Summary

Noopept is a powerful synthetic nootropic with proven cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective properties.

Its effects and mechanisms of action are similar to those of piracetam, but Noopept is much stronger,‍[1] so it takes a lot less to create a comparable effect; the standard dose of Noopept is just 20 mg, while the standard dose of piracetam is 1200-4800 mg.

Noopept also appears to work faster and last longer than piracetam,‍[2] and may have fewer undesirable psychostimulatory effects.‍[3]

Noopept was developed in Russia in the mid-1990s and continues to be used there as a prescription treatment for a variety of cognitive disorders, including traumatic brain injury, cerebral vascular insufficiency, and age-related cognitive decline.‍[4]

Though Noopept is very similar to piracetam and often grouped together with it, Noopept has a different chemical structure and is not technically a racetam. Like piracetam, Noopept enhances cognition, provides significant neuroprotection, and has both psychostimulant and anti-anxiety properties. The biggest differences between the two are relative strength and speed of action; Noopept is approximately 1,000 times more potent than piracetam,‍[5] and it is absorbed more rapidly.

Many users say they can feel the effects of Noopept within an hour of ingestion.‍[6]‍[7]

Noopept is unregulated in both the US and Canada.

Benefits and Effects

Memory and Learning

Noopept was developed as a treatment for cognitive impairment, and it is best known as a brain booster and memory enhancer.

Like piracetam, Noopept assists with memory formation, but with additional benefits including enhanced memory consolidation and retrieval.‍[8]

According to Russian pharmaceutical product information, Noopept improves learning ability and memory by acting on all phases of processing, from initial information processing to consolidation and extraction.‍[9]

Most research on Noopept’s effects on memory has been done on models of cognitive decline or brain damage, and it has been used successfully in Russia to treat a variety of cognitive impairments, including stroke,‍[10] organic brain disease, age-related neurodegeneration, and alcohol-related brain damage.‍[11]

At present, there are no documented studies on Noopept’s cognitive enhancing effects on healthy humans, but anecdotal reports from users taking Noopept for its nootropic effects are positive.‍[12]‍[13]‍[14]‍[15]‍[16]

Some users also report improved sensory perception, including enhanced vision and hearing.‍[17]‍[18]‍[19]

Increased Levels of NGF and BDNF

In animal studies, Noopept has been shown to stimulate the expression of two important cognition-related chemicals, Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).‍[20]

NGF is a unique protein that is crucial to the growth, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells, including brain cells. NGF is a key component in neurogenesis, or the body’s ability to create new nerve cells.

Neurogenesis is known to improve the performance of neural networks within the brain, and better brain structure is associated with enhanced performance in virtually all areas of cognition. Low levels of NGF are associated with a host of disorders, including dementia, Rett syndrome, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and bipolar disorder, as well as acute coronary and metabolic syndromes.‍[21]

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has a similar role to NGF but is primarily active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain, areas of the brain that are vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking.‍[22] BDNF is one of the most important molecules involved in memory, playing a vital role in both short-term and long-term memory formation.‍[23]

Neuroprotective Properties

Studies show that Noopept has powerful neuroprotective properties that help protect the brain from a variety of factors that impair cognition.

Noopept is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative damage from free radicals, incomplete molecules formed when the body is exposed to contaminants or stressors. Oxidative damage is closely associated with age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.‍[24]

Noopept is also an effective anti-inflammatory agent,‍[25] which may further protect and enhance cognition; systemic inflammation is associated with loss of spatial reasoning, short-term memory, verbal proficiency, verbal learning and memory, and executive function.

In addition, Noopept protects and promotes neurological health by improving blood flow to the brain and inhibiting neurotoxicity caused by excess calcium and glutamate. ‍[26]

Anxiety Reduction

There is evidence that Noopept may be able to reduce anxiety.

Animal studies suggest that subjects treated with Noopept appeared to have significantly lower anxiety levels,‍[27] and in a human study of patients with mild cognitive disorders, 10 mg of Noopept twice daily resulted in anxiety reduction.‍[28]

Self-reports from users vary on Noopept’s anxiolytic ability. Some users say they find it relieves anxiety, while others say Noopept actually makes them feel anxious.‍[29]

How It Works

Noopept is metabolized in the liver, rapidly absorbed by the digestive system, and readily crosses the blood-brain barrier.‍[30] Noopept acts quickly once it is in the bloodstream, maximizing concentration after just 15 to 20 minutes.‍[31]

Noopept’s exact mechanisms of action are not completely understood, but it is thought to work in the brain in several ways. It is believed to have a sensitizing effect on acetylcholine processes, effectively increasing the neural response to acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter most closely associated with learning and cognition.‍[32]

It has also been shown to increase expression of both NGF and BDNF, two important neurotrophin proteins that play a vital role in cognition and memory.

