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What is Armodafinil?

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Like Modafinil, Armodafinil (sold under the brand name Nuvigil) also continues to grow in popularity every year as more and more people turn to Smart Drugs and Nootropics to optimise their daily performance.

Armodafinil is generally a drug prescribed to improve wakefulness in people with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), and shift work disorder (SWD).

Although Armodafinil has been used as a nootropic for quite some time, it is also becoming increasingly utilised off-label owing to its established cognitive enhancing effects, which include enhanced working memory, executive function, and decision-making capacity. It has also been shown to enhance mood and reaction times.

Students, entrepreneurs, bankers and anyone else that has deadlines are increasingly taking medication like Modafinil and Armodafinil on a regular basis to help stay on top of their commitments.

If you would like to learn more about Armodafinil, how it works, some of its benefits, and things to watch out for, then we'll have you covered in the remainder of this blog post.

Let's jump to it!

What is Armodafinil - Armodafinil tablet in a hand

What does Armodafinil do?

Armodafinil is a central nervous system stimulant and wakefulness-promoting drug.

It is approved for the treatment of narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness in people with obstructive sleep apnea. Armodafinil has also been used off-label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, myotonic dystrophy and major depressive disorder.

Armodafinil is structurally different from other central nervous system stimulants such as amphetamines, methylphenidate and cocaine. The precise mechanism by which Armodafinil promotes wakefulness is unknown. However, it is thought to work by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine and histamine.

However, Armodafinil is commonly used off-label for its stimulant effects to help increase cognitive performance, while promoting alertness and wakefulness. Other off-label uses include helping treat conditions such as cancer-related fatigue, Multiple sclerosis-related fatigue, as well as psychiatric disorders such as depression and ADHD.

What is Armodafinil? Pile of white tablets.

How does Armodafinil work?

The exact mechanism by which Modafinil and Armodafinil work is still not completely understood. Despite decades of research conducted on these drugs, it remains a mystery on how it effectively treats conditions such as narcolepsy and sleeping disorders.

Don't let that discourage you however, what research has been able to conclude is that they're both effective.

There is ongoing research still underway to try and get to the bottom of this mystery, hopefully one day we'll find out. The good news is that we don't have to wait until then before we can experience the benefits that Modafinil and Armodafinil have to offer.

You might be asking yourself - what is the difference between Modafinil and Armodafinil? - and it's a good question. Let's tackle that here.

Enantiomers are molecules that are mirror images of each other—think left-hand and right-hand.

Modafinil is a racemate with the two enantiomers; R-enantiomer and S-enantiomer. Whereas, Armodafinil targets just the R-enantiomer.

Armodafinil is the newer drug when compared to Modafinil. Due to the slightly different chemical makeup of Armodafinil, it has a longer half-life than what Modafinil has, and it is also thought to be more effective at being used as a wakefulness promoting drug, which is why some people prefer it to Modafinil.

Like Modafinil, the pharmacological profile of Armodafinil is notably different from the traditional psychostimulants, such as amphetamines, cocaine or methylphenidate.

Research indicates that Armodafinil and Modafinil elevate the dopamine levels in the hypothalamus. It is thought to do this by acting as a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor. Interestingly, it is understood that Modafinil/Armodafinil binds to the same site on the Dopamine Transporter (DAT) as cocaine, but in a different way. Hence why they don't share the same addictive qualities.

Armodafinil structure

A quick history of Modafinil and Armodafinil

When looking at the origins of Armodafinil you first need to understand the history of Modafinil due to their very similar chemical structure.

Modafinil was originally created in France by neurophysiologist professor Michel Jouvet and Lafon Laboratories.

Modafinil emerged from the first of a series of benzhydryl sulfinyl compounds developed in the 1970s, that also included Adrafinil.

Modafinil is the primary metabolite of Adrafinil but it doesn't have the polar -OH group on its terminal amide and has similar activity to the parent drug but is more commonly used.

Modafinil was first offered as an experimental treatment for narcolepsy in France in 1986. From 1994, Modafinil then went on to be prescribed to patients in France under the name of Modiodal.

In late 2002, the UK also approved the used to Modafinil.

In 1998, Modafinil was approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Narcolepsy. Later in 2003, Modafinil was approved for the treatment of Sleep Work Shift Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

It was sold over the counter in the United States by the American biopharmaceutical company Cephalon. They used to lease the manufacturing rights from Lafon Laboratories, but in 2001 they made the move to acquire the whole company, giving them the sole manufacturing rights.

Cephalon were able to maintain their monopoly right up until 2012 through a combination of patent protection and litigation legal cases following the expiry of the Modafinil patent in 2001. Soon after, generic versions of Modafinil were readily available worldwide and at a much more affordable price.

Armodafinil came onto the scheme in June 2007 once it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of excessive sleepiness. It was first produced by Cephalon under the brand name Nuvigil up until 2016 when the FDA granted Mylan N.V., a global generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company, the rights to manufacture and sell to the US market the first generic version of Nuvigil (Armodafinil).

Since then, there have been a number of other pharmaceutical companies that have joined the ranks in producing their own generic versions, which can be found in nearly all pharmacies around the world.

