Smart Drugs: Do They Really Work?

From ancient times people have been looking for the way to increase efficiency, stay active, be vigorous, and overcome hardships. Nowadays, when life is extremely intense, people especially need energy and forces to stay on top. Smart drugs is a large group of medications, which are united by one common property. All of them make us smarter, improve our cognition, mental performance, and intellect. Some of them are of a milder effect, some are stronger. Let us try to find out which ones are worth to be chosen if you need good cognition or high concentration.

What Do Smart Drugs Do

Nootropics are the medications that positively influence human’s brain, improve cognitive function, memory and concentration. Adaptogens are the herbal products, which contribute metabolism, boost body resistance, normalize physiological processes, and increase vitality. Eugeroics are the drugs that stimulate wakefulness, assist alertness, and help us prevent sleeping disorders.

All three groups, not nootropics only, are sometimes called “smart.” Adaptogens boost efficiency, relieve stress, and give power. Wakefulness promoting agents normalize sleeping cycles and increase motivation and focus. All this also has benefits for the brain.   

This class of substances includes all medications, supplements, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that improve mental functions, or at least one of them. Other important demands that can allow classify the substance as a smart drug are

  • they have minimum negative side effects; 
  • defend brain from inner and outer chemical and physical influence (like detoxification or inflammation); 
  • are non-toxic and non-addictive. 

Different smart drugs work their own ways, and the reaction of a particular person on this or another drug can also be different, but all of them influence the chemical reactions in human brain, and definitely work.

Nootropics Diversity

There are many proven for centuries natural means, but modern science gives us more reliable, available, and safe products. We would be happy to tell you about all folk and modern remedies, although, it will take too much time, and here the encyclopedia is needed. So, we will mention only the most popular ones.

Folk remedies

  • Maca root, or peruvian ginseng, is an ancient herb appreciated for its nutritious qualities and used to boost energy, enhance fertility and sexual drive, stay vigorous and efficient;
  • Chinese ginseng is well-known for ages for its unique ability to give forces, maintain overall health on the top, fight tiredness, and keep mind in order;
  • Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal plant, that is widely used in India and helps to avoid stress and anxiety, keeps brain fresh and productive; 
  • smart plant ginkgo biloba is a world-known stimulant for the brain, that will never allow depression to conquer you, gives brilliant memory, cognition, and concentration. 
  • the first modern smart drug created by people was Piracetam, that belonged to a large racetam family of drugs. Primarily produced in 1964, it became available at the beginning of 1970s and is still used to improve blood circulation and increase memory and brain activity in older people.

Natural products that also make the brain work faster are caffeine and nicotine. Don’t forget, though, that they also may lead to adverse reaction, and have risks of addiction.

Modern Remedies

  • More modern eugeroic drugs, like modafinil and are, were under development from 1960s, although appeared on the market as nootropic drugs only in the 1990s. The main mechanism of their action is increasing of dopamine level, improving communication between neurons, which eventually boosts brain efficiency. These medications have minimum side effects, are non-addictive and less abusive than other chemical stimulants, e.g. amphetamines;
  • amphetamines are pharmacological products that are highly effective CNS stimulants, but their action is rather sharp, and they have serious side effects. One of the most popular representative of this group is Adderall.

Who Needs Smart Drugs

Smart drugs, and modafinil in particular, can help people of different professions and specialties become more successful and concentrated on their work, enhancing energy, intellect, and alertness. They can be useful for students and white-collar workers, military men, astronauts, and many others. Let us review who they can help:

  • Attorneys, managers, traders and teachers have a very busy schedule, their work is not really finished after the end of the working day, they have much brainwork, must control emotions, communicate with many people. Having their brains active and vital is really important.
  • Accountants, engineers, programmers, and PC analysts have much mental job, have to be highly concentrated, solve logical tasks, have much responsibility. Smart drugs help save productivity and intellect.
  • There are professions that demand staying active at night and early morning hours, such as DJ’s, cleaners, security guards, and the ones where the shift may last for 24 hours—surgeons, nurses, midwifes, truck drivers, etc. Such jobs definitely require force and energy, as well as high attention, concentration, and stamina.
  • Students who take smart supplements show better memory and intelligence, but only when the pills are taken properly.
  • For the professions connected with risks and fast reactions, e.g. military men, astronauts, pilots, and smart drugs, they are of great help to increase alertness, cognition, quick judgment, and perception.

The list can be long, just remember, that any drug intake has to be controlled by the doctor, and properly used.

Are They Safe?

By their definition, smart drugs are safe, as the main requirement for the medication to be called smart is its brain stimulating function combined with non-toxicity and minimum side effects. But there are nuances.

Such synthetic products like piracetam and other racetams are widely available, but their use for healthy people is not studied and proved. They have some mild side effects and interactions, and some precautions, like pregnancy, hepatic and renal impairments, or hemorrhagic diathesis.

Amphetamines are the strongest brain stimulants, but at same time they have a wide range of side effects from mild to severe, they can be abusive and addictive. They also have a list of precautions, like heart troubles, problems of blood circulation, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid gland, and others.

Natural smart herbs have a long history of their use, and are considered to be helpful, but they are only partly studied, need longer period of taking to have a result, and belong to relatively safe products. They usually have to be combined in a stack to increase their effect.

The most reliable and safe nootropic is modafinil. It boosts energy, increases cognition and attention successfully fighting sleeping disorders and fatigue. It is the first drug to treat such a serious disease as narcolepsy. But it’s off-label use is really wide, and it is appreciated for high effectiveness similar to amphetamines, but with much less and milder side effects and almost zero addiction.

How to Use Provigil and Generics

The brand name of modafinil is Provigil. There are also generics that are mostly produced in India and proven to have the same compounds and effects. You should remember that this smart drug is a serious medication, and before using it, you should consult a doctor. The medicine is approved by the FDA, and you need a prescription to buy it. It has some interactions with other medicines, rather mild, but you should have it in mind. The recommended dosage must be observed. Read the instructions in the box before using it. 

Take one single dose of 200mg of modafinil once a day in the morning. Don’t overdo it without the doctor’s consultation. The dose can be increased up to 400 mg a day, which is considered to be safe, but remember that the drug can be shown on a drug test. Save the remedy under proper conditions at 20°–25°C (68°–77°F). If you follow all the instructions, and take the tablets as directed, you will have a positive and favorable effect.

To Sum Things Up

So, as you can see, the group of smart drugs is rather broad and includes products of different origins and actions. They definitely work and have a positive influence on the human brain. But to have the maximum effect and minimum harm on your overall health, you should ask for a doctor’s advice and choose the smart drug that fits you. When buying over-the-counter generics and herbal supplements, use only trusted and reliable retailers. This will help you stay active, cheerful, and healthy without any negative consequences.