Nootropics (also known as smart drugs) is a medication and supplements that can stimulate integrative brain functions, boost learning process, improve (restore) memory and cognitive functions, increase brain resistance to stress, hypoxia, and other aggressive influences, improve cortico-subcortical connections. Nootropics don’t have significant psychostimulatory or sedating effect, causes no specific changes in the bioelectric activity of the brain. However, they are stimulating signals transfer between neurons, enhancing information exchange between cerebral hemispheres, improving energy processes and the blood supply to the brain, increasing its hypoxia resistance. The most important nootropics effect is the activation of mnemonic and intellectual functions, anti-hypoxic activity.

Piracetam was the first discovered drug with Nootropic effect. It was synthesized in 1963 by Belgian scientists. In 1972 was found, that piracetam can improve the learning process and memory. Before nootropics discover, for mnemonic functions increase gamma-Aminobutyric acid was used.

In 1972 “Nootropic” term was coined to refer a class of drugs, which can improve higher brain functions, without psychomotor stimulants side effects.

Today, synthesized more than ten original nootropic drugs of pyridine structure, like oxiracetam, aniracetam, etiracetam, pramiracetam, dupracetam, rolziracetam, cerecetam, nefiracetam, etiracetam. Those “old” nootropics known as racetams. Also, other types of nootropics were synthesized, including cholinergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic, peptidergic.


Do nootropics really work? Overall effects of nootropics family:

  • Improving of thought processes – cognitive functions, learning process
  • Increase of intellectual activity, the volume of mental abilities
  • Stimulate metabolic processes in nervous tissue, especially in the case of anoxia, intoxication, or traumatic brain injuries
  • Improving the sustainability of the brain thought processes against hypoxia, traumatic injuries, stroke
  • Under high physical loads during sports competitions and training, nootropics with cerebroprotective effect can also be used for prophylaxis by athletes.
  • The presence of an anabolic effect in some nootropics makes them also useful as a bodybuilding supplement.



Are Nootropics safe? Nootropic drug usually causes no side effects, but in some cases, it can cause headaches, irritability, anxiety, sleep disorders, some nootropics weight loss cause.



Nootropics are virtually harmless (less harmful like energy drinks, coffee or other traditional stimulants) and some of them even beneficial for health. Side effects frequency is rare and they are pretty safe, which makes them best supplements for brain functions Many programmers that I know use them with no problems, with good feedbacks.