Modafinil Vs Adderall
While comparing Modafinil vs. Adderall, you will note that both drugs are stimulants. Prescription stimulants are used for ADHD treatment (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and as a study aid to stay awake and suppress appetite.  Adderall tends to be more potent. It has a higher potential for abuse and drug addiction, while Modafinil is considered to have a lower potential for abuse. Both Modafinil and Adderall are used to treat similar conditions but work differently. Modafinil is mainly used to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder. It works by increasing the release of dopamine and histamine in the brain, promoting wakefulness and alertness without the intense stimulation that Adderall produces.
Adderall, on the other hand, is mainly used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It has the compounds amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which stimulate the central nervous system, increasing the release of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain and enhancing attention, focus, and alertness.
Modafinil Vs Adderall ADHD Medication
Modafinil has been assessed as a potentially effective medication in lessening problematic symptoms of ADHD. Modafinil is not FDA-approved for treating ADHD but may be prescribed off-label. Although approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for enhancing wakefulness in adults with excessive sleepiness linked with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea, and shift work sleep disorder 16 years of age and older, its mechanism of action in people is not yet fully understood. 
Amphetamine-mixed salts, including Adderall, are FDA-approved for treating ADHD and narcolepsy.  However, misuse of stimulants, such as Adderall, by ADHD and nonaffected people has dramatically inflated over recent years based on students’ misconceptions or simple lack of knowledge of associated hazards. 
Modafinil Vs Adderall Addiction
Stimulants are classified as Schedule II drugs, which provide positive medicinal effects and considerable abuse potential. The nonmedical use of stimulants represents the second most common illicit use in college, second only to marijuana use disorder. Indeed, many consider stimulants, whether obtained by prescription or illicitly, a convenient option to improve performance or to induce euphoria (get “high”).
Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance. Modafinil, like Adderall, is a regulated drug, although at a considerably lesser degree of supervision. Modafinil is a prohibited drug classed as Schedule IV. Modafinil, sold under the trade name Provigil, is a central nervous stimulant medicine with minimal potential for misuse and a low risk of dependency.
Modafinil Vs Adderall Dosage
The typical adult dose of Modafinil is 100 mg to 200 mg, taken orally daily in the morning. Suppose you take more than that; it may cause sleep disturbances at night. The medication is typically used for 12 weeks or less.
The individual’s age and needs determine the Adderall dose for ADHD. The recommended dose for individuals with ADHD who are commencing therapy for the first time or transitioning from another drug is 20 mg daily. The usual dose for narcolepsy is 5 mg to 60 mg per day in split doses, depending on the person’s reaction. Addicted Adderall users often snort the drug in numbers much beyond the recommended dosage, putting their lungs, sinuses, and nasal linings in danger. When Adderall usage suggestions are not followed, they may undergo hyperactivity, sleeplessness, irritability, and personality changes.
Modafinil Side Effects
Common side effects of modafinil are the following:
- Upper respiratory tract infection.
- Dry mouth.
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia.)
Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of modafinil, including:
- Easy bruising or bleeding.
- Chest pain.
- Fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat.
- Mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, hallucinations, and rare thoughts of suicide.)
Adderall Side Effects
Long-term side effects of Adderall include weight loss, stunted growth in children, and possible complications from high blood pressure. Usually, these side effects stop once treatment stops. Some studies show long-term Adderall use may cause adverse psychological effects and changes in the brain.
Long-term side effects of Adderall include the following:
- Changes in mood and behavior.
- Dependency and addiction.
- Erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems.
- Heart problems and stroke.
- Lack of motivation.
- Problems sleeping.
- Weight loss.
Adderall Vs Modafinil Drug Facts
Adderall (Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine)
Generic Name: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine
Brand Names: Adderall, Adderall XR, Mydayis
Drug Class: CNS stimulants
Adderall works by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine and boosting their intracellular concentrations by releasing them from storage units in neurons. Modafinil is also thought to alter various neurotransmitters, including excitatory neurotransmitters like dopamine and glutamate (raising their availability) and inhibitory neurotransmitters like gamma-aminobutyric acid (increasing their availability) (GABA).
