• FantomexFantomex February 2011
    I haven't seen a nootropic thread here which surprises me greatly.

    What does everyone here use, if anything? I'm probably going to try Piracetam soon, I plan on ordering some this weekend or next week at the latest.
  • DirectorXDirectorX February 2011
    I'm old school:
    Dexedrine + Phenylalanine + B vitamins

    Piracetam sounds cool.  Let me know if you like it.
  • FiredustFiredust February 2011
    I know very little about nootropics, could someone tell me what differences they noticed when using them?
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    Me? Expletive all. Piracetam for nearly six months now, with a choline precursor for at least two. It has put a fair dent in my alcohol tolerance (a known side effect, so I wasn't just sold flour). I'm going to get some Hydergine and try them in combination before I let my supply run out.
  • FiredustFiredust February 2011
    @Unqualified have you felt sharper at all? faster? had better memory?
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    Better memory? HAH! My memory's been like a... thing with holes, you know what I mean, use it to strain things... for years.
    (Yes, I'm joking. This time.)
    Sharper or faster? Not particularly, but then, I hadn't done much intellectually demanding for a couple of months before starting, so my baseline's a little funky. I also started from a point of grasping most things pretty quickly.
    If you've a little free time you can get a massive supply for pretty cheap, so it could be worth just trying it yourself to find out; order a bulk package, a capping machine and empty capsules, and make your own.
  • m1k3ym1k3y February 2011
    I'm going to the opposite way on this actually, going for supplements etc to maintain and preserve optimal brain function for the long haul, rather than trying to boost it in the short term.

    • Ginkgo & Brahmi
    • 4-6 Fish Tablets (omega 3)
    • B-Vitamins
    • General massive anti-oxidant tablet
    Plus, a litre of coffee in the morning and then about 10cups of green tea through out the day.

    I would love to try modafinil, but it's not easy to obtain here; also, I've heard some severe horror stories.
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011

    Can you tell me about these horror stories? I know there have been reports of DRESS and Steven Johnson's with modafinil but I was under the impression that this was relatively rare. They're rare enough for the drug to be approved for use in the air force as a go pill.

    I want to try modafinil (I'm known in my circle of friends for freqently going without sleep for long periods so my interest was instantly peaked when I learned about it) but I don't imagine being able to get a doctor to prescribe it. But, adrafinil is not scheduled in the US, it's a prodrug to modafinil. Has anyone tried it? If so what did it cost, modafinil is pretty expensive?
  • ianmathwiz7ianmathwiz7 February 2011
    I didn't know that omega-3, green tea, and B-vitamins counted as nootropics, so I guess those would be my list.

    I plan to take some of the other ones listed, as well.  Actually, I don't think that most nootropics have been actually demonstrated to work, so what I'll do when I start taking them is make a bunch of sugar pills or similar, so I have a control to work off of.  I'll make the placebos as much like the actual drug, so I can't tell the difference.  I'll have a third party randomly decide which ones I take first, and then I'll take the first one for thirty days, and the second one for thirty days, all the way taking tests to measure my cognitive capacity, as well as tracking several other variables.  I'll track the *rate* of improvement, not necessarily the actual capacity demonstrated to avoid biasing the results in favor of the second one I take, and then perform a statistical analysis on the data to determine if the actual drug is significantly better than the placebo.

    Obviously, there are limits to trying this out on only a single person, but it's a start.  Thoughts?
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011
    As far as piracetam goes, I don't know of any studies off hand that involve it's effect as a noot in healthy people who are using it purely for cognitive enhancement but there have been studies that demonstrate it's effectiveness in the treatment of things like alzheimers and closed cranial injury when it comes to improving the higher functions, including cognition. The idea behind alot of noots (but not all) is that you are providing your brain with the base materials that are required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin.

    "Piracetam was found to have positive therapeutic effects on impairments
    to higher mental (memory, attention, executive) and motor (coordination) functions and on measures of the speeds of cognitive and motor operations."

    "In conclusion, we did not find any strong evidence that a difference in
    efficacy exists between AChE-Is and nootropics in the treatment of
    Alzheimer's disease."

    Interesting stuff

    And please post the results of your experiment, I am interested.
  • IanIan February 2011
    @Fantomex:  I did know about the effects on Alzheimer's patients, and about the theory behind nootropics, but, as always, the bottom line is what the data say.

