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Strattera Vs. Modafinil: Choose the better one

Strattera Vs. Modafinil: Choose the better one

Last updated on 03 Apr, 2024

Modafinil is more effective than strattera in treating the symptoms of ADHD, with fewer side effects. It is also cheaper as compared to Strattera. 

Strattera and Modafinil are two popular treatment options for ADHD and various other conditions. Although they treat similar situations, they differ on multiple grounds, such as drug class, price, mechanism of action, and various health risk factors. 

This blog compares both medications and explores the differences, benefits, and effectiveness. 

Strattera And Modafinil: An Overview

Strattera is the brand name for the generic Atomoxetine, a non-stimulant medication primarily used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The FDA approved its use in 2002. The medication is prescribed for both children and adults diagnosed with the symptoms of ADHD. 

On the other hand, Provigil, Modalert, and Modvigil are the brand names used for the generic Modafinil and belong to a class of drugs known as "wakefulness-promoting agents."The FDA approved the use of the schedule IV substance in 1998, and it's typically used for treating excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder [1]. 

What Conditions Is Strattera Approved To Treat?

Strattera is approved for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults as part of a comprehensive treatment program, including educational, psychological, or other therapies. 

Modafinil can treat excessive sleep disorders associated with the following conditions :

  • Narcolepsy is a condition causing excessive daytime sleepiness

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome (OSAHS)

  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) can occur with shift work schedules that rotate or change.

The off-label uses of Modafinil include:

1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

2. Bipolar disorder. 

3. Jet lag

4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

5. Cognitive Enhancement.

Advantages Of Modafinil And Strattera

Pros of Modafinil 

  • It helps people to stay awake without being overstimulated.

  • It is available as a lower-cost generic.

  • Convenient to use daily.

Pros of Strattera

  • The medication works well in children as well as adults for ADHD symptoms.

  • It is not a controlled substance. Therefore, there is no risk of dependence or addiction.

  • It can be taken with or without food.

  • The medicine is available as a lower-cost generic. 

Disadvantages Of Strattera And Modafinil

Cons of Modafinil 

  • Modafinil drug interactions with other medications, including hormonal birth control pills, warfarin, and omeprazole, are possible. 

  • People with severe liver disease might need a lower dose.

  • The use of Modafinil during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended

Cons of Strattera

  • It might take a few weeks to notice the symptoms getting better.

  • It doesn’t have much evidence of how it can help in improving the symptoms of ADHD as stimulant medications do.

  • It is not clear if it is safe for people during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Comparing Strattera And Modafinil 


  • Strattera has an average rating of 5.2 out of 10 from a total rating of 613 on the website, whereas Modafinil has an average rating of 7.2 out of 10 from a total rating of 511. 

  • Strattera is an adrenergic uptake inhibitor for ADHD, whereas Modafinil is a Central Nervous System stimulant.

  • Both medications are available in oral formulations.

  • The half-life of Strattera is 40 hours, whereas the half-life of Modafinil is 15 hours.

  • Strattera is not on the list of controlled substances, but Modafinil is a schedule IV controlled substance and has a low potential for abuse.

  • The FDA approved the use of Strattera on Nov 26, 2002, whereas the FDA approved the use of Modafinil on Nov 24, 1998 [2]. 

Customer Reviews on Using Strattera and Modafinil for ADHD

Reviews  for Modafinil

“It worked like magic for me. Before Modafinil, I was the worst sufferer with the symptoms of ADHD. 

“It has been 6 years since I have been using Modafinil for the treatment of ADHD, and it has shown phenomenal results in my mind, body, and soul” [3]. 

Reviews for Strattera

“The very first day of Strattera was not smooth, as it made me go through the worst symptoms, as it made me nauseous for weeks. Although it worked well, there were a lot of side effects.”

“My son is 13 years old and has been taking Strattera for almost a year. He is better with the symptoms, yet I will not consider Strattera as a magic pill” [4].

Working Mechanism Of Both Strattera And Modafinil

Modafinil is a powerful stimulant that works by increasing the level of certain neurotransmitters like histamine, Orexin, serotonin, and dopamine that help decrease the level of GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid). This helps increase focus, wakefulness, and alertness. 

While Strattera is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor used mainly for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - Provigil (Modafinil)  does not directly manipulate dopamine or serotonin neurotransmitters and, therefore, does not cause weight gain or sexual dysfunction commonly seen with these types of drugs. This makes it an attractive option for patients who have had adverse reactions to traditional stimulant medications.

How Much Strattera And Modafinil Are Required To Treat ADHD?

The standard recommended dosage of Modafinil is 200mg/day to treat the symptoms of ADHD.

However, the dosage can be increased to 400 mg/day. 

The dosages of Strattera for adults weighing above 70 kg typically start at 40 mg/day, with the potential to be increased after a minimum of three days to a target total daily dose of approximately 80 mg divided into two doses in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. After two to four additional weeks, the dosage may be increased up to the maximum recommended amount of 100 mg/day if needed.

What Are The Side Effects Of Modafinil And Strattera?

Common side effects of Strattera include-

  • Upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting

  • Decreased appetite

  • Dizziness

  • Tiredness or fatigue

  • Changes in mood (irritability, anxiety)

  • Dry mouth

  • Urinary retention and urinary tract infection

  • Sweating

  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)

  • Somnolence (sleepiness/drowsiness)

Common Side Effects of Modafinil include-

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Stuffy nose

  • Back pain

  • Anxiety

  • Vomiting

  • Pale or dilute Urine.

Affordability Of Strattera And Modafinil

The price of Strattera 40mg is $ 15.40 per pill in, whereas the price of Modafinil in Healthmatter is $1.01 per pill.

Stratttera Vs. Modafinil : Conclusion

Modafinil is a stimulant medication, whereas strattera is a non-stimulant. Though both are effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD, Modafinil is considered superior in various factors such as price and fewer side effects. In the customer reviews, as cited in the website, most people rated Modafinil more positively than Strattera.


Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant drug, but Modafinil is a stimulant.

Modafinil 200mg is the standard recommended dosage.

Modafinil requires 30 minutes to start its onset of action.

No, Modafinil is not suggested during pregnancy.

The half-life of Modafinil is 12-15 hours, and it takes 4-5 half-lives to be completely removed from the system. Modafinil takes 60-75 hours to be completely removed from the system.


  1. Strattera Vs. Modafinil, Goodrx. 

  2. Atomoxetine Vs. Modafinil Comparision,

  3. Modafinil Reviews, 

  4. Strattera Customer Reviews,


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.