazy drugs and personally I think Adderall is pushing it. It is too similar to methamphetamine for my liking and the addictive potential is a little too much. However, I am glad that I tried it as it lead to me becoming more curious about other nootropics.

I try to stay away from any prescription drugs when possible with Modafinil being the exception to the rule.

Anyways I hope this article helped you out and if you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time,

Matt from Red Pill Reviews

@nosocmedia on Twitter

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