Last updated: June 8, 2018


Phenylpiracetam is a drug so powerfully stimulating, the Olympic committee has banned its use for athletes competing at this high level. While it is not legally banned or inherently dangerous, this should tell you something about the efficacy of phenylpiracetam for enhancing feelings of stimulation. What’s the true power of phenylpiracetam?

A lack of scientific research stymies any strong recommendation of phenylpiracetam, but the evidence that does exist looks promising. One study showed phenylpiracetam is a cognitive enhancer to improve with general cognition and learning [1]. Beyond learning and memory, which is common amongst the racetam family, there are benefits as an antidepressant as well [2]. Studies showed that using phenylpiracetam can reduce symptoms of depression.

What phenylpiracetam lacks in statistics, data, and research, it makes up for in anecdotal evidence. This nootropic compound is among the most stimulating of racetams, which makes it both a great focus and concentration tool as well as a memory and learning enhancer.

Also Known As

Phenotropil, Carphedon, (RS)-2-(2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidin-1-yl)acetamide

Editors’ Thoughts on Phenylpiracetam

This is by far my favorite of the racetams simply because I already feel my memory is quite strong. I like this better than pramiracetam because it is more stimulating and has a stronger effect, but it is definitely something I don’t take every day.

I’d say phenylpiracetam is comparable to Modafinil in some ways, though quite different as far as how they work. If you are interested in trying phenylpiracetam, my personal recommendation would be to use it in smaller doses at first and then increase the dose.

The reason being, there is a tendency to take a lot of phenylpiracetam given how relatively non-stimulating other racetams are (such as piracetam). At least, that’s been my experience.

Finally, if you do any kind of physical activity at all, this stuff is a great tool. I don’t particularly need a pre-workout other than coffee, but this stuff inadvertently is great for that specific purpose.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor



Phenylpiracetam Benefits

Colloquially, the benefits of phenylpiracetam are physical and mental stimulation, but there is more science to it than that.

Primarily, like most racetams, phenylpiracetam is an effective cognitive enhancer. One study showed that people suffering from cognitive decline (from brain lesions and epilepsy) saw significant improvement in their mental and cognitive abilities through the use of phenylpiracetam [3]. Another study showed a 7% greater recovery compared to a control [4].

Beyond improving cognitive abilities, phenylpiracetam is also a useful combatant against cognitive decline. One of the main phenylpiracetam benefits is to reduce the rate of cognitive decline [5]. Thus. it is as much a neuroprotective agent as it is a memory enhancer.

For the brain, the phenylpiracetam benefit most people often overlook is the anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. A study that focused on anxiety as a symptom of stroke found that phenylpiracetam was an effective tool for recovery [6]. While some other racetams have this as an off-hand property, phenylpiracetam is used for this purpose if anecdotal reports are to be believed.

There aren’t any well-researched studies on the subject, but community members who have used phenylpiracetam for physical stimulation have been pleasantly surprised. The Olympic Anti-Doping Agency has banned the use of phenylpiracetam for their athletes for these properties. In the next section, we’ll tackle the impact this has on the brain and concentration.

Phenylpiracetam for Focus

According to scientistific terms, “psychostimulation” is synonymous with focus and concentration. One study showed that phenylpiracetam was so stimulating to the brain, it created sleep disturbances for the participants [7]. This is assuredly not proof of the concentration and focus benefits, but this is a similar symptoms as many other smart drugs that tout the same thing.

In any case, the anecdotal reports fill in many of the gaps for phenylpiracetam. Supposedly, people use phenylpiracetam for focus often in order to get more from their work. Compared to caffeine and any other racetam, it is stronger even if it lasts a shorter period.

Piracetam vs Phenylpiracetam

Piracetam is the grandfather of the racetam family and nootropics as a whole. Phenylpiracetam is structurally similar to piracetam, but with significantly enhanced effects. The added “phenyl” group is the only chemical difference comparing piracetam vs phenylpiracetam, but the effects of this phenyl group are quite large.

As mentioned above, the stimulation associated with the phenyl group can be quite strong. Speculation suggests this chemical structure allows the drug to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily and supply piracetam to designated regions, but this is untested.

According to neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Hill, the phenyl group acts similar to cocaine within the brain. This may account for the stimulation aspect, but it comes at a cost.

Side Effects of Phenylpiracetam

Any nootropic, especially one that is stimulating, has the potential for side effects. The phenylpiracetam studies on sleep and psychostimulation prove one of the main problems can be insomnia. People who take phenylpiracetam too late in the evening or afternoon might be unable to get quality sleep due these effects [8].

Additionally, standard racetam side effects also apply to users of phenylpiracetam. Some people struggle with a headache due to a lack of acetylcholine (remedied by alpha GPC or citicoline). Other people have phenylpiracetam side effects such as overstimulation or jitteriness, nausea, or irritability.

When a user experiences phenylpiracetam side effects similar to overstimulation or irritability, it may be a sign to reduce the phenylpiracetam dosage rather than quit outright. Some public figures, such as Dave Asprey, have popularized this drug but at a high dose (he has recounted consuming 500 mg). This is considerably higher than the recommended starting dose and it would be common to experience phenylpiracetam side effects as you will read below.

