Armodafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent with fewer side effects and interactions compared to most other prescription stimulants. It’s been used as a treatment for sleep apnea, narcolepsy, shift work disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea in patients who don’t respond well to traditional treatments. Common side effects of Armodafinil include: headache; insomnia; diarrhea; dry mouth, and more.

Armodafinil is a drug that has been used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. It can also be used as an over-the-counter treatment for jet lag, shift work disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Armodafinil side effects may include teeth grinding, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

When you take Armodafinil, just like any other prescription medicine, you run the possibility of experiencing adverse effects.

So, what exactly are the adverse effects, and how will they impact you? Is it safe to use Armodafinil?

One of our favorite aspects of Armodafinil is how mild the side effects are when compared to other smart medications. Armodafinil side effects are uncommon, and when they do occur, it’s generally because we exceeded the authorized amount or neglected to drink enough of water.

Even so, the consequences are minor.

Take our word for it, however. You’re a sophisticated nootropic user, so make sure you acquire accurate information about Armodafinil side effects based on a comprehensive study evaluation.

We’ve included an overview of the research literature so you can get all the information you need.

What is Armodafinil exactly?

Before we go into the adverse effects, let’s refresh our memory on what Armodafinil is and what it does to the brain.

Armodafinil is a prescription medicine similar to Modafinil. Like Modafinil, Armodafinil is a eugeroic.

What is a Eugeroic?

Simply put, a eugeroic is a wakefulness promoting agent. Specifically, eugeroic is used to refer to substances which prevent sleep, increase wakefulness and promote alertness. What marks eugeroics as different to classic stimulants is the fact that eugeroics do not produce any kind of high. Many eugeroics do not work by exciting the central nervous system; instead, they prevent the reuptake of neurotransmitters such as dopamine or norepinephrine. This makes them substantially safer than stimulants and far less likely to lead to addiction.

Eugeroics are typically prescribed for the treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness, shift work sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea. You ay be familiar with some eugeroics. Modafinil is the best-known eugeroic. Others include Provigil, Nuvigil, Adrafinil, and of course, Armodafinil.

Like Modafinil, Armodafinil is used to treat excessive daytime drowsiness. It was first released under the brand name Nuvigil and was produced in 2007 by the same French pharmaceutical firm that created Modafinil.

Armodafinil is the younger relative of Modafinil. The medicine was created only to assure that the pharmaceutical corporation would have a patent after Modafinil’s patent expired.

Armodafinil and Modafinil vary just slightly in structure: Armodafinil has only one enantiomer, while Modafinil has two. This simplified architecture is one of the reasons why many people believe Armodafinil to be a more “pure” smart medicine, and it may also explain why Armodafinil side effects are relatively mild.

But even with this very slight difference, both Modafinil and Armodafinil are thought to be atypical dopamine reuptake inhibitors. Other eugeroics – such as solriamfetol – work as norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and other familiar eugeroics like Adrafinil act as prodrugs to Modafinil or Armodafinil.

So Armodafinil and Modafinil are very similar in structure, mechanism of action, and effect.

Armodafinil is often prescribed for those who suffer from sleep problems, such as [1]:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a kind of sleep apn
  • Disorder of shift work

Off-label applications, such as treating ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression, are sometimes administered.

It works: not only has it been shown to promote alertness in sleep-deprived persons, as it was intended [2, 3], but it has also been discovered to have a range of cognitive impacts.

Armodafinil, for example, has been shown in trials to substantially improve:

  • Memory [4]
  • vigilance [4, 5]
  • [4] Productivity

The improvements seen following Armodafinil consumption in clinical trials have been consistently large; people tend to exhibit drastically better mental stamina, increased drive and overall better cognitive function when on Armodafinil.

Short-Term Armodafinil Side Effects

Armodafinil headaches

Let’s look at Armodafinil’s adverse effects now that you know what it is.

To be clear, the majority of individuals who use Armodafinil do not have any negative effects. We’ll go through the most prevalent ones below, but even though these were the most common adverse effects reported by study participants, they were still uncommon.

Armodafinil is safe and well-tolerated by most people, according to study [6].

Still, let’s get started…


A headache is the most prevalent Armodafinil adverse effect. A headache was reported by roughly 17% of individuals in randomized control studies. Keep in mind that this indicates that 83% of people did not encounter this adverse effect.

We’ve found that headaches are more common when we’re thirsty.

What’s the easiest method to avoid an Armodafinil headache? Drink plenty of water and electrolytes, and limit your dosage to 150 mg.


The second most often reported Armodafinil adverse effect is nausea [7]. About 6% of individuals in scientific trials were impacted [6].

