What’s the Difference Between Dose and Dosage?
Although we tend to hear the words dose and dosage used interchangeably, each word has its own meaning and it is important to pay close attention to both when taking any drug, medication, or supplement. A dose refers to the specific quantity of a supplement taken at a single time, while a dosage refers to the administration of several doses over a limited period of time. You might also see the term effective dose, which factors in the therapeutic effect of the drug, medication, or supplement.
“An effective dose (ED) in pharmacology is the dose or amount of drug that produces a therapeutic response or desired effect in some fraction of the subjects taking it.”
It is most common to see doses expressed in metric mass units (for example, milligrams). But to keep it simple, a dose just represents the amount of a drug or medication that should be taken at once. A dosage, on the other hand, gives an indication to how often and for how long the supplement should be taken. It basically acts as a guide for your supplement regimen. Understanding the correct dose of a supplement is crucial to ensuring that you get the desired benefits and avoid any unwanted side effects. The good news is, most doses and dosages have already been determined, so you are able to look them up easily.
Every drug, medication, and supplement has its side effects, but luckily, only a few of them really give us any reason to worry. Just think about the cup of coffee you drank this morning. As you probably know, coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine is a drug, and if you are used to drinking coffee everyday, you probably also know what it feels like if you skip a day. Those symptoms of withdrawal, like grogginess and a headache, are some of the side effects of caffeine. But grogginess won’t kill you. So while your daily dose of caffeine is unlikely to hurt you, you should know what could happen if you drank too many cups of joe. This is where knowing the right doses and dosages for the supplements you take will come in handy–and maybe even save your life.
The thing to keep in mind when it comes to the dose and dosage of supplements is that each person will experience a certain supplement differently from another person. Of course it is the job of the pharmaceutical companies to test their products before they get released, but unfortunately, they just can’t account for every single person who might come into contact with their drug. This article is meant to help you educate yourself on safe and appropriate supplement doses and dosages.
Drug Side Effects (ADRs)
Everyone’s genetic makeup is slightly different from everybody else’s, so it makes sense that one dose of a particular supplement can have differing effects depending on the person who took the drug. Sometimes, a drug can have side effects, called Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs). Some of these ADRs may barely be noticeable, while others could cause serious bodily harm.
More often than not, ADRs are associated with overdose, meaning that whether by accident or intentionally, more than the intended amount of a certain supplement was taken. When we talk about the drug side effects of supplements, there is no drug out there that doesn’t have the potential for ADRs. Let’s go back to our caffeine example. If you search online for caffeine side effects, you are likely to be bombarded with a long (and intimidating) list of things that you have never experienced after drinking a cup of coffee. That just goes to show that while every supplement is associated with side effects, knowing the right dose to take will go a long way in preventing any serious ADRs.
Adrafinil Adverse Drug Reactions
To give you a little background, Adrafinil is known as a “prodrug“, meaning it needs to be broken down and metabolized by the liver before its effects kick in. When the liver processes Adrafinil, it becomes Modafinil. If you aren’t familiar, Modafinil is another nootropic on the market known for its ability to increase wakefulness. Given that Adrafinil and Modafinil are so similar, they also share similar side effects.
And this is a list of the possible side effects of Modafinil, taken directly from its package insert:
“Side effects reported greater than or equal to 5% occurrence over placebo: Headache, Nausea, Nervousness, Rhinitis, Diarrhea, Back Pain, Anxiety, Insomnia, Dizziness, and Dyspepsia.”
To read more about the specific side effects of Adrafinil, check out the dedicated page on our website.
The Recommended Adrafinil Dosage
Before we jump into dosage, it might help if we told you a bit about the history of adrafinil. Prior to 2011, Adrafinil was sold under the brand name Olmifon. At the time, Olmifon was prescribed primarily to the elderly population as a treatment method for narcolepsy. In their packaging, the recommended dose for Olmifon was “2 to 4 tablets” per day. Each tablet contained 300 mg of Adrafinil powder, which would mean the total daily Adrafinil dose could range from 600 mg to 1200 mg.
Despite the different intended uses of Olmifon compared to Adrafinil, the active ingredient in both of these drugs are the same, so it is safe to use this recommended dose as a guide. The only difference is the time of administration. For narcolepsy, Olmifon could be taken either once or twice daily. As a nootropic supplement, Adrafinil is best taken first thing in the morning to avoid insomnia.
Here is information from the official Olmifon package insert:
Adrafinil; Corn starch, modified sodic carboxymethyl-cellulose, polyvidone excipient, glycerol, magnesium steate, talc, lactose, polyoxyethylene glycol 4000, titanium dioxide, polymethly acrylate glycerol.
Information for the User
This product is a psycotonic. It is recommended for elderly patients who have difficulty staying alert and who suffer from a general slowing down of mental activity.
1. The effectiveness of Olmifon® has not yet been tested on the non-elderly.
2. This preparation contains an active ingredient, which could induce a positive result in anti-doping tests for athletes.
