James Bond continually fought the agents of communism and many times against great odds. Soviet scientists developed master drugs to improve strength and cognitive abilities in order to defeat James Bond, but it never worked. The truth about Russian drug development is not too far off. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, scientists in Russia developed powerful brain enhancing drugs like semax.

Developed in the 1980s and 90s, semax was authorized in Russia as a treatment for brain damage, cognitive degeneration, and stroke victims [1]. This peptide has been used in few human studies, but evidence suggests it has cognitive enhancing properties as well [2].

Beyond improving cognition, evidence suggests semax can also improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety [3]. There are a host of other benefits and semax is usually consumed via a metered nasal spray.

Also Known As

Semax Peptide, Met-Glu-His-Phe-Pro-Gly-Pro

Editors’ Thoughts on Semax

I’ve never taken it myself, but I’m sold as far as the literature is concerned. I’m surprised more people aren’t interested in using semax given how many different benefits are possible. I imagine it has to do with the relatively new and synthetic nature of the peptide.

I played soccer my whole life and saw a number of concussions and sports related brain injuries. I would suggest semax to some of my friends who have injuries they have not yet recovered from.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor


Benefits of Semax

In between the 2 – 3 decades since semax was synthesized and tested, there have been numerous studies on animals and humans to see the benefits of the drug. One of the primary benefits of semax is as a cognitive enhancer. One 2 day study of power plant workers tested semax and memory formation. The 1 mg dose 1 hour prior to the exam showed a drastic increase in correct responses [4].

The mechanism for improving cognitive function relates to brain chemicals like BDNF and NGF. Semax can increase BDNF and NGF by 8 and 5 times the baseline [5]. Numerous other studies have confirmed the increase in BDNF [6], which acts as a type of fertilizer for the brain to develop new neurological connections.

Another way semax improves cognitive abilities is through the increase of alpha brain wave states. EEG studies show semax can increase alpha brain waves in patients, but also can prevent negative EEG changes during stressful situations (hyperventilation) [7].

The benefits for alpha brain waves may also help support positive mood enhancement and reducing anxiety. Semax benefits include reducing symptoms of stress and depression [8]. The Journal of Psychophysiology published a study on the sedative effects of semax on those who were suffering from mental illness. Part of these benefits may come from an increase in serotonin turnover, which is traditionally done with SSRIs [9].

Finally, an interesting but not incredibly well-researched benefit of semax is as for stimulant potentiation. Studies show that semax in combination with stimulants (such as amphetamine) could increase the dopamine release from the drug. One study showed an increase of activity from 182% (just the amphetamine) versus 261% (amphetamine and semax) [10].

Side Effects of Semax

Even though semax is not a well known drug in the United States, it has a lot of evidence and research in Russia. It has been featured in numerous clinical trials on humans and all of these tests have reported no side effects or hormonal activity [11]. In Russia, the drug is used as a prescription for a number of medical conditions including stroke, cognitive disorders, and migraine headaches.

Semax Dosage

The semax dosage recommended on a daily basis is around 0.25 – 1 mg per day. This is considered the recommended dosage for the full day. The dosage must be administered via nasal spray as sublingual consumption will be rendered inactive.

How and Where to Buy Semax

If you are in Russia, semax can be acquired through a medical professional as a prescription, but in the United States it is less regulated. Therefore, you’ll need to find another source to purchase semax.

You can buy semax spray from a trusted vendor Ceretropic, who sells 60 and 120 mg vials of the lyophilised powder. There are few online nootropics vendors who carry semax because it must be made in a vial with specific instructions as opposed to powders and capsules, which are easier for other companies to produce.

Selected Community Experiences

“…so far it bumps up my mood a notch acutely after taking it. As the day wears on, the effect tapers to a large extent and can even lend itself to some volatility — ie, I may start feeling more irritable than I otherwise would feel after a number of hours have passed. I've also noticed a lack of any discernible nootropic qualities with the exception of possibly improved memory. To be honest though, Semax seems to uplift my mood…” [12] – Plasmonix

Whenever I conversed whilst on semax, I had my thoughts collected better and and my vocabulary seemed more extravagant. I recall most of my moments on Semax remarkably well…” [13] – FW900

References (Click to Expand)
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  13. Ibid


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.