The Effects of Adrafinil on The Brain

Written on November 25, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Adrafinil is a nootropic that was initially developed as a way to combat narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness.

It works by increasing the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and histamine in the brain.

This blog post will go into detail about what Adrafinil does for your brain and how it can help with different conditions such as fatigue and cognition.

So without further ado, let's just get straight into it, shall we?

How Does Adrafinil Work in The Brain?

As briefly mentioned, Adrafinil works by increasing the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and histamine in your brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the pleasure centers in our brains which make us feel good when eating or having sex etc.

It also plays an important role in memory formation and learning new things so it's fairly obvious why Adrafinil would help someone who has issues with learning or retaining information.

Norepinephrine is essentially what we call adrenaline, it's a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps regulate the body's fight-or-flight response to stress among other things.

It increases our heart rate and blood pressure which can obviously be extremely helpful in situations where we need to be alert, focused, and ready for action.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates our sleep-wake cycle so if levels are low it can cause excessive daytime sleepiness which would explain why someone who has low histamine could benefit from taking Adrafinil.

This also explains how it helps with narcolepsy since this disorder is essentially excessive sleepiness despite having adequate time to sleep.

How Adrafinil Works For Neurotransmitter Imbalance

While the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and histamine are typically associated with mood regulation they also play an important role in cognition as well.

So if these levels become unbalanced it can cause issues with focus, learning, memory recall, etc.

Adrafinil is able to help correct these imbalances which in turn helps improve many different cognitive functions such as focus, fatigue, and alertness.

Additionally, people with depression often have low levels of norepinephrine so taking this nootropic could help increase their mood.

It should be noted though that Adrafinil does not treat anxiety or depression directly, it simply helps the brain function more efficiently.

This can ultimately result in an improvement to these conditions due to increased focus and energy along with better memory recall.

How Adrafinil Can Help With Brain Fog


Adrafinil has been shown to help in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and brain fog which makes sense given that Adrafinil helps correct neurotransmitter imbalance.

Brain fog is a term used to describe having difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, or experiencing mental exhaustion due to an underlying medical condition such as depression or anxiety.

For someone who has issues with focus or energy, Adrafinil can help increase their cognition and alertness by correcting neurotransmitter imbalance.

Someone with chronic fatigue syndrome would also benefit from taking this nootropic since it has been shown to increase energy levels and enhance cognition without causing jitters or anxiety-like many other stimulants such as caffeine can.

It's worth noting that Adrafinil can be stacked with a choline source like Alpha GPC or Citicoline to further enhance cognition and focus.

Choline is an essential nutrient that we get from certain foods and it serves as a precursor to acetylcholine which is the neurotransmitter responsible for learning, memory recall, muscle movement, etc.

In order to synthesize this neurotransmitter, our body needs choline so if there's not enough of it available then our cognition can suffer.

By stacking choline with Adrafinil you're essentially giving the brain more raw material to work with which can help increase cognition.