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Brain Enhancement Supplements

Do Brain enhancement supplements and drugs actually work?
Some are risky and are others even worth trying? We will discuss their safety and usefulness.

brain-enhancement-supplementMany bankers, college students and of course the geeks in Silicon Valley are sharpening their minds with the use of cognitive enhancement supplements. The mainstream medical media has renounced cognitive enhancement supplements as nothing but bogus and snake oil being sold to the mass public but is this really true?

Is a cup of Joe just as good as it can get for us or is there something else we can stack along or consume independently that can produce measurable objective results.

To quickly recap we will discuss what brain enhancing drugs are, what smart drugs are, and what nootropics are and what the main differences between these are.

Smart Drugs
Memory enhancing drugs also referred to usually as smart drugs are pharmaceuticals that are prescribed by your primary caregiver most likely a physician. These include drugs such as modafinil which is prescribed for sleep disorders or others for ADHD such as Ritalin and Adderall among others.

Nootropics
Nootropics are loosely defined as substances that help maintain the integrity of your brain and keep your brain functioning at optimal levels using natural or sometimes synthetic compounds that can be consumed for the long run. An example of a nootropic that can be taken for a long time would be Bacopa Monnieri from the Ayurvedic medicine system. These nootropic supplements are largely unregulated and have a lower amount of scientific evidence to back their efficacy, however as in the case of Bacopa, they have been consumed for over 2,500 years.

We will quickly discuss how ADHD medications work and we will discuss which nootropics you should consider taking. ADHD  drugs are useful for those that have attention issues (obviously), poor memory and mood swings. These drugs are essentially a legal form of amphetamines, they have slow release and are a combination of different salts1. Overtime these drugs have been reported to have many side effects and dependency issues and worst of all produce a tolerance build up, because of these said reasons, those suffering from cognitive issues consider natural alternatives first.

What are Nootropics?

One of the original nootropics supplements is called Piracetam. It is quite possibly the most well known and most will research among all the other racetams. It Is widely used in college campuses around America, and it was discovered by the same people that coined the term nootropics. Piracetam at one point was also sold as a commercial pharmaceutical drug named Nootropil. Many more derivatives of Piracetam have been developed and are much more potent but lack the clinical research, one such drug is called Noopept, which is claimed to be 1000x more potent — were not sure how that measure of potency came to be.

lumonol reviewAnother example of a natural nootropic as stated earlier is Bacopa Monnieri. Bacopa increases BDNF when supplemented for at least 30 days which means the connections between neurons is strengthened thus providing better memory supposedly in trials2. There are countless other natural cognitive enhancers that you can explore over here. Another supplement that we highly recommend is  Lumonol, and you may read the review for Lumonol and its positive effects on users on the review page. It contains Noopept and a wide gamut of many other supplements that help improve memory and recall in the short and long-term.

Off-Label Smart Drugs

An example of an off label smart drug being utilized for cognitive enhancement includes one called Armodafinil or its predecessor Modafinil. Generally this drug is only approved for uses of sleep work disorder, sleep apnea and narcolepsy. If you were to read online forums, you would notice that everyone says modafinil is completely safe to use for the long term without worry. However, many side effects have been reported, with headaches being by far the biggest side effect. Some side effects that we noticed our self from testing it was anxiety, irritability and slight dizziness the day after. Also, a decreased appetite, though that can be seen as a positive effect as weight loss is a benefit in many people’s eyes. This drug is sold under many brand names such as: Provigil, modalert, and alertec. You can actually even buy it online under it’s “less purified form” called Adrafinil which we also have reviewed.

Disclaimer: Warning and Safety of Brain Enhancement Supplements

Generally if you feel that you’re already performing at your peak you need not try any of these supplements or drugs.

If you feel like there’s room for improvement and you have felt better before, you could give it a try, it is advisable that you talk to your doctor first before starting and do thorough research before building your stack. Generally the greatest impact will occur for those actually suffering from cognitive deficits. If you do not notice any significant improvements then you may just be performing at your peak or the the supplements you have decided just may not be working for you.

To know for sure we advise you to use our site to measure your results, keep everything equal, and change one variable at a time, it will pay off in the long run. If you are under the age of 18, think twice before attempting to bioengineer yourself through chemistry. Make sure you’re taking the obvious supplements first, such as a vitamin B complex (perhaps stacked with Choline), which alone may be enough for you. Additionally make sure you get enough sleep, and that you are eating healthy, not consuming copious amounts of alcohol and exercising to make sure these items are not impacting your cognitive performance before beginning a supplement regimen. Good Luck.

What are the Best Racetams?

racetamsRacetams, the colloquial name for a group of structurally identical nootropic chemicals ending with … “racetams”. We regard them on our site as supplements but they indeed are drugs.

The invention of the Racetam family of drugs happened accidentally. As Racetams were not being formulated as mental enhancers but designed as a cure for motion sickness.  Unanticipated discoveries similar to this are widespread in pharmacology.

The most famous Racetam is called Piracetam, others include:  Aniracetam, Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam possess a 2-pyrrolidine nucleus comprised of nitrogen , oxygen and hydrogen.

Learning improvements, enhanced memory and focus, elevated mood and high energy levels are some of the effects of Racetams. Stimulation of cholinergic receptors of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is the mainstay of mechanism of Racetams. These also boost glutamate uptake via stimulating AMPA and NMDA receptors.

List of Racetams

About 19 diverse Racetam supplements have been contrived ever since the invention of Piracetam – the first Racetam compound.

The whole list of Racetams include: Aniracetam, Coluracetam, Brivaracetam, Dimiracetam, Fasoracetam, Etiracetam; Imuracetam, Nebracetam, Levetiracetam, Nefiracetam, Oxiracetam, Nicoracetam, Phenylpiracetam, Piracetam, Phenotropil, Pramiracetam, Rolziracetam, Rolipram and Seletracetam.

Most of  these substances are employed for many different health and medicinal purposes but some are commonly employed for use in the form of Nootropics: Piracetam, Oxiracetam, Aniracetam and Pramiracetam.