Michel Jouvet - French neuroscientist and medical researcher - Discovered Modafinil and Armodafinil

What does Armodafinil treat?

Armodafinil is generally prescribed to treat issues surrounding sleep, arousal and wakefulness.

Some of the conditions treated with Armodafinil include the following:

The benefits of Armodafinil

Armodafinil has a number of advantages, which has made it one of the most popular nootropics regularly taken by people all around the globe.

The following list contains some of the advantages reported for taking Armodafinil:

  • Improved alertness and wakefulness

  • Improved cognitive function

  • Improved ability to concentrate and focus

  • Reduced fatigue; and

  • Improved mood.

Other than the reported advantages listed above (which are the same as for Modafinil), since Armodafinil has a longer half-life than Modafinil, with research indicating that it may be more effective at improving wakefulness in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness, some users prefer it over Modafinil.

What is Armodafinil? The benefits of Modafinil.

Side effects of taking Armodafinil

No medication or drug is ever perfect. Even NZT in the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper had negative side effects which he only discovered later on since it was very much still an experimental drug. There are always going to be downsides, but ideally you need to find products that have more positives than they do have negatives. Otherwise, what's the point.

Despite Armodafinil not being completely understood, it has been somewhat researched and consumed by the public long enough for us to have a pretty good idea of all the different symptoms and side effects that you might experience while taking it.

If you head over to the webmd page for Armodafinil it might give you a fright, although looking at any medication on webmd (or any page for that matter...) will cause a shock. Their list mostly contains "infrequent" and "rare" side effects. These are useful to know but the chances that you experience any of them is very slim, especially if you follow our advice and take it slow while listening to your body and consulting the required health professionals.

Let me bring your attention to the more common side effects, which affect less than 15% of users:

While these side effects are not very appealing, they don't happen to everyone (less than 15%) and some of these can also be avoided by better understanding the medication, as well as your own body and tolerances. We'll continue to prepare some posts to cover all that is know about Armodafinil and how to minimise the side effects so that users are able to get the most out of their experiences.

Although it can be incorrectly mentioned online, Armodafinil has been found to not be addictive.

Research has also generally concluded that the likelihood of abuse is very low with zero reported Modafinil/Armodafinil caused fatalities. There is an interesting medical article written on the attempted suicide of a teenage who took 5000 mg of Modafinil (~25 tablets which is 25x the recommended average dose of 200 mg), however, lived to tell the tale...

"Approximately 2 hours following ingestion the patient complained of headache, nausea and abdominal pain. /.../ There was no deterioration of kidney or liver functions, and no change in complete blood count or blood pressure."

Not a bad outcome all things considered.

What is Armodafinil? The side effects of taking Armodafinil.

Do people buy Armodafinil online?

It is becoming increasingly popular for people to want to buy their medicine online. The growth of this trend has only been accelerating. People already buy most of what they need need online, so it was only a matter of time until the pharmaceutical industry started to also head in the same direction.

Pricing is a lot cheaper when you're purchasing online, especially for generic medication since there is more competition. Brand named products are still expensive, but you'll still be paying less than if you were to walk into a physical store.

The purchase of Armodafinil and Modafinil online has followed the same trend. More and more people are looking online to try and find ways that they can better perform at school, in their jobs, or just in life in general. The benefits of trying a smart drug like Modafinil seem all too irresistible, but who can blame us, life is all about trying to be our optimal selves.

The increased competition between online Smart Drug vendors has only meant one thing - lower prices. I would have liked to add 'better service', but from what we've seen over the years it hasn't been the case... The industry is a mix of reliable vendors but also plenty of scammers looking for trusting buyers. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the two, especially with fake or misleading reviews being plastered all over the internet.

We've started writing our own vendor reviews to try and help people to avoid getting scammed or misled.

So this brings us to the question of whether or not it is legal for people to be purchasing their Modafinil and Armodafinil products online. Let's dig into this in some more detail.

Is buying Armodafinil online legal?

The answer to this question is a combination of 'yes' and 'no'. It just depends, but let's dig into why this is the case.

Long story short, it will depend on which country you live in and whether a prescription is required for Armodafinil. Armodafinil has been around for decades now with approval to be sold in the US, throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Each country has classified Modafinil differently, which is generally the case for all pharmaceutical products. It's a complicated space to say the least - and it's no different for nootropics or smart drugs.

There isn't a universal standard that all countries follow, so in order to know whether buying Armodafinil online is legal or not, I'd recommend that you keep reading on to our next section of this blog, that looks at the legality of Modafinil/Armodafinil by country.

The legality of Armodafinil by country

Like Modafinil, Armodafinil is legally available in many countries, with varying restrictions.

In most countries, Armodafinil is a prescription-only drug, making it nearly impossible to obtain without seeing your doctor first. However, this does not mean you can't buy Armodafinil lawfully if you don't have a prescription. This is because online pharmacies located in other parts of the world such as India, sell pharmaceuticals more permissively than what your country's rules allow.

What happens if your parcel is intercepted by border security?