Phenylpiracetam Dosage

The phenylpiracetam dosage varies depending on the needs and studies, but some general reference exists. If you are looking for pure stimulation, doses of 100 – 200 mg seem to work well. The total effective dose is around 200 – 600 mg per day taken in 2 – 3 doses.

According to the scientific literature, patients were given anywhere between 200 and 400 mg for the purpose of cognitive enhancement so it’s good to start in this range [9].

[Editor's Note: The phenylpiracetam dosage will depend highly upon each individual. I did QEEG testing on my brain while on phenylpiracetam and Dr. Hill was surprised that my phenylpiracetam dosage was as high as 300 mg.]

How to Take Phenylpiracetam

This drug is particularly potent, which means it may be useful to learn how to take phenylpiracetam before diving in. Not everyone needs to go through this process, but for the risk-averse, this “Shulgin method” (named after psychedelic researcher Alexander Shulgin) may be helpful.

Here are three simple steps for your protection:

  1. Consume a microdose – a dose of 5-10 mg of phenylpiracetam will rule out any allergies to the substance. This may be done via powder or breaking the capsule open.
  2. Consume 1/2 a dose – given the lowest dose range is 100 mg, this might be a 50 mg dose to make sure you do not react negatively.
  3. Consume 1 full low dose – finally, use 100 mg as recommended and experience the psycho-effects.

Only after this start consuming higher doses as you feel necessary.

Nootropic Stacks with Phenylpiracetam

Most of the nootropics we would recommend stacking with phenylpiracetam are choline related. We've described both alpha GPC and citicoline, but there are other options like centrophenoxine that interact with the cholinergic system.

Adding more stimulation to phenylpiracetam (in the form of stimulants like modafinil, adrafinil, or armodafinil) may be too much for some people. The effects of phenylpiracetam are strong and can last for many hours. Adding doses of other high-powered stimulants is often not a good idea.

The unique stack blend Nootroo includes phenylpiracetam with the basic caffeine and L-theanine blend, which may be too much stimulation for some, but is good for others.

Most Ayurvedic herbs should be okay alongside phenylpiracetam. Things like ashwagandha to help reduce anxiety may even be synergistic depending on how much anxiety results from using this smart drug.

How and Where to Buy Phenylpiracetam

Unlike pramiracetam, the phenylpiracetam powder is not terrible tasting, but it is not entirely enjoyable. Phenylpiracetam capsules will be a better experience than the powder if you are looking to buy phenylpiracetam online.

Phenylpiracetam is a new nootropic that has only recently gained popularity due to anecdotal reports on internet communities like Reddit and Longecity. Because it is new and unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is a good idea to buy phenylpiracetam with caution and care.

There are no phenylpiracetam Amazon products because that online shopping platform has banned some of the grey area products. As nice as it would be to purchase phenylpiracetam Amazon products for the safety and convenience, it does not look like there will be a product of that kind anytime soon.

This smart drug is extremely stimulatory and potent, which means one false purchase could land you in an uncomfortable position. The majority of phenylpiracetam suppliers are reputable, but it is best to find the most reputable with community trust and testing (such as assay and heavy metals).

This is why we consistently recommend Pure Nootropics phenylpiracetam. They do assay testing as well as metal analysis for most of their products.

Selected Community Experiences

Had an amazing basketball session with phenylpiracetam earlier in the evening. Really does make for higher percentages of the ball dropping through the hoop…this is a nice loose and deliberate feeling with my body. All the muscle memory is immediate or something. I get why it's on the banned substances list.” [10] – 150c_vapour

Phenylpiracetam never ceases to amaze me. I have been feeling very shitty lately. Depressed, low motivation, fatigue, anti social etc. I am definitely in the midst of some sort of defecit. We'll today that changed when I took 100 mgs of phenylpiracetam. I was laughing with friends, I felt GOOD.” [11] – Chokaholic

I've been experimenting with both Phenylpiracetam and modafinil (200mg) and subjectively I notice that the effect is basically the same. I know if I've taken modafinil whereas Phenylpiracetam is more subtle but all in all the effects are very similar.” [12] – gum11

Phenylpiracetam Reviews

The phenylpiracetam reviews in the above “selected community experiences” are important because there is little scientific research on this drug on healthy adults. Almost all of the phenylpiracetam effects are studied on patients that have senile dementia or some cognitive deficit rather than looking for cognitive enhancement.

While the phenylpiracetam reviews are certainly anecdotal, they allow us to better understand how it might interact with a healthy adult brain similar to the thousands of other users. The science is still important as we can use the information to understand mechanisms, but the phenylpiracetam reviews give us another picture as well.

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Nootropedia is meant to be a resource for individuals researching drugs and supplements that are good for brain health, otherwise known as nootropics, and thus we are the Nootropics Encyclopedia. Because of our in-depth coverage of this topic, our community has requested that we cover other brain health topics and "lifehacks" so that has become the focus of Nootropedia.