• healthmatter home Home
  • Blog
  • Armodafinil vs Adderall: Detailed comparison of the stimulants

Armodafinil vs Adderall: Detailed comparison of the stimulants

Armodafinil vs Adderall: Detailed comparison of the stimulants

Last updated on 28 Sep, 2022

Wondering which among “Armodafinil vs Adderall” is a better option? We have you covered. 

Armodafinil and Adderall are two significant Nootropics known for their prescription and off-label benefits. Both stimulants are noted to offer similar benefits, thus making it hard for people to decide. This comprehensive guide will outline every crucial product detail to help you find the right Nootropic. 

Armodafinil Vs Adderall- An overview

Armodafinil is an effective Nootropic that can help us enhance wakefulness. Moreover, it is a prescribed medicine for excessive sleep disorders like sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, and narcolepsy. 

Adderall is a stimulant designed to treat sleep disorder narcolepsy and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It contains amphetamines which differ from most Nootropics. In addition, people now use this stimulant to stay focused.





  • One should take Armodafinil 150 mg to 250 mg in the morning as a single dose for treating Narcolepsy.

  • In addition, Shift work sleep disorder patients should take Armodafinil 150 mg dosage 1 hour before starting the work shift.


  • Moreover, do not use Nootropics more than once a day.

The dosages of Adderall should take two or three times a day. Therefore, start taking your dosage just after waking up in the morning. Similarly, continue taking it during the day by taking the gap of 4 to 6 hours. Moreover, take it orally without breaking it. 


Approximately 15 hours

From 9 to 14 hours

Drug class

CNS stimulant

CNS stimulant

Available dosage forms

  • Oral Pill

  • Oral capsules extended-release

  • In addition, they are also available as tablets. 

CSA schedule

Armodafinil is a medicine that has a low potential for abuse. Moreover, in the United States, it is accepted for medical use. It falls under the Schedule IV drug list. It has a lower or negligible risk of physical or psychological dependence.

Adderall is a schedule II medicine that has a high potential for abuse. However, it is currently accepted for medical use in the United States but with several restrictions. Therefore, if you abuse it, it may lead you to suffer from physical and psychological dependence.  

Side effects

Sudden weight loss, Nausea. Moreover, Hypertension, Insomnia, Diarrhea, and Headache are very common. In addition, facing rash and allergic reactions is common. 

Adderall can be addictive and habit forming, Nausea and Muscle spasms. In addition, it can also cause Fever, Diarrhea.

Moreover, a heart attack is possible if you take Alcohol. 

A comparison of Armodafinil and Adderall Benefits

Armodafinil vs Adderall- Benefits

While Armodafinil vs Adderall comparison can be difficult as they portray similar benefits, they have prevalent advantages. Some of the comparable benefits of Armodafinil and Adderall are listed below.

Armodafinil benefits-

Enhanced focus and Cognition- Armodafinil can help people stay focused for hours with improved creativity, concentration, and memory. It is also associated with improving the thinking and decision-making ability of users.

Not an amphetamine-based Nootropic- Unlike Adderall, Armodafinil doesn't contain amphetamine that helps prevent certain side effects of the stimulant, such as anxiety and excessive sweating.

Longer half-life- The elimination half-life of Armodafinil (15 hours) is longer compared to Modafinil (12 hours) and Adderall (12 hours). It makes Armodafinil effective compared to Adderall.

Fewer side effects- In comparison to Adderall, the side effects of Armodafinil are less frequent and severe. Many users report not experiencing any adverse effects from Armodafinil.

Lower possibility of sleep disturbance- Adderall can be hard to sleep on; however, if Armodafinil is taken correctly, it does not affect a person's sleep cycle. 

Adderall benefits-

Intensity- Adderall is one of the most intense stimulants available. It is too strong to fail and can guarantee to get almost all jobs done. 

Cause High- Adderall is formulated with amphetamines that can make you feel high. It will also induce a strong sense of happiness, focus, and productivity.

High energy level- Being an amphetamine-based stimulant, Adderall is a more potent energy booster compared to Armodafinil. 

Adderall vs Armodafinil- Off-label and Prescription uses

The FDA primarily approves Armodafinil for treating excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea, Narcolepsy, and shift work sleep disorder. Likewise, Adderall is approved by the FDA for treating Narcolepsy. 













Shift work sleep disorder 



Obstructive sleep apnea



Armodafinil vs. Adderall- The Notable differences

Active ingredient

Armodafinil is the generic version. It contains 150mg of Armodafinil compound in its formulation. In comparison, Adderall has a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine salts.  


Armodafinil and its brand versions are available as oral tablets in the strengths of 50mg, 150mg, 200mg, and 250mg. Adderall, on the other hand, is available as oral tablets and in extended-release capsules. It comes in the strengths of 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 25mg, and 30mg.  

