In my last post, I talked about adrafinil and reasons to consider taking it. It’s a nootropic supplement which can provide many benefits including better focus, sharper memory, and improved learning abilities. Adrafinil is also very beneficial when dealing with disorders like narcolepsy.
On the whole, it’s a substance that is safe to use, which is why I tend to sing its praises so widely on this site. And while there are many positives to taking this prodrug of modafinil, it is not by default right for everybody.
Some people may experience a few side effects, the severity of which differs from person to person. So, as with most nootropics, adrafinil needs to be approached with a bit of caution.
What Are the Downsides of Adrafinil?
For the over-stressed, unrelenting life most of us lead (be it from a demanding job, taking care of family, or any other number of things that make it difficult to focus), adrafinil can be a very beneficial nootropic. Most users, myself included, will be able to take it without experiencing any side effects. That doesn’t mean, however, you should just throw caution to the wind.
Like most substances of this type, adrafinil is non-toxic and well-received by the human body. But, some individuals may experience mild negative responses which can cause discomfort. The good news is, these are effects mostly seen when taking adrafinil in very high doses.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions to using adrafinil (and it’s close relative modafinil) would not be considered severe by most individuals. They include any of headaches, nausea, stomach aches and dizziness.
If you do decide to take adrafinil feel any of these, lower the dosage as a first step. There usually is a happy medium that gives you the benefits but stops short of bringing about discomfort. You may also to stop using the nootropic for a short time before resuming once again. That too may help ease the issues.
For headaches, an alternative solution is to stack adrafinil with a choline supplement. In the vast majority of cases, doing so will provide relief.
Adrafinil’s More Severe Side Effects
There is one more severe potential issue of which all adrafinil users should be aware. Using it may lead to liver damage (though only in the most extreme cases).
In general, a dose of adrafinil has no greater effect on the liver than a dose of Aspirin or Tylenol. So, casual users shouldn’t have to worry. If it happens at all, liver damage tends to occur only when taking a high dose for a prolonged period. But, it is something to keep in mind.
The reason for this potential side effect is that adrafinil is a prodrug. It is broken down and converted into modafinil by the liver, a process which increases its toxicity (see my detailed comparison of the two for details). This is also why you should never mix a smart drug such as adrafinil with alcohol or other similar substances. Doing so will increase stress on the liver and may even result in harmful interactions.
I would advise anyone taking adrafinil to take breaks from it and avoid long sustained periods of consumption. While it’s rare to see any side effects of taking this nootropic, you should still consult your doctor before taking it (or any smart drug for that matter). Your needs, your lifestyle, and any other medication you may be on need to be taken into account. Based on those factors, a physician can help determine if adrafinil is right for you. Always be safe and stay as informed as possible about anything you put in your body.