If you aren’t in the know, adrafinil is a similar drug to the ever-popular eugeroic stimulant modafinil. The difference is that adrafinil is slightly cheaper and easier to acquire than modafinil. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages as well.
I will eventually write a post about adrafinil, its effects, potential side effects and whether it is possible to use it safely, responsibly and effectively, but for now I want to go over whether or not it is possible to find the real thing online and how to identify it.
- 1 Adrafinil (Olmifon) discontinued by manufacturer Cephalon
- 2 Where to get Adrafinil online now
- 3 How are manufacturers still producing Adrafinil?
- 4 Legality of Adrafinil in the United States
- 5 Look at the COA to ensure the Adrafinil is real and not contaminated
- 6 How to tell if your Adrafinil is the real deal
- 7 Conclusion
Adrafinil (Olmifon) discontinued by manufacturer Cephalon
In 2011, Cephalon, the original manufacturer of adrafinil, discontinued the drug under the brand name Olmifon, which was sold and marketed in France.
Examination of the results of clinical studies made by the laboratory does not allow to conclude on the benefit of adrafinil in disorders of arousal and alertness in the elderly. Given also known adverse effects of this drug , the Commission considers that the MA benefit / risk ratio of adrafinil is unfavorable and therefore proposes a withdrawal of the authorization for placing on the market.1
There are many reasons why adrafinil may have been discontinued. Reportedly this is because it is less effective by dosage than modafinil and armodafinil, and it may have a few more side effects including elevated liver enzymes, although any potential harm attributed to this may be overblown.2
Where to get Adrafinil online now
As I will explain soon, the discontinuation of the official drug has meant that some vendors will sell some bunk stuff.
Like most of the nootropic and drug stuff I try out and report on here, I ordered my adrafinil from Powder City.
The only reason I picked up a couple grams of adrafinil was because Powder City was selling it, and I figured it would be easier to acquire than modafinil and a little cheaper too. Plus I like to try new things.
I trust this vendor to the extent that I am willing to affiliate with them on this site over other vendors, but I still wanted to know how vendors acquire this drug, and needed a way to be sure that I wasn’t getting anything bunk or potentially harmful.
How are manufacturers still producing Adrafinil?
The requirements for making adrafinil are simple enough for anyone with experience in chemistry and drug synthesis. Professional laboratories (most likely overseas) and with the right equipment can pretty much legally produce adrafinil and sell it to vendors because most jurisdictions do not restrict the manufacture or sales of adrafinil.
At the Erowid Rhodium archive, you can read the following instructions for the synthesis of Adrafinil3:
10.4g (0.038 mol) of benzhydryl-thioacetohydroxamic acid are oxidized at 40°C, over the course of 2 hours, by means of 3.8 ml (0.038 mol) of hydrogen peroxide of 110 volumes strength (33%), in 100 ml of acetic acid.
When the oxidation has ended, the acetic acid is evaporated under reduced pressure and the residual oil is taken up in 60 ml of ethyl acetate. The product which has crystallized is filtered off and then purified by recrystallisation from a 3:2 (by volume) mixture of ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol.
8g (73%) of Adrafinil, mp 159-160°C, are thus obtained. H2O Solubility <1 g/L.
Legality of Adrafinil in the United States
Unlike Modafinil, Adrafinil is not approved by the FDA and is also unregulated. It can be purchased in small amounts for research purposes only but never to be sold as a supplement or for human consumption.
Modafinil on the other hand may be subject to seizure by US customs (or your nation’s equivalent) because it is a scheduled prescription-only drug: it is not legal for most private persons to buy, sell or import it to the United States among other places. Typically you must have a prescription to receive it.
Nevertheless it is possible to get a reasonable-sized order past Customs since they don’t check every single thing that comes in, but there are no guarantees that your package won’t get seized and destroyed. Fortunately, some nicer vendors will refund your money, and you’ll usually just get a slap on the wrist (meaning no serious penalty) in the States.
Look at the COA to ensure the Adrafinil is real and not contaminated
When purchasing unregulated research substances like adrafinil online, you need to make sure your manufacturer can provide COAs on demand.
The COA or Certificate of Authenticity is typically a third-party laboratory analysis of the substance batch to ensure that the drug is really what it says on the label and/or that it does not contain potentially harmful contaminants from dishonest manufacturers and/or sellers. With an unregulated substance sold for research purposes only, information like this becomes especially important.
In the case of Powder City, you can request the COA for any product you’ve ordered from them. All you need is the product name, the batch number on the label of the product and an e-mail address.
How to tell if your Adrafinil is the real deal
There have been reports of users receiving bunk stuff sold as “adrafinil” from other retailers. One example can be found in a recent threod on Longecity where one user went as far as to say that it was nearly impossible to get the real thing anymore.4
However, it is possible to get the real thing: you just have to make sure it’s real. Other users chimed in to disagree with the Longecity poster.
On Reddit’s /r/Nootropics, user LegoOctopus wrote to help another user identify whether his adrafinil was real or not. In that thread, he explained the following method used to identify adrafinil:5
Heat up a cup of water to almost boiling, then add 100mg of the alleged adrafinil to it. Stir well. If the result is completely clear, you might have adrafinil. If the result is at all cloudy, you don’t have the real stuff. Get a refund. (Adrafinil powder is water soluble, and that much adra should easily dissolve in that much hot water).
The adrafinil I received from Powder City had a very… interesting chemical odor. It was not strongly pungent but it was very unique. Its flavor was bitter, and had a very light red-orange or pinkish color.
The powder dissolved readily in the water brought to near-boiling temperature and the end result was clear.
For the sake of my own personal research and safety, I put a tiny dab of the powder on the corner of my mouth, and later on that day, after no negative reaction, I put a tiny dab of the powder on my tongue. Nothing bad happened to me. Then I waited a week before I took an actual dose. No noticeable issues there.
Obviously your experience may vary and I can’t say anyone should attempt to repeat this.
I believe it is still possible to purchase real adrafinil online. You just have to go through a reputable vendor that doesn’t screw over its customers and be sure to investigate what you are purchasing. Reddit’s /r/Nootropics and /r/Afinil communities are good places to see what nootropic buyers think of certain vendors.
The adrafinil I ordered from Powder City seems to have been the right product, and that’s all I can say for now. This post is not a recommendation or endorsement for this drug as I still hold my own personal reservations against it.
(My belief — it’s better to be irrationally paranoid than to be rationally careless)
Whether future batches will be the same or not or even the same between vendors, you will have to research that firsthand.
Reddit /r/Nootropics – MisterYouAreSoDumb explains why Adrafinil liver toxicity is overblown ↩
Reddit /r/Nootropics – LegoOctopus comments on What is the proper/best way to take Adrafinil powder? ↩