These four are discussed below to let you learn about which Racetam may be best for you:

Piracetam

Piracetam (known also as Nootropil) is the most commonly used Racetam supplement. It also possesses the privilege of being known as the very first Nootropic ever invented. Piracetam imposes its action via the stimulation of Acetylcholine receptor system leading to the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Taking piracetam long term will improve brain health and also poses many other benefits in the short term.

Piracetam is more devoid of side effects than a cup of coffee owing to it astonishingly low toxicity profile.

Effects: Piracetam boosted cognitive ability on many metrics immediately. Improved learning and higher memory retention were experienced because of upgraded neuroplasticity. You will readily start to experience higher sensory perception and enhanced awareness. Piracetam also aids in studying and focusing because it heightens motivation and energizes you strongly.

Dosage: About 1.2 to 4.8 grams for 4 times a day is recommended for Piracetam to have noticeable effects according to our users. You can buy 500 g of Piracetam in $39.99, thereby making it affordable compared to other Racetams.

How to Take: Piracetam can be taken in form of powder by making a solution in water and can be combined with any other Nootropics you may want to stack together. Considering stacking with: CDP Choline, Alpha GPC or with any other source of choline as recommended by a physician. Piracetam depletes choline, and that is why having an adequate quantity of choline as part of your diet will help increase neurotransmitter formation.

Centrophenoxine when stacked with Piracetam is known to boost or increase your recall speed – making your mind sharper, highly focused, rather more instantaneous and reflexive when it comes to fact-recall abilities. You can additionally see piracetam alternatives here.

Aniracetam

aniracetamAniracetam is a stronger and longer lasting cousin of Piracetam. It is fat soluble and takes a longer time to kick-in. This means you should take it with fish oil or another fatty food source and also realize that it may take longer for the effects to diminish. Aniracetam is a better stimulator of AMPA receptors than Piracetam.

Effects: Aniracetam improves focus along with concentration as it is an AMPA receptor agonist. Aniracetam emerges as one of the best Racetams as well as Nootropics prescribed for studying.

Aniracetam also boosts perception of sound and recognition of colors. It hastens the communication between two brain hemispheres, lessens social anxiety and increases creativity.

Aniracetam Dosage: About 600 to 3000 mg are recommended per day. Most people ought to take Aniracetam  every 4 hours or as required to make sure that the effects last throughout the day. You may get a headache using this Racetam lest you supplement it with choline.

How to Take Aniracetam: The optimal method to take Aniracetam powder is to make a solution in milk for it does not properly dissolve in water. Pure Aniracetam powder can be purchased for $17.99 for every 50 grams. Additionally you buy aniracetam in pill form as well which may make everything easier and as stated can be taken with any fatty food. You can see what other’s are stacking with aniracetam here.

Oxiracetam

oxiracetamA very potent analog of Piracetam which has swifter mode of action than both Piracetam and Aniracetam. It is in a class of its own as it is more expensive yet, has a smaller dose, yet more expensive than Piracetam.

Oxiracetam is very often used to improve motivation levels and to dismiss the symptoms of mental lethargy and fatigue, but it also comes out to be a cognitive enhancer apart from being a brain booster as many Racetams are popular for.

Effects:  Spatial memory is boosted with Oxiracetam use and learning abstract concepts is improved greatly. Oxiracetam increases choline acetylcholinetranferase levels which is responsible for the acetylcholine neurotransmitter.

ATP levels are increased with Oxiracetam, which provides added energy for harder cognitive tasks. Oxiracetam’s side effects are almost nonexistent, however some individuals report fatigue following longer periods of studying or work during the use of this Nootropic. It is best to consult a physician before starting Oxiracetam.

Dosage:  Oxiracetam dose is suggested at 750 – 1,600 mg a day. Most people should take their dose every 6 to 8 hours during studying or when performing any type of mentally tiring work.

How to Take: Oxiracetam is soluble in water. For ideal results, stack Alpha GPC and Oxiracetam together. You can buy oxiracetam in bulk for the lowest price online here.

Pramiracetam

pramiracetamPramiracetam has 30x more potency than Piracetam. It is found to be the strongest among all Racetams and has the longest half life as well. These qualities are attributable to the fact that it is soluble in fat and has a greater bio-availability.

Pramiracetam is stacked with other types of Nootropics and Racetams because it is known to greatly enhance the effectiveness of other compounds. More so it’s side effects anecdotally are said to be mild and equivalent to that of table salt.

Effects: Pramiracetam is particularly recognized for boosting mental energy levels and increasing alertness for up to 8 hours following its intake. It makes learning easier by enhancing memory and boosting neuroplasticity.

Dosage: Daily dosage for Pramiracetam is recommended at a much smaller amount for it is highly concentrated. In a 24 hour period between 100 – 1,200 mg of the compound should be taken. Most people will ingest one dose in the morning and a second one early in the afternoon to have the full effectiveness.

How to Take: Pramiracetam is found in white powder form and is soluble in fat. Like many fat soluble Racetams, you should make a solution with milk, not with water or with fish oil or krill oil. Click here to buy pramiracetam in powder or pill form.

To see other nootropic stacks, click here.

Piracetam Headache? How To Avoid this Side Effect

piracetam headachePiracetam is one of the most well researched and original cognitive enhancers. It is a supplement of the Racetam class. It is known to be a very modest neuroprotective and memory-improving agent which offers solid cognitive and neurological benefits, consolidated with essentially non-existing toxicity (less than that of table salt).

A very small percentage of those that use Racetams may experience unpleasant headaches. The headaches caused by Piracetam may last many hours after the initial intake or sometimes it can be very short-lived. Using Piracetam may also intensify migraines and headaches that are caused by some other stimuli.

So, what causes this adverse side effect to occur and what can you could do to avert it from happening to you? Before getting started, let’s see why people take Piracetam:

 

PROS of Piracetam*

  • Improves Reasoning and Cognition
  • Helps to Support Memory
  • Improves Perception and Alertness
  • Improves Mental Fatigue and Concentration

CONS*

  • Low Potency Compared to Other Racetams
  • May Cause Headaches in Some Users
  • Long Onset Period of Effects

 

Why Does Piracetam Cause Headaches?

piracetam headache cureAniracetam, Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam along with Piracetam stimulate the Acetylcholine receptors in the brain. Acetylcholine is possibly the most significant Neurotransmitter responsible for many brain related functions and is also responsible for functions in relation to learning, concentration and reasoning.

