Smart drugs (no tropics): everything you need to know

The smart drugs or notropics are some cognitive enhancers to enhance memory, learning ability, concentration or improve writing skills.

The word no tropic derives from the Greek “noose” (mind) and “troop” (direction). Coined by the scientist Cornelio E. Giurgiu (1923-1995) in the year 1972, indicating that they were drugs that fulfilled the following characteristics:

  • Improvement of learning and memory.
  • With few side effects and extremely low toxicity.
  • Protection of physical or chemical damage to the brain such as bruises, barbiturates or scopolamine.
  • Improvement of the firing mechanisms of neurons.
  • They prevent interruption of learned behaviors and memory formation to conditions that tend to disrupt them, such as electroconvulsive or hypoxia.

Smart drugs (notropics)

Today they are defined as drugs, drugs, drugs, supplements or functional foods that have the ability to help improve certain abilities such as:

  • Cognition
  • Intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Memory
  • Motivation
  • Attention
  • Concentration

In short, they are pills that will keep you alert and will increase your labor productivity, social or sports.

According to Notre, a worldwide no tropic supplier, its capsules have an immediate effect around 30 minutes and its effect lasts between 6 and 8 hours. Do not take more than 3 tablets in less than 24 hours.

When the media heard that in Silicon Valley its use was frequent among its members, smart drugs began to take on a lot of relevance. Today, especially in the United States, we can find ‘smart bars’, places where students consume energy drinks combined with powdered no tropic tablets.

Although its use is spreading within the scientific community, there is still no consensus where the actual capacity of no tropics in mind and body is quantified.

Different types of no tropics

No tropics are obtained from chemical compositions, so their evolution is constant and therefore their classification is wide and growing. Today the most common types of synthetic drugs are:

We race

It is unclear whether they are no tropic because of their pharmacological properties. They were the first to take to the market and are among the most consumed because they do not need a prescription.

There are more than twenty different racetamos, and all are characterized by having a very similar chemical structure. We can mention the following:

  • Piracetam
  • Etiracetam
  • Nefiracetam
  • Oxiracetam
  • Pramiracetam
  • Coluracetam
  • Phenylpyrazole
  • Brivaracetam
  • Fasoracetam
  • Dimiracetam
  • Imuracetam
  • Levetiracetam
  • Nicoractam
  • Select

Racetamos release acetylcholine, one of the most potent neurotransmitters in the brain. It serves to transmit nerve impulses and other signals through the synapse (network of neurons).

They also serve as neural protectors, accelerating the growth of brain cells and slowing their deterioration and death, which leads to an improvement in several different areas of the brain.


Chorine is the molecule from which acetylcholine is obtained, the neurotransmitter involved in brain functions such as memory or muscle control. Its importance is such that it is the second most important neurotransmitter in our brain.

There are several types of chorine supplementation, with alpha-GPC, citicoline or centrofeonin being the most common. Its consumers ensure improved memory skills and greater fluidity when it comes to concentrating. 

In the market you can also find chorine bitartrate, cheaper but with less effective results. It is also associated with side effects such as headache.

Amp kinas

Of the latest to hit the market. They are strong footropes, known to raise glutamate levels in the blood. Glutamate is one of the most important neurotransmitters for synaptic plasticity, i.e. the person in charge of learning and memory.

Its effects are very similar to those that produce caffeine, but with the difference of not causing side effects like insomnia, agitation or anxiety. In any case, being such a novel product, it has not yet been possible to draw conclusions about its possible side effects.

Vitamin B Derivatives

Many synthetic nootrópitos have been developed from the vitamin B. This can also be found in the form of smart drugs, being sulbutiamine (or Arcadian), the best known. Its treatment is effective in fighting fatigue, increasing alertness and increasing energy levels. In addition, it is also composed of vitamin B1 (or thiamine), known as the vitamin of good mood.

Scientists, based on mouse studies, suggest that sulbutiamine may improve cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, or hyperactivity, but no studies have been done with humans at this time.


