What Are Nootropics & Are They Safe?

Many people are unfamiliar with the phrase “nootropics.” Smart medicines, cognitive enhancers, and memory enhancers are all terms used to describe nootropics. Some nootropics are accessible over-the-counter as brain supplements, while others require a prescription. Regrettably, there are several possible dangers that customers should be aware of.

What Are Nootropics?

A nootropic is defined as any “smart medication” or supplement that has the ability to increase or modify a person’s cognitive performance. As a result, nootropics are often known as cognitive enhancers or smart medicines.

Individual nootropics may have slightly different methods for achieving cognitive improvement. Nootropics, on the other hand, all act by affecting neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, in the brain. Understanding the fundamentals of brain chemistry and essential signalling pathways in memory, attention, and focus is required to explain nootropics.

How Are Nootropics Used?

In general, nootropics are divided into two categories. Some nootropics may be taken every day without fail, and the majority of people do not acquire a tolerance to them (e.g. naturally-derived nootropics like Ginkgo biloba, Andrographis paniculata or American ginseng). Other nootropics, on the other hand, may lose their efficacy over time if the dosage is not raised on a regular basis.

There’s also something known as “nootropic stacking.” This phenomena entails combining at least two distinct nootropics in the hopes of achieving a more effective and synergistic cognitive improvement than if only one nootropic was used. Memory is improved by certain nootropics, whereas cognition, attentiveness, sensory perception, and learning are improved by others. As a result, people strive to tailor their nootropic cocktail to the perceived benefits of nootropics.

Do They Work?

Many nootropics are likely to function depending on the concentration and frequency with which they are used. Natural nootropics, for example, have been shown in many studies to promote brain health through a number of processes, including:

  • A 2007 research discovered that nootropics enhance blood flow to different parts of the brain by vasodilating, or expanding, the blood vessels.
  • Nootropics expand blood arteries in the brain, allowing more glucose (energy) and oxygen to reach different brain areas, according to a research published in 2000.
  • According to a 2012 research, nootropics can really reduce inflammation and slow down the ageing of brain cells.

While there are many benefits of nootropics, they are not without serious risks.

Types, Safety, and Risks

Natural chemicals present in plants are some nootropics. These might be sold as brain supplements in the future. The following are examples of natural nootropics:

  • ¬†Andrographis paniculata
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng)

Other nootropics are synthesized in a lab, or known as synthetic. Some examples of synthetic nootropics include

  • Armodafinil
  • Citicoline
  • Piracetam
  • Ampakines
  • Cerebrolysin
  • Adderall

Are Nootropics Regulated?

The FDA does not regulate most nootropic supplements. Adderall, on the other hand, is a commercially accessible prescription drug that has been authorised by the FDA to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Based on clinical trials, FDA rules cover both the safety and efficacy of a medication. Because the dose and frequency of usage have not been defined based on numerous preclinical research or clinical trials, uncontrolled nootropics may be extremely harmful for users.

Are Smart Drugs or Cognitive Enhancers Safe?

The verdict on whether cognitive enhancing pills are safe is yet out. The safety of nootropics is determined by a number of factors, including a person’s physical and mental health, as well as if they are taking any other drugs that may interact with nootropics. It’s also worth noting that some people misuse prescription nootropic drugs like Adderall. Using nootropics in these situations, even if they are FDA-approved, is just not safe.

Taking nootropic cognitive enhancers can have unforeseen and hazardous consequences, especially for those who have co-occurring mental health problems.

For example, there have been many case reports describing negative responses to nootropics, such as:

  • Experiencing psychosis and paranoia
  • Hypomania
  • Severe anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Exacerbation of underlying mental health conditions like schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder

Are Nootropics (Smart Drugs) Safe for Teens?

Despite their amazing boost in cognitive performance, certain nootropics may be addicting. If a youngster has developed an addiction to one or more nootropics, such as Adderall, parents have reason to be worried.

Parents should check for indicators of drug use in their children, such as severe behavioural changes, unexpected gains in cognitive performance at school, changes in friend groups, and declining interest in hobbies that used to bring them joy, among other things. It is crucial to note, however, that juvenile drug addiction is a curable problem, regardless of the substance.

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