Risk of abuse-

Armodafinil is a schedule IV drug, whereas Adderall is a Schedule II medication. It indicates Armodafinil has a lower risk of abuse compared to Adderall. 

Age restrictions-

Armodafinil is restricted to people of 17 years and above. However, Adderall can be taken by adults and children of 3 years and more. 


The administration of Nuvigil is prescribed once a day, but Adderall is advised to be taken 2 to 3 times a day. The standard dose of Armodafinil is 150 mg, and that of Adderall is 5mg. 

Armodafinil vs Adderall- Comparison of Cost and Coverage

Armodafinil vs Adderall- Comparison of Cost and Coverage

Armodafinil is often covered by most insurance policies, whereas Adderall is not since it is a brand-name drug. Adderall can cost $315 for 30 and 20 mg tablets. However, the cost of Armodafinil is $1.60 per pill at Healthmatter. 




Covered by Insurance 


Often No

Covered by Medicare Part D


No (only the generic)


100 to 400 pills

30, 20 mg tablets

Pharmacodynamic interactions of Adderall vs Armodafinil

Armodafinil and Adderall can interact with many of the same drugs. Armodafinil is identified to interact with 432 medications, whereas Adderall is known to interact with 180 medicines. Armodafinil is known to cause 16 major, 230 moderate, and 186 minor interactions. Adderall can cause 36 major, 135 moderate, and nine minor interactions. 

Even though Armodafinil is prone to drug interactions, Adderall has a higher risk of causing a severe effect on the user. 

Drug Class



Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)



Hormonal contraceptives






Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)



Serotonergic drugs






Mixing Armodafinil and Adderall-  Is it a wise decision?

Many people take Armodafinil and Adderall simultaneously in the hope of getting higher brain activity and doubling up their functioning. But is this interaction safe?

Armodafinil can interact individually with the two active compounds of Adderall. 

Mixing Armodafinil and Adderall

Mixing Adderall and Armodafinil can trigger overstimulation that can result in adverse effects. Such people are more likely to experience nausea, anxiety, twitchiness, palpitation, and irritability. 

Side effects of Adderall and Armodafinil

Adderall causes significantly more side effects than Armodafinil. The severity of the adverse effects of Adderall is higher compared to Armodafinil. 







Weight loss

Muscle spasm




When mixed with alcohol, it can cause a heart attack.




High blood pressure.


Muscle twitching.

Armodafinil vs Adderall- Warning and Precaution

The use of Armodafinil and Adderall is contradicted in people with kidney, liver, and heart issues. Administering these stimulants can increase the risk of cardiac disorder and elevate heart rate, blood pressure, and stroke.

Adderall and Armodafinil use can also increase the risk of psychiatric events such as depression, hallucinations, aggression, mania, and delusional thinking. The possibility of these is higher in people with a history of mental health disorders. 

In rare cases, these stimulants can cause allergic reactions and severe rash like Stevens-Johnson syndrome. 

Apart from these, the use of Adderall can cause other health risks such as visual disturbances, growth suppression (in children), and serotonin syndrome. 

Armodafinil vs Adderall- Our final verdict

Armodafinil and Adderall are both nootropics that can help us stay active. However, if you ask us which among these two is better, it would undeniably be Armodafinil. 

Armodafinil is a safer option than Adderall as it is a Schedule IV drug with lower dependency. It is also associated with minor and less frequent side effects than Adderall. 

The price of Armodafinil is lower compared to Adderall and is often covered by insurance, whereas Adderall is not. 


Though Adderall can offer “feeling high” effects and enhance our mood, Adderall is not an approved treatment for depression.

Armodafinil can work as a very effective mood enhancer. It can be an effective solution for treating depression as it offers mood-brightening effects.

Armodafinil can help in treating ADHD. As such, people constantly fidget and struggle with staying attentive; using Armodafinil can help them stay focused and increase their attention span.

Armodafinil is a cognitive enhancer that can boost our focus and motivation.

Armodafinil can produce psychoactive and euphoric effects.

Adderall can be habit-forming if you use it for a longer period. It is a schedule II drug that has the risk of abuse.

Adderall should not be taken without ADHD as it may produce excessive dopamine, causing euphoria, enhanced energy levels, and possible physical and emotional side effects.

Adderall can offer a little, but a mixed cognitive enhancement. Therefore, it is relevant to neurocognitive enhancement in people.

The half-life of Armodafinil is longer compared to Adderall. Therefore, the effect of Nuvigil is longer and more effective.


  1. Armodafinil, Wikipedia
  2. Neurocognitive, Autonomic, and Mood Effects of Adderall: A Pilot Study of Healthy College Students,


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.