Lifestyle drugs are the latest fad of the health-conscious cognoscenti. Nutraceuticals, which is the consumer product category, of health and nutrition supplement is expanding at a blistering pace. Along with this, a new product category is coming up, which comprises of ‘mind enhancing’ formulations and supplements. In this competitive edge, students in school, colleges, and technical institutes are competing fiercely with others in getting top grades so as to get admission in top universities or land up with the most lucrative job assignments. Similar is the case of professionals employed in top companies where comparative rankings form the basis of performance appraisals and job cuts are frequent happenings. They constitute the major segments of consumers for supplements containing ‘smart drugs’, technically known as Nootropics. They are particularly effective in boosting learning ability, enhancing attention and concentration, increase motivation and contribute to strengthening many other cognitive abilities.
What are the Nootropics?
Nootropics are a class of psychoactive or psychotropic drugs that were initially used in management of mental and emotional disorders caused by Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or ADHD. However, it was soon discovered that they can be administered to healthy adults for improvement in the abilities of their mental function, making the brain more sharp and alert, enhancing concentration and improving memory, among other benefits. The word nootropics was coined by Dr. in 1972 by the Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, to designate certain ‘mind-bending or mind-turning’ drugs that have beneficial properties for the mind, are very less toxic or harmful, have no harmful effects like certain mind-altering drugs like hallucinogen or psychedelic drugs; and can be used for longer span of time without any appreciable side-effects.
These drugs work by optimizing the availability neuro-chemicals, comprising of neurotransmitters, enzymes and hormones, inside the brain. They also improve the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain cells by vasodilatation, and also provide stimulation for nerve growth.
Some of the most popular nootropics are Racetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam, Nefiracetam, Levetiracitam etc.
Availability in Retail and Bulk
In the US, the use of certain nootropics on humans does not find approval from the FDA for use on humans, which means it can’t be sold in generic form retail outlets such as chemist sop and pharmacies. However, nootropics are allowed for research. Owing to this, there can be no retail sale, but nootropics are available from the manufacturers for bulk supply to research organization and down-line pharmaceutical companies. One of the most prominent suppliers is nootropicssupply.com who specializes in supplying most of the popular nootropics. All products from this supplier are manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and double-checked for purity at independent testing facilities, thus assuring customers of pharmaceutical grade quality and superior purity of 99.9%. They have an online store to provide these services.
It is entirely a different story with nutrition and health supplements containing nootropics as a part of formulations. These are not regulated, and are freely available in online stores on the internet.
Some of the nootropics that come under the Scheduled Drugs in US are listed under Schedule IV, which consists of controlled substances. Two of the vastly popular nootropics, Modafinil and Armodafinil are listed under it. Modafanil can be purchased on a physician’s prescription. In UK it is a Prescription Only Medication (POM), and its possession is legal.
In most other countries including UK, Australia and India most of the nootropics are legal and available at chemists and pharmacists. In these countries there are no regulations over supplements, and these are entirely available as Over-the Counter (OTC) products.
Whether as drugs or formulations, nootropics are enjoying great popularity. As “stacks” they are available in several combinations, which are customised according to the user’s profile and specific requirements.