Acetylcholine is produced from the food we eat that contains choline, but in so many cases, humans do not get adequate amounts from just food alone. Evidence suggests that taking enough choline with Piracetam, may cause headaches to subside and or be prevented (reference). This is because Piracetam demands a high level of choline be present in our brain when supplemented, without it, your brain will give you a headache. You can think of it as similar to getting a headache from being dehydrated after running, with Piracetam your brain is “running” and choline is the source it needs to keep you going.

The liver makes very little amounts of choline, thus it may be beneficial to buy a choline supplement. Numerous foods contain choline, such as: egg yolks (250mg per egg roughly) and liver meat, regardless of its wide accessibility, scientists think many individuals don’t get sufficient levels of choline.

As per a popular anecdotal evidence, the use of Piracetam can often times overly tax an individual’s cholinergic system. If enough choline is not present in your food, then there is a chance that you might be choline deficient.  This can be evidenced from any of the racetam nootropics being consumed on our platform, most are “commonly paired or stacked with” one choline source or another, see aniracetam with AlphaGPC, phenylpiracetam with the same, and pramiracetam here.

How to Cure a Piracetam Headache?

If an individual is suffering from a consistent headache while using Piracetam, they should first try adding choline to their diet (food). Secondly consider stacking your choline powder of choice with Piracetam, see alpha gpc dosage amount, and choline bitartrate dosage amount here or you can also try Centrophenoxine.

You should start by adding a small dose initially (250mg if alpha gpc for example) and then can slowly increase the dosage until your headaches are gone. If you did not notice any effects from adding additional choline at up to ~750mg, continuing to add more may not help. Again see the Piracetam page to determine what the most ‘common’ ratios are to get an idea as to where to draw your limit and call it quits. E.g. If you consume 4.8g of Piracetam with 250mg of Alpha-GPC you may not notice the helpful effects of adding choline to your stack, however if you consume 1.8g to 500mg of AlphaGPC–you might just notice that you don’t have a headache.  Generally consuming choline is also a good habit in and of itself and can act as a cognitive enhancer as well, see choline+inositol stack.

Choline stacks and Headaches

Taking Piracetam alone can cause headaches among some people and with the addition of choline, the headaches may stop, however for a few people the opposite is true. Taking Choline with Piracetam can cause headaches while taking Piracetam alone does not. In this case you could be “choline dominant” and your best course of action could be to cease supplementing choline. Many people read and feel as if it is absolutely essential to take a choline source with the Racetams and that’s just not true. If you don’t need it and your body is telling you it doesn’t need it via headaches, stop or take half the dose and observe the results.

Many users when adding choline experience depression, brain fog, lethargy or fatigue. Some research demonstrates a relationship between depression and large amounts of choline in the brain. Having said that, the opposite research is also available, so as of now, you may need to test what works and doesn’t for you. You can search for many supplement stacks which contain choline here, add a choline source you have and Piracetam on the compound search bar in the textbox on the left menu of the page and see what other’s are doing.

What to Do If the Headaches Persist

Additionally, the problem can be caused be something totally unrelated to Choline as well, are you hydrated enough?, are you getting enough restful-sleep?, do you have any chronic conditions?, stress? could it be the result of a interaction with other drugs or supplements?

Tracking these variables is key, and if you do have a condition and or are on other drugs, you can see if other’s on TrackMyStack have had the same symptoms as you — which can help in determining the cause of the problem. You can spend time researching and learning/biohacking yourself but don’t forget to visit a professional who may be able to diagnose the issue much quicker.

Generally, Piracetam is not common drug to supplement in the Western part of the world, chances are your health care professional will not know anything about it and ask you to get off of it right of the bat — as it is the safest thing for them to recommend. Consider taking another ‘supplement’ (Piracetam is a synthetic drug) for cognitive enhancement (if that is your goal). Another option is to utilize a Nootropic with a alternate mechanism of action such as Adrafinil.

Can You Develop A Tolerance For Nootropics With Regular Use?

nootropics toleranceSince the advent of nootropics in the 1960’s, supplements have helped us with preventative health and optimization in many areas. Nootropics were to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s but are readily used for off-label purposes such as: enhancing things like, learning capacity, memory, and decision making.

There are additional advantages like helping protect the brain from oxidative damage and to enhance the health of billions of neurons. Furthermore, scientists keep studying ways for how Nootropics could be utilised daily to help patients with clinical conditions such as: ADHD, stroke and trauma patients and even cognitive degenerative conditions that come with age such as dementia.

A valid question thus arises which is, what are the certain tolerance levels for nootropics if used on a daily basis:

Can Supplementing Nootropics Cause A Tolerance Build Up

Tolerance is an issue with various pharmaceuticals and supplements whereby they turn out to be less efficient after some time. A major concern among new Nootropic supplement users’ is concerning the effectiveness of the supplement overtime. The nootropic Phenibut and Sulbutiamine come to mind when thinking of tolerance build ups.

Other’s are concerned about experiencing withdrawal after they stop using nootropics; and thus a dependency on the drug or supplement. This is not how most nootropics are made, and by definition, nootropics are suppose to help the brain whether it is for the short term or for immediate use. It is unlike the movie Limitless, where the drug NZT 48 when stopped causes the user to instantly go back to baseline IQ levels. Ayurvedic supplements such as Bacopa Monnieri for example take time to build up and generally “help” the brain and so stopping it suddenly has no withdrawal or immediate “dumbing” effects. Other smart drugs such as Modafinil or Adrafinil for example will peak in 3 hours and have a half life of about 15 hours, where after the effects are gone.

We urge you to explore our list of nootropic supplements as each one has a unique property.

Thus, your body can definitely build up tolerance for some Nootropic supplements. You may encounter indications of “mental addiction” to these supplements despite the fact that are no withdrawal symptoms or signs of physical addiction. For such Nootropics, there are various ways you can practice to make sure that you don’t develop a tolerance when using them.

We should also note that many of the Nootropics are planned for daily intake and are pretty much unlikely to build up a tolerance over the time. Some of the supplements will really have growing impacts that rise in concentration with regular doses, as mentioned above.

