Noopept is a cognitive-enhancing peptide synthesized in Russia in 1996, as a successor to prototypical nootropic drug Piracetam. It was based off the endogenous neuropeptide cycloprolylglycine. Peptides are molecules consisting of 2 or more amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Depending on the number of amino acids, peptides are called dipeptides, tripeptides, tetrapeptides, etc.
As said before, Noopept is a dipeptide. Peptides are not well absorbed in the GI tract and need to be injected via intramuscular or intravenous injection. Noopept, however, is a peptide that is only two amino acids long (dipeptide), and this allows it to be small enough to be absorbed orally, without being ripped apart by digestive enzymes and acids.
It is commonly thought to be a racetam, but it is not since it does not have a pyrrolidinone nucleus.
It is said to be 1000 times stronger than Piracetam in effective dose level and nootropic activity, however, this statement doesn’t seem to have a scientific foundation.
The advantage of Noopept over Piracetam is its ability to stimulate the expression of the neurotropic factors NGF and BDNF.
- NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) prevents neuronal degeneration and promotes myelin repair. Dysregulation of NGF signaling has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other psychiatric disorders, such as dementia, depression, schizophrenia, autism.
- BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), like NGF, plays a significant role in neurogenesis. It controls synaptic function and plasticity and modulates neuronal survival.
The major metabolite of Noopept, cycloprolylglycine, has anxiolytic effect in animal models. Scientists hypothesize this effect is a consequence of increased inhibitory transmission in the hippocampus.
Another interesting effect of Noopept is its immune boosting ability. It reduces immunosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide, stimulates immune response to various antigens, and increases phagocytic activity of macrophages.
Benefits of Noopept
- Improves memory recall and it is neuroprotective.
- Reduces brain fog and promotes mental clarity.
- May enhance focus and attention span.
- May have weak stimulant properties.
- Increases levels of neurotrophic factors NGF and BDNF.
How to Take
Noopept is sold in Russia in 10 mg tablets to be taken 2-3 times a day, but the most common dose is 20 mg twice a day.
Even though it is orally bioavailable, anecdotal reports indicate that oral and sublingual routes of absorption have different effects. The sublingual route has a stronger nootropic effect while the oral route is slightly more anxiolytic. No human studies comparing the absorption of Noopept via different routes have been conducted, however.
Another way that nootropic users like to take their Noopept is through nasal administration, by using either a solution or insufflating the powder by itself. For more information read our article on the intranasal administration of Noopept.
The effect of Noopept becomes stronger with chronic treatment and the official drug package insert recommends taking Noopept in a “3 months on, 1 month off” cycle.
Noopept doesn’t have serious side effects or contraindications.
The most common reported side effects are irritability and problems with short-term memory. These side effects usually go away after a week of dosing and can be a consequence of excessively high dose.
Most nootropics have a bell-shaped response curve, so taking a higher dose than recommended will not necessarily make the positive effects stronger and could potentially increase the negative effects.
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