Nootropics are rapidly gaining popularity, particularly amongst students studying for exams and who subsequently need to concentrate on complex coursework and exam revision. Drugs that fall under the nootropic category all have one thing in common: they are understood to temporarily boost cognitive function, improving memory, recall, creativity, and motivation.

Nootropics are sometimes referred to as ‘smart drugs’ as they are widely believed to improve a variety of mental functions and enhance some neurological processes.

The term ‘nootropics’ is derived from Greek words for ‘mind’ and ‘turning’, and loosely translates to ‘shaping the mind’ or ‘bending the mind’ in the English language.

How Nootropics Work

There is no one single way that all nootropics behave and interact with the body to generate the cognitive boosting effects. In fact, there are three ways these drugs work:

  1. Improved blood flow

Some types of nootropic work to increase blood flow around the body, sending more blood to the part of the brain that’s responsible for keeping people awake and alert.

  1. Behaviour control

Some types of nootropic work by stimulating production of a chemical called norepinephrine, which helps the brain retain greater control over physical behaviours.

  1. Body/brain communications

Some types of nootropic work to increase concentrations of an essential substance – dopamine – which is needed to facilitate communications between body and brain.

Some people will notice a temporary change in their concentration and motivation when taking these drugs. Some possible nootropics benefits that can be seen are:

  • Nootropics for energy: Some people feel more energized, which comes from the brain being more awake and alert. It may help students stay up later to study for example when cramming for final exams or upcoming tests.
  • Nootropics for motivation: Some people feel more motivated on nootropics which comes from the brain being more able to concentrate on a given task.
  • Nootropics for weight loss: Some people may lose weight on nootropics. This may be from greater motivation to eat healthier, or through appetite suppression which then leads to weight loss.

Buying Nootropics

In many parts of the world, it is possible to buy nootropics online. While most drugs that come under the nootropics category are available only on prescription when used as a medicine to treat an illness, many can be purchased legally without a prescription as research compounds. Of course, you should always check to see if a prescription is required in your country before you go ahead and order online in order to be sure you aren’t breaking any laws in your country of residence.

Some popular nootropics that can be purchased online in many places include:

  • Modafinil: A medicine used to treat narcolepsy that may help regulate the sleep/wake cycle and help you feel alert during the day. Modafinil is an active ingredient sold under brand names Artvigil, Modalert, Modvigil, and Waklert.
  • Atomoxetine: A medicine used to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly in children. Atomoxetine can help the brain to concentrate more on a specific task and focus more closely on a single activity.
  • Piracetam: A medicine used to manage seizure disorders. This drug boasts anticonvulsant properties, reducing involuntary movements by allowing the brain to maintain control over the body. It is sold under the brand name Nootropil.

Depending on the active ingredient, nootropics are typically available in tablet form in strengths varying between 25mg and 1200mg. It is always best to follow the dosing recommendations in the patient information leaflet provided with the tablets. Never be tempted to take more than the recommended dose in order to ‘boost’ the effectiveness or impact of the tablet.