About Nootropics


Smart drugs are a commonly used non-medical term for nootropics. The term nootropics was first used in 1972 when scientists observed the memory-boosting abilities of piracetam. Since then, several other nootropics have been released on the market.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics, also known as cognition enhancers or memory enhancers, are compounds that improve your brain function. They boost your memory and help you focus better on tasks. Smart drugs also make you feel motivated, which helps lift your mood and make you think positively.

Nootropics are available as both prescription drugs and dietary supplements.

What nootropics are used for?

Nootropics treat Alzheimer, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and narcolepsy. They work by enhancing brain function, increasing focus and attention, learning, creativity, and clarity. Nootropics also boost your memory and intelligence.

Some over-the-counter nootropics available as dietary supplements can help improve memory, focus, and overall brain performance. They are not used to treat any health disorders but may be used to enhance concentration, thinking, and learning.

Types of nootropics

Nootropics are divided into two main categories; prescription nootropics and non-prescription nootropics. Prescription nootropics are stimulants, while non-prescription nootropics are dietary supplements.

Types of prescription nootropics include:

  • Adderall
  • Memantine (Axura)
  • Modafinil (Provigil)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Sodium oxybate (Xyrem)
  • Antidepressants (Protriptyline and Desipramine)

You must not take these medications without a doctor's prescription. In many countries, they're often illegal to buy without a prescription.

Types of non-prescription nootropics include:

  • Caffeine (coffee)
  • L-Theanine (black and green tea leaves)
  • Creatine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Racetams
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Bacopa monnieri
  • Panax ginseng

These are naturally occurring, over-the-counter nootropics often available as supplements in the market.

How do nootropics work?

Nootropics are brain stimulants. They relax the small blood vessels present in the brain. This causes more blood to reach the brain. A surplus amount of oxygenated and nutrient blood allows the brain to work more efficiently and adequately.

Another way nootropics boost brain performance is by increasing the rate of respiration (energy production) in the mitochondria (the batteries of cells). The faster the energy is produced, the better the brain works.

Certain nootropics, such as Modafinil, work on parts of the brain; the hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus. They inhibit dopamine receptors by increasing dopamine (neurotransmitter) levels in the brain. Nootropics influence the release of neurotransmitters in multiple ways, i.e., improving receptor sensitivity, stimulating neurotransmitter synthesis, preventing neurotransmitter damage, and providing nervous chemical precursors. The effect of these drugs can last up to 10 to 15 hours in the body.

Caffeine is the most widely used nootropic worldwide due to the mass consumption of coffee and chocolate. Caffeine is a brain stimulant. It is safe for most people in reasonable amounts.

L-Theanine works by increasing the production of alpha waves in the brain. This causes the brain to be relaxed yet vigilant at the same time.

Omega-3 fatty acids are the most well-researched nootropics. They protect neurons and help prevent brain ageing.

Benefits of using nootropics

Nootropics offer a wide range of benefits in both categories, i.e., treatment options and health supplements for a better quality of life.

  • A study showed that 75 to 80% of children having ADHD showed improved symptoms after being given Adderall.
  • Nootropics like Adderall also treat narcolepsy by keeping the brain awake.
  • These cognitive enhancers increase memory and learning capacity. They also improve your focus and concentration.
  • Smart drugs also induce feelings of motivation and reward.
  • Athletes and team players use some nootropics because of their performance-enhancing ability.

Nootropics are also helpful in treating behavioural problems, including impulsivity, short attention span, aggression, and restlessness.

What are the side effects of Nootropics?

Like all medications, prescription nootropics may cause side effects if not carefully taken. Common side effects of these medications include:

  • Impulsive behaviours
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Back pain
  • Painful joints
  • Muscle pain
  • Shivering
  • Urination problems
  • Bladder pain
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Addiction

Severe side effects that need emergency medical attention include:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Insomnia or other sleeping problems
  • Restlessness
  • Excitement
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Vision problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dyskinesia (erratic and uncontrollable movement of the body)
  • Rash
  • Blisters
  • Hives

You should always follow your doctor's advice while taking these prescription drugs. Notify your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you experience any change in your condition. Healthcare professionals should closely monitor their patients on prescription nootropics to help them deal with any after-effects and record their progress.

Safety precautions while taking nootropics

Nootropics work by changing the physiology of your brain. Therefore, it is important to take certain safety measures to avoid medication misuse's harmful effects, including drug reaction, addiction, and overdose.

  • Prescription nootropics are legal only with a doctor's prescription. Never purchase them without one.
  • For non-prescription or OTC nootropics, it's ideal to consult your doctor. These supplements may interact with your other medications (if any) and cause a reaction.
  • Always buy OTC nootropics from a well-known brand so that the product is adequately tested and contains no hidden content.
  • Prescription nootropics are usually given temporarily. Their long-term use can lead to addiction, a weak heart, liver disease, and hallucinations. Therefore, update your doctor on your condition regularly, and they'll adjust your dose accordingly.
  • Pregnant women should avoid taking prescription and non-prescription nootropics altogether unless their doctor tells them to.

Buy the best nootropics

Smart drugs or prescription nootropics are cognitive enhancers widely used to treat ADHD, Alzheimer, and narcolepsy. OTC nootropics like caffeine can improve memory, focus, and brain speed. People should always consult a doctor before taking any type of nootropics as its misuse may cause side effects, including drug addiction and drug overdose.

Other practical ways to boost brain performance include a balanced diet, exercise, stress management, and psychotherapy.

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