While research and the experience of most nootropics users have both demonstrated nootropics to be very safe, there is still a risk of side effects while using cognitive enhancers. This is to be expected, as any supplement or medication can affect the body and cause side effects. However, when compared to conventional pharmaceutical medications, nootropics have fairly mild, harmless side effects.
After beginning a regimen of nootropics, many people notice issues with insomnia. This may manifest in one of two ways: an inability to fall asleep or an inability to stay asleep. This is because many cognitive enhancers "awaken" the brain to a higher level of functioning. If you are not used to functioning on this level, it can be hard to shut it off at nighttime to be able to sleep.
You can overcome this by taking your supplements long before you go to sleep, preferably in the morning and afternoon. You can also establish a strong nighttime routine that signals to your brain that it is time to go to sleep.
Rash and skin irritation are possibly the rarest side effects suffered by nootropics users. No one is quite sure why rash or skin irritation occurs, because you wouldn't often expect a brain supplement to affect your skin. One theory is that the supplements engage parts of the brain that can trigger skin allergies or sensitivity. Experiencing rash or skin irritation once with nootropics does not mean that you will suffer from it every time.
It can often be eliminated by taking a month long break from memory supplements before restarting them.
Possibly the most common side effect of many nootropics is an increase in digestive issues. Users may notice an increase in foul-smelling gas, difficulty with constipation, difficulty with diarrhea, or stomach upset. This is because it can be difficult for the body to absorb and digest certain nootropics. Some smart pills are water-soluble, and some are oil-soluble.
Oil-soluble tend to be harder for body to digest, so it is recommended that you take those supplements with food. The body may adjust to nootropics after taking them for a while, or you may choose to decrease your supplements or try a different kind.
Headaches are also very common amongst nootropics users. However, the good news is that headaches often pass on their own, and it is easy to offset headaches with the addition of another nootropic. Headaches often occur because the brain is working at a higher level than it usually does. This can put lots of strain on your brain, which manifests as a headache. You can stop or minimize your headaches by adding choline or acetylcholine to your smart pills routine.
In order to minimize your side effects, you may want to start by just taking one nootropic. Starting immediately with a stack—two or more nootropics taken together—can increase your chance of suffering from side effects. After your body becomes accustomed to one nootropic, you can then add more.