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So I noticed that there are no questions here about nootropics so I will ask a general question first. Where is the best resource to date to educate myself about the effects, benefits, and dangers of nootropic drugs?

If this topic is of interest to other people I would suggest that someone make the appropriate tags. The memory tag only covers a small portion of what I am asking.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by AsheeshR, THelper, Rory Alsop Dec 7 '13 at 0:19

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Questions asking for a 'best' resource are off topic for two reasons - "best" is opinion, and it may change over time – Rory Alsop Dec 7 '13 at 0:20

12 Answers 12

up vote 11 down vote accepted

There are a few resources relating to Nootropics, and wikipedia is as good a staring place as any - .

There is also Reddit, which is linked to above and a further subreddit would be

The Immortality Institute has a large selection of members who use nootropics and are very knowledgeable in their effects -

Finally, has a large section dedicated to nootropics. However, it would not be classified Safe For Work(Which is why I won't deep link, I'm in work right now) as it discusses many illegal drugs also. The members are very intelligent and well read.

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Link to nootropics forum. The main problem with nootropics is that the most effective are prescription only.

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Also Bluelight's Advanced Drug Discussion ( with this thread in particular:

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I have found this site to be especially useful in researching many kinds of drugs. The amount of information for each specific drug varies, but ranges from the chemical formula to the legal status.

Here is the listing for nootropic drugs in particular. I posted the https link, but I'm not sure it will make it safe for work as this site covers the subject from an international perspective and likely has information on a drug illegal in your location.

Of special note are the links (at the bottom of the page) to articles in major publications such as Nature, The Washington Post, etc.

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And if you'd rather not be a part of the pharmaceutical industry, there are many herbal mental stimulants. Herbs such as ginseng, ginko, rhodiola, et. al. have been used for millennia to boost mental powers. Some of these have received recent research, with (for example) the Russian Air Force being issued rhodiola for its combination of mental enhancements that include reduced anxiety and increased clarity.

Check out the list of adaptogens on Plants For A Future.

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A friend of mine has used "Methylphenidate"(commercial name: Ritalin) to increase concentration and becoming more fresh at mornings that he had important exams. It's effect was unbelievable. he could keep his concentration for 7 to 8 hours continuously. Especially If you eat vitamin B complex and some carbohydrates with it, its effect even gets better. However, after 7 or 8 hours, he usually got suddenly and extremely tired and drowsy and slept for 10 to 12 hours. I don't recommend it for regular use at all. But for occasional use (like for very important exams), he highly recommend it. It's also very safe however you cannot get it without prescription. By the way, his doctor (who is his father too) did not give him this medicine because of ADHD or any other mental disease. he does not have any mental disease. His father only gave it to him as he had sleep problems and was sleepy at the exams. By the way, many medical students in Iran use this medicine to increase their cognitive performance.

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Thought I should also mention that Ritalin is addictive. – par Jan 4 at 22:36

Besides the good resources already listed I've found a good introduction to nootropics at

One of the great things about this site is that claims about individual nootropics are backed up with actual studies, something that is difficult to find elsewhere.

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This response might not entirely answer the question, but seeing as there have been some very good responses, I think it is important to make sure this does get mentioned.

I have struggled with AD/HD my whole life, but was only diagnosed maybe a couple years ago. Access to medication has been a blessing and a curse. I would like to point out (as mentioned above in the Wikipedia article) these medications have a very far reaching and serious list of side effects, and should only be used by people that genuinely need them, under supervision of a trained medical doctor. There is potential for abuse, and dosage is not something that is easy to figure out. It is very easy for people to over-medicate and become dependent.

I personally generally have to go to at least two different pharmacies (if not eight) once a month to pick up my medication, and this is a huge hassle. My point is that stimulant (and other AD/HD) medication is hugely abused, and very powerful, so it should not be treated like candy, it is prescription for a reason.

I don't want to be a buzzkill, I was kind of surprised that this topic would be openly discussed on the internet (not entirely sure why) and just wanted to make sure that it wasn't a "how to abuse AD/HD medication" thread. Nootropics as a whole I was unaware of, and I will definitely be checking out the links above to learn more.

To try and contribute to the conversation, I've heard that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is something that might also be helpful in this regard. The wikipedia article doesn't seem very supportive of this, but I've heard very good things about it.

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One of the best sources for nootropic information is The blog covers a lot of categories for beginners including stacking and general information. check it out

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Nootropics are by far the best way to improve cognitive function. Nootropics improve the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine via muscarinic cholinergic (ACh) receptors which are implicated in memory processes. Furthermore, they have an effect on NMDA glutamate receptors which are involved with learning and memory processes. Nootropics influence neuronal and vascular functions and increase cognitive function, while at the same time providing a natural source of energy to keep you alert and motivated.

Nootropics work best in a stack and can be found in variety of different smart drugs and Adderall Alternatives.

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In the last year or so, a new contender has popped up at To quote their front page; "We are an independent organization that presents un-biased research on supplements and nutrition. We currently have over 20000 references to scientific papers."

There is a lot of anecdotal information out there, so I find Examine to be a helpful reference for determining if a nootropic is scientifically proven to be useful.

Another forum I haven't seen mentioned here is This is not a strictly nootropics website as they have an interest in life extension and other sciences, but they do have subforums on supplements and brain health which I find very useful.

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These are currently the best on the market, in order of relevance:

  • piracetam
  • aniracetam
  • picamilon
  • sulbutiamine

You can order them online or on ebay.

Have fun.

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