Animal studies further suggest that Noopept modulates the activity of both AMPA and NDMA receptors, which regulate brain levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate.‍[33] This action not only prevents glutamate toxicity, which can lead to neuronal damage, it also enhances neuroplasticity, which is crucial to the formation of long-term memories.

Noopept has been shown to have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities, which make it a powerful neuroprotectant.

In addition, it is known to promote the elimination of excess glutamate and calcium and improve blood composition and flow.‍[34]

Dosage

The standard dose of Noopept is 10 mg, taken twice per day after a meal. Dosage may be increased to 30 mg per day if necessary.‍[35]

Taking Noopept late in the evening may interfere with sleep.

The recommended course of prescription Noopept treatment is 1.5 to 3 months, but if necessary, another cycle may be started after a 1-month break.

It is recommended to start with the minimum effective dose and increase dosage only as needed. Some users report that higher doses diminish the desired cognitive effects of Noopept.‍[36]

User experiences differ on whether or not prolonged uninterrupted use of Noopept leads to tolerance. Many users say they take Noopept in cycles to prevent tolerance.‍[37]‍[38]

Stacking

Noopept can be taken alone but also does very well in nootropic stacks for additional synergistic benefits.

Noopept, Piracetam, and Choline Stack

Because Noopept delivers results similar to piracetam, stacking the two may result in synergistic benefits.

The two nootropics work on two different neurotransmitters, glutamate and acetylcholine, respectively. Enhanced functionality of both transmitters could create a boost to a variety of cognitive processes.

Furthermore, adding a choline supplement to the stack could make the piracetam more effective and help to hold off headaches reported by some initial-stage Noopept users.

1x–2x per day

Noopept, Aniracetam, Sulbutiamine Stack

Stacking Noopept with aniracetam and sulbutiamine would be a powerful stack that may not only boost cognition but also provide improvements to mood as well as reduce anxiety.

These effects on mood and anxiety should also indirectly lead to improved creativity and mental performance due to the relaxed mindstate.

Sulbutiamine should be cycled to avoid building up a tolerance to it.

1x–2x per day

Noopept and Mind Lab Pro Stack

An easy and effective stack is to combine Noopept with a preformulated nootropic blend, such as Mind Lab Pro by Opti-Nutra which contains 11 all-natural research-backed ingredients. Mind Lab Pro can serve as an excellent foundation to your stack as it is designed to improve all aspects of memory, mental performance, mood and stress resistance, maintenance, and brain repair.

For a detailed overview of its ingredients and effects, refer to our Mind Lab Pro review.

1x–2x per day

Side Effects

Noopept is generally considered safe and well tolerated, with only minor side effects including headaches, restlessness, dizziness, and irritability. These are most common when Noopept is taken in high doses.

Some users report that Noopept temporarily impairs short-term memory when taken above recommended dosages.‍[39]‍[40]

Noopept is contraindicated for women who are pregnant or lactating, people with lactose intolerance or kidney or liver malfunction, and children under 18 years of age. Noopept may also increase blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.‍[41]

Where to Buy

Noopept is not typically available for purchase at brick-and-mortar stores. If you’d like to buy Noopept, you’ll need to order it online.

We recommend ordering Noopept from PureNootropics.net as they are a reliable and reputable source for bulk nootropic powders.

Closing Thoughts

Noopept is a popular nootropic with a growing user base.

It’s effective and well-tolerated, and its standard low dosage makes it both affordable and easy to use.  It works well on its own, and it shines in combination with other nootropics, which makes it a top choice for stacking.

Most side effects less-than-satisfactory experiences are related to high doses, and the possibility of developing tolerance is easily managed through cycling.

Whether you’re an experienced nootropic user or just getting started, Noopept may be worth your consideration.

References   [ + ]

Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.

This page was last updated on February 10, 2019.