University of Tasmania
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Monitoring the internet for nootropic substances available to Australian consumers

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posted on 2023-05-27, 09:17 authored by Adams, BLM
There is a historical interest in improving cognitive performance for individuals in fields such as academia. Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, are increasingly being used by individuals to obtain desirable cognitive benefits. Research has focused on investigating the potential benefits of nootropics through animal studies, however there is limited knowledge regarding the potential adverse side effects of these substances in humans. An online, active community of nootropic consumers have provided consumer experiences and advice for new consumers, to aid in the navigation of the vast nootropic online market. The current two-part study aimed to firstly monitor the nootropic market available to the Australian consumer, and secondly, to provide a narrative review of the top ten most commonly available nootropics. The 12-month monitoring revealed a vast, relatively stable nootropic marketplace. Adrafinil, Alpha GPC, Aniracetam, Noopept, Oxiracetam, Phenibut, Centrophenoxine, L-theanine, Phenylpiracetam, and Paramiracetam were identified as the ten most common nootropics on the market and were the focus of the narrative review. The second study revealed several psychological (e.g., anxiety and low mood) and other (e.g., physical pain and sleep difficulties) side effects of the commonly used nootropics. The current study was limited in that the nootropics were not purchased to ensure product availability, and by the validity and reliability of consumer reports. It is advisable that clinicians increase their understanding of the potential harms nootropics may have on consumers. Future research is required to further explore and validate these side effects.


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