My Cart
Checkout Secure
Smart Pills UK 2018 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid.

Smart Pill Review 2018 - Which Ones To Try and Which To Avoid.


- Introduction: Smart Pills & Nootropics In The UK

- Review Table

- Type 1: Synthetic Smart Pills

- Type 2: Natural Smart Pills

Natural Smart Pills Vs Synthetic Smart Pills Compared

- Our Favourite Smart Pill

Introduction: Smart Pills & Nootropics In The UK

We attempt to survey the entire market online and in British stores, for smart pills, smart drugs, study drugs and nootropics in the UK.

We'll examine which are legal, which ones work, which ones to try and which ones to avoid.

All done honestly, carefully and without judgement.

Smart Pills UK 2018 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid

At the end of this Blog Article, we summarise and share our favourite smart pill.

There is a more up-to-date version of this article you should also consider looking at: Smart Pill UK 2019 Review - Which Ones To Try and Which To Avoid.


Smart pills/Nootropics UK 2018 Review
Name Editor's Note: Does it work? Value For Money? UK Legal? Safe?
BrainZyme Try: Over 91% of customers rated 4 stars or higher.
Excellent value and effective.
Minimal Side Effects.
£9.95-£25.95 for 30 capsules.

Minimal Side-Effects
Modafinil* (with prescription) Only try if prescribed by a Doctor. Designed for the brain disorder narcolepsy, it has become the 'headline' smart drug in the UK through off-label use as a study drug.
Some severe side effects possible.
Online Modafinil
Avoid: Anyone in the UK selling prescription-only medicines on the black market faces up to two years in jail.
£59.95 for 30 capsules.
? ?
Nootrobox Kado-3 Try: It's an Omega-3 supplement derived from fish and krill oils, designed for daily protection for brain and body.
$17.48 for 30 capsules.
Nootrobox Sprint Avoid: Recently having changed their formula to comply with UK law, the new formula is lacking the strength that other supplements on this list have. $12.48 for 30 capsules. ?
Online Ritalin
Avoid: Ritalin is a Class B drug sometimes used as a 'study drug'. Possession without a prescription can lead to a five-year prison sentence or an unlimited fine according to laws in the UK.
Side effects possible.
£30-£60 for 30 capsules.
? ?
Online Adderall
Avoid: Anyone in the UK selling prescription-only medicines on the black market faces up to two years in jail.
Side effects likely.
£20-£40 for 30 capsules.
? ?
Online Noopept Avoid: The new Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 makes it an offence to possess or sell this drug, with sentences up to 7 years.
£7.28 for 30 capsules.
? ? ?


For the sake of clarity, we will be breaking smart pills into two categories:

  • Type 1 - Synthetic/pharmaceutical smart pills.
  • Type 2 - Natural or naturally sourced smart pills.

Type 1: Synthetic Smart Pills

Smart Pills UK 2018 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid

These are synthetic/ pharmaceutical products, such as Modafinil, Adderall or Noopept** that are available in the UK.

They may be used off-label as smart drugs or study drugs to help focus and concentration.

We are still a while away from producing a substance which is like NZT-48 from the movie Limitless, but there are certainly some substances that come rather close.

Quick Tip: BrainZyme Professional works as a great alternative to synthetic smart drugsQuick Tip:
Adderall, Modafinil and Ritalin's mechanism of action is (by a large degree) to act on the brain neurotransmitter dopamine, of which one pathway has a major motivational component. It can for some also increase wakefulness and decrease appetite.

If you want a powerful natural alternative that works on the same pathway (and thus have similar results with fewer side-effects), you should try BrainZyme® Professional.

They can cause severe side effects, and their long-term effects aren’t well-researched.

They’re also illegal to sell, so they must be made outside of the UK and imported.

That means their manufacture isn’t regulated, and they could contain anything.

As 'smart drugs' in 2018 are still illegal, you might run into legal issues from possessing some ‘smart drugs’ without a prescription.

