Compare Provigil vs. Adderall

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Provigil
(modafinil)

Adderall
(dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

Improves alertness. Provigil (Modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it can interact with other medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.Helps you focus and stay alert. Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.75Provigil
Reviews for Provigil
82%
of people (All ages) say Provigil is worth it
71%
say it works well
4%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Provigil (modafinil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Adderall
74%
+8% better vs. Provigil
53%
+18% better vs. Provigil
16%
+12% better vs. Provigil
1309 reviews
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ProvigilAdderall
  • Headache 11%
  • Nausea 8%
  • Any side effect 5%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 1%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Indigestion 1%
More Provigil side effects »
  • Loss of appetite 34%
  • Dry mouth 30%
  • Sleep difficulty 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Difficulty sleeping 15%
  • Stomach pain 4%
More Adderall side effects »
How it works
ProvigilAdderall
Provigil (Modafinil) is a stimulant that helps you feel awake. Researchers don't know exactly how Provigil (Modafinil) works, but it probably affects chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases the activity of the hormones norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
ProvigilAdderall
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ProvigilAdderall
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
ProvigilAdderall
Risk factors for serious side effects
ProvigilAdderall
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Current kidney problems
  • Current liver problems
  • History of heart problems
Detailed Provigil (modafinil) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
Detailed Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
ProvigilAdderall
  • Interacts with many other medications.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
ProvigilAdderall
  • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
Kidneys and liver
ProvigilAdderall
  • Provigil (Modafinil) is broken down by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need to use a lower dose to prevent more side effects.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Weight
ProvigilAdderall
No weight related info.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
Upsides and benefits
ProvigilAdderall
  • It's a non-amphetamine medicine that helps improve alertness.
  • Available in a generic version.
  • Effective in reducing excessive sleepiness in Shift-work Sleep Disorder.
  • Doesn't negatively affect daytime sleep.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • For the extended release capsule, if you can't swallow the whole capsule, the capsule can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed.
Downsides and risks
ProvigilAdderall
  • Provigil (Modafinil) can be habit-forming, so it's typically not used for long-term treatment.
  • Interacts with many other medications.
  • Taking Provigil (Modafinil) will make hormonal birth control less effective. You should definitely use additional forms of non-hormonal contraception.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause difficulty sleeping.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
  • For school-aged children, a second dose will likely need to be given at school.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ProvigilAdderall
  • Take Provigil (Modafinil) about an hour before you need to be fully alert.
  • Taking caffeine with Provigil (Modafinil) can cause you to feel nervous, shaky, and have a faster heartbeat. Try limiting your caffeine intake.
  • Until you know how Provigil (Modafinil) makes you feel, don't drive or perform any tasks that need you to be alert.
  • You can experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Provigil (Modafinil). Talk to your doctor before making any changes.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you break out in a rash.
  • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it close to bedtime.
  • If using the extended-release version, the first dose is best taken right after waking up in the morning.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on applesauce, which should be consumed immediately, and swallowed without chewing.
Learn more
More about ProvigilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Provigil (modafinil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it