Better known as moppet. It was developed by Russian researchers when they looked for an alternative supplement to pramiracetam. Although some consider it to be a type of racetamos, the peptides act differently.

This powerful supplement can be taken orally and is effective in penetrating the blood-brain barrier. A dose of one 10-30 mg can provide an improvement in thinking function, short and long term memory and an increase in learning ability, being between 500 and 1000 times stronger than Piracetam (racetamo).

Peptides are classified according to the number of amino acids in three groups:

  • Oligopeptide: from 2 to 10 amino acids.
  • Polypeptide: from 10 to 100 amino acids.
  • Protein: more than 100 amino acids.

Foods with no tropic substitute components

Within nature, we can find foods that help to encourage the concentration and motivation of people.

  • Nuts: known in many Central European countries as the student’s food, are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-3 fatty acid, which promote intellectual performance.
  • Fish oil:  rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it is highly recommended for people with learning disabilities or as a preventive defense of mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia or hyperactivity. Fresh salmon or tuna oil are some examples of recommended fish oil.
  • Brewer’s yeast:  has a high content of B vitamins, minerals like phosphorus or magnesium and high quality proteins, all very beneficial for brain performance and brain health.

Natural notropics

Also called ‘Herbal Natural’, they are supplements developed from plants. Their function is the same as that of synthetic drugs, such as improvements in concentration ability and brain health, but they are less effective.

The advantage over notropics in capsules is that they do not create addiction and are much cheaper. You can get them at health food stores or nutrition stores.

Some of the most consumed herbal no tropics are:

  • Baoji Manner
  • Vinpocetine
  • Ginkgo Balboa
  • Hyperfine-A
  • On nit Alpha Brain

Side Effects of No tropics

The strongholds of smart drugs have always ensured that there is no danger of suffering any kind of side effect. However, there are few conclusive studies that this claim is true, and a countercurrent has been developed which attempts to demonstrate that it can produce adverse effects. We enumerate those that usually coincide in this type of studies.


It is believed to be the most frequent, especially in no tropics of the class race tam and piracetam. The reason is the over excitation to which the central nervous system is subjected, which produces a type of “burn” that results in pains and migraines.

It is a side effect that can be counteracted curiously increasing doses of chorine, one of the types of no tropics mentioned above. The chorine meets your chemical needs and relieves headaches.

Intestinal problems

Excessive use of no tropics can become a serious threat to the intestinal system. Irritation, nausea, diarrhea, bloating or discomfort from pain is some of the most common symptoms.

The solution is to reduce the dose to a recommended level for the body and, if this does not work, take other types of no tropics such as moppet, which requires lower doses and therefore is better processed in the gastrointestinal system.


As with bowel problems, excessive consumption leads to fatigue. The burning sensation inside can last for several hours, eliminating completely the concentration of the individual.

Reducing the dose or consulting with a specialist to recommend another no tropic are the most resorted solutions.


The main function of no tropics is to increase energy levels, causing alert levels to trigger and result in insomnia. It is an effect very similar to that produced by energy drinks or soda with a lot of sugar.

The difference is that, even if you fall asleep, the individual feels that sleep has not produced the restorative effect and wakes up with the feeling of exhaustion.

The solution is to avoid taking strong no tropics in the afternoon and evening, so that at bedtime, energy levels have decreased. Another option is to supplement high-load no tropics with others such as instill or melatonin, supplements that help promote more effective REM sleep.


Although these effects are less common, each no tropic supplement has a different mechanism of action and may therefore lead to an original side effect. They are usually associated with excessively high intakes or adverse reactions to the body. Some of these effects are:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Mood disorders
  • Restlessness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Daze
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Rashes

The conclusions should be demonstrated as the scientific community can verify how smart drugs actually benefit or affect. Meanwhile, it seems that a safe use of them should not be the cause of any kind of physical or mental problem.

In any case, it is always advisable to consult with experts about the possible causes and phonology so as not to suffer any type of risk for our health.