However, pharmaceuticals such as Modafinil are perfectly legal if prescribed, and we recommend their use if prescribed for you by a doctor.

Some examples of these 'smart drugs' include:


Modafinil is a eugeroic, or ‘wakefulness promoting agent’, intended to help people with narcolepsy. It was invented in the 1970s but was first approved by the American FDA in 1998 for medical use.

Recent years have seen its off-label use as a ‘smart drug’ grow.

It’s not known exactly how Modafinil works, but scientists believe it may increase levels of histamines in the brain, which can keep you awake.

It might also inhibit the dissipation of dopamine, again helping wakefulness, and it may help alertness by boosting norepinephrine levels, contributing to its reputation as a drug to help focus and concentration.

Ultimately, more research needs to be undertaken to determine its exact method of action.

Modafinil is legal to supply to people when prescribed by a doctor, but its unsanctioned sale in the UK is punishable by up to two years in prison.

(See this review of Modafinil.)

Please note Side Effects Possible.

Click here to read our Ultimate UK Guide to Modafinil.


Methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, is a stimulant first synthesised in the 1940s. More accurately, it’s a psychostimulant - often prescribed for ADHD - that is intended as a drug to help focus and concentration.

It also reduces fatigue and (potentially) enhances cognition. Similar to Modafinil, Ritalin is believed to reduce the dissipation of dopamine to help focus.

Ritalin is a Class B drug in the UK, and possession without a prescription can result in a 5-year prison sentence.

Please note Side Effects Possible.

See this article for more on Ritalin.


Adderall is an amphetamine, used as a drug to help focus and concentration in people with ADHD, and promote wakefulness for sufferers of narcolepsy.

Adderall increases levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, along with a few other chemicals and neurotransmitters.

It’s used off-label as a study drug, because, as mentioned, it is believed to increase focus and concentration, improve cognition and help users stay awake.

Please note Side Effects Possible.


Historically used to help people with epilepsy, piracetam is used in some cases of myoclonus, or muscle twitching.

Its actual mechanism of action is unclear: It doesn’t act exactly as a sedative or stimulant, but still influences cognitive function, and is believed to act on receptors for acetylcholine in the brain.

Piracetam is used off-label as a 'smart drug' to help focus and concentration or sometimes as a way to allegedly boost your mood.

Again, piracetam is a prescription-only drug - any supply to people without a prescription is illegal, and supplying it may result in a fine or prison sentence.


Noopept was developed in Russia in the 90s and is alleged to improve learning.

This drug modifies acetylcholine and AMPA receptors, increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

This is believed to account for reports of its efficacy as a 'study drug'.

Noopept in the UK is illegal, as the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act made it an offence to sell this drug in the UK - selling it could even lead to 7 years in prison.

To enhance its nootropic effects, some users have been known to snort Noopept.

Click here to read 'A Quick Guide To Noopept'.


Vinpocetine walks a line between herbal and pharmaceutical product.

It’s a synthetic derivative of a chemical from the periwinkle plant, and due to its synthetic nature we feel it’s more appropriate as a ‘smart drug’.

Plus, it’s illegal in the UK.

Vinpocetine is purported to improve cognitive function by improving blood flow to the brain, which is why it's used in some 'study drugs' or 'smart pills'.

Do note that this isn’t an extensive list by any means, there are plenty more ‘smart drugs’ out there purported to help focus and concentration.

Most (if not all) are restricted under the Psychoactive Substances Act, meaning they’re largely illegal to sell.

We strongly recommend against using these products off-label, as they can be dangerous both due to side effects and their lack of regulation on the grey/black market.

Type 2: Natural Smart Pills

Smart Pills UK 2018 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid

A rising star in the world of smart pills is those of the naturally-sourced variety.

These have a number of benefits over their synthetic cousins which mean more and more users of traditional smart pills are making the change.

One of the main reasons for this is that naturally-sourced supplements tend to come with far fewer side effects, but have similar effects on productivity.