    I certainly will post the results.  Presumably, since this will take a minimum of two months, the publish page will be up by the time I write up the results, so I'll post it there.  If not, I'll probably post it on some open journal such as the Public Library of Science.  In either case, hopefully the paper will be "peer-reviewed" to satisfaction.  If my results turn up positive, it will hopefully spark other people to conduct similar experiments, and then we might get a better answer by means of meta-analysis.  Or they might decide to test other nootropics than the one I end up using, which is also a good thing.
  • m1k3ym1k3y February 2011
    @Fantomex - horror stories = complete psychotic breaks.  enough to warn me off it as a long term thing.  and yeah, I first heard about it being used in Iraq for helicopter pilots.  Back in the day they used to use speed, so this is 'better'.  WWII was basically fought on speed in a lot of places.  Yuk.

    re: Alzheimer's and such - a lot of the forums of stumbled on have been late Boomers swapping tips on using piracetam etc to fend it off.. and interesting, going on trips to Mexico to score GHB too.  Nasty stuff, but.. what have they got to loose??
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    @all: the mechanism behind Piracetam is currently unknown, but 90% of the other nootropics are just dietary supplements of neurotransmitters, rather than vitamins and minerals (the exceptions being things like hydergine and nasally-administered vasopressin...)

  • FiredustFiredust February 2011
    @Unqualified so my protein and amino acid shakes also help keep my brain up and running full speed?

    @m1k3y american pilots still fly on amphetamines today. If you need a man to keep going in the sky for 40 hours you really need to give them that extra boost

    Also i've heard that when you check animals for intelligence its not the brain size that matters; its the brain to body mass ratio. Does this mean that as a person gets more muscle bound and increases body mass their effective intelligence goes down? Logically it should but how often does logic work in the real world.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    @Firedust No, no; that's only a rough guide between species. Same way as size is a (very) rough indicator to lifespan within a class.
    And of course they do; the best thing you can do to boost brain function is sleep enough and get adequate nutrition.
  • OakOak February 2011
    I just discovered this forum today and enjoyed what I was reading, but I was worried that there wasn't any subject about which I could make useful contributions. I was wrong!

    I started taking prescription modafinil about six months ago when I was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia (summary: it's the opposite of insomnia.) This was on the heels of trying methylphenidate (Ritalin) without much success; modafinil proved to be a decent treatment immediately.

    Taking 200mg every morning, I right away noticed that I was far more able to stay awake than normal. Previously, it would take me at least thirty minutes of being out of bed to be in a state that I could call fully awake, but it is in less than five minutes anymore. In fact, since I began using it, I haven't fallen asleep during my classes a single time. This is remarkable given I would fall asleep while sitting up straight at work/in school, and almost a few times while driving. I became far more alert during the day, and while it didn't help me with improving my grades much (I get about as many B's as I do A's), it has definitely helped me with retaining information. I've even become able to drive for more than a ten mile stretch without fear of falling asleep. Additionally, it has allowed me to function normally on far less sleep than I used to require; where I used to need 10-12 hours of sleep to not be utterly drained for the day, I only need 8-9 anymore.

    I'd read that tolerance isn't an issue with modafinil, but I found about a month ago that I started to become tired during my afternoons and into the evening. This became progressively worse, until I recently visited with my doctor to receive an increase to 400mg a day (200mg in the morning, 200mg in the afternoon.) I have been taking this dose for approximately a week and a half now, and I find that it has benefited me greatly. I can remain active until I choose to go to sleep - though even still, I get tired in the evenings. I wonder if some of this is due to the decreased length of daylight during Winter, if it is due to my modified sleep schedule of only 8-9 hours, or if it is due to tolerance. Not easily determined.

    I know that this information is only moderately useful, given that I have a condition for which this is prescribed to counteract. It is difficult to assess which improvements I see are due to being at a normal state of wakefulness and which are due to the specific properties of the substance. I have taken it on a few occasions to remain awake through the night, one time managing to stay awake for 36 hours - something of a record for me. I have noticed an improvement in my ability to remember information, and it has definitely increased my ability to pay full attention to conversations and class lectures.

    Perhaps the one thing that I can readily extrapolate to someone without a sleeping disorder is that this drug has been well tolerated. I have not had many medications in the past, but I have found that modafinil has only ever really caused light nausea for brief periods of time, and that is an irregular occurrence. I have stopped for days without feeling any negative repercussions except an increase in tiredness, though even then, I haven't really experienced a full return of the original symptoms of my condition at any time since starting.

