15 Most Common Smart Drugs in 2024 – Learn Science About Them!

Nootropics or smart drugs are great compounds at enhancing cognitive skills. They’re popular to give your mind an extra boost. Learn about the effective ones

Smart drugs are a combination of natural and synthetic substances which, when taken, to improve mental performance in people who have a busy life schedule.

In today’s modern world, it has become popular in higher competitive societies that often use this drug to boost memory, focus, intelligence, and motivation.

Not all drug users are using a chemical escape hatch. They want to experiment with something newer. From which they can enhance their workability at school or work.

They need it to boost the brain’s ability, stay alert for long hours, and also to be attentive and keep their brain activity to keep track of information. 

This enhancement and be fast at work, some people use pills that doctors typically prescribe to the patients of ADHD, narcolepsy, or Alzheimer’s. Others use stacks of different nootropic supplements.


These smart drugs play a very active role in a person’s mind and body.

It not only helps to focus but also keeps him ahead at everything. This fast forward life is characterized in the movie “Limitless,” which came in 2011.

This movie gave the idea of how these pills work in our daily lives and what are the effects and side effects of it. As the character of the writer in this movie Eddie Morra which acted by Bradley Cooper says,

“You know how they say that we can only access 20% of our brain? Well, what this does, it lets you access all of it.”

While showing the creativity of smart drugs, this pill grants Eddie to enhance all the cognitive areas.

He learns to play piano in three days; in four days, he finished his book and rapidly became a millionaire.


Limitless was just a movie that showed the way of pills works.

However, in real life, a few studies researched to know the most common smart drugs or neuro enhancer actually works.

A survey conducted in 2016 which showed 15% of the students of University of Oxford were using this pill to stay active during competition.

In the US, a study in 2014 found that 18% of juniors and seniors of Ivy League colleges are using smart drugs at least one time during their academic career.

24% of students said that they used more than eight occasions.

What are precisely nootropics?

Multiple names exist for a substance that we call nootropics.

Cognitive enhancer or any other name that you want to give them, you are talking about elements/ mixtures that are highly potent when it comes to elevating your rational abilities.

However, the question will remain there, are they actually as potent as they sound to be influential and critically, do they come in a safe zone?

The peer competition is not getting any lesser but getting tougher every single day and the graph of popularity of nootropics is on an upward trend too. College students seem tensed for their grades or corporate sector executives for their promotions or maintaining performance. 

Furthermore, nootropics can be addictive.

They are smart drugs that aid your brain to give its best shot in the most effective manner possible. Speaking of that, which are the most excellent nootropic products currently in the market?

The sad part is these claimed influential brands are beginners in this field.

They have their online presence, but their authority on the subject is questionable. We need to remind you that the internet is not safe always, particularly when it comes to purchasing. Online frauds/scams are a common thing.

Hence, use your brain when opting for an option.

However, various options are present online, which are not the only natural but also they can give you results that you are looking for, and they are risk-free, too. Sadly, the ratio of such authentic products is quite low.

15 Most Common Smart Drugs of 2024

Several ‘smart drugs’ or cognitive enhancers have captured attention.

Stimulants like modafinil, which treat a sleep disorder, have become the most popular. 

Furthermore, people use stimulants. The stimulants which have amphetamine salt called Adderall and methylphenidate.

Methylphenidate is also popular with the name of  “Ritalin.”

These smart drugs are being used in people’s lives. Especially in students who use these drugs to enhance their performance in school and college and continue to use in their professional lives.

Other than the above-mentioned pills, a few more tablets are taken to enhance cognition at its best.

Here is the list of those most common smart drugs that have been studied clinical trials:


Adderall is a medication that cannot be taken in without prescription as it contains a high amount of amphetamines.

These amphetamines which are available in Adderall make a person active and more awake, attentive, and optimistic.

According to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), they have approved Adderall for only one purpose: treatment in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

However, it is taken in to be alert and stay focused in high-pressure jobs.

Depending o the dose and pill prescribed, the effect of Adderall lasts up to 12 hours. An extensive review in 2011 found that this drug not only helps in focus but also allows remembering past events (long-term conscious memory).

Adderall does have positive effects on mental performances, but it is better to use if the doctor prescribes it.


It is an addictive drug, and continuous use might cause side effects such as sweating, weight loss, anxiety, nausea, and sleeplessness.

Moreover, even higher risks of heart attack and sudden death.


This drug belongs to the racetam class as it helps to reduce anxiety.

A study conducted in Greece in 2012 and found that this drug can boost cognitive functions in adults.

It can also treat Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which is a type of disorder that marks forgetfulness and problems with language, judgment, and planning. 


It is not FDA approved and might cause nausea, anxiety, and vertigo.


Ashwagandha is an herbal supplement used to calm anxiety and increase focus.

Other than stress, this herb can reduce blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and affect thyroid disorders. 


The most common side effects of this herb is a headache.


As acetyl, the main work is to support memory, learning, and perception.

Nevertheless, studies have not shown any effects of this supplement on cognitive ability.

It is likely to enhance brain health in people with liver disease and people with dementia. 