Generic Name: modafinil [ moe-DAF-i-nil ]
Drug Class: CNS stimulants
The distinction between Adderall and Modafinil in legal categorization suggests that existing research and the federal authorities feel Adderall is a more hazardous drug of abuse than Modafinil. The mechanisms of action of all stimulant medications are similar. As a result, even when prescription stimulants regarded as relatively moderate, such as Modafinil, are compared to stimulant drugs with a high potential for misuse (e.g., cocaine), studies show a similar mechanism of action.
Modafinil Vs Adderall Addiction Statistics
Administration of prescription stimulants can be complicated because of the risk of drug addiction and misuse. Patients may use without a prescription, for a reason other than as directed by a doctor, or in more significant quantities, more often, or longer than prescribed. Understanding how the use of these medications relates to misuse is crucial because stimulant abuse is common. 
4.5 percent, or roughly 11.0 million, used prescription stimulants without misuse.
Roughly 900,000 US citizens abuse prescription stimulants every month.
Among those adults with prescription stimulant misusage, 8.7 percent had prescription stimulant use disorders.
Adderall Vs Modafinil Off Label Uses
Although the medications have recognized uses, they are frequently prescribed for advantages that they are not explicitly approved to address. This is true for a wide range of drugs.
Off-label Adderall applications are intended to take advantage of its stimulant properties. Adderall can help with weight loss, boost alertness, and treat obesity concerns.
Modafinil is also prescribed to treat illnesses that its stimulant effects may alleviate, such as weariness and lethargy in people with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, in cancer patients, and even exhaustion in patients with severe depression.
Modafinil is a considerably weaker stimulant than Adderall. Its qualities allow it to be used in various scenarios to address lethargy and drowsiness without causing anxiety, jitteriness, irritability, or agitation. Adderall is a more potent stimulant and should be used with caution.
Modafinil is not approved for treating ADHD but may be prescribed off-label. At this time, some small controlled studies suggest Modafinil is a valuable treatment for ADHD. Research studies have indicated that Modafinil:
- It may be significantly more effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD than a placebo.
- It may have comparable effectiveness for ADHD treatment to Ritalin and Concerta and fewer side effects.
- It may have similar efficacy for ADHD treatment compared to dextroamphetamine (one of the components in Adderall).
It should be mentioned that Modafinil is not an FDA-approved ADHD medicine. Insurance companies may refuse to cover the medicine if prescribed for this purpose.
Modafinil Vs Adderall Weight Loss Medication
Modafinil and Adderall do not directly work on weight, and their potential might help weight loss pursuits are more of a side effect. Both Modafinil and Adderall have been found to contribute to weight loss. Adderall seems to be especially effective at this. Still, because it has fewer side effects and a lower risk of addiction, researchers suggest Modafinil could be more appropriate than Adderall for this use.
What Is Adderall Used For?
Adderall and other amphetamines are known as “brain boosters” and “study drugs” because some students believe that these drugs help improve cognition. Adderall doesn’t make a person more competent, but it can increase the perception and feeling of being smarter by improving motivation. Also, It can cause side effects like hallucinations, epilepsy, psychosis, and malnutrition.
The prolonged use of Adderall can lead to addiction and its associated risks. Contrary to what many teens — and even some parents — believe about abusing Adderall, amphetamine is highly addictive.
Prescription stimulants are usually safe for those prescribed, but even people under the supervision of a doctor are at risk of developing an addiction. Those who use Adderall without medical assistance to get high or fuel all-night study sessions are at risk of developing an addiction. Due to the likelihood of Adderall addiction, the US government designated Adderall to the same drug classification as cocaine and methamphetamine.
Adderall Recreational Use
Adderall addiction is a well-known condition in America. However, the fact that a prescription medication used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment and narcolepsy can cause a severe addiction may be slightly surprising nonetheless. Despite being a prescription drug, in some cases, Adderall is abused by users who don’t have a prescription because it contains amphetamine, a potent stimulant. Adderall abuse falls within the stimulant use disorder category in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
According to this organization, there was a clinical differentiation between physical dependence and addiction in the past. However, DSM-5 has joined these concepts under the rubric of drug addiction (with each of the nine drug categories having its use disorder). A person has a drug use problem, which ranges from mild to severe, based on the number of symptoms they exhibit. There are 11 symptoms mentioned in the DSM-5. The following is a sample of the signs that can arise as a result of a stimulant addiction:
- Continue to misuse Adderall even though it is causing physical and psychological issues.
