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Nootropics. Actovegin, Cerebrolysin, Solcoseryl, Bilobil, Pantogam, Nootropil

Nootropics, also called neurometabolic stimulants are medicines which exert  direct activating effect on learning, memory improve  and mental activity, as well as increase the resistance of the brain to conditions associated with hypoxia. The term "nootropic" descents from Greek words νους - which means mind and τροπή which means change. The word nootropic was introduced in clinical practice in 1972 to describe the impact of piracetam (Nootropil) of on the sensitively-cognition effects. Later, similar effects were observed in other substances.

When Nootropics were invented?

In 1963, the Belgian pharmacologists S. Giurgea and V. Skondia synthesized the first drug of nootropics - piracetam, currently known under the brand name Nootropil. Like psycho stimulant, Nootropil improved mental work but was lack of a lot of side effects associated with psychostimulants.
In 1972, K. Giurgea proposed term nootropics to denote class of drugs that enhance  brain function and have no side effects peculiar to stimulant.

How do nootropics work?

There is no a single action mechanism for all nootropics. It is considered that nootropic effects are caused by:

  •          Direct action on neurons
  •          Improvement of cerebral blood flow and microcirculation of blood in the brain
  •         Antiplatelet, antihypoxic anti-edema actions

Currently it is considered that the main action mechanism of all nootropics include the effects on metabolic and bioenergetic processes in the nerve cell and interaction with the neurotransmitter of the brain systems. The Manufacturers of neurometabolic drugs claim that their products improve the penetration through the blood brain barrier and glucose utilization (especially in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, hypothalamus and cerebellum), improve the metabolism of nucleic acids, and activate the synthesis of ATP, protein and RNA.

The effect of some of noothropics is manifested through the neurotransmitter systems of the brain, among which are the followings:

  •          Monoaminergic (piracetam (Nootropil) causes an increase in the content of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain and some other nootropics increase the amount of serotonin).
  •           Cholinergic (piracetam and meclofenoxate increase the content of acetylcholine in the synaptic terminals and the density of cholinergic receptors, pyridoxine derivatives and pyrrolidine improve cerebral cholinergic conductance).
  •          Glutamatergic (memantine and glycine effects through NMDA-receptors).


Nootropics also possess the following actions such as: Membrane-stabilizing - regulation of phospholipids and proteins synthesis in nerve cells, stabilization and normalization of the structure of cell membranes;
Antioxidant - inhibition of the formation of free radicals and lipid peroxidation in cell membranes;
Anti-hypoxia -  decrease of neurons demand in oxygen during hypoxia;
Neuroprotective - increase the resistance of the nerve cells to the effects of unfavorable factors of various kinds.

Significant role in therapeutic effect include the improvement of brain microcirculation via optimizing the passage of erythrocytes through the vessels of the microcirculation and inhibition of platelet aggregation. These complex effects of nootropic agents improve bioelectric activity and integrative brain activity, and this is demonstrated in characteristic changes of electrophysiological patterns (facilitating flow of information between the hemispheres, increased wakefulness, increased absolute and relative power spectrum of the EEG of the cortex and hippocampus, an increase of the dominant peak).

The increase of cortico-subcortical control, improvement of information exchange in the brain, a positive impact on the formation and reproduction of the memorial allow confirming that these remedies contribute to improvement of memory, attention, enhance learning ability, activation of intellectual functions.

The most common effects of nootropics include:

  •         nootropic action (effects on disorders of higher cortical functions, the level of reasoning and critical capabilities, improved cortical control of subcortical activity, thinking, attention, language).
  •         Positive effect on memory, learning ability.
  •         Increased level of wakefulness, clarity of consciousness
  •         Adaptogenic effect (effect on tolerance to various exogenous factors, including drugs, increasing the overall resistance to the action of extreme factors).
  •        Anti-asthenic effect (the effect of weakness, exhaustion, mental and physical asthenia)
  •        Psycho- stimulating effects
  •        Anti-depressive effect.
  •        Sedative (tranquilizing) effect, reducing irritability and emotional excitability.
  •        Vegetative effects (effects on headaches, dizziness, cerebrovascular syndrome).
  •        Antikinetic action
  •        Anti-Parkinsonian effect
  •        Antiepileptic effect, the effect on epileptic paroxysmal activity.

Among all Nootropic agents the most widespread and used are Nootropil (piracetam), Actovegin, Cerebrolysin, Pantogam, Bilobil.

belongs to a group of nootropic drugs called pyrrolidine derivates.

Actovegin contains a organic compounds. Actovegein is a free protein extract of calf bloods. Actovegin is available in different pharmaceutical formulations like tablets, injectable solutions, creams, gels.

Cerebrolysin is a polypeptide remedies which contains a complex of peptides obtained from the pig's brain. Cerebrolysin is available only in the form of injectable solutions.
Bilobilis herbal based medication which contains extracts from Ginkgo Biloba. Bilobil helps to increase blood circulation.

Solcoseryl - contains deproteinised, hemodialized extract form the blood of healthy young calfs. Solcoseryl is a stimulant of tissue regeneration. Solcoseryl is available in the form of injectable solution, cream, eye gel, Solcoseryl adhesive dental paste.

Pantogam contains the active ingredient hopantenic acid. Pantogam is available in the form of tablets and syrup.
Cavinton - is a herbal based medication which contains vinpocetine. Gedeon Richter - the official manufacturer of Cavinton claims that vinpocetine improves cerebral circulation and brain metabolism

Oxybral contains  vincamine - which is biologically active compound found in Vinca Minor( periwinkle)

Glycine is an amino acid which contributes to improvement of brain metabolism. The medication is absolutely safe, possesses sedative action.

Modafinil (Provigil) is memory-improving and mood-brightening psychostimulant which helps to improve wakefulness, attention capacity.

If you have any more questions regarding the effectiveness of Nootropil, Cerebrolysin, Actobegin, Bilobil and others please consult our pharmacists.