    I hope this was helpful and useful. I am more than happy to clarify anything and to answer questions about my experiences with modafinil.
  • OakOak February 2011
    That ended up being a lot longer than I'd intended. Sorry 'bout that.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    @Oak: don't worry - I think we've all done huge info-dumps on one topic or another by this point.(",) And thanks for the info: I've had a cursory look at modafinil before. If it improves memory, I'm going to have to seriously consider it.
    Does it just improve retention, or have you noticed it help with recall of pre-dosage memory?
  • MonochromeMonochrome February 2011
    I'm too on the Nootropics for quite some time and I must definitely say, that they work when taken correctly.
    I was on four of them the fourth and current one is Piracetam(4-5g per day), not the best thing but an economic one. I take it with choline source - a must when taking nootropics which is Lecithin(2g daily)
    Overally nootropics improve memory, thinking, concentration and few extra things specific to each type of them.
    Piracetam I think works quite equally on the memory, thinking, concentration and as bonus improves self-confidence, lowers tolerance on various drugs, and boosts their effects.
    Piracetam + Caffeine combo is a very nice thing.

    I've taken adrafinil, but I had only four tablets so I can't write detailed report, one pill - very little stimulation and effects, but again mixing it with caffeine helped a lot. Two pills and some caffeine made me through night with clear head and zero side effects tomorrow after 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • OakOak February 2011
    @Unqualified I haven't specifically noticed an improvement in my ability to recall pre-dosage memories. The one exception to that is my dream recall. I've always had good dream recall, but my ability to remember details of dreams (even those long past) has increased by a noticeable amount.

    As far as additional anecdotal evidence goes, I have given some to my boyfriend when he has been unable to get more than a couple hours of sleep before having to get up and go to work and classes, and he's found that 100mg keeps him from feeling fully awake until afternoon (so about 6-8 hours).

    My guess would be that modafinil may not be particularly useful at enhancing cognitive ability so much as effectively fighting off the symptoms of tiredness and fatigue. If one spends most of every day in a state of tiredness, it would certainly cause improvement in mental ability, though I doubt it would push a person at his or her maximum cognitive potential.

    Which is to say, I'm not sure if modafinil is a true nootropic.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    Maybe not a nootropic, but definitely a cognitive enhancer (see comment above about enough sleep and proper nutrition). Absent shifting to a biphasic sleep pattern, it sounds pretty good.
    I thought it wouldn't help recall, but thought it was worth checking.
  • OakOak February 2011
    @Fantomex It may not be as difficult to be prescribed modafinil as you think. Depending on your doctor's openness to trying different drugs, if you have been or could be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, you could receive modafinil as an alternative to methylphenidate and amphetamines. It is being prescribed offlabel for the condition relatively often.

    The real issue is paying for it; if you live in a country without universal healthcare, insurance companies frequently deny modafinil prescriptions due to its prohibitive costs (around $300 or so per month for daily 100mg doses.) I believe that adrafinil is prescribed as Nuvigil and comes with a lower price tag, so that is potentially worth considering.
  • OakOak February 2011
    Edit: Sorry, accidental repost.
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011
    Thanks for the info, I'll keep that in mind in the future. Even so, I doubt I'll be able to get it, I'm a student and my student health insurance only covers the on campus clinic (unless there's an emergency, or something like that) and, while I have no hard evidence of this, they're probably more skeptical of people coming in claiming they have ADD, as a result I doubt they are as willing to perscribe any ADD drugs (except perhaps
    those new ones that are supposedly useless as cognitive enhancers). Regardless though, price.

    But, yeah, definitely going to try adrafinil at some point, it's on my list (yes, I have a list). I also put off buying the piracetam, going to spend that money on some st. john's wort instead (I suspect I have atypical depression or some form of mild depressive disorder). I'll get it when I'm in a better place, mentally.

    Edit: I just did some googling out of curiosity and apparently there's at least one study which noted "significant" improvement in patients with atypical depression who were treated with modafinil. *score* Going to do more research but if I find more along this vein then I'll get adrafinil soon and kill two birds with one stone.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    @Fantomex: I just put in an order with qhi.co.uk, who sell modafinil and adrafinil - like I said, just put it in, so I can't testify as to their reliability yet. It's expensive, but there'd be minimal lying to doctors needed.
    And if you're buying piracetam, buy the powder and cap it yourself; it works out much, much, MUCH cheaper.
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011
    I was wondering, with the powder, do I need to cap it? Could I just, like mix it in to like a bottle of water or something? I think I read that it doesn't smell very good (so probably doesn't taste good) but I could add it to a coke or something to hide the taste. My question is, is there a medical difference by taking it in a pill form rather than straight powder? I don't know, it just seems it would be easier.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    It tastes REALLY awful. Plus, caps mean measured doses.
  • OakOak February 2011
    @Fantomex To my knowledge, the only difference between adding a powder to a liquid and putting it in a cap would be the time from ingestion to absorption (the capsule taking longer due to having to be dissolved by your digestive system before the powder would be released.) Even then, the difference in times would be thirty minutes at most, but more likely fifteen.
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011
    Was looking at qhi.co.uk it looks good, generally I think these online pharm dealies have a very sketchy feel, this less so. But, $60 minimum order... damn. When you get your stuff please post your results, if it's worth while I might suck it up. I might have a job lined up so it might not be so bad, but still, damn you minimum orders...