Another prime benefit is that natural smart pills can be bought over the counter, rather than through a prescription like most synthetic variants are.

List of Typical Natural Smart Pill Ingredients

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea Powder, made from specially selected whole green tea leaves ground down to a super fine powder, contains a number of nootropic components which can help the brain such as L-Theanine and the potent antioxidant Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)


Guarana Fruit Seeds from a plant native to the Amazon Rainforest can positively affect the brain and central nervous system, making you feel less tired and more alert.


Choline (which can be found in broccoli) is required to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating cognitive processes, mood and intelligence.

Smart Pills UK 2018 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid


L-Tyrosine (which can be found in avocado) is an amino acid that’s required for the development of dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that influences mood, motivation and performance.

Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng is a herbal remedy from China, has a reputation for stimulating brain function and increasing energy.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl L-Carnitine (which can be found in asparagus) is a mitochondrial energy optimizer, supporting energy production at the cellular level.


Curcumin has been the subject of a recent BBC documentary and a groundbreaking clinical study linking it to beneficial effects on brain function.

Natural Smart Pill (Pre-Made 'Stacks')

Some people prefer to experiment with different nootropic ingredients in an attempt to find the most optimum stack for themselves.

However, most people are simply too busy for this and don't have time to spend hours researching and trying different ingredients.

That's why pre-made stacks are extremely popular. They contain a range of different nootropic ingredients, with formulas varying from company to company.

The pre-made stack that we recommend is BrainZyme.

BrainZyme was the UK's first legal brand who had the authority from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to call their products cognitive enhancers and is seen as an industry leader in the nootropics market around the world.

BrainZyme was formulated using the latest peer-reviewed science and contains a potent mix of superfoods, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients all from natural sources. 

With over 80% of customers rating our products 5*, and endorsements from some of the UK's top nutritionists, Doctors, business leaders, athletes and professional e-sport competitors, we are sure you would love it too.

You can also try BrainZyme risk-free - if you are not happy with your order for any reason you can return them for a full refund. BrainZyme is for sale both online and in select pharmacies across the UK.


Smart Pills UK 2018 Review - which ones to try and which to avoid.

See this article for more on natural nootropics, and biohacking with natural nootropics.

Natural Smart Pills vs Synthetic Smart Pills: Which is best?

A mixture of both synthetic and natural smart pills and nootropics have made their way around businesses, schools and universities across the world (especially in America, the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa and India).

Their use is particularly prevalent in places like Silicon Valley, with rumours of people like Elon Musk having their own secret nootropic formula.

Smart pills are often discussed by leading public figures, such as Dr Oz and Joe Rogan on their respective podcasts.

The debate over which is the best smart pill ensues even today.

The three best and most popular study drugs on the market today are Modafinil, Adderall and BrainZyme®.

These are the three that are being used most by students and professionals across the UK.

But the main reason you're here is to find out which is the best.

We will do a more direct comparison below.


First of all, safety, as this should be a big concern for anyone who takes nootropics or smart drugs.

By safety, we mean the risk of side-effects and the number of side-effects reported by users.

Safety (Side-Effects) Of Popular Smart Pills/Smart Drugs Table

Side effects of adderall, modafinil and brainzyme.

Reports of side effects for BrainZyme are very limited. It is quite common to feel more thirsty after taken BrainZyme capsules, and a very small amount of customers report experiencing a slight headache when taking large doses.

Both are usually fixed by drinking more water.

Adderall and Modafinil are different stories. Due to the pharmaceutical nature of these pills, it is fair to assume that side-effects will be more prevalent.

The manufacturer of Adderall list 26 potential side-effects, and the manufacturers of modafinil list 43. A big difference!

It is often reported that the chance of experiencing side-effects with Adderall and modafinil increases over time - meaning the longer you take it for, the more side effects you are going to experience.

This does not happen with BrainZyme which relies on naturally-sourced ingredients.

If you want to learn more about the side effects of these three smart pills, click here for BrainZyme side effects, click here for Adderall side effects and click here for Modafinil side effects.


