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 insomnia and other side effects.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.565217391304348Provigil
Reviews for Provigil (Modafinil)
78%
of people say Provigil (Modafinil) is worth it
70%
say it works well
4%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
74%
4% vs. Provigil (Modafinil)
53%
17% vs. Provigil (Modafinil)
16%
12% vs. Provigil (Modafinil)
Side effects
ProvigilAdderall
  • Headache 11%
  • Nausea 8%
  • Any side effect 5%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Anxiety 4%
  • Loss of appetite 3%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Chest pain 2%
More Provigil side effects »

The Adderall FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about 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 norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
ProvigilAdderall
StimulantPrescription only
StimulantPrescription only
Available as
ProvigilAdderall
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
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
      • History of psychiatric disorder
      • History of bipolar disorder
      Detailed Provigil (Modafinil) risks & warnings »
      • History of heart problems
      • History of drug abuse
      • Taking more than the prescribed dose
      • History of high blood pressure
      • History of psychotic episodes
      • History of Bipolar Disorder
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • Children ages 7 to 10
      Detailed Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      ProvigilAdderall
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
      • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
      • 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.
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Effective in reducing excessive sleepiness in Shift-work Sleep Disorder.
      • Doesn't negatively affect daytime sleep.
      • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.
      • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
      • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
      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.
      • The capsules can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed if you can't swallow the whole capsules.
      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 insomnia.
      • 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 schooled-aged children, the 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 drugs.
      • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too 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 can then be swallowed without chewing.
      Learn more
      More about ProvigilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert