What is Adrafinil Used For?

Written on November 23, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Adrafinil is a Nootropic that is used to increase alertness and focus. It also has the benefits of increased energy levels, which many people find useful for getting through their day.

Adrafinil was originally created as a treatment for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders such as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).

Today I'll explore what adrafinil can do and how it works so you can decide whether this could be the right Nootropic for you!

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

How Adrafinil is Used in People With Narcolepsy

When it comes to narcolepsy, adrafinil is very effective.

Adrafinil can be used to treat narcolepsy symptoms such as sleep attacks or daytime drowsiness and inattention resulting from this condition.

The way adrafinil works is by stimulating the immune system and causing an increase in histamine production. This leads to a decrease in orexin (hypocretin), which is often found at low levels when you have narcolepsy.

As I mentioned, adrafinil can be used for EDS (Excessive daytime sleepiness) associated with narcoleptic symptoms but it has also been used for people who suffer from sleep apnea.

Adrafinil has also been shown to improve memory and cognition, which is why it's often referred to as a Nootropic. This means that the user will feel more energetic while at the same time feeling less tired than usual. But more on this later on in this article.

How Adrafinil is Used in People With ADHD

Adrafinil is also very popular among people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

It can be used to improve symptoms of inattentiveness and hyperactivity.

People who suffer from ADHD tend to have difficulty concentrating, they often daydream or space out which makes them lose track of time easily.

The way adrafinil works in people with ADHD is similar to how it works in people who suffer from narcolepsy.

Adrafinil affects the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which has been linked to arousal and energy levels.

This means that adrafinil can help increase alertness and mental focus while also improving memory and cognition.

Some studies have shown that adrafinil can reduce impulsivity in people with ADHD.

How Adrafinil is Used for Cognitive Enhancement


Adrafinil has also been shown to improve cognitive function and is often used by students who are studying or need to be at the top of their game during exams.

It is not limited to use among students though.

People from all walks of life can use adrafinil as a Nootropic, whether they are students or simply looking for that mental edge over their competition at work.

In fact, there have been several studies done on how well adrafinil works in people who don't suffer from ADHD and narcolepsy.

In one study from 2012, a group of healthy volunteers was given either placebo or adrafinil and they took a variety of cognitive tests including verbal memory tasks as well as numerical calculations.

The results showed that taking adrafinil improved short-term recall while reducing errors during the calculation task.

How Adrafinil is Used to Increase Dopamine And Serotonin

Dopamine and Serotonin are neurotransmitters that are responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being.

Adrafinil can increase dopamine levels, which means it can improve mood as a result.

The effects of adrafinil on serotonin have been less conclusive but some studies suggest an increase in Serotonin after taking the drug, Modafinil.

Modafinil is a precursor to adrafinil, which is why some people purchase Modafinil instead of Adrafinil.

When modafinil is broken down in the liver, it turns into adrafinil which is why both products are similar.

How Does The Brain Use Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is an agonist at the noradrenergic postsynaptic (α1) receptor.

This is the receptor responsible for getting your brain ready to be awake and alert.

It does this by inhibiting dopamine reuptake into neurons that release it (DAT). When there's less dopamine being reupted, dopamine accumulates at the synapses and is available for release.

This causes an increase in brain activity as a result of free dopamine (and serotonin) that's now present due to adrafinil blocking DAT from taking it back up into the neuron.

Adrafinil also has effects on histamine release.

Histamine is responsible for feelings of wakefulness and mental energy, which means adrafinil can cause an increase in both histamine release as well as the enzyme that makes it.