It's a good idea to investigate the safety of any drug or supplement before you begin taking it, which is why many people ask "Are nootropics safe?" before any other question. Long story short, yes - for most people, and in most cases, nootropics are very safe.
One of the main concerns with many medications and supplements is the danger of a drug interaction. However, most nootropics have very limited possible interactions with nootropics and other drugs.
The two safest categories of nootropics are racetams and cholinergics. They have even fewer possible side effects and drug interactions than other nootropics.
Many people are also concerned about the possible effects of withdrawal after stopping or decreasing a medication. This is not typically a problem with nootropics in the first place, as they are intended for long-term use. Once most users find a regimen of smart pills that work for them, they typically stay on them for a long time.
However, the risk of withdrawal is low even for those that do stop taking or decrease the amount of their nootropics. These cognitive enhancers affect your nervous system in very limited ways, so your brain does not become "hooked" on them as it may become addicted to other drugs.
The majority of nootropics rely on building up in your brain over a period of time, so you go through a more gradual period of building up tolerance to your chosen supplements. It works the same way with withdrawal; depending on which smart drugs you're taking, they leave your body slowly and give your brain time to adjust.
There is one exception to everything discussed so far. Stimulants, like Adderall and other amphetamine drugs, are not nearly as safe as other types of nootropics. In some circles, stimulants are not considered nootropics so much as conventional pharmaceutical medicine.
However, it is fairly easily to become addicted to or dependent upon these drugs - not just to excel at something, but to even get through the day. That is why it can be difficult to get stimulants prescribed to you. When you take this type of medication, it's important to do so under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.
Barring stimulant medications, nootropics are overall very safe. Not only are they safe (as in free from danger), they can actually protect the brain from the damage and dangers of aging. There is research that suggests that brain enhancers protect the brain from oxidative stress, the ravages of aging, and free radicals that may cause your memory to decay.
The majority of nootropics users make use of "stacks". A stack is a regimen of several different nootropics that are taken concurrently. These pills may interact with each other, but they usually do so in positive ways. Having said that, it is good to look up the possible side effects and dangers of taking certain combinations of nootropics.
Clearly, nootropics are overwhelmingly safe, particularly when compared to conventional pharmaceutical drugs. In many cases, they can actually protect your brain from damage in addition to being safe.