Smart Drugs. You may have heard of them.
They're a category of prescription pharmaceutical drugs that are intended to solve specific brain issues, such as ADHD or narcolepsy.
However, these substances are often used by healthy individuals seeking improved cognitive performance.
University students, knowledge workers and the corporate world are no strangers to experimenting with these potent compounds.
Almost everyone who is passionate about the world of nootropics has started their journey by first learning about smart drugs and experimenting with them.
Let's dive deep into some of the most popular smart drugs and what they can do for enhancing human performance.
Modafinil (Provigil) is a pharmaceutical that is prescribed for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness, associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea or shift work sleep disorder.
It is one of the most popular smart drugs used off-label by university students to significantly promote wakefulness. Thus it is in a class of drugs known as Eugeroics - wakefulness promoting agents.
Modafinil seems to act as an atypical, selective and weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor. This means it increases concentrations of extracellular dopamine in certain brain regions, such as the hypothalamus.
This also leads to a release of Orexin neuropeptides, which regulate arousal and wakefulness in humans.
In addition, Modafinil increases histamine release which also increases wakefulness. People who take powerful anti-histamines know of the potent sleep/calming effect they can have.
The standard dose for modafinil is 200mg, however an initial dose of 50-100mg may be better for those just starting out.
Keep in mind, there are some serious common side effects that can occur from the use of modafinil. Most notably - headaches, stomach upset, agitation, reduced appetite.
Consistent, repeated use can deplete dopamine and cause fatigue and extreme tiredness, so cycling this is suggested.
Ritalin (Methylphenidate) & Adderall
Ritalin and Adderall are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Adderall is an amphetamine and tends to be more potent than Ritalin.
Both of these drugs are classified as Norepinephrine-Dopamine reuptake inhibitors or NDRI's. This means they increase the amount of these two neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft between neurons.
Side effects for these compounds can include: decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, increased anxiety and irritability and stomach aches.
Smart drugs like Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall are potent compounds which do have utility in improving cognitive performance in healthy individuals as well as aiding those with brain issues such as narcolepsy and ADHD.
We recommend using these sparingly, and with caution. They should be seen as one tool in your toolkit.
If you wish to try them, it may be wise to start at a low dose to assess tolerance. Also it is best to cycle on and off these compounds so that you don't downregulate any of your bodies natural processes.
For more sustainable results over time, we recommend looking into natural nootropics instead to provide benefits in brain health and performance.