Phenylpiracetam vs Adderall

Phenylpiracetam vs Adderall

Amphetamines vs Phenylpiracetam

My experience with phenylpiracetam has been overwhelmingly positive. Its effects on cognition are marked, and the side effects are minimal. So far, the only side effects I’ve noted are increased sweating, irritability, headache, and a few others.

I’ve also used Adderall in undergrad, and its a helluva drug. Adderall packs a serious punch. I’m not at all confident that it’s actually a cognitive enhancer so much as it makes you *feel *smarter. I’m also suspicious of the long-term effects of Adderall. That being said, Adderall clearly enhances motivation, energy, and attention, and is a highly effective treatment for ADHD.

Quick Summary of Phenylpiracetam vs Adderall

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  • Phenylpiracetam is a nootropic drug used to improve cognitive performance, whereas Adderall is a psychostimulant used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy
  • Phenylpiracetam “feels” similar to Adderall, though the psychostimulatory effect of phenylpiracetam is not as intense
  • Phenylpiracetam is unregulated in the US and may therefore be sold as a dietary supplement, whereas Adderall is a tightly controlled schedule II drug
  • Phenylpiracetam has a relatively benign side effect profile, whereas Adderall adversely affects cardiovascular health and may be neurotoxic in high doses


Phenylpiracetam vs Adderall: ADHD Symptom Control

If you have been formally diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it is unlikely that phenylpiracetam will be as effective as Adderall at controlling your symptoms. While not as effective, phenylpiracetam is considered by some to be a legitimate Adderall alternative. Adderall activates the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system which improves executive function and sustained attention. It’s the sympathetic nervous system that makes your heart beat faster, redirects blood to your core and away from your extremities, and increases alertness.

When comparing phenylpiracetam vs Adderall, it is important to recognize that phenylpiracetam does have some psychostimulant-like effects that are reminiscent of Adderall. But phenylpiracetam really shines when it comes to things like verbal fluency, writing, alleviating the tip-of-the tongue phenomenon, memory consolidation and cognitive flexibility.

In brief: Adderall is a classic psychostimulant that can induce euphoria (usually in subjects that don’t have ADHD), whereas phenylpiracetam promotes lucid thought with a less pronounced effect on concentration, motivation and task salience (how important you perceive a task to be).

Phenylpiracetam vs Adderall: Safety and Side Effect Profile

Adderall generally has a much harsher side effect profile than phenylpiracetam. Some adverse effects associated with Adderall use include pro-psychotic effects, insomnia, possible neurotoxicity at high doses, hypertension, stroke and oxidative stress. Phenylpiracetam in comparison can cause headaches and phenylpiracetam use sometimes results in the rapid development of tolerance.


ClassPiracetam derivativePsychostimulant; catecholamine-releasing agent
Acute EffectsIncreased cognitive tempo, recall and information processingEnhanced concentration, arousal, executive function and goal-oriented behavior
IndicationsOrganic brain syndromes (e.g., concussions)ADHD, narcolepsy, depression (off-label)
Half-Life3.5 hours6-7 hours
Side Effect BurdenMild (headache, insomnia)Moderate (adverse cardiovascular effects, insomnia, mania/psychosis in predisposed individuals, excessive perspiration)(


If you’ve been formally diagnosed with ADHD, Adderall is probably the most effective drug available at controlling the inattentive symptoms of ADHD. While Adderall has garnered a lot of attention recently because it’s a straight-up amphetamine, it has been used relatively safely for over 50 years.

If you don’t have ADHD and are looking to take something to gain a little competitive edge, give phenylpiracetam a try. It is probably safer, has milder side effects, and elicits effects that are reminiscent of classical psychostimulants like amphetamine.

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