If you suffer from epilepsy, or serious hepatic or renal disorders, consult your doctor before taking this product. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your doctor or chemist, if there is any chance of an interaction-taking place between different medicines. Any additional treatment should be reported, especially if you are taking neuroepileptic medicines. Keep this and all other medicines safely out of the reach of children.
As with any active product, this medicine may possibly cause side effects. Headache, stomach pains and skin irritations have been reported in clinical tests, and in certain cases, inner tension.
2 to 4 tablets daily. Please follow your doctor’s instructions.
This product has been prescribed for you in order to remedy a particular medical problem. Do not use it to treat other ailments. Do not use it again without first consulting your doctor. Do not use it to treat another person. Consult your doctor.
Further research into the appropriate Adrafinil dosage reveals a large range of doses for human consumption. Anywhere from 300 mg to 1200 mg of Adrafinil per day has been reported by users online. While Adrafinil users have reported taking such high doses, it is up to you to decide how much works for you.
- The standard dosage for Adrafinil is reported to be 600-1,200mg, which for the purpose of treating narcolepsy was either 600mg twice daily (morning and midday) or 600-900mg taken once daily upon waking
- Under 65 years of age take 1 to 2 tablets in the morning and at midday, preferably with food.
- 70 years of age and above take 1 tablet in the morning and at midday, preferably with food.
|Study 1 – Dogs
- 20mg/Kg and 10mg/kg (equivalent to 700mg and 1400mg respectively, for a 70kg human)
|Study 2 – Research Animales
- 64mg/Kg to 256mg/kg (equivalent to 420mg and 17920mg respectively, for a 70kg human) THIS IS A HIGH DOSE ON RESEARCH ANIMALS
As we have mentioned before, each and every person will respond differently to Adrafinil, so use your own judgement together with reviews online. It is also important to note that different formulations of Adrafinil may change the amount of the supplement that actually reaches your body. When shopping around for Adrafinil, be sure to check how much of the active ingredient is in the product.
Finally, if you plan on stacking your nootropics, it would also be worth your time to do some research on which ones stack well with one another. While you are likely to learn the most through trial and error, there is quite a lot of information online about beginner nootropic stacks if you aren’t yet familiar.
Considering that there are few scientific studies on Adrafinil exclusively, we can look to subjective reviews from users online. It seems that while Adrafinil is well-tolerated in humans, even at high doses, there might be a ceiling effect to the drug. A ceiling effect occurs when there is no longer any observed effect, even when the supplement dose is increased. Some Reddit users reported 700 mg as the point where they no longer felt an increased therapeutic effect. The presence of a ceiling effect may actually be a good thing, as it negates the need to over-consume. If we remember that ADRs are most likely to occur at higher doses, the ceiling effect in Adrafinil means it is not necessary to take more than around 700 mg.
Information about the maximum single dose of Adrafinil is limited, but another Reddit discussion came to an agreement that 1200 mg of Adrafinil is too much. If smaller doses of Adrafinil are not providing the desired effects, it may be worthwhile to explore other wakefulness agents, like Modafinil. Some of the dangers of taking too high of a dose in one go could include overworking your liver and having trouble falling asleep.
It is less common to read about the low doses of Adrafinil, but you are probably curious to know how little Adrafinil is needed in order to reap the benefits. Since there is more information out there on Modafinil, we can use that data to calculate the equivalent dose of Adrafinil. The recommended low dose for Modafinil is 50 mg. If Adrafinil has roughly one third of the potency of Modafinil, then around 17 g of Adrafinil would be considered a low dose.
In another Reddit discussion, a user reported experiencing a therapeutic effect with as little as 25-50 mg, adding “I’m pretty sensitive to this chemical”.
But again, we cannot stress enough how differently two people can react to the same amount of Adrafinil. A comment left by a user claiming to be a pharmacy technician put it nicely, “I work as a pharmacy technician and I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a pharmacist say no drug effects two people the same way. There is someone out there that 50 mg of adrafinil is too much”. And vice versa, 17 g of Adrafinil might be a low dose for one person, but may very well be too high for another person.
If you are thinking of trying Adrafinil for the first time, then it is likely in your best interest to start slow and “play it safe”, as this Adrafinil thread suggests. We would suggest starting with a low dose of 17-20 mg as a tester. This low dose should give your body time to adjust to the supplement. And in case you do experience any ADRs, it will probably only be a mild side effect at such a low dose. There is also a chance that you may not feel anything after taking a low dose of Adrafinil, especially if you have taken other nootropics before. This might just mean that your body is either naturally more tolerant or has developed a higher tolerance to nootropics. Our best advice is to take it slow with Adrafinil dosage. Even if you don’t feel anything after your first day, wait a day just to be safe before taking your next dose.
Seeing that Adrafinil and Modafinil share so many similarities, it is no wonder people often confuse the two supplements. To help you differentiate the two with confidence, we have an entire page dedicated to the differences between Adrafinil and Modafinil