There are three different outcomes that have come of your order:

  1. The parcel is shipped successfully and you receive your order without any issues: This is generally the outcome, more often than not. Only a very small percentage of parcels get sent to customs and properly processed. There is a very high likelihood that your order will be received seamlessly.

  2. The parcel is intercepted by customs: In the event that your order is intercepted by customs, you will likely first see that is has been stopped but looking at your tracking number. The country border agency will then send a 'love letter' to the intended address and name provided for your order. The 'love letter' will request that you provide valid proof of a prescription for these medications that you're trying to import. In the event that you don't provide them with a prescription within the required timeframe, you forfeit your parcel, and they will arrange for its destruction.

  3. The border agency try and prosecute you for the importation of medicine: There have been no reported cases of this ever occurring. Modafinil and Armodafinil are non-addictive smart drugs that are generally used off-label for enhanced cognition and mood, so they're not deemed a threat to the citizens of any country. For this reason, governments choose to focus more on schedule I and schedule II drugs (Modafinil and Armodafinil are classified as schedule IV in the United States).

Country by country breakdown

Each country has their own rules when it come to the importation of pharmaceutical products like Modafinil and Armodafinil so it's best to check the regulations that relate to the specific destination country that you're planning to have the products delivered.

We've provided a quick summary of the border security rules for some of the largest Modafinil/Armodafinil consuming countries:

  • Australia: Modafinil/Armodafinil is classified as a Schedule 4 substance in Australia, which means it has certain restrictions. Modafinil/Armodafinil sales are restricted without a prescription, but the drug isn't prohibited from entering the country without one. That said, customs will typically check for a vendor's prescription when an order is intercepted by them. If no prescription is included, the parcel will be held for up to 30 days until one is received. If a prescription is not provided within the required time the order will be confiscated and destroyed.

  • Canada: Modafinil/Armodafinil is classified as a Schedule F prescription drug, however it is not specifically mentioned in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. A doctor's prescription is required when ordering online. Canada is known for being notoriously hard to send to by online vendors, so the general recommendation is to use a Mail Forwarding Service in the US, prior to having the package delivered to you in Canada. This will add extra time and complexity to your delivery, but it increases the likelihood that your package arrives safely.

  • Croatia: Yes, Modafinil/Armodafinil is legal in Croatia. However, it is important to note that the drug is only available with a prescription from a licensed medical professional. Additionally, importation of Modafinil/Armodafinil into Croatia is strictly regulated by the Croatian Ministry of Health. For example, you cannot sell Modafinil/Armodafinil without a license from the Croatian Ministry of Health.

  • Germany: In Germany, Modafinil/Armodafinil is considered a prescription medication and is only available with a doctor's prescription. Germany is a part of the EU and is therefore subject to the same regulatory bodies regarding pharmaceuticals that all EU member states are, which includes the European Medicines Agency.

  • Mexico: Similar to India, Mexico does not classify Modafinil/Armodafinil as a controlled substance under their National Health Law. As a result, this means that it can be easily purchased over the counter in pharmacies without the need of a prescription. It is sold under the brand name Modiodal.

  • Sweden: Yes, Modafinil is legal in Sweden. However, it is important to note that while Modafinil is legal, it is not yet approved by the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket). This means that Modafinil can only be used if prescribed by a doctor. Furthermore, because Modafinil is not yet approved by the Läkemedelsverket, it is not covered by Swedish health insurance. Therefore, patients who wish to use Modafinil must pay for it out-of-pocket.

  • Russia: Russia considers Modafinil/Armodafinil a Schedule II drug, which means it is banned for personal possession and for most medical uses. Modafinil/Armodafinil is not legal to buy or import into Russia, even if you have a prescription so you'll find that Russia is on the restricted country list for most (if not all) online vendors.

  • United Kingdom: While Modafinil/Armodafinil is legal in the UK, it is important to note that it is classified as a controlled substance by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This means that there are certain restrictions on its use, and it can only be obtained from a registered pharmacy. It is not currently available over the counter in the UK, but can be obtained with a valid prescription from a doctor. Interestingly, it can also only be prescribed for narcolepsy within the UK.

  • United States: Yes, Modafinil/Armodafinil is legal in the United States. However, it is only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Modafinil/Armodafinil has been classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, which means it has a low potential for abuse and dependence.

What is Armodafinil? Country flags

For more in-depth information on how to buy Modafinil and Armodafinil in other countries, we've created specific guides for the following list:

Before ordering any prescription medicines from an online vendor, we'd recommend reading through the relevant country guide to learn about the rules and restrictions that specifically impact you. We've also put together recommendations on which vendor(s) we thing your better off using based on your location, hopefully making the process of finding a good and reliable vendor that little bit easier for you.

Where to buy Modafinil

While Modafinil can be purchased from your local pharmacy with a valid prescription, it can also be purchased online easily enough without a prescription.

That being said, it isn't obvious to know where to purchase from and which vendor you can trust. This is why we've prepared some detailed vendor reviews to help you find a supplier that best suits your needs based on how much you're looking to spend and what country you live in.

Remain productive and stay safe!


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