Both drugs were synthesized with the same purpose – to improve concentration and increase energy levels by treating extensive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy. Actually, they belong to the same class of eugeroic medicines, but Armodafinil may be considered as an improved version of Modafinil. That explains the difference in dates of their approval by the FDA: 1998 for Modafinil and 2007 for Armodafinil.
Mechanism of Action
The initial difference is in the main component: Modafinil contains both R and S enantiomers of modafinil, while Armodafinil has only R enantiomer, being a “purified” version of Modafinil. The same mechanism of action might be explained by the usage of nearly the same active agents in both medicines. Both Modafinil and Armodafinil act by inhibiting dopamine reuptake, elevating histamine levels in the hypothalamus and increasing the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, stimulate orexin receptors which leads to orexin peptides activation. In addition, both of them may increase GABA amounts resulting in electronic coupling enhancement.
Although there is no scientific research devoted to the comparison of efficacy of these two drugs, Armodafinil is believed to have some advantage as it’s based on R enantiomer alone, which has a more potent and longer action than S enantiomer. That’s why the dose needed for the same effect as Modafinil provides is lower. Armodafinil starts acting properly in 2 hours, whereas you can wait for Modafinil to start acting from 2 to 4 hours. Moreover, Armodafinil is believed to work 2 houгs longer than its equivalent.
These eugorics are to be taken in the morning. Independently of the condition that is treated, a prescribed dosage of Armodafinil is 150 mg a day, and a usual dosage of Modafinil is 200 mg a day. Both drugs might be tolerated in bigger doses, but there is no additional effect compared with the dosage recommended.
These medicines belong to the Schedule IV controlled substances, which means they are not dramatically dangerous and the cases of abuse are seldom, although possible. However, unapproved use of either Modafinil or Armodafinil may result in physical or psychological dependency.
Both drugs are believed to cause similar side effects which might be more long-lasting and severe for Armodafinil because of longer action of the active agent. In general, it just depends on individual sensitivity which medicine causes more side effects, among which are the following:
Mainly, Armodafinil and Modafinil are claimed to cause no withdrawal effect. Nevertheless, there are still possible common symptoms of withdrawal:
- Cognitive impairment;
- The treated condition returned.
Formats and Brands
Modafinil is sold all over the world under various names, but its original one is Provigil produced by Cephalon Inc. Other names of both brands and generics are: Modalert, Modvigil, Provake (India), Modavigil (Australia, New Zeland), Alertec (Canada, Ecuador) etc.
Original Armodafinil is also manufactured by Cephanol Inc under the brand name of Nuvigil. Other manufacturers begin to produce it, but there are not so many alternatives as the medicine is newer. Other most popular drugs of the same composition are Waklert and Artvigil produced in India.
Both medicines are for oral administration and produced in the form of tablets. The dosage might range from 50 mg to 250 mg depending on the manufacturer and type of the drug. The price is also different and depends on whether you choose generic version or brand medicine. The cheapest option is generic Modafinil.
Actually, there are not many differences between Armodafinil and Modafinil. Both drugs work the same and are designed for the same medical uses, without taking unapproved uses into account. They can be told apart by the needed dosage and chemical formula. All in all, they may be considered as equal.