We have decided to measure effectiveness by looking at the level of productivity after taking each pill (productivity being measured by effectiveness + motivation + energy + attention or focus).

Productivity Increase From Popular Smart pills/Smart drugs

Effectiveness of BrainZyme vs Modafinil vs Adderall.

Again, you will see that all three are fairly effective at increasing productivity.

However, what you will notice is that your productivity when taking pharmaceuticals such as Adderall or modafinil spikes quickly and then crashes. Users usually experience this crash in the form of fatigue or severe irritability. 

These crashes get worse the longer you take these substances for.

However, BrainZyme, with its safer ingredients allows for a more consistent experience with a significantly less chance of crashing, meaning there is a greater impact on the brain, intelligence and cognition in the long-term. 

Taking BrainZyme long term will continue to increase your productivity, whereas taking modafinil or Adderall long term would ultimately cause you to be less productive due to the severe side effects.

Value for Money

Another important factor to consider is price. Many people who use smart pills are students, and so budgeting is extremely important.  Even if you are not a student, I assume you will still be concerned about value for money.

Price Per Capsule (Value for Money) of Popular Smart Pills/Smart Drugs

Cost per capsule of modafinil, adderall and brainzyme.

As you can see, Modafinil, on average, costs around £2 a pill. Adderall around 86p and BrainZyme Professional about 53p, making it the best value.

BrainZyme Professional was used for this comparison as customers report the sensation of Professional to be closest with the sensation that users get from Modafinil or Adderall.

Our Favourite Smart Pill

Because of the three criteria above: Value for money, effectiveness and side-effects, we recommend BrainZyme, which we think is the best smart pill for the brain on the market today.

You can find out more about how BrainZyme can support mental performance, concentration and energy by clicking here.

Alternatively, if you liked this article, you should also consider checking out the following related articles:

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

The Ultimate Guide to UK Nootropics 2019: All you need to know.

How To Boost Energy - 16 Proven Methods For Reducing Tiredness.

You might also want to take a look at our "Smart pills UK 2017 Review" or our "Smart Pills UK 2019 Review".

Please note: Smart Pills, Smart Drugs or Brain Food Supplements are also known as: Brain Smart Vitamins, Brain Tablets, Brain Vitamins, Brain Booster Supplements, Brain Enhancing Supplements, Cognitive Enhancers, Focus Enhancers, Concentration Supplements, Mental Focus Supplements, Mind Supplements, Neuro Enhancers, Neuro Focusers, Vitamins for Brain Function,Vitamins for Brain Health, Smart Brain Supplements, Nootropics, or "Natural Nootropics"
Please note, this is a blog post is for educational and informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice. You should always speak to your Doctor first if you have any medical concerns.
* = Anecdotally, the improved concentration from BrainZyme enables increased motivation.
** = Important note - whilst BrainZyme is scientifically proven to support concentration and mental performance, it is not a replacement for a good diet, moderate exercise or sleep. BrainZyme is also not a drug, medicine or pharmaceutical. It is a natural-sourced, vegan food supplement with ingredients that are scientifically proven to support cognition, concentration, mental performance and reduction of tiredness. You should always consult with your Doctor if you require medical attention.

Older Post Newer Post


  • Hi Megan,

    Thanks for your question.

    If you have a prescription for modafinil then I’d suggest you ask your doctor before taking BrainZyme along with it.

    If you don’t have a prescription, then I don’t recommend mixing it with BrainZyme.

    BrainZyme Professional can be used as a great substitute as it works on the same pathway in the brain (dopamine) and provides the most similar results.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.


    Robert (Mod) on

  • Can I take brainzyme along with modafinil?

    Megan on

  • Hi B3rnice,

    BrainZyme is made in the UK – this ensures we know exactly what goes on in the manufacturing process, and what’s going into our product!

    Hope this answer helps,


    Robert (Mod) on

  • Where is brainZyme made?

    B3rnice on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Added to cart!