Another Russian Racetam, derived from the Czar of Nootropics, Piracetam. It's regarded as the mathematician's smart drug for the powers of cognition it stimulates.
While a more expensive Racetam, it is 30-60 times more potent than Piracetam (see the infographic below). You can find double blind, placebo controlled human studies done specifically on Phenylpiracetam on Pubmed in addition to hundreds more studies on the Racetam family of drugs.
Better than Piracetam?
According to a 2007 Russian study, Phenylpiracetam is superior than Piracetam for the following
- Psychostimulatory effects
One of the most cited reviews of Racetams, published in 2010, identified it as a powerful anti cognitive decline agent, both in the elderly and the young. These studies involved:
- Dosages 200mg (100mg twice daily) up to 600mg (200mg thrice daily)
- Over a period of 1 month.
To quote a 2005 Russian study:
"Patients exhibited higher mobility and daily activity, along with lower discomfort, anxiety and depression. EEG study showed more intensive alpha- and beta-rhythms..."
A Logic Drug
It's supposed to be amazing for highly technical tasks requiring hours of focus but it apparently impedes the creative side of the brain, which probably makes it something of an antisocial smart drug. To quote Abelard Lindsay, the obsessive stack experimenter:
"...this stuff goes great with CILTEP, and massively improves my programming focus when taken with it. The only problem with it is that it completely turns off the right brain... What am I talking about when I say it turns off the right brain? I try and image stream and I just can't do it when I'm on phenylpiracetam... The thoughts just evaporate. It's great for left brained stuff though (e.g Programming, Math, etc) because it pretty thoroughly prevents your right brain from interrupting any thought processes."
Another videoblog review shared this sentiment "It did nothing to improve my ability to speak or express my thoughts."
A day trader reported:
"I'm a stock analyst/trader, so I use phenylpiracetam to read for a long time various documents without getting interrupted. It's great for getting a lot of work done that doesn't require you to be totally precise. I say "precise" because it might make you overconfident in some situations because you're so focused and powerful for an extended period of time."
It is a banned athletic performance enhancing substance; a 1999 Korean study found it increased cold resistance (which seems beneficial in Russia!) and physical endurance.
It's a favorite of professional athletes unable to resist the siren call of performance enhancers, over the years it has caused some scandal in the arena of cold weather sports, in fact Olympic Silver medalist Olga Pyleva was disqualified after the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
To quote on athlete on Longecity "I'm an athlete and only take 200 mg and It greatly improves my tolerance to cold during cross country."
This account and many others suggest that (provided you don't have to pass an athletic doping test!) it would make an excellent pre-workout supplement.
"Phenylpiracetam makes me feel light on my feet" to quote another Racetam comparison.
Anxiety & Depression
A 99 person study reported "a general tendency to its normalization." for those suffering from Encephalopathy. Encephalopathy is not a specific disease but rather a set of symptoms which manifest as a host demons in the mind and body; anxiety, depression, distractability, lethargy, tremors, seizures and twitching. It's a potent anti-depressant, a 2009 Latvian study found it attenuated R-isomer
These studies demonstrate one of the most subtle advantages of Nootropic supplementation...
The challenges we face staying healthy today are less like changing the oil to maintain a car and more like the dubiously disastrous check engine light. Symptoms like...
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor sleep
...Could be due to something as simple as a Vitamin B3 deficiency (which could be fixed for about $7/monthly) or as complex as a failing adrenal gland due an exotic cancer. The Racetams are demonstrated to have such a variety of positive effects on disparate domains of the mind and nervous system that they will often fix sets of problems simultaneously that individually you could spend many thousands of dollars and years troubleshooting.
It originated from research centers in Moscow in 1983.
Communist and capitalist Russia have produced some excellent smart drugs, but a significant disadvantage of them is that many of the human clinical studies have not been translated to English or their supporting data is not accessible online.
Mechanism of Action
The mechanism of action mirrors Piracetam's; although
- Lipophilicity is enhanced by the extra phenyl group attached to the molecule.
- It appears to be more effective crossing the blood brain barrier than Piracetam.
- It fits into the Nootropic category of Ampakines, modulating the AMPA Receptor which defines many dimensions of our experience of reality. Ampakines are so effective at increasing our awarness of the world around us that DARPA has investigated them for military applications.
Unlike Piracetam it's not really a smart drug for everyday use as it's expensive and you will build up tolerance over time, the predominant theory on this has to do with it binding too the NMDA receptor and possibly decreasing receptor density.
One of the studies cited noted a slight correlation of sleep disturbances but the study is unavailable online and none of the better studies showed the same effect on sleep.
However, several anecdotal reports seem to confirm this, according to one self experimenter "the effects are noticeable and productive but I have trouble sleeping even 12 hours later. The sleeping issue appears to be cumulative..."
Careful sleep monitoring (quantifiable with a device like the Zeo Sleep Manager) is important and it's probably not a good idea to take Phenylpiracetam after midday or within 12 hours of sleeping.
Vs Sleep Deprivation
Once upon a dawn, following a crazy (yet sober - for me!) night, I took Phenyl to combat the exhaustion, which it did a great job of for about 2 hours then the lack of sleep got the best of me, I got really unfocused and unproductive.
To quote a 2011 study, "Phenotropil exhibited the psychoimmunomodulatory effect under these conditions, which manifested in prevention of anxiety and fear response, increase in horizontal locomotion and exploratory behavior, and improvement of immunoreactivity."
Phenylpiracetam is a hardcore Biohacker's drug. Even though it's highly praised by those who have used it, it has not pervaded into the mainstream as supplement. There's no consumer grade products that it's a significant constituent part of. This is likely just because it's expensive stuff; it requires a very complex synthesis and purification process which it's price reflects. It's a good idea to try it alone and conduct some self quantification experiments. You want to be a bit selective and make sure you are getting it from a pharmaceutical grade source that is verifed by a 3rd party analysis to be at least 97% pure, otherwise you're kind of taking a chance.
I used it myself for about 6 months and found that besides being a quientessential smart drug it made me optimistically narcissistic.
About the optimistic narcissism...
I did 500 milligrams normally and it always made me really positive about myself, which I think speaks to the potent antidepressant effects of the drug.
Modafinil is actually my favorite thing to combine with Phenylpiracetam. The two together I did not find overstimulating or anxiety inducing but if I combined them not more than twice a week; they focus zone of relentless productivity they put me into is unequaled.
The CILTEP Stack and Racetam's have synchronistic actions. Many biohackers report that it nicely compliments the 'social racetam' Aniracetam. Although the three together create an undesirable sensation.