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The Legal and Safety Implications of Nootropics in the UK | BrainZyme®

The Legal and Safety Implications of Nootropics in the UK | BrainZyme®


- Introduction

- MHRA Warnings

- Legal uses of Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall

British laws on pharmaceutical 'smart drugs' and 'natural nootropics'

- Our Favourite Legal Nootropic


What are the main legal and safety issues surrounding pharmaceutical 'smart drugs'?

Can they be sold legally at all?

What does British law state on the issue and are there any safe and natural alternatives to the illegally sold pharmaceutical options, such as 'natural nootropics'?

If you are interested in this topic, you should also check out our article on Smart Pill UK 2019 Review - Which Ones To Try and Which To Avoid.

smart pill

MHRA Warnings

University students in particular were warned by a MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) press release dated 26 September 2016 entitled "Freshers warned to be smart and avoid Modafinil".

The MHRA warned against taking prescription, fake or unlicensed pharmaceutical medicines, and warned of the possible dangers to health as more and more students attempted to get higher marks.

smart drugs

The UK MHRA warns against buying such pharmaceutical 'smart drugs' or pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers over the internet, and that such types of pills could actually cause problems for the users, stating, "A huge number of medicines bought online are counterfeit, substandard or adulterated.

While reports of side-effects of some cognitive enhancers include risk of dependence, cardiovascular problems and psychosis there is no guarantee the product you are receiving isn’t laced with any number of other dangerous substances".

Other users have reported issues of side-effects including; skin rashes, migraines, irritability, dizziness, nervousness and anxiety.

Senior Policy manager at the MHRA Lynda Scammel, said, "Be smart - don't put your health at risk by buying medicines online and don't give your student loan to a criminal".

(Source - MHRA press release: Freshers warned to be smart avoid Modafinil.

There are now natural alternatives to these 'smart drugs', that are fully compliant with the MHRA.  Click here for more.

Legal uses of Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall

It should be noted that Modafinil, Ritalin or Adderall are all fully legal prescription-only pharmaceutical drugs when prescribed by a Doctor who has the medical authority to do so in your country.

It should also be noted that Modafinil, Ritalin or Adderall are not 'smart drugs'; they are specialist pharmaceutical medicines which are prescribed for mental disorders, such as narcolepsy or ADHD.

However, if you buy Modafinil, Adderall or Ritalin on the internet, from unlicensed 'rogue' manufacturers, you are at risk of them having been manufactured without the proper supervision - they are 'chemical bootlegs' which can bring about side-effects in the users such as skin rashes, migraines, irritability, dizziness, nervousness and anxiety.

As such products sold over the internet, manufactured in Russia, South America, Hong Kong, or other places, are not compliant with health and medicines regulatory bodies, either in the UK or EU.

Many pose as legal 'online pharmacies', based in Canada, etc. In fact, the legal manufacturers of Modafinil, Ritalin or Adderall do not sell their medicines over the internet, unless with a Doctor’s prescription through an MHRA registered pharmacy.

British laws on pharmaceutical 'smart drugs' and 'natural nootropics'

British Law states:

Natural Cognitive Enhancers/‘Natural Nootropics’:

  • Food supplement ingredient 'natural cognitive enhancers' ('natural nootropics'), such as BrainZyme, are fully legal if compliant with the requirements of the relevant applicable agencies (Department of Health, MHRA, FSA, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, EFSA, etc.).  These might contain superfoods, herbals, amino acids, vitamins or minerals.
  • Not all natural nootropics are legal. Some are banned in certain countries due to not being compliant with relevant agencies.
  • For a fully legal and effective natural nootropic, try BrainZyme.

Pharmaceutical Smart Drugs:

    • Ritalin is a Class B drug, and possession without a prescription can lead to a five-year prison sentence or an unlimited fine.
    • Modafinil, Adderall: Anyone in the UK selling prescription-only medicines on the black market faces up to two years in jail. This includes selling Modafinil to friends. Additionally, producing and dealing these drugs could mean prison sentences up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
    • Additionally, with regards to so-called "experimental smart drugs", such as Noopept - the new Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 makes it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, possess on custodial premises, import or export psychoactive substances; that is, any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect. The maximum sentence will be seven years’ imprisonment.
  • For more, take a look at our article on smart pill legality and a review of the market in 2017.

The Best Nootropic?

Our belief is that BrainZyme is the best nootropic in the world, find out why here.

Alternatively, you can check out these related articles:

Smart Pill UK 2019 Review - Which Ones To Try and Which To Avoid.

The 7 Best Modafinil Alternatives To Boost Your Brain in 2019.

Biohacking: How To Take Control of Your Biology.

 Useful Resources:

Medicines watchdog makes record seizure of experimental smart drugs, MHRA Press Release, 2004.

My 'smart drugs' nightmare, BBC, Benjamin Zand, 2016.

My struggle with 'smart drugs': How modafinil nearly destroyed me, and how I took my life back, The Student Pocket Guide, 2018.

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  • Hi Optimulti,

    We recommend taking a maximum of 6 capsules a day, and not after around 3 pm. So that translates to two or three doses a day maximum, depending on body weight – but we find that just one dose is often enough for a day’s work! We’d recommend starting low and working up to find the right amount for you.

    Hope this helps,


    Robert (Mod) on

  • How many times a day should I take brainzyme for the best effect?

    optimulti on

  • We re now in a world where natural is the trend .. would think the chemical alternative is on the decline

    Fiona@sea on

  • Surely the government should change the laws to reflect what people need to get on in life? I don’t see why safe medicines should illegal?

    @at large on

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