Phenylpiracetam - An Overview
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Phenylpiracetam (AKA phenotropil or phenotropyl) is a phenyl derivative of piracetam.
Piracetam was the original racetam nootropic, and phenylpiracetam is a newer version that acts quicker and has higher bioavailability.
It is more potent and has a broader range of use.
Nootropics users take phenylpiracetam for:
- Improved Cognition
- Memory and Learning
- Energy and Physical Performance
Many users report strong stimulatory effects from this substance.
Some users use it as a substitute for heavier pharmaceutical stimulants like Adderall.
Phenylpiracetam can provide some of the energy, focus, and motivation, but without the edginess, loss of appetite, or dreaded “Adderall crash.”
Phenylpiracetam modulates acetylcholine (ACh), dopamine, GABA, and NMDA receptors in the brain.
All of these neurotransmitters are heavily involved in learning, memory, focus, attention, and overall mental function.
It seems that this nootropic up-regulates the number of available receptors, making them more responsive.14Yu. Yu. Firstova D. A. AbaimovI. G. KapitsaT. A. Voronina G. I. Kovalev.
The effects of scopolamine and the nootropic drug phenotropil on rat brain neurotransmitter receptors during testing of the conditioned passive avoidance task, Neurochemical Journal June 2011
It also seems to be effective as a neuroprotectant. It can be used to treat a range of central nervous system disorders.
It is effective against epilepsy and can help people recover from strokes or cognitive impairment.15Malykh AG, Sadaie MR. Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders, Drugs. 2010
What Does Phenylpiracetam Do?
There is evidence that phenylpiracetam neuroprotective effects can prevent and treat epilepsy.
It may be able to fix the abnormalities in alpha and beta brain waves associated with convulsions.
One study found that this nootropic significantly reduced seizures and positively affected EEG readings.
They say more positive outcomes compared to patients who only took standard anti-epilepsy medication.1Bel’skaia GN, Ponomareva IV, Lukashevich IG, Tikhomirova IN.
Complex treatment of epilepsy with phenotropil, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2007
Another study found that cognitive functions in epileptic patients improved to a small extent after taking phenylpiracetam 2Lybzikova GN, Iaglova ZhS, Kharlamova IuS..
The efficacy of phenotropil in the complex treatment of epilepsy, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2008
This effect on epilepsy could be due to its psychodepressant effects.3Bobkov IuG, Morozov IS, Glozman OM, Nerobkova LN, Zhmurenko LA. Pharmacological characteristics of a new phenyl analog of piracetam–4-phenylpiracetam, Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1983
Phenylpiracetam is well known for its cognitive-enhancing effects in the nootropics community.
Many users report sharper focus, better ability to stay on task, and more energy when taking this supplement.
Some even compare the feeling to a much milder form of Adderall.
Some users report improvements in depression and anxiety when taking phenylpiracetam.
There is clinical evidence to support this.
In a study of patients who had suffered brain lesions, phenylpiracetam improved higher brain functions, memory, attention.
They also reported lower discomfort, anxiety, and depression.4Savchenko AIu, Zakharova NS, Stepanov IN. The phenotropil treatment of the consequences of brain organic lesions, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2005
Phenylpiracetam also improved the cognitive performance in patients with chronic vascular encephalopathy.5Gustov AA, Smirnov AA, Korshunova IuA, Andrianova EV. Phenotropil in the treatment of vascular encephalopathy, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2006
In an animal study, phenylpiracetam decreased fear and stress responses in rats, while also improving cognitive ability and energy levels.6Samotrueva MA1, Tyurenkov IN, Teplyi DL, Serezhnikova TK, Khlebtsova EB.. Psychoimmunomodulatory effect of phenotropil in animals with immune stress, Bull Exp Biol Med. 2011
All-in-all, it seems that this nootropic can provide an overall cognitive boost, and increase positive emotions to boot.
We would like to see more clinical trials with healthy, non-impaired human participants, but the existing evidence is pretty strong that phenylpiracetam works.
Phenylpiracetam For Energy
One of this nootropic’s most famous effects is on energy and athletic performance. After all, there’s a reason the World Anti-Doping Agency bans it!
Phenylpiracetam is one of the few nootropics that you can feel when it kicks in. It is not a subtle effect that takes weeks to build up in your system, like many other nootropics.
Depending on what you’re looking for out of a supplement, that may be a pro or a con.
Phenylpiracetam is an ideal supplement for people suffering from diseases that cause low energy.
