Phenylpiracetam (Phenotropil) is actually a nootropic and belongs to the racetam family. It is a phenyl- derivative of piracetam (Hence its name). Phenylpiracetam is believed to have more neuroprotective abilities than piracetam. It also has psychostimulatory properties and is reported to boost physical performance.
Similar to other racetam drugs, there is quite a bit of research that indicates that phenylpiracetam is very effective at weakening the symptoms of cognitive decline. The studies that were carried out used phenylpiracetam for over one month. The evidence suggested that benefits were mostly applied to cognitive decline that was caused organically (such as dementia or strokes) rather than traumatic brain injury.
So far, there has only been one study done on rats that suggested cognitive improvement in otherwise healthy young rats. The study noticed this benefit with the R-isomer (the racemic mixture, which is commonly sold, failed to outperform control). Although there are improvements in cognitive properties of phenylpiracetam in youth, it is possible they are specific, and different from the psychostimulatory properties (which occur with said racemic mixture and the R-isomer).
Basically, just like its parent molecule piracetam, phenylpiracetam has shown to have a role in boosting memory, cognitive function, and perhaps even physical strength. Some studies suggest that it may be up to 30 to 60 times more potent than piracetam. These are all reasons why phenylpiracetam has been gaining popularity among people who use nootropics, or “cognitive-enhancing” drugs.
It is interesting that phenylpiracetam has been banned from use by the Olympics committee recently because there is a rising concern that athletes could abuse it as a performance enhancer. Because phenylpiracetam is essentially a piracetam molecule with a phenyl group attached to it, it has increased bioavailability and is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, which makes it different from the usual piracetam.
What Are the Benefits of Phenylpiracetam?
Here we are going to review some of the potential benefits that phenylpiracetam has shown so far in the preliminary studies.
Helping Brain Recovery
Some experts suggest that phenylpiracetam could potentially play a role in helping the brain recover from damage or disease faster than it usually would. This research is still in a very early stage, and testing on humans is needed to get more solid results. In a double-blind randomized controlled study in 400 stroke patients, the normal brain activity of patients improved after one year of treatment with phenylpiracetam.
One additional cohort study of 99 patients with brain disease showed that phenylpiracetam was able to improve cognitive function and memory after only one month of treatment.
Phenylpiracetam Might Improve Memory
Some researchers have reported evidence that suggests that phenylpiracetam could have a positive effect on cognitive functioning. However, this research is still in a very early stage, and should not be taken as definite just yet.
According to one study, phenylpiracetam has shown the ability to improve the memory test scores of 55 patients with asthenia (a symptom of asthenia is abnormal lack of energy) and 59 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
In one study done on animals, phenylpiracetam increased the number of dopamine receptors in rats with memory loss, and this could have led to improved memory and recall. Although these results show promise, there still haven’t been any studies done on the potential cognitive effects of phenylpiracetam in healthy human users. For this reason, it is still too early to come to any firm conclusions about the potential nootropic effects of this substance.
Possible Side Effects
In general, piracetam is considered a safe substance with little risk of side effects. In the abiding studies, subjects who were given doses of 24 grams daily had no negative effects. The side effects that occurred in rare cases included depression, agitation, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, nausea, paranoia, and diarrhea. Pregnant women or people with kidney problems aren’t recommended to take phenylpiracetam.
Although phenylpiracetam has shown to be generally safe, it may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners like warfarin. If you have medical conditions and take medication frequently, you should make sure to consult with your doctor before taking phenylpiracetam.
One more important notice, this compound is still relatively new, therefore there isn’t much evidence about how safe it is for humans and frequently it might lead to adverse side-effects.
How to Take Phenylpiracetam?
Phenylpiracetam most commonly comes in a bitter-tasting powder and in capsule forms. Both the powder and capsule forms are meant to be taken orally. They can also be combined with other daily supplements, such as choline.
Phenylpiracetam is recommended to be taken at a dosage of 100-200mg acutely, and this dose is taken 2-3 times per day (200-600mg range in total) with meals. The lower range has been effective so far, but the optimal dosage is still a mystery due to the lack of research.
It is also widely reported by users that tolerance to phenylpiracetam’s effects often develop relatively quickly. People who took it suggested that tolerance is limited to phenylpiracetam’s energizing and physical stamina properties.
The R-isomer has shown to be more active on the common usages of phenylpiracetam (such as stimulation and cognition) than S-isomer. While the racemic mixture (one of the frequently sold versions) is effective for cognitive decline, it’s still unclear whether it works for nootropic purposes in youth.
The so called “half-life” of phenylpiracetam has been calculated to be somewhere between 3-5 hours. This concludes that the body clears out about half of the drug from the bloodstream every 3-5 hours. Since the users of phenylpiracetam have reported developing tolerance to this drug rather quickly, it has led experts to believe that this substance should be taken occasionally rather than a daily supplement.
Can Phenylpiracetam Help With Anxiety and Depression?
In one anticipated cohort study, phenylpiracetam has been helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in 99 patients who suffered from brain damage (from either surgery or stroke) after only a month of treatment.
In another open-label study of 35 heart disease patients with anxiety and depressive disorders, phenylpiracetam treatment for 12 weeks was reported to reduce anxiety. But after 4 to 8 weeks, the effect seems to have worn off. This suggests that this effect might be weak or short-lived.
There were a few animal studies that showed similar results. In one study with mice, phenylpiracetam was reported to reduce anxiety behaviors and increased the frequency of exploratory behavior they showed while being placed in an environment that is unfamiliar.
Can Phenylpiracetam Help with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?
Dementia is an illness that affects your memory, ability to perform tasks and communicate, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common cause of dementia.
Test-tube studies show that phylopiracetam could be useful against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease because it can prevent damage caused by amyloid-beta peptide build-up.
Human studies also suggest that phylopiracetam can help boost mental performance in elderly people who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or general brain impairment.
In an analysis of 19 studies in approximately 1,500 adults with dementia or brain impairment, it has been revealed that 61% of people taking phylopiracetam showed improved mental performance, compared to only 33% with the placebo treatment.
However, there have also been studies that researched this effect and didn’t come to similar conclusions.
Also, most human studies on phylopiracetam are short, which means that long-term effects in people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia still remain a mystery.
Can Phenylpiracetam Help With Epilepsy Treatment?
In one study with 31 patients, a combination of phenylpiracetam with anti-seizure medications (taken daily for 2 months) was believed to have led to a significant decrease in seizures compared to the anti-seizure medication alone.
Also, one similar double-blind randomized controlled trial in 90 seizure patients reported that a combination of phenylpiracetam and more typical anti-seizure drugs reduced seizures and improved cognitive function. Some experts suggest that phenylpiracetam’s potential anti-seizure effects may be due to its ability to selectively reduce the activation of brain cells that control movement (motor cortical neurons).
To summarize, phylopiracetam is a synthetic nootropic substance that might have a role in improving mental performance. The positive effects it can have on the brain seem more frequent in older adults, as well as those people who suffer from mental impairment, dementia, or learning disorders, such as dyslexia. However, keep in mind that very few studies on phylopiracetam have been concluded, and most of the research is dated, so new research is needed before it can be recommended with certainty. Piracetam should be safe for most people, but if you take medication frequently or have any medical disorders, you should make sure to speak to your healthcare providers before you start experimenting with this substance.