- Abusing Adderall by avoiding duties in essential areas of life such as family, job, or education.
- Using Adderall in more significant dosages or too regularly to get high.
- Needing to take more Adderall to achieve the same high as with previous use.
- When the usual amount of Adderall usage is reduced, withdrawal symptoms occur.
Those that misuse Adderall fall into at least two categories. Some people acquire this medication due to a medical condition for which it is prescribed. If they follow the prescribing doctor’s directions, this group will unlikely develop a drug use issue.
Some people who do not have a medical need for Adderall get tablets and abuse them to get high. The structure of Adderall tablets is frequently modified to enhance the high. Those who use Adderall, for example, may crush and snort the pills to transport the stimulant to the brain faster and experience a more powerful euphoric rush.
How Addictive is Adderall?
The symptoms mentioned above can draw the attention of a worried individual, but there will generally be behavioral Adderall addiction signals as well. Because Adderall is a prescription substance, individuals can “doctor shop” to obtain a large quantity of it. These people usually go to multiple pharmacies to fill prescriptions while avoiding notice. A worried person may discover prescription bottles from different doctors and pharmacies; this is a significant indicator of misuse.
Adderall can be purchased on the street or through friends, family, coworkers, or classmates. Since Adderall is a prescription drug, individuals can get it in different ways, but these ways can leave a trail of evidence to help detect Adderall’s addiction signs.
There are several behavioral markers of Adderall usage, but the individual’s specific habits determine the symptoms that arise. A person who injects Adderall, for example, will require the necessary equipment. This contains a syringe, a spoon (typically with heating markings), a heating device or lighter, a belt or rope (to bind a limb and make it easier to identify a vein), and anything capable of breaking Adderall (things such as an espresso stopper, a hammer, or a mortar and pestle).
Someone who snorts Adderall will need something to shatter the tablets (Adderall does not come in powder form). A straw, a rolled-up bill, a hollowed-out pen, or something similar can snort crushed Adderall. A person may use anything with a sharp edge, like a credit card, to draw the Adderall lines (which, if discovered, may have residue on its edge).
First-class Facilities & Amenities
World-class High-Quality Addiction & Mental Health Rehabilitation TreatmentRehab Centers Tour
Renowned Addiction Centers. Serene Private Facilities. Inpatient rehab programs vary.Addiction Helpline(844) 597-1011
Proven recovery success experience, backed by a Team w/ History of:
- 15+ Years Experience
- 100s of 5-Star Reviews
- 10K+ Recovery Successes
- Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
- Onsite Medical Detox Center
- Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
- Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
- Coaching, Recovery & Personal Development Events
Signs Of Stimulant Abuse
Although Modafinil and Adderall may improve a person’s ability to pay attention in modest dosages, the idea that they are intelligent medicines is incorrect. The long-term effects of these medications in terms of their capacity to improve academic performance are greatly exaggerated. Most people who misuse drugs like Adderall perform worse in school than those who do not take these substances as cognitive enhancers.
The misuse of stimulants has garnered much attention, notably the abuse of methamphetamine (meth), cocaine, and ADHD drugs such as methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin and Concerta) and Adderall. Over-the-counter stimulants may be misused with other medications to reduce weight and induce euphoria for various reasons. Long-term stimulant usage can severely affect one’s physical and mental health.
These two drugs are thought to have quite different abuse potentials. Adderall is well-known for its high propensity for misuse. The reason for abusing Adderall is often to capitalize on its stimulant capabilities as a “cognitive enhancer” to lose weight and to combine it with other medications for its psychedelic effects. Abuse of Modafinil appears to be primarily related to seeking to employ its stimulant characteristics as a cognitive enhancer.
The word cognitive enhancer relates to the idea that a particular chemical makes a person smarter; hence, the term smart drug is frequently used to describe these medications. There are, however, no medications that make individuals smarter. Stimulants such as coffee, Adderall, and Modafinil can improve a person’s capacity to pay attention and focus; yet, when taken in moderate to high doses, they can decrease this ability.
