Adrafinil is a prodrug; it is primarily metabolizedin vivo to modafinil (Provigil®), resulting in nearly identical pharmacologic effects. Unlike modafinil, however, it takes time for the metabolite to accumulate to active levels in the bloodstream. Effects usually are apparent within 45-60 minutes when taken orally on an empty stomach.
Adrafinil, also known by the codename CRL 40028, has as its chemical name 2-(Diphenylmethyl) sulfinyl acetohydroxamic acid. Its molecular formula is C15H15NO3S. The drug's molecular weight is 289.4 daltons.
Adrafinil does not currently have FDA approval in the United States, although it is used in France and elsewhere in Europe. The drug is marketed by the American pharmaceutical company Cephalon, which acquired Group Lafon in 2001, under the brand name Olmifon.
Adrafinil was discovered in the late 1970s by scientists working with the French pharmaceutical company Group Lafon. The drug was first offered as an experimental treatment for narcolepsy in France in 1986. Later on, Lafon scientists developed modafinil as a stand-alone drug because the latter drug was understood to be a more highly selective alpha-1 adrenergic and also featured less in the way of side effects such as stomach pain, skin irritations, feelings of tension, and an increase in liver enzyme levels.
The metabolites of Adrafinil contains sulfur, and can easily be detected by a peculiar odour of the urine of the person who has taken it.