We’ve also had this side effect, which is similar to headaches. We’ve found that eating a full meal before taking Armodafinil may help prevent nausea and other stomach problems. It also disappears by the following morning. We also find that the nausea side effect of Modafinil is considerably better than Armodafinil.


This one shouldn’t come as a shock to you. After all, armodafinil is a wakefulness aid. So, yes, it increases arousal. You may have difficulty sleeping if you take it too close to night.

We usually take it first thing in the morning, before 10:00 a.m. That way, we get a whole workday out of it without disrupting our sleep at night. While insomnia has been reported as a side effect in some studies, others have shown that Armodafinil has no impact on nighttime sleep when administered appropriately [4].


Between 5 percent [6] and 8 percent [4] of individuals develop dizziness. It normally doesn’t persist long and isn’t very serious.


After using Armodafinil, several clinical trial participants reported feeling anxious. This was noted by roughly 5% of participants in one research [6].

Blood pressure levels

Some research suggests that Armodafinil may make small changes to Blood pressure levels [8], and this is consistent with what we know about Modafinil and Blood pressure levels [9, 10].

But other research didn’t find any meaningful changes in systolic or diastolic Blood pressure levels, in heart rate, or in any other factors as assessed by an electrocardiogram or physical exams [6]. It’s likely that any Blood pressure levels changes, if they occur at all, would probably be quite small.

Indigestion and Diarrhea

Participants in several studies have also reported an increase in diarrhea as a side effect of Armodafinil [11].

This is another adverse effect with which we have personal experience. We’ve discovered that remembering to eat a substantial meal before taking it helps to alleviate the problem. When comparing Modafinil with Armodafinil, we can see that Armodafinil has less negative effects.

This Armodafinil adverse effect impacted roughly 2% of patients in clinical studies [4].

Appetite Suppression

Another reason you should remember to eat is that one of Armodafinil’s negative effects is that it may significantly lower your appetite [4].

In one study, about 3% of participants reported feeling Appetite Suppression [4].

Dry Mouth

Another extremely typical Armodafinil adverse effect is dehydration. This is often seen as an uncomfortable dry mouth. This seems to affect roughly 2.5 percent of participants and is more prevalent in females, the elderly, and those who have just been on Armodafinil for a month [12].

Dehydration is more probable, in our experience, when we’re so concentrated on work that we forget to drink. We combat this by carrying a big water bottle with us at all times.

Long-Term Armodafinil Side Effects

As you can see, Armodafinil’s short-term negative effects are minor and infrequent. But what about the long-term consequences?

Weight Loss Prospects

As a long-term adverse effect of Armodafinil, some people may suffer weight reduction [13]. But it’s crucial to remember why this is.

The first reason is that one of the most common reasons for prescribing Armodafinil is to treat daytime sleepiness associated with Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a kind of sleep apn. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a kind of sleep apn is much more common in individuals who are overweight and obese. Therefore, the population prescribed this drug are likely those for whom there is a lot of extra weight to lose.

The second reason is that Armodafinil makes people less sleepy, making them more active. The weight reduction is most likely due to an increase in exercise rather than the medicine itself.

So, if you’re overweight and don’t exercise much because you’re weary from not sleeping well, Armodafinil could be able to help you lose weight. It is not, however, a “become slim fast” medication. There is no proof that it will lead to weight loss in those who are already at a healthy weight.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a condition that affects people.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a condition that affects people. (SJS), is a condition in which a person experiences a severe allergic reaction in the skin. The person with SJS may experience symptoms that are flu-like, including, fever, burning eyes, throat irritation, and body aches. It can also feel like the skin is burning.

Although SJS is included on the manufacturer’s medication labeling for Armodafinil side effects, it has not been described in the scientific literature. However, case reports of SJS have been reported in association with both Armodafinil [14] and its relative Modafinil [15].

This is one of the reasons why it’s crucial to start any new medicine with minimal dosages. Allow yourself some time to see the effects on your body. Consult your doctor if you have any skin issues or allergic reactions.


Armodafinil is widely known for its ability to improve mood. However, it was discovered in at least one instance in a person diagnosed with schizophrenia that it caused mania [16].

Mania is a prolonged and abnormal mood increase. It may be harmful because persons suffering from mania may take unnecessary risks or engage in non-adaptive behavior.

While this is an uncommon side effect even for persons with prior psychiatric illnesses, healthy people may be even less likely to have it. Nonetheless, you should be aware of the potential.

Addiction and Dependence

Long-term research on Armodafinil is few; nevertheless, what is available implies that the risk of becoming physically reliant on the drug is quite low [4, 6].

However, there has been at least one case report of someone becoming addicted to it [17]. It’s worth noting that this person had troubles with other narcotics as well.

