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.


  • I'm old school:
    Dexedrine + Phenylalanine + B vitamins

    Piracetam sounds cool.  Let me know if you like it.
  • I know very little about nootropics, could someone tell me what differences they noticed when using them?
  • 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.
  • @Unqualified have you felt sharper at all? faster? had better memory?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • @m1k3y

    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?
  • 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?
  • edited 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.
  • @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.
  • @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??
  • @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...)

  • @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.
  • @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
    edited 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.
  • That ended up being a lot longer than I'd intended. Sorry 'bout that.
  • @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?
  • 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
    edited 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.
  • 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
    edited 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
    edited February 2011
    Edit: Sorry, accidental repost.
  • edited 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.
  • @Fantomex: I just put in an order with, 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.
  • @Unqualified
    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.
  • It tastes REALLY awful. Plus, caps mean measured doses.
  • OakOak
    edited 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.
  • @Unqualified
    Was looking at 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
    edited 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
  • 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.
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