Many research studies have demonstrated the misuse potential of Adderall, notably in high school and college students, younger people in high-performance industries, and those trying to lose weight (primarily females). Adderall is a substantial substance of abuse, is frequently taken with other drugs such as alcohol, and has an enormous potential to induce physical dependency by rapidly developing tolerance in chronic users.
Modafinil has a far lower abuse risk than Adderall. This does not imply that Modafinil cannot be misused; nevertheless, it is less likely to be abused. According to research studies, there is very little evidence that Modafinil usage builds considerable tolerance, that withdrawal symptoms are uncommon, and that only a few case studies in the literature have revealed signs of Modafinil dependency. The substance does not appear to induce euphoria commonly associated with other stimulants. Withdrawal symptoms such as apathy, tiredness, and cravings were predominantly emotional in the rare case studies where physical dependency was postulated.
Modafinil Vs Adderall Differences
The most significant difference between Modafinil and Adderall is their structure, which translates to considerable Modafinil adderall differences in their potential for addiction and side effects. Modafinil is a schedule IV controlled substance, while Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance. For this reason, Modafinil is usually not classified as a stimulant but as a wakefulness-promoting agent. Unlike Adderall, Modafinil is not approved for treating ADHD, even though some studies have suggested that it helps treat impulsivity symptoms in ADHD patients.
- Is Modafinil better than Adderall? Modafinil is a psychostimulant that promotes wakefulness, while Adderall is a central nervous stimulant.
- Is Modafinil like Adderall? Both Adderall and Modafinil can be used for treating excessive sleepiness and narcolepsy.
- Both Modafinil and Adderall are sometimes referred to as “smart drugs.” Because these prescription drugs can enhance decision-making capacities, cognitive function, and wakefulness.
- Is Adderall better than Modafinil? Both Adderall and Modafinil are known to cause some severe side effects. They share similar side effects, such as loss of appetite, increased heart and blood pressure, dizziness, and insomnia.
Modafinil Vs Adderall Addiction Risks
Both Adderall and Modafinil have the potential to be addictive, although Modafinil is much less so, and there are more possible serious side effects with Adderall. For instance, some severe side effects of Adderall include seizures, hallucinations, changes in heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Adderall should not be taken without medical consent. Some chronic users may be unable to function correctly without this prescription medication.
How does Modafinil compare to Adderall? Because Modafinil is a milder stimulant than Adderall, it permits usage in more varied situations to address sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, it has less potential for inducing irritability, anxiety, and agitation.
Stimulants & Adderall Addiction Treatment
There are no approved medications to help treat an Adderall addiction. Instead, treatment is focused on supervising a person as they go through a detoxification process. Withdrawal from stimulants like Adderall can be highly uncomfortable and stressful for the body. The doctor will refer the person to an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation center or detox facility.
During drug addiction rehab, doctors will help the person through the withdrawal process and make it easier to manage any withdrawal symptoms. It’s not recommended that someone quit Adderall cold turkey. Instead, the doctor will slowly lower the dosage under medical supervision. This is called tapering.
In general, the steps for treating an Adderall addiction include the following steps:
- Enroll in a supervised detox or rehab program.
- Get a medical evaluation and assessment.
- Taper Adderall under medical supervision.
- Manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Undergo psychotherapy or behavioral therapy.
- Develop an aftercare plan. This can include attending ongoing individual and group psychotherapy conducted by licensed therapists.
Stimulant use and stimulant addiction are associated with various health and social harms, including psychiatric and cardiovascular morbidity, infectious disease transmission (i.e. HIV and hepatitis C), drug associated criminality, and homelessness. Despite limited evidence-based treatment options, stimulant addiction contributes to a substantial worldwide disease burden. Doctors and therapists at We Level Up rehab treatment and detox center will help you understand how to live without the drug. They can help you find new, healthy coping skills to live your best life.
Recognized as one of the best addiction treatment facilities in the country, we are focused on delivering the highest standard of substance use disorder treatment. We continue to meet the strict standards the Joint Commission (JCAHO) set forth and have received their Gold Seal accreditation as an addiction rehab center. We Level Up treatment centers work to improve the public’s and individuals’ health from various angles. This includes constant research and innovation on substance use disorder treatment models paired with individuals and a conducive environment. Contact us today for treatment information and options. Each call is private and confidential.
Top 3 Modafinil vs Adderall FAQs
Modafinil vs Adderall for ADHD, which one is stronger?