Nootropics such as Piracetam and Aniracetam are known to produce long term benefits as you consume them. This is because of the mechanism of action of Racetams generally.  Memory capacity and synaptic plasticity are two things which may be possible to increase over time. Similarly, nootropics with any kind of stimulant impact prompting high energy levels are more inclined to building up a tolerance and are ideal to be used occasionally or be cycled with some exceptions, e.g. Rhodiola Rosea.

What Is Tolerance?

Tolerance is basically when there is a diminished response to a drug being consumed as your body adapts to the continual presence of the drug or supplement in your system (note: this is different than Resistance). Overtime it turns increasingly difficult for the drug to act as intended. It can be discouraging when you notice that you don’t encounter the same advantages as you did when you first started.

In a few cases, to obtain the same effects as before, you may need to progressively increase your dose but that is not good advice under any circumstance (unless if approved by your physician), even with nootropics which have very low toxicity levels.tolerance to nootropics

There may be multiple reasons why tolerance develops, one of the reason could be that you may be producing less neurotransmitters or whatever substance the nootropic was increasing in your system, or it could be that you are already functioning at peak capacity.

The receptors of specific neurotransmitters may likewise turn out to be less sensitive implying that a greater amount of the neurotransmitter should be discharged all together for the same impact to take place.

There are various different tolerances which can occur, some are very long lasting, it may take months for the body to readjust. Caffeine is great example of such a tolerance. When you become dependent on caffeine; the receptors in your body begin to shrink and become less sensitive. The outcome is that you have to consume more caffeine so as to feel the same amount of energy and alertness. There are other sorts of tolerances which are brief and they balance out in a couple of hours after the supplement is consumed. An example is the stimulant Ephedrine. Ephedrine wears off much quicker than caffeine and it might actually last only 15 minutes.

Simple Way to Avoid Tolerance to Nootropics

The first step is to figure out if that specific nootropic has tolerance issues.  Then, if you have decided to take a Nootropic that has a high chance of leading to tolerance, you may take the similar route as bodybuilders and weightlifters when training: Cycling. A cycle is mainly a routine with phases of use (or training) trailed by phases of non-use (or not training).

So, perhaps as opposed to using a drug like Adrafinil for 30 days in a row, you may use it for a week, then cut back your intake for a week, after that use it 4 days with 3 days off. This is how a cycle works and it keeps the body from adjusting, the name of the game is random on and off days. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that for stimulants you may be able to take for 6 days on with 1 day (perhaps in the middle of the week) off for example, and still reap the same benefits or close to what you would if you had 4 days on and 3 off.

Certain nootropics which are particularly thought to act as stimulants are significantly more likely to bring about a level of tolerance in its users. They have to be cycled or utilized as part of a nootropic stack. These are a only a handful of nootropics that have tolerance issues.

Learn to Cycle and Stack Nootropics Properly

nootropics tolerance symptomsCycling and stacking nootropics needs to be done based on your goal. For instance, someone hoping to enhance their memory may have an altogether distinctive routine than a one hoping to improve brain health and defer the impact of age associated cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s.

First decide on your goal and after that discover which nootropics may help you accomplish it. Likewise find if there any extra nootropics that may potentiate the impacts of your drugs to further elevate the results. This can save you from taking too much of one drug as well and could possibly save you money, this experimentation can be made simpler by using TrackMyStack to determine when to cycle and the efficacy of certain nootropics.

Start with your primary nootropic agent, so for memory enhancement this may be Noopept or Phenylpiracetam. For Neuronal communication help, Huperzine or Centrophenoxine.  Make plans on cycling anything with stimulant like effects in and out every now and then. You can alternatively see if you get the same effect by picking a similar supplement as well, e.g. maybe Sulbutiamine to Rhodiola. Make sure you discuss all your choices with your primarily health care provider before switching back and forth and when in doubt, your better of without!

The 5 Best and Most Popular Smart Drugs

smart drugsWith the arrival of the movie Limitless featuring a fictitious drug known as NZT-48 which exponentially improves human cognitive function beyond its present constraints, more individuals started toying with the possibility of a medication which could make them more intelligent. In spite of the fact that it sounds like a dream, researchers all over the globe have been attempting to create brain enhancing medication which can do just that.

As of this day, researchers have not created anything close to NZT, but we do have smart drugs (sometimes colloquially referred to as nootropics or used off-label as ‘smart drugs’) which we can use to enhance our focus temporarily in meaningful ways. Smart Drugs are being utilized far and wide by entrepreneurs, athletes, students, housewives, and poker players. They are utilized to enhance learning capacity, improve concentration and focus, enhance memory function, and written and verbal communication skills.

Not all who utilizes smart drugs will admit it; however, a recent survey done last January 2013, conducted by the prestigious science publication, Nature discovered widespread use. No less than one out of each five individuals surveyed reported utilizing drugs for “non-therapeutic reasons” with a specific end goal to enhance their memory, concentration, and focus. This article focuses on five of the most well-known smart drugs and compare their advantages, effects, negative effects, cost, and availability.

Prescription Smart Drugs

A difference amongst non-prescription and prescription medications is the potential they have for risk factors, including serious negative effects, and addiction. Prescription drugs are classified by the government in schedules as indicated by potential for abuse or addiction. In the realm of ‘smart drugs’, prescription medications such as Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Adderall have previously been widely used and reported.

These three medications are basic psychostimulants utilized fundamentally to improve concentration and focus for those who suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and Attention deficit disorder. They provide tremendous value for certain patients, yet are not considered as the best all-around nootropic or smart drugs for improving cognition (for one because they are stimulants and not necessarily helping you heal or cure anything).

Modafinil a physician recommended drug used primarily to treat sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy, however, it continues to grow in popularity with sales figures now exploding primarily for off-label use such as cognitive enhancement1. It is a one of a kind drug that effectively functions to enhance a person’s wakefulness and belongs to a class of medications known as eugeroics.