    Has anyone had any dealing or problems with customs? Ardafinil is legal in the US but that doesn't mean that they won't confiscate my stuff, if it turns out I'm going to have to go through the bureaucratic circus to get my stuff I'd sooner just not even bother.
  • OakOak February 2011
    @Fantomex I would imagine that purchasing scheduled substances might cause tricky problems with customs, or substances that are directly related to drugs of abuse, but adrafinil appears to be completely unregulated in the United States. While it could potentially be an issue if you had a package with labeling clearly indicating that it contains psychoactives, I'm reasonably certain that any online company that sells pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical alternatives would have very discreet packaging.

    I've known people who have purchased more questionable substances online from companies in other countries and haven't once encountered a single issue. In any case, I'm sure we can wait for Unqualified's results to see how [it goes] specifically with qhi.co.uk.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    I've received a kilo of anonymous white powder (bulk piracetam) posted to me labeled "commercial sample"... It did cross US Customs the easy direction, though.
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011
    The easy direction?
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified February 2011
    Outwards. (",)
  • mydnightmydnight February 2011
    Does anyone know how to determine the proper doses of piracetam and aniracetam? I tried taking it about a year ago for a month or two, without noticing any improvement; however, I've also heard that there's a fairly small "peak" level, and if you exceed that it can actually make things worse. I was also taking 200 mg/day of DMAE as an acetylcholine precursor.
  • FantomexFantomex February 2011
    As far as doses go, I'd say try 2000-3000 mg (at least) / day. I've read that people have also take uber doses (>10000) and supposedly noticed significant improvement, I don't know, it's hard to tell how much of any of this is real improvement and what is the placebo effect. Piracetam works but I think people really underestimate the effect of a placebo, there have been studies show the crazy potential of placebos.
  • IanIan February 2011
    @Fantomex:  Yes, the reason for the test I just proposed was to control for the placebo effect.  Once I get something to test, we'll see how it works.
  • RhiesaRhiesa February 2011
    The ideal dosage for aniracetam begins at 750mg, take this two hours after a meal. It's halflife is 2 hours so you will need to take it 4 times throughout the day for ideal effects. Reduce it as you experience brain fog.

    Piracetam dosage at a minimum of 1200, ideally 2400mg. Take this at least twice a day initially.

    Oxiracetam has a pretty stimulating effect to it that is obvious two hours after an attack dose.

    I hear pramiracetam has an even more powerful nootropic effect than the other racetams but I have no first hand experience with it.

    Piracetam has an extremely subtle benefit that you will probably not notice. Before you start a regimen of piracetam you should have a complete panel of cognitive tests done and after a six week titration to your ideal dose take another panel for comparison. In general your scores will be moderately higher than before. That is the benefit of nootropics, it isn't a drug, it's a supplement that increases your natural abilities without stressing your system.

    You could take adrafinil or modafinil, adderal or rittalin and have increased attention and memory but doing so is not sustainable. It's the difference between taking creatine for a gradual 10% increase in strength or doing a line of cocaine. 

    If it's seen as supplemental to a healthy diet and not as a drug for immediate benefits I would argue that there is still significant incentive to take it as a preventative measure for cognitive decline with age.
  • HighCatHighCat February 2011
    Hi guys!
    (First of all, sorry for my English. Any corrections appreciated.)

    I'm into nootropics for ~1.5 years, gradually improving my cognitive potential,
    but not through only nootropics though.
    So about medicine and other stuff I've tried (ascending from light to heavy):
    1. Common green tea + black chocolate - often use this for better concentration.
    2. Piracetam - didn't do the trick for me
    3. Picamilon - cheap and effective (and popular in Russia) nootropic, helped me to regain me clear mind several times. It's fast, but the effect is not too long
    4. Melatonin - in my rare incidents of insomnia works perfect.
    5. Phenotropil (Carphedon, Phenylpiracetam) - developed by Russians derivative of piracetam, rather expensive - for me gives effect of removing tiredness, raises mood and (i belive) cognitive functions, but also physical endurance and strength. Like it a lot, but it gives too much physical instead of mental effect.
    6. Modafinil - tried and liked, but more like 1-time drug. No side effects for me, if not mixing with caffeine. 100mg in the morning - usually takes away sleepness enough. Gives excitation, desire to communicate, raises mood - if taken in 200-300mg dosage. I don't think it's reducing total sleep time dramatically, when I'm taking it permanently. Just taking away excessive sleepness. Got consequences few times - exhaustion after 2-3 days of reducing of sleeptime with modafinil. So not considering it nootropic, much more like stimulant.