We haven’t encountered any problems with addiction or dependency in our neighborhood. However, we take care not to use it every day. We use it once to three times each week and have had no problems.


Armodafinil withdrawals are indeed a real thing. While the risk of addiction with eugeroics like Armodafinil is rare – in fact very difficult to achieve even in clinical settings – people do routinely experience withdrawals from drugs like Armodafinil. The reason this happens is because they become too reliant on Armodafinil’s effects to function; when the drug wears off, they feel totally unable to focus, fatigued, and altogether mentally useless. Taking routine breaks from Armodafinil is the best way to avoid experiencing withdrawals, as is using sensible doses.


There have been reports (on places such as Reddit and Longecity) of people experiencing depression after prolonged use of Modafinil and its derivatives, including Armodafinil. This appears to be an extremely rare side effect of Armodafinil, but it is still a potential adverse effect to be aware of before you use the nootropic.

How Armodafinil might cause depression is obvious; downregulation of dopamine receptors. Because Armodafinil acts as a selective dopamine reuptake inhibitor, it increases overall dopamine levels in the brain. This rapidly increases motivation and focus, but it can also cause damage to your dopamine receptors over time, making them less sensitive to the neurotransmitter. This can lead to major depressive disorder over time.

Rare Armodafinil Side Effects

Armodafinil now has a few additional significant adverse effects.

While these problems are very uncommon, you should be aware of them and get medical care if you experience any of the following [18]:

  • Fever
  • throat irritation
  • Itchy skin
  • Chest discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Psychosis
  • Angioedema

Again, these are very unusual adverse effects of Armodafinil which, as far as we are aware, have only been identified as theoretically possible by Armodafinil manufacturers. Still, it is important that you watch out for any of these Armodafinil side effects and, if they occur, stop taking the compound immediately and seek medical attention.

The Effects of Armodafinil on the Liver

Armodafinil seems to have no effect on the liver. Some very modest elevations in chemicals (aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase) were seen in clinical studies, indicating extremely little alterations in liver function. However, the concentration increases were less than 1% [19].

However, since Armodafinil is metabolized mostly by the liver [20], it’s worth thinking about.

Our own investigation found no indication of serious liver side effects, however we did uncover one case report where a person seemed to have liver problems after using armodafinil [21]. He exhibited a higher-than-normal iron content in his liver, in particular.

On deeper examination, however, it was discovered that he had a hereditary susceptibility to higher iron levels [21]. After discontinuing Armodafinil, the iron levels returned to normal.

Armodafinil seems to only be a problem for your liver if you have a certain (and uncommon) hereditary predisposition.

According to the findings, [19]:

There have been no instances of modafinil or armodafinil causing clinically evident liver damage… E for likelihood (unlikely causes of clinically apparent liver injury).

Interactions with Armodafinil?

You may be wondering whether there are any Armodafinil interactions—drugs with which it could interact and modify how they both operate.

In healthy people, armodafinil is broken down by three enzymes: cytochrome P450 enzymes 1A2, 3A4, and 2C19.

Some researchers believe that medications that are broken down by these enzymes may interact with Armodafinil, however this has yet to be shown in humans [22].

Still, if you’re taking the following medications, you should be very cautious and visit a doctor about possible Armodafinil interactions:

  • Pregnant
  • Risperidone treatment for bipolar I illness [23]
  • Carbamazepine treatment for bipolar I illness [24]
  • Using steroidal birth control [25]
  • [25] Taking Cyclosporine
  • Using CYP2C19 substrates such omeprazole, phenytoin, or diazepam [25].

When using Armodafinil, you must be aware of the following cautions and interactions. Interactions provide a greater danger than the nootropic’s normal side effects.

Is Armodafinil A Dangerous Smart Drug?

So, at the end of all that, Is Armodafinil a Risky Drug?

We’re not physicians, but we are scientists. And, like Modafinil, research repeatedly reveals that Armodafinil is well-tolerated and usually deemed safe to take by the majority of people [4, 20].

While there are occasional Armodafinil adverse effects, they are typically minor, impact fewer than 17% of persons, and are not life-threatening. After taking the medication, the adverse effects disappear.

Best of all, if you’re careful, you can prevent the negative consequences. This is how:

  • Do not take large amounts. Follow our Armodafinil dosage recommendations: no more than 150 mg per day.
  • It is best taken first thing in the morning. Armodafinil has a lengthy half-life. Take your Armodafinil before 10:00 a.m. if you wish to have a good night’s sleep.
  • Make sure you eat something. If you take it with meals, you may prevent some of the indigestion and nausea. With ours, we like to have a big breakfast.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your ally is water. To prevent headaches, drink plenty of water. Take electrolytes as well.