Modafinil’s prevalence among nootropic users has earned it a spot in mainstream publications such as The Atlantic and Rolling Stone, CNN and ABC among others. Patients have reported that Modafinil not only gives them a feeling of mental alertness, but also enhances focus, motivation, and concentration. For some, efficiency increases, projects get completed start-to-finish, and remaining focused get’s much easier and starts to feel like the new norm. Almost sounds like a magical drug, we will explore its side effects and cost down the line below to provide a full picture of this drug:

  • It likely increases the user’s tolerance (an insensitivity to the medication) over time.
  • It can only be purchased with a prescription.
  • The costs of Modafinil, if not covered by insurance, can be over the top. For instance, the normal expense for a 30-day supply of generic Modafinil (30 pills) ranges between $550-$900.
  • Its potential negative effects which may exceed the benefits for a few clients, as it increases heart rate, anecdotal evidence points to getting agitated easily.

Because of these reasons, numerous smart drug clients choose to utilize a non-prescription based smart drug known as Adrafinil, which is the precursor to Modafinil.

What is Adrafinil?

smart pillsAdrafinil is a type of Nootropic drug that works very similarly to Modafinil. It works by boosting a person’s energy and promote mental alertness. As a matter of fact, many individuals use Adrafinil if their country does not legally approve the use of Modafinil. The reason behind this is that Adrafinil is legal in many places such as United States and has the ability to convert into Modafinil in the liver.

What are the benefits of Adrafinil?

It contains most of the benefits that Modafinil has and is primarily utilized as an energy-boosting and off-label Nootropic. It also has the ability to enhance cognitive performance and memory. Experts recommend to use Adrafinil on occasional basis in order to avoid the occurrence of side effects that may result following long-term use.

Noopept

Noopept is nootropic supplement that is used to enhance learning capacity, memory, and concentration. It is known to be one of the most effective of all Nootropic supplements available on the market today.

What are the benefits of Noopept?

This supplement provides numerous benefits that affect the synaptic activity of the brain. It works by stimulating the AMPA, Nicotinic, and NMDA receptor sites inside the brain. This leads to increased activity of certain neurotransmitters such as Acetylcholine, Glutamate, Serotonin, and Dopamine. All of these actions combined are the reasons for the wide range of health benefits of this Nootropic drug.

The best known benefit of using this drug is that it significantly increase working memory and memory consolidation. Other benefits of Noopept include improved reflexes, enhanced learning ability, improved mood, enhanced sensory perception, reduced anxiety, better overall mental performance, and improved thinking. You can compare it modafinil vs noopept here.

Choline

Choline is a substance that can be found in small amounts in various types of food products that we consume every day such as eggs. Choline functions as a direct precursor for the production of acetylcholine and it ensures that our body has adequate amounts of it.

What are the benefits of Choline?

Studies indicate that choline could enhance the effects of nootropic drugs, think of it a compound that strengthens the connections between neurons in the brain. Headaches are reported as the common side effect following the intake of nootropic drugs such as noopept or a racetam and consuming adequate amounts of Choline could relieve headaches. There are different supplements for choline such as: Choline Bitartrate, Alpha GPC, and Citi Choline.

Pramiracetam

A compound similar to Piracetam but considered much more potent. It works by binding to Acetylcholine receptor sites and then blocking their desensitization in order to increase the action potential of the neurons. Since it is very similar to the other Racetams, these comparisons may be worth looking at: Pramiracetam vs Piracetam, Pramiracetam versus Phenylpiracetam, and Pramiracetam vs. Oxiracetam. Some of its known benefits include enhancing learning capacity, increasing memory, focus, attention span, and concentration, and improving overall brain energy. Taking pramiracetam powder produces very little effects on anxiety and mood levels.

The Best Cognitive Enhancer or Smart Drug?

best smart drugsThese smart drugs are the most popular because of the fact that their advantages are easy to notice, some are very accessible in terms of price and availability. Each individual’s neurochemistry is distinctive, medicines and supplements may influence every individual in different way.

Among these five most well-known smart drugs, Piracetam is the oldest and safest and is the most well known cognitive booster. Numerous individuals start off with a Piracetam only stack and continue using it, failing to veer away. Others may add Citicoline or Alpha-GPC for synergistic reasons. It may be a slight process of trial-and-error or “biohacking” to determine the perfect dose and supplement/drug that works best for you, and remember to always consult with a professional before starting.

References:
¹ https://www.drugs.com/stats/provigil

What Does Modafinil Cost? Non-Generic vs. Generic

modafinil costModafinil may be bought under the brand name Alertec in Canada, Provigil in the United Kingdom and United States, and Modvigil in Australia. It is one of the most well-known smart drugs used by individuals for its functions to not only improve cognitive function but also as a motivation enhancer and a “fatigue-buster”.

Many studies are available to prove Modafinil’s effectiveness. However, despite of its effectiveness and numerous benefits it provides for off-label use, Modafinil is not widely used. Each individual pill may cost as high as 50 dollars USD without insurance for 200mg pills.

What is the retail price of Modafinil?

Since the late 1990s, Modafinil has been patented by the French pharmaceutical giant named Cephalon, formerly known as Lafon. Because of the lack of generic alternatives, the cost of Modafinil has been kept high and is one of the most expensive drugs available in the market today. When the patent of Cephalon was about to expire, the court was used effectively by the company to stop the production of generic Modafinil for another 4 years. Nowadays many brands are available but generally the price remained high, although there are cheaper alternatives as the market continues to mature.

How much does Provigil Cost?

In the United States, Provigil is known as the non-generic form of Modafinil. Medical professionals themselves believe that the cost of Provigil may be too expensive for most people, regardless of if they are covered by insurance or not. Since the availability of generic brands of Modafinil, many health experts continue to provide the original branded version or the newer form of Modafinil known as Armodafinil, thus the cost for people with genuine conditions such as narcolepsy continue paying the high cost associated with their condition. If your healthcare provider prescribes you branded Modafinil, it is in your discretion to request the generic form of the medication.

The cost of Modafinil depends on the seller; prices vary greatly from one pharmacy to the other. For individuals who are on a tight budget, contacting different pharmacies for the best price will be very beneficial.

