The Future of Medicine: What To Know About Smart Drugs & Nootropics

Oxidative Stress Protection Oxidative stress is the unwanted production of free radicals in the brain. Free radicals are reactive chemicals that come from imbalances in the… Darren Ryding - December 20, 2023
Medical News Today

Oxidative Stress Protection

Oxidative stress is the unwanted production of free radicals in the brain. Free radicals are reactive chemicals that come from imbalances in the body. The problem is that they can cause diseases and long-term damage. There’s a belief that some smart drugs may protect against oxidative stress.

Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that fight against these processes. Meanwhile, gotu kola is a popular plant with multiple benefits. Reportedly, it can protect against heavy metals as well as reducing free radicals in the brain. Usually, people consume gotu kola in capsule or tea form (via Mount Sinai).

Peace Valley Recovery

Quality Control

One of the current issues with nootropic consumption is that people are sourcing them from the internet. They’re turning to Amazon or even the deep web because they can’t buy them over the counter. The issue with this is that there is no quality control and this is extremely risky.

Even the FDA isn’t infallible but it can’t approve drugs that may actively kill or hurt people. Many students are buying these prescription drugs online and they have serious side effects that they don’t consider. Regulation is crucial so that young people don’t tempt fate (via Web MD).



Addiction or over-dependence on smart drugs can become a genuine problem. If people take stimulant drugs they may unconsciously develop the former issue. That’s why it’s impossible to buy them over the counter without a prescription. However, many users don’t realize this before they obtain them.

It’s also possible to become dependent without addictive cravings. After using smart drugs a tolerance may develop over time. This means that it will ironically become more challenging to focus without using them. It’s also likely that users will take more to regain the same effect (via The Woods At Parkside).

News Medical

Sleep Disorders

Nootropic users often take them because they want to stave off drowsiness and remain alert. That’s why they’re using the likes of Modafinil or Adderall. However, the reverse effect is that they may unwittingly trigger sleep disorders. Insomnia and unusual physical tiredness are commonly reported as long-term side effects.

Nobody wants to deal with these but they’re a genuine risk. ADHD medications are particularly risky in this regard because pharmacists create them to engage with the body’s chemical imbalances. That’s why it’s important to consult a medical expert before recklessly using them without a prescription (via Turnbridge).


Scientific American

Brain Wave Modulation

Some smart drug proponents profess that they promote brain wave modulation. The brain produces patterns of neuronal activity when we do different tasks. Scientists are aware of four distinct categories ranging from most to least activity. Brain wave modulation attempts to manipulate and fine-tune these frequencies (via Scientific American).

This is a controversial topic because many experts decry this and say there’s no evidence to validate this yet. Many also believe that meditation and other holistic practices are as effective as using nootropics for this purpose. Only time will tell if smart drugs can aid brain wave modulation.

The Varsity

Further Research Required

One of the most important points to note about smart drugs is that we need to do more research to understand them. The reality is that they are the future and their increased use is resulting in their normalization. It’s naive to try to change the course of history because it’s not going to happen.

Scientists will play a big part in uncovering the truth about smart drugs. We’ll learn what works and what’s pointless or even dangerous for us to consume. It’s also important for legislators to carefully regulate them but not to turn them into fetishized banned substances like illegal drugs (via The Varsity).