Adrafinil is a nootropic (cognitive enhancer) compound and a mild stimulant that promotes alertness and wakefulness without amphetamine-like effects. Adrafinil was created in the 1970s by French scientists in a pharmaceutical company called Laboratoires Lafon.
Scientists were impressed with the compound’s stimulant effects and by the mid-1980s adrafinil was available in France as a treatment for narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue). It was sold under the brand name Olmifon, which is no longer available on the market.
Adrafinil has a powerful cognition-enhancing effect on the brain, and recently there has been an increasing demand for supplements that contain adrafinil by people looking to boost their mental energy and ability to stay focused for long hours during the day or night.
How Does it Work?
Adrafinil is the precursor for the stimulating metabolite called modafinil. This means that adrafinil first needs to be broken down by the liver, releasing modafinil into the bloodstream, which is the active ingredient that promotes cognitive functions in the brain.
Modafinil can also be taken as a drug and has now overtaken adrafinil as the primary approved treatment for narcolepsy, but unlike modafinil, adrafinil does not require a prescription to purchase.
Adrafinil boosts the production of the neurotransmitter hypocretin. Also known as orexin, this neurotransmitter plays an important role in feelings of arousal, wakefulness and motivation, with higher levels of this neuropeptide resulting in increased alertness.
The most common form of narcolepsy is caused by low levels of hypocretin because the cells that produce it have been damaged. This is why adrafinil was originally used to help narcolepsy sufferers.
Hypocretin is produced by a small cluster of neurons in the brain. When hypocretins are released, they bind to hypocretin receptors and increase wakefulness and arousal. This is believed to be the main mechanism of action of adrafinil, although several other mechanisms have been examined.
Benefits and Uses of Adrafinil
Adrafinil greatly reduces fatigue by boosting wakefulness through increased production of hypocretin. Its ability to increase vigilance and reduce tiredness has made it popular with students who are looking to stay awake and alert for long hours of studying before exams.
Enhances cognitive function and memory.
A study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, found that modafinil improves memory functions in people suffering from depression. As its precursor, adrafinil is thought to have the same effects and many people have reported that their memory improved from taking adrafinil.
Users have also reported that they were able to stay focused and perform at a higher level for longer periods of time by using this nootropic.
Adrafinil has been reported to improve general mood and motivation, making it potentially helpful for people with mild depression.
Where to Buy Adrafinil?
Most users buy adrafinil from the internet, and there are many web-based stores that sell it as pure powder or encapsulated. For a rundown of some of the top stores that sell adrafinil products, check out this page where you can compare prices between the most reputable vendors of nootropic supplements.
People have reported experiencing insomnia when taking adrafinil in the afternoon or evening since the wakefulness effect can take a while to wear off. Some studies have also shown a minor increase in heart rate and blood pressure while using modafinil, which also applies to adrafinil.
Many people choose to take modafinil over adrafinil because the latter needs to be broken down by the liver, which means it can put stress on your liver if taken regularly and over a long period of time.
All in all, adrafinil is safe for moderate use and does not come with any major side effects. As with any other health product, caution is advised, and getting a professional advice from your doctor or pharmacist is always the safer path.