Listed below are the prices for Provigil at 5 national pharmacies of the United States as of October 2013:

  • Rite Aid: 100 mg: $826.19; 200 mg: $1,223.99
  • Costco: 100 mg: $879.00; 200 mg: $1,264.14
  • CVS: 100 mg: $867.99; 200 mg: $1,299.99
  • Walgreens: 100 mg: $971.99; 200 mg: $1,338.09
  • WalMart: 100 mg: $987.46; 200 mg: $1,490.84

Based on the above prices, the best way for you to save is to buy the 200mg tablets and then administer them in two equal halves to make 100 mg pills at a price that is 25 percent lower. In the United States, insurance companies will not pay the cost of a non-generic medication, and you may need to pay a high deductable from your own pocket until insurance coverage sets in.

How much does Generic Modafinil cost?

Even though the Provigil formula was not released, the primary ingredient is Modafinil and as long as you administer the same dosage, you would still achieve the same effects. The generic drug will always be called Modafinil and it should be available at drug stores that carry the brand name drug.

  • Rite Aid: 100 mg: $543.99; 200 mg: $850.84
  • Costco: 100 mg: $374.00; 200 mg: $469.23
  • CVS: 100 mg: $549.99; 200 mg: $829.99
  • Walgreens: 100 mg: $589.99; 200 mg: $880.09
  • WalMart: 100 mg: $553.32; 200 mg: $799.62

The Rite Aid costs that are written here incorporate their “membership” reserve funds and you need to present their membership card to get the rate. Costco offers a fair rate and by no means is it the best rate, you save approximately $150 to $200 for 30 pills per month, not a small amount but not less than the other stores. Of course this too takes into account that you have a Costco membership.

Another alternative is to buy Modafinil from online drug stores based outside the US. A starting point for Modafinil online is Indian pharmacies, where you can purchase 200mg Modafinil pills for as low as $2 each. Notwithstanding, this is an unsafe recommendation as there are less quality controls set up and you are taking a chance when ordering from fly-by-night operations.

Another thing to worry about is that the US Customs will defer or grab your shipment if they realize your package has controlled substances, especially if it is coming from a foreign country. Additionally, if you are located in certain Nordic countries or Canada, you can be sure you will not get your shipment because of customs being much more strict. Sometimes you may just need to prove that you were prescribed the drug you are ordering and in that case you may request the online pharmacy to provide it, but this too is harder than it sounds as most won’t provide any documentation. This is why we point people to alternatives, see Modafinil vs Adrafinil.

Is it possible to get Modafinil without a prescription?

generic modafinil costModafinil is a prescription medication and is not accessible, lawfully, without a prescription especially if you reside in a Western country. There is a non-prescription precursor as mentioned above called Adrafinil which may be your best bet. Adrafinil is sold online in both pill form and powder form which is much cheaper. As a precursor, Adrafinil is metabolized in the liver before turning into Modafinil.

Adrafinil cost comes to under fifty-cents per dosage. This makes it a great deal less costly than Modafinil, however a higher dose is needed to get the same results.  Adrafinil is a feasible non-prescription alternative to Modafinil and since it must be converted by the liver, persistent use can harm or irritate the liver. This danger is like if you somehow managed to utilize an excess of Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Adrafinil thus should not be used for long stretches but “cycled” and used when really needed, additionally you may add milk thistle to your stack to try to keep your liver enzymes at healthy levels.

In Summary…

Modafinil can be costly if buying in branded forms, unless one has insurance that will cover it. Generic Modafinil too can be pretty expensive, based on the prices listed above. It is wise to get in touch with your insurance provider to figure out if they offer some sort of pricing plan for the brand name Provigil or for generic Modafinil. The two other alternatives that really exist for someone that can’t afford either is buying it online and taking a risk with the quality, not having it shipped at all, or it being seized at customs.

In which case ordering the alternative Adrafinil from within the United States would be your best bet. Please keep in mind, we are not endorsing circumventing any law that is put in place to keep you safe, we are merely pointing out the obvious, that alternatives exist, and if you do need it and have been diagnosed with a condition that requires it, there may be a way! Stay safe and always consult with a professional.

Potential Nootropic Side Effects: Dangers and Safety Tips

nootropic side effectsNootropics, also known as cognitive enhancers are a supplement class widely recognized for enhancing focus, brain power and memory. Not too many people know of all the qualifications for a drug to be called Nootropic. One such lesser known qualification is that a drug should be considered very safe to use and should be non-toxic for human brain to be deemed as a Nootropic. Without knowing this many people worry about using cognitive enhancers.

Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea’s original standards for nootropics states that Nootropics must actually promote and guard brain health. Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea is the founder of founder of a family of Nootropics. For the reason mentioned above, numerous smart drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin failed to reach the standards and wouldn’t qualify.

Supplements such as: Piracetam, Noopept, Aniracetam, CDP Choline and many more qualify as Nootropic drugs, many studies have been conducted (perhaps some only in Europe and the former Soviet Union) to make sure they are relatively safe for consumption and have a low adverse side effects in humans.

Nootropics Overview

While there are many nutritional supplements available in market today, nootropics have proven as the safest of all–perhaps by definition. The Neuroprotective properties in Nootropics might delay the symptoms of aging on brain and stop cognitive decline among senior citizens. Many of Nootropics offer anti-oxidant effects while they also help preserve the structures that are in the brain cells.

It is observed that some Nootropics may help increase NGF and boost Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor levels and support the growth of the new neurons and connections between them. Nootropics are currently being used for clinical researches for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s along with many other medical conditions. It is also observed that most of these Nootropics don’t have any known complications or drug interactions with the current health conditions of the patients.

The signs of rising tolerance among the patients who were using Nootropics are not observed and also getting addicted to Nootropics in the long term does not seem too risky, unless if you are considering things like Picamilon a healthy nootropic to take daily. Although using Nootropics is considered to be safe, it is advised to consult a medical professional before using them. Make sure you go in with a detailed stats report (printed from our site) especially if you want to supplement nootropics like Piracetam and other’s that are not actively prescribed especially in North America. In Europe you be okay as you can request the branded version of these “supplements” which are considered drugs, e.g. Piracetam is sold under the trademark “Nootropil”.

