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Adrafinil is a nootropic drug developed in France primarily for improving attention and wakefulness. It is actually classified as a eugeroic – a wakefulness enhancing drug. It ended up seeing a lot of use for depression, night shift work, and alleviating the cognitive impairments caused by narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.
Adrafinil is able to improve attention and concentration, reduce depressive symptoms, and improve working memory.5https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x It does this without causing euphoria or other mood disturbances.6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3713198 As such, unlike adderall and other amphetamines, Adrafinil has a very low abuse and addiction potential.
Adrafinil actually acts as a prodrug for Modafinil, which means it is metabolized and converted into Modafinil in the body.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3713198[/f]5https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x
Adrafinils primary mechanism appears to come from increase levels of dopamine, by blocking the dopamine transporter (DAT)2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2672878/. It appears to do this with less precision than Modafinil, and as such is prone to more side effects. Adrafinil has also been speculated to increase levels of norepinephrine and adrenaline as well, though the data on this is unclear.
Adrafinil is very understudied and was voluntarily discontinued. It has since been replaced with Modafinil, which is more effective and less prone to side effects. However, adrafinil is unregulated and thus can be sold as a dietary supplement, making it much easier to acquire, and is cheaper to boot.
Adrafinil Side Effects and Dosage Information
The recommended adrafinil dosage when sold as a prescription was 600mg-1200mg per day.5https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27928893
In some rare cases, the side effects of Adrafinil can include increased anxiety, skin irritation, stomach pain, and elevated liver enzymes3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19810941. There is even a case report of adrafinil-induced dyskinesia (neurological disorder effecting movements patterns).4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15300665 However, it this case it was taken daily at higher dose ranges for almost a year.
As such, proglonged use of Adrafinil is not advised, particularly due to a lack of data on long-term safety on the liver. I would suggest taking Adrafinil only a few times a month without going outside of the recommended dose range.
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