As of the time of writing, there have been no known fatalities from Modafinil overdose or even Armodafinil use.

These medications are not stimulants. Armodafinil does not cause addiction. Armodafinil does not cause addiction. After each usage, you won’t want to take more and more of it.

What is the function of the nootropic? Armodafinil improves intellect and concentration. Taking a greater dosage seldom improves outcomes. As a result, you will not need more than 150 mg of Armodafinil each day.

We’ve found Armodafinil side effects to be really modest, and we believe you will as well.

Modafinil vs. Armodafinil: Which is Safer?

What about the side effects of Modafinil vs. Armodafinil: Which is Better?? How do they compare?

To be honest, Armodafinil’s adverse effects are less severe than Modafinil’s. We adore Modafinil, but if you’re not cautious, it might cause stomach cramps and headaches.

Armodafinil has a considerably milder impact on us.

Armodafinil is ideal for days when you just need to put in 10 hours of work and then sleep well. It’s ideal for that and has less negative consequences.

Modafinil is great for those days when you have a 15-hour workday or need to do an all-nighter. You may get indigestion, but you may alleviate it by eating and drinking plenty of water.

Conclusion: Does Armodafinil Cause Side Effects

Is Armodafinil a Risky Drug? Yes. Does it have side effects? Also yes.

Are they severe or widespread?

They certainly aren’t. Armodafinil side effects are often less severe than Modafinil adverse effects.

We choose Armodafinil on days when we want to obtain a good night’s sleep without having to worry about diarrhea or stomach pains.

Please don’t misunderstand us. The side effects of modafinil aren’t all that severe. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll remain up until 3 a.m. and wake up with diarrhea. For 12 hours of your greatest work, it’s a tiny amount to pay. However, you won’t have to cope with such little disadvantages if you take Armodafinil.

Overall, Armodafinil is a good substitute for Modafinil on days when you require 8-11 hours of intense attention and productivity vs 12-14 hours with Modafinil. Armodafinil isn’t as powerful, and neither are its adverse effects.

Armodafinil Side Effects FAQs

Do the side effects of Armodafinil go away?

The mild side effects of Armodafinil may go away after a few days of using the medicine as your body adjusts. Severe side effects are unlikely to go away on their own and will require medical attention.

Does Armodafinil cause weight gain?

Armodafinil does not cause weight gain. In fact, clinical evidence suggests that Armodafinil might promote weight loss. In one study, the use of armodafinil resulted in greater reduction in body fat than placebo.

How do you feel on Armodafinil?

While on Armodafinil, most people feel more focused, motivated and mentally ‘switched on’. Some people may also feel nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat while taking Armodafinil.


  1. (2020). Armodafinil.
  2. Hirshkowitz, M., Black, J. E., Wesnes, K., Niebler, G., Arora, S., & Roth, T. (2007). Adjunct armodafinil improves wakefulness and memory in Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a kind of sleep apn/hypopnea syndrome. Respiratory Medicine, 101(3), 616-627.
  3. Nishino, S., & Okuro, M. (2008). Armodafinil for excessive daytime sleepiness. Drugs Today, 44(6), 395-414.
  4. Harsh, J. R., Hayduk, R., Rosenberg, R., Wesnes, K. A., Walsh, J. K., Arora, S., … & Roth, T. (2006). The efficacy and safety of armodafinil as treatment for adults with excessive sleepiness associated with Narcolepsy. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 22(4), 761-774.
  5. Czeisler, C. A., Walsh, J. K., Wesnes, K. A., Roth, T., & Arora, S. (2009, November). Armodafinil for treatment of excessive sleepiness associated with Disorder of shift work: A randomized controlled study. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 84(11), 958-972
  6. Roth, T., Rippon, G. A., & Arora, S. (2008). Armodafinil improves wakefulness and long-term episodic memory in nCPAP-adherent patients with excessive sleepiness associated with Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a kind of sleep apn. Sleep and Breathing, 12(1), 53-62.
  7. Brown, J. N., & Wilson, D. T. (2011). Safety and efficacy of armodafinil in the treatment of excessive sleepiness. Clinical Medicine Insights: Therapeutics, 3, CMT-S5124.
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  12. is a website dedicated to improving your health (n.d.). Will Armodafinil cause you to get dehydrated?
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  25. Ceaphlon is a fictional character (2007). Information about Armodafinil Prescription. Prescribing Information.pdf

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About the Author P. Tardner

Paul Tardner is the Head Writer at Paul is a former academic and research scientist. He now dedicates his time to his own research into nootropics, with a particular focus on cognitive enhancement in old age. You can learn more about Paul from his profile page.