Nootropics are widely used for their ability in improving cognition and for its promise to a very small risk of the side effects; the popularity of Nootropics is expected to rise in the next ten years (don’t believe us? just check Google Trends). If you have decided to use Nootropics, it is an advisable idea to get yourself familiarize with few of the mild side effects and possible experiences. The side effects of Nootropics are rare and generally occur when the doses you are consuming are higher than normal or when you’re initially adjusting to the supplement. In such cases, few of the probable adverse side effects include Fatigue, Insomnia, Anxiety, Headaches and GI tract issues. Sign up to TrackMyStack to monitor the effects of each individual supplement you decide to add to your stack to monitor changes, for better or for worse.

Nootropics & Headaches

are nootropics safeHeadaches are a generally reported side effects in the patients who consuming Nootropics (Mainly Racetams, such as Piracetam). When using Nootropics, your brain processes information faster than usual and demands extra Acetylcholine than usual, thus giving you a headache.

This causes Acetylcholine receptor sites to start “burning” out. It’s observed that this kind of synaptic overdrive could lead to headaches. Luckily enough, the headaches caused by this situation can be easily acted upon. Adding a quality dose of Choline (Alpha GPC is the best choice among many) to your stack will counteract the headaches. Choline acts like precursor to acetylcholine and helps to safely raise its supply. Choline helps satisfy brain’s need for Acetylcholine and gives relief from the headaches.

Nootropics & Fatigue/Insomnia

dangerous nootropic side effectsMost Nootropics are generally capable of boosting energy levels along with increasing alertness but sometimes this may lead to two conflicting side effects: Insomnia and Fatigue. Awake, yet tired.

In situations like these where Nootropics are taken near bedtime, Insomnia is observed as the mind is active and thus fails to fall asleep. Once you sleep, you may end up waking up looking tired as you may sense that you aren’t sleeping well. So, it is important to watch the time when the dose is being taken. It is the same reason we don’t advise anyone take things like coffee or Adrafinil past 2PM. Based on anecdotal evidence, you may get sleep but it may feel like the equivalent of “passing out”, additionally, you may sleep for a few hours less, thus you may not get the restful sleep you may need to recover completely. Sleep by far- outperforms any nootropic in terms of improving cognition.

Some Nootropics however may work better in promoting sleep, such as: melatonin (1g cycled weekly, it is a helpful hormone for the body as well, and is not just for sleep, go for a slow and fast release version), L-Theanine and Inositol are some of the supplements that promote healthy restful sleep. If you need to “come down” from your stimulating nootropic high, consider tea such as Chamomile and Magnesium (not necessarily nootropic–though it can be if L-Threonate is used, but promotes relaxation and is lacking in most diets and thus useful for your whole body as well).

Fatigue occurs when one takes an excessive dose of alertness prompting Nootropics and then starts to burn out.  The best solution to this may be to reduce the dose or spreading it out over a few administrations in a day. If Fatigue persists, you should consider pausing the use of your supplement for a week or consider moving to another Nootropic altogether. You need to be always managing your risk vs reward, when it comes to any supplement or drug.

Nootropics & GI Tract Issues

Generally, when an excessive dosage is consumed, your intestinal system can experience difficulty. In such situations, the body might perceive it as risk and simply remove the unnecessary material. This removal may lead to irritation and may lead to diarrhea, nausea or pain and uneasiness in the GI tract and stomach.

Decreasing the dose you’ve been consuming can be a simple cure for side effect involving GI tract. Using the recommended level of the dose is always suggested. When the remedy for GI tract side effect doesn’t work then it is recommended not to use the supplements for a while until the side effect resolve — or if it’s urgent, consult a physician. Another solution to GI tract related side effects is to take an extra concentrated Nootropic such as Noopept which only requires small dose and therefore your gastro intestinal system will not require much processing.

Other Possible Nootropic Side Effects:

Every Nootropic supplement contains its own unique way of functioning and hence may cause it’s distinctive side effect. Whichever the supplement you use, take a look at the safety profile and learn about the risk of side effects it may cause. Apart from the major side effects discussed above, additional side effects you may observe from the Nootropic supplements are restlessness, anxiety, depression, mood disorders and nervousness.

Although side effects are listed, the possibility of occurrence of these side effects could be rare. Additionally some nootropics may also cause skin irritation, rashes, lightheadedness and high blood pressure. These side effects are usually associated with consuming Nootropics in excessively high dosages.

Side effects usually occur in a very small percentage of the total users while the majority users might never experience anything, everyone’s biology and body works differently. If you feel like something is not right, stop consumption and seek a health professional. When recommended guidelines are not followed or combining different supplements it may lead to the additional side effects aforementioned. If you follow the guidelines and recommended dose, Nootropics offer plenty of advantages with a very low threat of side effects.

Choline and Inositol Supplement Review

choline & inositolInositol and Choline supplements are usually packed together for a very good reason. These important brain supplements work in harmony to promote better cognitive function and healthier brain cells.

Once upon a time Inositol was known as a B-Vitamin, specifically Vitamin B8. Nowadays, this nutrient is no longer considered as a vitamin. Choline on the other hand is considered a vitamin and is one of the few substances that can freely pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB).

Even though these two supplements are not known to be the most powerful brain mental boosters, both are needed to improve cognitive processes related to learning, memory, energy levels, and mood. What benefits does Inositol and Choline provide, how do they work together and what is the proper way to utilize them, we discuss it below.

What is Inositol?choline inositol supplements

Inositol is a mood-enhancing nutrient believed to work particularly well in women who suffer from anxiety or post-menstrual syndrome (PMS). After it was discovered that the body has the ability to make its own inositol, this nutrient was removed from the vitamin category. Inositol is available as a natural supplement that may be just as effective than other some prescribed medications in treating various mental health conditions we discuss below and mention why.

What are the benefits of Inositol?

