Adrafinil is a mild stimulant of the central nervous system commonly used to prevent sleepiness in Narcolepsy patients. Narcolepsy is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. Adrafinil successfully combats this, and can be used in a similar way on individuals without Narcolepsy. Adrafinil is metabolized into Modafinil while passing through the body, and essentially has the same effects; such as alertness, an increase in cognitive abilities, and an increase of energy. Adrafinil does however take longer to become active due to the time it takes the metabolite to become active in the bloodstream, which is typically 45–60 minutes.
Scientists working for Group Lafon, a French pharmaceutical company, first discovered Adrafinil in the late 1970s. The drug became available in France in 1986 as an experimental treatment for narcolepsy. The same company later made Modafinil. Adrafinil is now currently marketed as Olmifon in France and Europe.
Reactions to Adrafinil vary, though often it works very efficiently and could even be considered an effective substitute for caffeine. Positive reports describe a rise in energy and alertness, although it is described as mild compared to other more “aggressive” stimulants. The reason behind this is in Adrafinil’s ability to selectively stimulate adrenergic receptors in the brain. These receptors normally respond to norepinephrine (noradrenaline), a neurotransmitter linked to alertness, learning, and memory.
Adrafinil is considered safe, but despite this caution must be taken, as it occasionally displays negative side effects. These effects incude stomach pain, skin irritations, feelings of tension, and increases in liver enzyme levels. If you take doses of Adrafinil frequently it is suggested to monitor liver functions every few months, and watch out for abnormalities.
Adrafinil is not regulated in the United States, and has not been approved for clinical uses by the FDA. Unlike Modafinil it is not classified as a controlled substance, and can be imported privately by citizens.