Should you inject this Adaptogenic Neuropeptide Nootropic?

Cortexin is an anti-aging Nootropic comprised of over 35 different vitamins, amino acids and essential minerals that you inject intramuscularly.

Like Cerebrolysin, Cortexin is made up of various amino acids and Neuropeptides. What makes it distinct from Cerebrolysin is that it has a lot more peptide fractions than amino acids. It’s also important to note that Cerebrolysin comes exclusively from pig brains, whereas Cortexin is extracted from the cerebral cortex of young cattle and pigs. But to be honest, Cortexin is not likely the smart drug for you, I’ll explain why…

Scientific Research

Image for post
Image for post
Order CORTEXIN ® from

There are 19 notable clinical trials done with Cortexin that yielded meaningful human research.

Probably the best study done on Cortexin was a double blind, placebo controlled multi-center trial that included 270 patients suffering from ischemic stroke.

High efficacy and safety of cortexin in the complex treatment of patients with [ischemic stroke] has been shown…
The results were confirmed by the pharmacoeconomic analysis of treatment tactics based on the estimation of “net monetary benefit”…
Cortexin is recommended for treatment and rehabilitation of patients with [ischemic stroke].

The beneficial effects of Cortexin were observed after just a 10 day course of treatment.

The most recent study was done in 2014 in Russia and evaluated Cortexin’s effect on those suffering from epilepsy. The researchers concluded

There were the significant decrease in the frequency of seizures and the absence of failure of remission, the positive dynamics of electroencephalographic pattern as well as stopping of such symptoms as headache, non-systemic vertigo, asthenia, cognitive impairment, anxiety and depression, arterial hypertension.

It’s applications in treating conditions that children are suffering from have also been studied. A 2012 study combined Cortexin with microcurrent reflexotherapy, massage and very simple gymnastics

The objective of the present study was to estimate the therapeutic efficacy of the combined treatment of infantile cerebral palsy by means of microcurrent reflexotherapy… in combination with the neuroprotector cortexin.

The study which totaled 69 children found that 60% of the children given the tri-part treatment developed the ability to walk unassisted.
Another study of 60 children aged 7–12 years old found that it improved the memory disorders of 86% of the children. Hey, that’s pretty good!

Another study compared treatment of Cortexin to those suffering from chronic alcohol encephalopathy and polyneuropathy.

  • Alcohol encephalopathy is a liver disease that results from a thiamine deficiency, it’s also referred to as Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Polyneuropathy is a disease with a deleterious effect on peripheral nerves on opposite sides of the body. So it would cause pain, weakness or numbness in both your left and right elbows.

The study concluded

Cortexin had the positive effect on clinical symptoms, [Encephalography] and [electroneuromyography].

Like a lot of the Cortexin studies it’s not real specific about the helpful effect of Cortexin to the patients.

An Injectable Adaptogen

One study was done in Japan which compared Cortexin to Vinpotropil and Noopept which evaluated these Nootropics in a group of otherwise healthy young people. Interestingly, the study classifies Cortexin an adaptogen which is a fascinating class of performance enhancing drugs that modulate our stress response beneficially.

Cortexin is qualified as an adaptogen and actoprotector only for hypobaric hypoxia conditions…

Hypoxia is a medical condition associated with low air pressure and lack of oxygen. So this study would suggest that Cortexin increases oxygen utilization and is maybe a good drug for mountain climbers or athletes training at altitude. The study concludes

Therefore, all the drugs studied [vinpotropil and cortexin]… can be recommended as the agents producing activation, support and recovery of the physical and psychological efficiency under rapidly changing environment conditions.

A 2013 study looked at it’s effect on open angle glaucoma. Unfortunately, the abstract translated into English does not give many specifics about the dosages or helpful effects.


Gaba is the devilish neurotransmitter that whispers in your ear
Hey why not? What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Alcohol, Phenibut and many antidepressants are Gabaergics, this is why they can be fun to party on. To people who genuinely suffer from anxiety and chronic stress Gabaergics can be godsend of tranquility and calm. Cortexin is a very subtle Gabaergic, so it won’t exactly make you want to dance to techno but it will have a relaxing effect that can be very helpful to some.

Mechanism of Action

A well translated Russian review nicely synopsizes it’s mechanisms

Cortexin is a complex of polypeptide fractions penetrating the blood-brain barrier and affecting nervous cells. Cortexin has a neuroprotective effect and reduces toxic impact of psychotropic agents. Due to its antioxidative action Cortexin inhibits oxidative stress. The drug improves the bioelectrical activity of the brain. Mechanism of action of Cirtexin is determined by activation of neuronal peptides and neurotrophic cerebral factors; optimization of metabolic balance of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids, dopamine, serotonin; and GABAergic action.