  • Treats Anxiety: Inositol can affect the action of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a compound present in blood platelets and serum that constricts the blood vessels. Occurrence of depression and anxiety are thought to be related to decreased levels of serotonin in our body. The Ministry of Mental Health at Ben Gurion University published the “Journal of Clinical Psychology” last 1995 after conducting a double-blind study. It was shown that conditions like anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were effectively treated by the use of inositol. Additionally, inositol plays a role in nerve transmission, proper cell formation, and transportation of body fat.
  • Treats Depression: As mentioned earlier, low levels of serotonin are thought to be a major contributing cause of depression. Inositol is a common supplement used in treating depressive symptoms since it helps in manufacturing serotonin. However, unlike choline, inositol is not thought to be an essential nutrient. There’s not enough research to support inositol’s effectiveness in treating depression.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels: By breaking down the fatty deposits, Lecithin could prevent the build-up of fats in the walls of the heart, arteries and brain. As a result, it lowers your cholesterol level, and lessens the fat in your arteries. The fun fact is, when taking inositol combined with choline, lecithin can be produced in your body.
  • Help babies with respiratory problems: In the late 90s, one study suggests that inositol helps new born babies with respiratory distress by reducing disability and death. This supplement has no known side effects and helps in lowering rates of death, brain bleeding, complications of the lungs, and even eye problems. However, it is important that if you are pregnant, you should first consult your physician before adding inositol to prenatal vitamin stack.
  • Helps diabetes sufferers: Inositol could not cure diabetes, however, with increased intake, it can ease the symptoms. Inositol supplements can help treat diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that occurs to people who have diabetes. Inositol has a positive impact on body cells. Since majority of the nerve functions are affected by the decrease of inositol in the cell, thus, increasing inositol intake could help relieve this condition.
  • Helps fight against cancer: Few studies in vitro suggests that inositol, when combined with phytic acid helps to fight against cancer.
  • Eases constipation: Inositol stimulates muscular contraction and eases pain of constipation. Excessive relaxation of the muscles in your intestines and alimentary canal are due to a decrease of inositol in your system which can lead to constipation. Inositol is likewise used in pregnant women during delivery to stimulate muscular contraction.
  • For sleep and insomnia: Inositol promotes peacefulness and calmness, which are essential in order to get a good sleep. Inositol is really helpful those who have troubles in going to sleep, since it helps to improve normal communication in the brain by releasing chemicals like serotonin.

What is Choline?

Choline is known as an important nutrient and is considered to be a member of the Vitamin B family. It can be naturally found inside our body and in various food products. This essential nutrient is produced in the liver; however, this amount is somewhat small and is not enough to promote and maintain good health.

Food products that are rich in Choline include egg yolks, liver, spinach, wheat germ, beans, nuts, and fish. Choline Bitartrate is the type of choline that can be usually bought in the supplement stores, but you can also purchase Choline Citrate as well.

Administering advanced versions of Choline known as CDP Choline (Citicoline) or Alpha GPC has been observed to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, liver dysfunctions and diseases, memory loss, dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Choline can also benefit athletes since it has the ability to effectively increase muscle bulk and delay the onset of fatigue. It is also used as an additive in infant formula to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects and could be related to increased IQ scores.

On the off chance that you would like to improve your brain power, Choline can be the best choice for you since it is a direct precursor of Acetylcholine, which one of the most important brain chemicals. This neurotransmitter plays an important role in numerous cognitive processes including learning, memory formation, decision making, focus, and many more.

Furthermore, Inositol and Choline supplements aid in the repair and development of worn-out and new cell membranes of neurons inside the brain. These substances also function to transport fats throughout the body, thus preventing the occurrence of fatty liver disease and make it easier to reduce weight.

Other benefits of Choline?

  • Treats Asthma: Studies show that taking choline could reduce the symptoms and the frequency of asthma in some individuals. Higher doses of Choline, which is 3 grams per day could be more effective than lower doses (1.5 grams per day).
  • Treats liver disease secondary to exclusive feeding or parenteral nutrition: Administering choline via intravenous route (by IV) has been proven by some studies to be effective in treating liver disease in individuals who have choline deficiency and are receiving parenteral nutrition.
  • Lowers the risk of neural tube defects: Some evidences show that women who have high intakes of choline in their diet during the time of conception appears to have lower risk of having infants with neural defects than those women who have low choline diet.

Stacking Inositol and Choline

choline and inositol stacksStacking means taking two supplements that provide synergistic effects by working in harmony with each other. Taking both Inositol and Choline appears to be more effective than taking it separately. Experts observe the complementary actions of these two supplements in different areas, especially in the production of lecithin inside the body. Lecithin is a type of lipid that plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of cell membrane in the entire body.

Utilizing Choline and Inositol could not only prevent premature cell death and improve the health of cell membranes, they could likewise enhance the ability of the cells to absorb nutrients. This leads to enhanced responsiveness of brain cells that results to improved cognitive function. A good comparison of the two can be seen here: Choline vs Inositol which can also help you find stacks that utilize these supplements, additionally if you go to the stacks page, you can enter both of these supplements and pull up a list of all stacks that contain these two supplements.

What are the side effects of Choline Inositol?

Inositol Choline is non-toxic and is not likely to produce any harmful effects. However, dosages beyond 500 mg per day may cause minimal side effects. These side effects include nausea, headaches, decreased appetite, body odor, dizziness, profuse sweating, and redness of the skin. In order to prevent these side effects from happening, it is advisable that you start at the lowest effective dose then gradually increase it once you have become familiar with its effects.

On the off chance that you have hypotension (low blood pressure) or any medical conditions, it is vital that you first consult your physician before deciding to take Choline Inositol.

Recommended dosage for Choline Inositol

The usual recommended dose for Inositol is 250 mg of Inositol and 250 mg of Choline Bitartrate. These dosages do not provide brain boosting benefits for the majority of people, but are appropriate for a daily multivitamin use.

The usual recommended dose for those who are suffering from anxiety is 1 gram of Inositol per day divided in two equal doses taken in the morning and a few hours before going to bed. For those who want to improve their memory, a dose of 2 grams of Choline per day is recommended, divided into two equal administrations, taken in the morning and evening.

Taking high doses could cost you a lot of money, especially with the brand name Choline Inositol sold at Walgreens, GNC, or Walmart. It is less expensive to purchase bulk Myo-Inositol powder and Choline powder separately and then mix them together in any dosage you prefer.

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-299-inositol.aspx?activeingredientid=299&activeingredientname=inositol
  2. http://vitguide.com/inositol-benefits/
  3. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=50
  4. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-436-choline.aspx?activeingredientid=436&