The Dark Side of the Nootropics-Are They Dangerous?

nootropic dark side

What is Nootropic?

Smart drugs are actually proven to be one of the safest types of supplements available on the market today.

Many people who are interested in the use of cognitive enhancers are concerned about the possibility of nootropic side effects. However, one of the less well-known qualifications that the nootropic is that they should be extremely safe and non-toxic to human brains.

For some smart drugs (such as Piracetam, Aniracetam does, Noopept, Choline and more), there were numerous studies proving their safety and very low risk of negative side effects.

Almost none of these supplements show the risk of long-term addiction or other symptoms.

There is an ongoing research using smart drugs for clinical purposes such as the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Some possible side effects include stomach upsets, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety.


One of the most common side effects is a headache. It appears especially when you first start taking nootropics. Your brain is forced to work harder than it usually does, with smart drugs that stimulate it to produce and release more neurotransmitters.

The main reason for this is due to the fact that the brain is actually working harder and requires more acetylcholine from the body.

Fortunately, this side effect is quite easy to counteract. Just add a source of quality Choline (Alpha GPC for example) to your routine. This acts as a precursor of acetylcholine and serves to safely increase its delivery. It satisfies the brain chemicals and relieves headaches.

Stomach upsets

Sometimes, if you take nootropic excessive dose, this may cause problems in the intestinal system.

If this happens, the body can consider it as a threat and simply remove the excessive material. This can lead to things such as diarrhea, nausea, or discomfort and pain in the stomach.

The simple cure for this side effect is to reduce the dose you are taking. Usually, this means back down to recommended levels. It will help if you take the supplement during meals.

Insomnia / Fatigue

Many nootropic smart drugs can increase energy levels and improve alertness. This can sometimes lead to one of two opposite side-effects, insomnia and fatigue.

Insomnia can be seen in cases when you take a nootropic right before bed. This can lead your mind to become too active and prevent you fall asleep. Once you get to sleep, it also feels like you do not achieve a high-quality sleep and you may wake up tired.

If you take smart drugs when you need to be productive and take them in the morning or during the day.

On the other hand, the smart drugs cause excessive fatigue. In most cases, this occurs when you overdose. You may feel like you are “burned out” after a few hours, a similar blade and crash felt with caffeine or stimulants of the central nervous system.

The easiest solution for this problem is to use a smaller dose or distribute it for several times a day. If fatigue continues even at these levels, you stop the intake for a week or two, or to consider switching to another nootropic.

What are the other side effects?

Each nootropic has a unique mechanism of action and may come with unique side effects. We need to look at the specific safety profile of any supplement that you can use to learn about all the risks. Other side effects that may arise from these supplements are restlessness, anxiety, mood disorder, nervousness, or depression.

They tend to be very rare, but it is important to observe any changes in yourself when using smart drugs. In rare cases, some medicines can cause skin irritation and rashes, dizziness and increased blood pressure.

While smart drugs are used by many people who report positive results and virtually non-existent side effects, there are still side effects worth noting.

Before you can use any smart drugs or, take the time to examine each side effect. Doing so is an important way to protect your brain, body and long term health.

The essential thing here is that the smart drugs are safe if you use them safely. These side effects are seen among a small percentage of the users.

In conclusion

The appearance of the side effects is often due to people not following recommended guidelines or mixing of various drugs. But if you stick to the recommended use, smart drugs offer many benefits with low risk of negative side effects.

It is advisable to consult with a doctor before start using smart drugs.

Given the great promise behind smart drugs providing cognitive enhancement at low risk of side effects, we can expect these supplements to grow in popularity rapidly in the next decade.

Nootropic side effects are extremely rare and usually, occur only when you start using them or take more than the normal dose.


About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.