Phenylpiracetam: A Potent Nootropic For Cognitive Performance
May 24th, 2019 by Justin Kohler
Life has never been more demanding and competitive than it is today. So much so that it’s starting to have serious negative impacts on our psychological health. Problems like anxiety, stress, brain fog and depression are so common in our modern life and almost no one is spared from having to battle one or more mental disorders.
So what can one do to fight off the different forms of mental impairment and improve their mental health? Optimally, making some lifestyle changes and dealing with the roots of the problem would be the best long-term solution, and there are many ways to approach that, which we won’t discuss here.
Another easier short-term solution is to seek aid from nutritional supplements or drugs that may help reduce the symptoms of mental impairment and improve cognitive functions. Such supplements and drugs are widely known as nootropics or smart drugs.
One of the most widely used category of nootropics is the racetams family, which includes compounds like piracetam, phenylpiracetam, aniracetam and several other analogs. Phenylpiracetam is highly praised by nootropics users for its potency and safety as a cognitive enhancer.
Phenylpiracetam is a general stimulant and nootropic compound that is one of the many known analogs of piracetam and thus a member of the racetams family. It is a phenylated analog of the nootropic drug piracetam, and it is synthesized by attaching a phenyl ring to piracetam. This phenyl ring makes the drug significantly more potent than its non-phenylated counterpart.
Phenylpiracetam was created in 1983 to allow Russian cosmonauts to maintain strong brain function and increase mental resilience while working under stressful situations in space. Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebrov relied on phenylpiracetam during his 197-day space mission and said the drug eliminated negative behaviors such as irritability and impulsiveness.
Today, phenylpiracetam is sold in Russia and other countries under the brand names Phenotropil and Carphedon. It is mainly used to treat anxiety, depression and memory disorders. While this drug has not been approved by the FDA, it is used by consumers in the U.S. and worldwide as a nootropic supplement. People take it to relieve stress and anxiety, and to improve cognitive and motor functions.
How Phenylpiracetam Works
How these compound works aren’t fully understood by scientists and studies on its predecessor piracetam are scant and generally inconclusive. It is understood that the addition of the phenyl group is what makes phenylpiracetam more powerful and better at delivering the cognitive enhancing effects because of its increased bioavailability.
Some studies suggested that phenylpiracetam works by increasing the density of acetylcholine, NMDA, GABA and dopamine receptors in the brain. By increasing the number of these receptors it means there are more binding sites for neurotransmitters that produce mood changing as well as cognition and performance-enhancing effects.
Increased dopamine in the brain produces feelings of happiness and reduces stress. GABA is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that produces feelings of relaxation, reduced anxiety and alleviation of pain.
Phenylpiracetam has also been found to increase blood flow to the brain by suppressing the constriction of blood vessels, allowing them to relax to a widened state. This increased blood flow to the brain means that more oxygen reaches brain cells as well as a faster supply of nutrients. More oxygen and nutrients in the brain result in healthier neurons and improvements in focus, alertness, memory and other mental abilities.
Benefits and Uses of Phenylpiracetam
Reduction in Stress
Many people use phenylpiracetam to relieve the symptoms of stress and depression. Stress can hijack brain function and cause people to function at decreased capacity and phenylpiracetam may help stop it in its tracks. Long-term stress can lead to long periods of reduced focus and creativity, which can make it difficult to perform tasks to the best of your ability. Long-term stress can even lead to cellular damage in the brain and cause your brain to shrink!
Phenylpiracetam improves focus not only by reducing stress and anxiety but also by increasing blood flow to the brain and increasing the density of various neurotransmitter receptors. Improving focus and attention means you can get more done and increase your performance, whether that’s in the workplace or home.
Phenylpiracetam may improve learning and memory by supporting the function of neurotransmitters and receptors involved in these processes.
Although there is no strong clinical evidence that phenylpiracetam has benefits in healthy individuals, many professionals and students are taking this supplement, and others similar to it, in order to boost their productivity and performance, both mentally and physically.
Availability of Phenylpiracetam
This compound is unscheduled and not approved for medical use in most of the world. In North America and Europe, consumers can legally buy phenylpiracetam without a prescription as it is considered more like a supplement, not a treatment for any disease. There are many online retail stores from which consumers often source this nootropic as a bulk powder supplement or capsules.
While there are a couple of brand-name phenylpiracetam products that are marketed in Russia and a few other countries in that region, the vast majority of phenylpiracetam on the market is made by generic manufacturers with varying quality.
Finally, let me remind you that most nootropics on the market, including phenylpiracetam, have not been medically approved for most of the uses they are often marketed for. And while they seem to have considerable benefits for some users, there are still many unanswered questions about the efficacy of these products, and so general caution is advised when buying or using any nootropic product.