There is strong evidence it can improve fatigue as well as the associated depression in patients suffering from MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
It seems to perform better than regular piracetam in this regard.7Popova NF, Kamchatnov PR, Riabukhina OV, Batysheva TT, Zaĭtsev KA, Boĭko AN. Omaron in the complex treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2010
It can also improve energy levels in patients who have suffered mild brain trauma. One clinical trial saw positive results in as little as a week.8Kalinskiĭ PP, Nazarov VV.. Use of phenotropil in the treatment of asthenic syndrome and autonomic disturbances in the acute period of mild cranial brain trauma, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2007
Like all of the racetams, phenylpiracetam has neuroprotective benefits for the brain.
This nootropic may increase myelin, which is the protective sheath around brain cell axons (the part that transmits information from neuron to neuron).
Myelin is critical for proper brain function.
However, sometimes, it can get damaged, such as by a stroke, and this can lead to major problems.
Luckily, there is evidence that phenylpiracetam can repair and regrow damaged myelin.9Kalinskiĭ PP, Nazarov VV.. Use of phenotropil in the treatment of asthenic syndrome and autonomic disturbances in the acute period of mild cranial brain trauma, Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2007
Other trials also suggest that phenylpiracetam can significantly improve recovery and quality of life post-stroke.
This could be due to phenylpiracetam increasing blood flow to the brain as well.10
Koval’chuk VV, Skoromets AA, Koval’chuk IV, Stoianova EG, Vysotskaia ML, Melikhova EV, Il’iaĭnen EV.. Efficacy of phenotropil in the rehabilitation of stroke patients], Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2010
Phenylpiracetam For Eye Health
Interestingly, phenylpiracetam may be able to improve eye health, making it unique among racetams.11S.N. Basinskii, A.S. Basinskii. Neuroprotective effect of Fenotropil in unstabilized primary glaucoma
, РМЖ «Клиническая Офтальмология» №4 от 24.10.2007
How Phenylpiracetam Works In The Brain
According to research, phenylpiracetam has a nootropic effect on acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, and NMDA neurotransmitters.
All of these transmitters work together to regulate your attention, mood, arousal, memory, and general brain function.
It is critical that all of your receptors are working properly and communicating effectively with each other.
However, as we age, we tend to lose receptors in the brain. This makes our neurotransmitter systems less responsive and can lead to all sorts of cognitive problems.
Fortunately, phenylpiracetam can actually increase the density of these critical neurotransmitters.
his means your brain can transmit signals efficiently, and you can operate 100%. It reverses the inevitable degradation that comes with age.
Phenylpiracetam can also modulate alpha and beta brainwaves, although researchers are still unsure exactly how it does this. This could be why it works as an anti-epileptic.12Gower AJ, Noyer M, Verloes R, Gobert J, Wülfert E. ucb L059, a novel anti-convulsant drug: pharmacological profile in animals, Eur J Pharmacol. 1992
Phenylpiracetam Potential Side Effects
As with all racetams, the main side-effect of phenylpiracetam is a headache. This is due to how it uses up choline stores in the brain to make ACh.
This can usually be remedied by staking it with a good source of choline, such as citicoline or Alpha GPC.
The racetam/choline duo is a classic in the nootropics community. They have a synergistic effect on one another, and can significantly boost memory and learning.
Some users report a bit of edginess or overstimulation at higher doses. We do not recommend taking it too close to bedtime for this reason.
Tolerance can be a factor with phenylpiracetam. We recommend cycling this nootropic, perhaps only taking on weekdays, or days when you really need to pump out work.
This keeps phenylpiracetam working well when you need it.
We strive to bring you the most up to date, research-based information about Phenylpiracetam and other nootropics.
Something we missed? Do you use Phenylpiracetam? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
About the author:
Erik Levi is a co-founder of HolisticNootropics.com and a certified holistic nutritional therapy practitioner.
As an NTP Erik takes a nutrition first approach to health. He has worked with many different people to help them use nutrition to optimize their quality of life.
Erik believes that mental health is a physiological process and cognitive enhancement is not something that can be achieved by just taking some pills with good Amazon reviews.
Instead, true cognitive enhancement comes with the right balance of nutrients, movement, and gratitude. Erik continues to stay up to date with the most current nootropic and holistic health research and promises to deliver the best solutions possible.
You can check out his personal health blog/podcast/YouTube Channel all under the name Holistic A-Hole.