One of the good things about Modafinil is that it has a shallow risk of abuse. Researchers sometimes administer Modafinil to help people wean off addictive drugs that they’re trying to quit, including cocaine and amphetamines. For Adderall, the risk of developing an addiction is shallow when using the low daily doses prescribed for ADHD. But substance abuse becomes a more significant risk when used at higher dosages, usually recreationally.
Switching from Adderall to modafinil, is it safe?
If you have ADHD and want to explore Modafinil vs Adderall, consult a medical professional to determine the proper medication. Modafinil vs Adderall is frequently prescribed to treat ADHD, as each can help enhance symptoms like problem focusing or impulsivity. However, these medications don’t always work for everyone.
Are modafinil and Adderall the same?
Modafinil vs Adderall work as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants that affect neurotransmitters in the brain. They can increase your alertness or focus and help you maintain a general feeling of wakefulness.
World-class, Accredited, 5-Star Reviewed, Effective Addiction & Mental Health Programs. Complete Behavioral Health Inpatient Rehab, Detox plus Co-occuring Disorders Therapy.CALL(844) 597-1011
End the Addiction Pain. End the Emotional Rollercoaster. Get Your Life Back. Start Drug, Alcohol & Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Treatment Now. Get Free No-obligation Guidance by Substance Abuse Specialists Who Understand Addiction & Mental Health Recovery & Know How to Help.
I Turned My Life Around from Drug & Alcohol Addiction Loneliness Despair & Anxiety to Full Recovery Video
Sean’s Addiction Recovery Testimonial
“Hi, my name is Sean. I have been clean since September 26, 2014.
I remember and reflect on loneliness, despair, and constant anxiety-ridden behavior.
I was left up to my own devices and, looking to the left, looking to the right.
And not having anybody to call or talk to.
I know it’s cliche; I know a lot of people say it. I would have sold myself extremely short of my life today.
If I had tied myself to the material items, I wouldn’t have realized the life I wanted.
And I’m forever grateful for the guidance I received.”
If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug addiction, Adderall addiction or other substance use disorder(s), call for a FREE consultation 24/7 at (561) 678-0917
Experience Transformative Recovery at the We Level Up Treatment Center.
See our authentic success stories. Get inspired. Get the help you deserve.
Hotline (844) 597-1011
Start a New Life
Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.
- Personalized Care
- Caring Accountable Staff
- World-class Amenities
- Licensed & Accredited
- Renowned w/ 100s 5-Star Reviews
We’ll Call You
Search We Level Up Modafinil vs Adderall Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources
 Stimulants – Drug Fact Sheet – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
 Rugino T. A review of modafinil film-coated tablets for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007 Jun;3(3):293-301. PMID: 19300563; PMCID: PMC2654790.
 FDA Announces Shortage of Adderall – Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
 Lakhan SE, Kirchgessner A. Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects. Brain Behav. 2012 Sep;2(5):661-77. DOI: 10.1002/brb3.78. Epub 2012 Jul 23. PMID: 23139911; PMCID: PMC3489818.
 Ronsley C, Nolan S, Knight R, Hayashi K, Klimas J, Walley A, Wood E, Fairbairn N. Treatment of stimulant use disorder: A systematic review of reviews. PLoS One. 2020 Jun 18;15(6):e0234809. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234809. PMID: 32555667; PMCID: PMC7302911.
 Ciccarone D. Stimulant abuse: pharmacology, cocaine, methamphetamine, treatment, attempts at pharmacotherapy. Prim Care. 2011 Mar;38(1):41-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.pop.2010.11.004. Epub 2011 Jan 11. PMID: 21356420; PMCID: PMC3056348.
 Compton WM, Han B, Blanco C, Johnson K, Jones CM. Prevalence and Correlates of Prescription Stimulant Use, Misuse, Use Disorders, and Motivations for Misuse Among Adults in the United States. Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 1;175(8):741-755. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17091048. Epub 2018 Apr 16. PMID: 29656665; PMCID: PMC6070393.
 Kim D. Practical use and risk of modafinil, a novel waking drug. Environ Health Toxicol. 2012;27:e2012007. DOI: 10.5620/eht.2012.27.e2012007. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PMID: 22375280; PMCID: PMC3286657.
Table of Contents