    A trick I often use - take half-dose of Phenotropil (or of Picamilon, I think any other effective nootropic would work) just before sleep. It gives assurance that I won't sleep away my time. It makes my internal clock work fine, even it's only few hours left. Or It can just reduce sleep time, if not setting up an alarm.

    Also I'm taking vitamins, Ginkgo (course of 3-4 months) and other minor stuff, which's not getting you fast determined effect.
  • This just popped up on our wiki too; I'd like to address my concerns here.

    I'm all about nootropics (I've had a regimen since 2008) but I feel this discussion is best kept to those resources already established like the Longecity forum. Most people who take a nootropic drug regimen wouldn't do what we're doing or intend to do to our bodies. @Jack and I started biohack.me because grinding, as a movement, stood independently from the DIYbio, biopunk, and immortalist communities. 

    We still have a responsibility to prove we're not another silo. Threads that aren't grinder-specific are counter-productive to that aim.
  • IanIan March 2011
    I'm actually inclined to agree with @SovereignBleak on this one.  I don't have a problem with it being on the wiki (though I think it would be better if the wiki entry simply linked to the forum just described), but I think that, while grinders share much in common with DIYbio, they also are very different, in that they are willing to extend the hacker ethic to their own bodies.

    That's actually the reason I initially objected to the name "biohack.me."  I don't mind it, but I still think it would be better if we made it more obvious that we're different from your average biohacker.  This wouldn't be a problem if the people in the DIYbio groups realised that we're about networks rather than hierarchy, but, since they don't (well, they do to some extent), we do have a responsibility to demonstrate that we're more than just your average, everyday biohacker.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified March 2011
    I like "biohack.me," but that's 'cos I read the TLD as part of the site name. ",)
    The topic started because Fantomex asked what people used, which is the kind of "around the topic" discussion that makes communities communities, rather than working groups.
    Keeping it off the wiki makes perfect sense, though I would campaign for a short "resource page" or similar, linking to more authoritative sources and/or on-topic communities.
  • E0NE0N May 2011

    Hi guys.  I need to order some more because I ran out and haven't been rolling in money lately  :P  but what I usually take is Piracetam.  I started small with it and built up to megadoses, I guess you could say.  Even then I haven't been able to tell if the effect, which seemed mostly mood enhancing, was just in my mind or actually happening.  I tried Hydergine as a booster for a short time -- it seemed to make me angry.

    Incidentally I've read anecdotally that Piracetam has some effect in "treating" people with Aspergers/ASD -- I mention that because I'm one, so maybe the effects are different.

    I'd like to try Modafinil, but I think it might be a hassle for me for my job situation for the next two years or so.


  • ThomasEgiThomasEgi May 2011
    "Incidentally I've read anecdotally that Piracetam has some effect in "treating" people with Aspergers"

    greetings from my end, i doubt a chemical can fix the way someones perception of reality. might be good to fix stuff such as bad concentration or so, but that is something i can live with.
  • E0NE0N May 2011
    I mostly mention it because I have Aspergers and I noticed (if I didn't imagine it) that taking Piracetam made me feel happier.  That's not what most people say it does.
  • SpyralSpyral October 2011
    Might try Ephendrine myself.
  • JackthetripperJackthetripper October 2011
    I'd highly recommend getting some basic vitamins from a health store. I've just started taking B multivitamins and I've honestly haven't felt this rested yet full of energy. It's like a coffee mind boost without the jittery effects. For some reason people always over look basic vitamins as nootropics. 
  • OakOak October 2011
    I thought that vitamins typically don't have a major impact on cognitive function unless there is a deficiency or disorder that is being corrected.
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2012
    I just bought my first order of piracetam and have been using it for a few days now. Not much to report yet.

    What I really want to try is this:
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified January 2012
    No effect for the first while is standard.
    What attack dosage are you on?
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2012
    I've read so many different dosage recommendations that I'm really not sure what to take. I have been taking about 1 gram each morning w/DMAE. Today I started taking another gram at lunch.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified January 2012
    I found the rule with piracetam to be: start high, then drop down. I've attack-dosed a couple of times (stopped taking Piracetam for a few months, then started again) and I was on 4 to 6 grams a day for about a month to start with, then halved the attack dose for maintenance. You're entirely right about there being too much noise out there about dosage levels, but most reputable sources I came across recommended attack dosing to start, right back to Mondo 2000. Is current advice different?

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