Its side effects may lead to vomiting and diarrhea.


This supplement helps to enhance thinking, memory, and learning.

A trial in 2014 concluded that this supplement has shown positive results in healthy patients and people with dementia, a potential to improve cognition, and more speed of attention. 


Side effects might cause cramps, nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue.

It also creates a slow heart rate, and worse, it can aggravate lung conditions, thyroid disorder, and urinary tract.


Creatine is an amino acid when he enters the body, it helps to make protein.

It is famous for bodybuilding purposes, which supports muscle growth but is also beneficial for the brain.

Creatine supports to enhance mental functions in sleep-deprived adults and improved cognitive functions when doing difficult tasks.

It has shown positive results in the treatment of cognitive decline in people with Parkinson’s disease. 


It may lead to weight gain, gastrointestinal issues, and anxiety when used in excess.


Huperzine A helps to improve short-term memory and long-term cognition.

A study in 2013 suggests that it may improve memory and mental functions in people with dementia. 


Its side effects cause epilepsy, heart diseases, and asthma, and peptic ulcers.


It is one of the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).

It is a mood booster and helps in enhancing attention and planning. This drug helps to treat early symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Small studies show that it can improve cognitive functions and enhance cognitive skills. 


It might increase sudden high blood pressure when combined with other food substances like cheese.

It is also dangerous when combined with other drugs.


This drug is to improve memory and the ability to complete complex tasks.

It is FDA approved to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s. It also enhances procedural memory. Type allows remembering how to do things like ride a bicycle.


 While taking this drug, it can lead to sleep problems, appetite, and other serious side effects.


Ritalin is the most common drug in use to stay awake and increase focus and memory.

Like Adderall, Ritalin is a stimulant and increases dopamine in the brain, but it does not contain amphetamines. It is FDA approved to treat ADHD.

It also helps people with traumatic brain injury to concentrate for more extended periods but does not improve memory in those patients.

A study in 2016 shows that a low dose of this drug has shown improved cognitive performance which includes, memory in healthy adults.

Like Adderall, Ritalin also has sound effects on people who want to improve their cognitive abilities. Still, it is also available only if the doctor prescribes it.

Also you need to see these top Adderall alternatives that works as best legal replacement.


Its side effects can cause in both adolescents and adults, which are nervousness, sweating, blurred vision, reduction in appetite, weight loss, and nausea.


This drug is FDA approved and is in consumption in the treatment of narcolepsy.

Still, people without narcolepsy have shown conditions like alert feeling improved reaction time and enhancing mental functions.

In small studies, modafinil has improved planning and working memory and better reaction time.

In a study earlier this year, it involved 39 male chess players, while taking Modafinil, it showed that the drug helped to perform better in chess games when playing against the computer.

Modafinil appears to have a strong nootropic effect and is only available via prescription in most countries.

Long-term use may affect memory in young brains.

12) Noopept

This drug was manufactured in Russia to treat age declined cognitive performance.

Unlike some of the natural nootropics, the effect of Noopept is active within minutes rather than hours or days, and its effects stay for several hours.

Noopept enhances memory, learning skills, and increase in focus.

A study in 2007 in mice shows that this drug may improve cognitive functions connected to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.


Omega-3 is available in fish oils and contains EPA and DHA fatty acids.

These fatty acids help to reduce stress, improved concentration, and reaction time.

It can easily benefit from dietary sources of essential fatty acids. Still, its supplementation is necessary for people with heart diseases.

DHA enhances memory and reaction time in healthy young adults. 


Fish oils containing DHA might cause a nose bleed, loose stool, and belching.


Piracetam is another synthetic nootropic drug with the same properties and structure as of Noopept.

This nootropic drug is to be an enhancer of memory, learning, and concentration by improving blood flow to the brain.

Mixed evidence has shown that it might help to improve memory in people with cognitive impairments. 


Piracetam is well managed but can cause allergic reactions, nervousness and anxiety, balance problems, and other side effects.


Tyrosine is a drug that enhances memory, alertness, focus, and ability to solve problems.

Military studies suggest that supplementing this drug may help to increase memory, concentration, and vigilance in healthy patients, which are mandatory for military settings.

Working memory gets affected usually under cold environment, but supplementing tyrosine, it buffers the effect. 


Its side effects might include nausea, headache, fatigue, heartburn, and joint pain.

Nootropic and smart drugs are in use to enhance cognitive functions are made with natural and synthetic substances.

Prescribed drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, have the most reliable and most useful effects on memory and focus. 

Synthetic drugs, such as Noopept and Piracetam, are quickly and widely available. Still, the effects on a healthy adult are lacking.

Many nootropic substances go well with medicines, but their impact is slow and subtle. When combining with other ingredients, the effects increase.

Wrap Up

These are the 15 most common smart drugs which support to enhance cognitive functions, which include memory, learning, focus, concentration, and ability to stay attentive during tough works.

These common smart drugs are available in today’s society to compete in this fast-paced life of competition with the speed of attention and focus.

These drugs will help both adults and adolescents to increase their focus, memory, concentration, and attention.

Still, over dosage might cause some severe side effects.

Studies References

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