Modafinil vs Armodafinil for Treatment of Daytime Sleepiness

Modafinil vs Armodafinil

You may have wondered if there was a prescription that may make you feel more alert if you work the night shift and find it difficult to stay awake, or if sleep apnea or another sleep condition causes you to feel sleepy throughout the day.

These are two drugs available only with a doctor’s prescription that can help adults who are aware that they have sleep problems become more awake. These pharmaceuticals are not effective in treating underlying sleep disorders, nor can they take the place of getting an adequate amount of rest.

Armodafinil, which is the R-enantiomer of modafinil, is a medicine that is enantiomerically pure. To put it another way, the similarities between their chemical structures are far greater than the differences. Even though they do not contain any stimulants, this medicine is considered the go-to medication for treating severe daytime drowsiness.

If Modafinil and Armodafinil aren’t stimulants, how do they keep you awake?

Moda-finil and Armodafinil most likely boost dopamine signaling (meaning they make your body more sensitive to dopamine, a neurotransmitter than can promote wakefulness). On the other hand, it is not understood how precisely they function.

However, it does not appear that these medicines are capable of changing the amount of dopamine or norepinephrine that is created, which is the primary mechanism by which stimulants like Adderall exert their effects. Instead, they may have a stimulating impact because they decrease the function of GABA, which is a distinct kind of neurotransmitter.

Both these drugs are effective at enhancing one’s level of wakefulness.

Both drugs work by stimulating the release of more monamines from synaptic terminals, particularly the catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine. They also cause an increase in histamine levels in the hypothalamus.

Conditions they Treat:

Armodafinil and Modafinil are wakefulness-promoting medications that work by increasing brain activity and stimulating certain brain regions. These medications may be helpful in the treatment of a variety of sleep disorders, including narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work disorder (SWD).

The persistent sleep disorder known as narcolepsy is characterized by extreme daytime sleepiness as well as unexpected bouts of slumber. The condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes the muscles in your throat to relax during sleep, which blocks your airway. It disrupts your sleep by causing your breathing to stop and start while you are asleep, which makes it difficult for you to get a good night’s rest.

This results in drowsiness during the day. People who frequently switch shifts or who work nights can develop a condition known as shift work disorder (SWD). It is possible that adhering to these schedules will cause you to have trouble sleeping or to feel unusually sleepy at times when you should be up.

This medicine is also known for off-label use as a cognitive enhancer.

Modafinil :

This medicine is used in patients with daytime sleepiness as a result of sleep apnea at doses of 200 or 400 mg a day. this medicine improves productivity, activity, and alertness compared to a sugar pill/placebo.

Armodafinil :

This is the R-enantiomer of racemic modafinil—this sounds complicated, but it just means that it has a slightly different chemical structure than this medication. It appears to be similarly effective, according to randomized trials, but Armodafinil and Moda have never been directly compared. 

Because of the longer half-life and the once-a-day dosing, Armodafinil is a good first-line choice, starting at a dose of 150 mg.

Armodafinil has also been studied for fatigue related to menopause.

Drug Features:


  • Dosage – 100 mg, 200mg Oral Tablets
  • Half-Life – 15 Hours
  • Treatment- Long-Term Treatment
  • Storage – at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C)


  • Dosage – 50 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg Oral Tablets
  • Half-Life – 15 Hours
  • Treatment- Long-Term Treatment
  • Storage – at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C)

Side Effects:

In persons who have a history of arrhythmias or heart problems, modafinil and armodafinil should both be used with caution.

Compared to stimulants like amphetamines, these medications are significantly less likely to cause chest pain, elevated blood pressure, and palpitations.

Both have a headache as their most frequent adverse effect, which happens 15–20% of the time.

Anorexia, diarrhea, dry mouth, and nausea are among other less frequent adverse effects.

An uncomfortable stomach is one of the different side effects of Armodafinil compared to Modafinil.

Upper respiratory tract infection or anxiousness are examples of Modafinil’s side effects that are distinct from Armodafinil’s side effects.

Armodafinil Side-Effects

  • headache, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, dry mouth, nervousness, anxiety, and trouble falling asleep (insomnia).

If you experience any severe side effects from Armodafinil, such as:

  • a heartbeat that is hammering or erratic, or mental or emotional changes (such as agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations, and rare thoughts of suicide).

Side-Effects of This Medicine:

Common side effects:

  • upper respiratory infection, nausea, diarrhea, jitters, anxiety, agitation, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, nausea, and difficulties sleeping (insomnia).

If you encounter any severe side effects from Modafinil, such as:

  • fever, easy bruising or bleeding, hallucinations, despair, chest pain, a pounding heartbeat, or changes in your mental or emotional state (such as confusion, depression, hallucinations, and rare thoughts of suicide).

Consider the following factors when comparing both drugs: 

A runny nose and backache are among the milder adverse effects that they may produce. 

The two medications may have different dosages. Additionally, there are two strengths of Modafinil, whereas Armodafinil is available in 4 strengths.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for further information. They can assist in addressing any queries you may have regarding the parallels and discrepancies between the medications. They can also assist in determining whether a particular drug will likely be effective for you.

Drug Interactions:

Both medications may interfere with other medications you are taking. Drug interactions might increase adverse effects or reduce the effectiveness of your medications. To prevent interactions, your doctor may adjust the dosage of these medications you are taking. The following drugs may interact with Modafinil and Armodafinil.

  • contraceptive tablets
  • cyclosporine \smidazolam \striazolam \sphenytoin \sdiazepam \spropranolol \someprazole \sclomipramine

When combined with additional medical conditions

If you use either of the drugs, with underlying medical conditions, unwanted health issues may arise.  Before taking these medications, you should discuss any conditions with your doctor, for instance:

  • liver issues
  • kidney issues
  • heart problems
  • blood pressure is high.
  • behavioral health issues

Comparison between both drugs can be done on base on multiple factors. The primary distinctions between them may be found in the strengths that they offer and the prices that they demand. Talk to your medical professional if you have any further inquiries regarding these medications or any other medications. 


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