Top 10 most popular Nootropics in Russia

In this report Top-10 most popular nootropics that are known to improve brain function, learning processes, memory and concentration – are analysed. According to the AlphaRM analytical databases from November 2016 to October 2017 the volume of pharmacy sales of this group of drugs amounted to 79.2 million units. The following drug groups according to the EphMRA classification (the European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association) were included in the analysis:

  • N6D “Nootropics”,
  • N5C Tranquillisers,
  • N6E Neurotonics and Other Miscellaneous Products,
  • N7X All Other CNS Drugs.

From January to October 2017, this group included 28 INNs and 87 trade names. Medications that stimulate mental activity and cognitive function are quite diverse in their composition. Analysis of the pharmaceutical market is based on the results of MAT’oct (Moving Annual Total). 

Popular Russian nootropics
Source: AlphaRM analytical databases

Below is the ranking of Top-10 most popular nootropics in Russia based on MAT’ oct 2017 in unit terms.

The rating of Top-10 most popular nootropics in Russia from Nov’16 till Oct’17 in unit terms

#BrandINNVolume mln, unitsShare, units
1GlycineGlycine35.7245.10%
2VinpocetineVinpocetine7.529.50%
3PhenibutAminophenylbutyric acid6.768.54%
4PiracetamPiracetam5.947.50%
5PicamilonNicotinoyl-GABA4.285.40%
6CereproCholine alphoscerate2.202.78%
7GinkoumGinkgo biloba leaf extract2.032.57%
8CortexinPolypeptides of the cattle cerebral cortex1.592.01%
9TanakanGinkgo biloba leaf extract1.521.92%
10CeraxonCiticoline1.341.69%
Total68.9087.00%

The largest share belongs to Glycine. One of the products that contains this active substance is Glycine Forte by Evalar. It is a nootropic which improves metabolic function in the brain. Due to its safety and relatively low price, it’s one of the most popular and commonly sold nootropic supplements in the territories and countries of the former Soviet Union. In the end of 2017 its unit share in the segment was 45.1%.

Second place (9.5% share) belongs to Vinpocetine which is an active substance of Cavinton nootropic. It is also a component of Vinpotropile combination drug which is widely used in Russia. Vinpocetine is a cerebral vasodilator. Thus its main pharmacological effect is the improvement of cerebral blood flow, and the primary clinical use is the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders such as strokes and atherosclerosis. 

The third place was taken by Phenibut with a share of 8.5%. Aminophenylbutyric acid, which is an active ingredient of Phenibut, normalizes metabolic processes in the nerve cells of the brain, has nootropic activity and tranquilizing effect.

Forth goes Piracetam with a share of 7.5%. In Russia, there are lots of piracetam-based pills produced under different brand names. There are different modes of administration including pills and injections. It is also used in hospitals. The most popular brand of Piracetam is Nootropil, an original Belgian drug, the ancestor of nootropics. Another popular product of this category is Vinpotropile which is a combination of Vinpocetine & Piracetam.

Picamilon or Nicotinoyl-GABA ranks 5th in the rating. This compound is based on a synthetic combination of GABA and niacin, with the former being responsible for reducing neuronal excitability and the latter acting as a strong vasodilator. Its effects are similar to those of Phenibut as both drugs reduce anxiety and improve mood. However, unlike Phenibut, Picamilon is said to have a much stronger impact on the energy metabolism in the brain because it stimulates consumption of oxygen and glucose by the neuronal tissue.

Cerepro (choline alphoscerate) is the 6th in the rating. Cerepro was taken out of production in 2020. Its analogue is Cereton by Sotex Farm which is used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions as well as strokes. 

Ginkgo biloba extracts (Ginkoum and Tanakan) are also listed in the TOP-10 rating, taking the 7th and the 9th place respectively. Ginkgo biloba is considered one of the most science-backed organic nootropics for improving memory which explains its popularity among nootropic enthusiasts.  

Cortexin from Geropharm which is a popular analogue of Cerebrolysin ranked the 8th with 2.01% unit share. It is a complex containing low molecular weight polypeptide fractions. This drug has a nootropic, neuroprotective, antioxidant and tissue-specific effect. In comparison to Cerebrolysin, Cortexin has a significantly larger amount of peptide fractions and fewer amino acids. Besides due to its high safety profile Cortexin is suitable for all ages and is often prescribed for children at low doses (5mg).

The last goes Ceraxon from Ferrer International (share in the group is 1.69%). The active ingredient of Ceraxon is citicoline, which is effective in the treatment of sensitive and motor neurological disorders of degenerative and vascular etiology.

It’s important to note that this post does not aim at promoting certain medical products nor does it encourage self-treatment without proper medical examination beforehand. This article focuses on the analysis of quantitative indicators i.e. units (packs) sold regardless of the pack size or the necessary course duration. The analysis shows that the rating largely depends on the pricing of a particular nootropic as well as its general safety of use. The results of the study regarding the most popular or in other words the best selling nootropics might not coincide with your personal opinion or the situation regarding these nootropics in other countries other than Russia. 

We will appreciate your comments in the discussion on Reddit!

Sources: 

  1. Sapegin ID, Beketov AI (1993). The effect of picamilon and phenibut on the blood supply of the brain at rest and under gravitational exposures. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8324468/
  2. Winblad B (2005). Piracetam: a review of pharmacological properties and clinical uses. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16007238/
  3. Perfilova VN, Borodkina LE (2014). Participation of the gamma-amino-butyric-ergic system in the regulation of cerebral blood flow. https://www.vmeda.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/pdf/203-211.pdf
  4. The review of the sales of nootropic drugs at the retail commercial market in end-user prices from November 2016 till October 2017. https://alpharm.ru/sites/default/files/nootropy.pdf
  5. Razak et al (2017) Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350494/
  6. N V Gulyaeva (2018). Molecular mechanisms of brain peptide-containing drugs: cortexin. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30499504/

  1. Keion 12/09/2021 pm30 17:40 PM Reply

    What is the best fast acting supplement for memory, focus and concentration? What supplements give you a rush of energy that lasts along with a sense of intensity of accomplishment.

    • CosmicNootropic Support 13/09/2021 pm30 20:38 PM Reply

      Hi Keion,
      I would say that if you are looking for memory and focus, you should check out Semax and Noopept. As for the other effect, Nanotropil or Piracetam may be good. Important thing to note though is that most nootropics have cumulative effect. They won’t provide extremely noticeable results straight away.

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