Amino acids

Lysine: 253 nmol/mg;
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) — 0.08 mcg/10mg;
Lysine: 253 nmol/mg;
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) — 0.03 mcg/10 mg;
Niacin (Vitamin B3, Vitamin PP) 0.05 mcg/10 mg;
Retinol (Vitamin A) — 0.011 mcg/10mg;
Alfa-tokoferol (vitamin E) — 0.007 mcg/10mg.


Lysine: 253 nmol/mg;
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) — 0.08 mcg/10mg;
Lysine: 253 nmol/mg;
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) — 0.03 mcg/10 mg;
Niacin (Vitamin B3, Vitamin PP) 0.05 mcg/10 mg;
Retinol (Vitamin A) — 0.011 mcg/10mg;
Alfa-tokoferol (vitamin E) — 0.007 mcg/10mg.


(Cu): 0,2129 mcg/10 mg;
(Fe): 2,26 mcg/10 mg;
(Ca): 22,93 mcg/10 mg;
(Mg): 8,5 mcg/10 mg;
(K): 19,83 mcg/10 mg;
(Na): 643,2 mcg/10 mg;
(S): 152,65 mcg/10 mg;
(P): 91,95 mcg/10 mg;
(Zn): 4,73 mcg/10 mg;
(Mb): 0,0203 mcg/10 mg;
(Co): 0,0044 mcg/10 mg;
(Mn): 0,0061 mcg/10 mg;
(Se): 0,0745 mcg/10 mg;
(Al): 0,3104 mcg/10 mg;
(Li): 0,0340 mcg/10 mg.


The consensus seems to be that it is subtle

I would say the effects are more obvious during cycle than after cerebrolysin. It’s more noticeable, I had better mood, especially during more demanding moments, when I had some sleep deficits . Both are nothing like stimulants, but rather subtle, natural nootropics with some anxiolytic effects.

One, not exactly enthusiastic, Biohacker reported

Anyway the first day of starting Cortexin i would say nothing changed in terms of how i was feeling, IE mixed feelings. Apart fromt the normal, subtle clarity… plus as i said above the feeling of being overloaded, like maybe i had brain fog and also the normal clarity at the same time…

Another Biohacker reported

[I] Hate [gabaergics]… taking Cortexin I hardly even gave a damn about anything, I could definitely feel enhanced focus at work etc, but I literally didn’t give a shit about anything at all, which would have been counter-productive in the long run.


  • Some Biohackers combine it with Cerebrolysin
  • Some have suggested stacking it with IGF LR3, however there’s some well reasoned objections to this. Probably not a good idea.

Usage & Dosage

Many of the clinical trials and Biohacker reports suggest 10 day dosing cycles.


The best way to take Cortexin is to inject it intramuscularly, so in your thigh, butt or major muscle. It’s recommended that you have a medical professional show you how or very carefully follow some of the tutorials online about how to safely perform injections


Treating ischemic stroke 10 milligrams three times daily
Treating epilepsy 10 milligrams daily
Alcohol encephalopathy 10 milligrams daily
Polyneuropathy 10 milligrams daily

Side Effects

Risk Grade: C

  • It’s an injectable drug, so it bypasses some of the natural filter mechanisms of the body and clumsy users should be careful with needles.
  • It’s been studied extensively in Russian but lacks international studies that have been peer reviewed and published in English for the public in open journals.
  • It doesn’t deserve higher than C grade. It’s not a low risk drug.

Vs Cerebrolysin

  • The first thing that a frugal Biohacker will notice is that Cortexin is quiet a bit cheaper than Cerebrolysin.
  • From a review out of St. Petersburg comparing the two: Both drugs exhibited moderate psychoactivating effect, the effects cortexin were more pronounced compared to those of cerebrolysin in all tests.
  • Overwhelmingly the user reports indicate that it’s a lesser smart drug than Cerebrolysin.

Ultimately, though I think this is case were you really get what you paying for. I rigorously evaluated the risk profile of Cerebrolysin, based upon a wealth of data and I think it’s a better option for almost everyone.


Cortexin was created in 1986 by a Russian military medical academy so it’s a relatively younger drug compared with say the Racetams but it’s really failed to attract much attention from the international anti-aging research establishment or DIY self-quantifyers.
The Japanese study that evaluated it in healthy young people as a performance enhancing adaptogen is interesting, but there’s a lot of much safer and proven Adaptogens out there that work great and don’t require jabbing yourself with a needle!
In my view, Cortexin is for those who need it to treat a serious illness or Biohackers with a high risk tolerance and demand for pharmacological novelty.
I would not give it to my own babushka.

Written by

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store