Actovegin: Nootropic Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Actovegin review highlighting its cognitive benefits and side effects.

In this Actovegin guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at what this popular nootropic is. We’ll also review how Actovegin works in the brain and provide information about its benefits, side effects, and where to buy it online.

Within the nootropic world, Actovegin stands out as a powerful cognitive enhancer that promises a wide range of benefits for the brain. The way it works sets Actovegin apart from other nootropics on the market.

Unlike traditional nootropics that work by altering brain chemistry, Actovegin’s active ingredient is derived from deproteinized calf blood hemoderivative, which has been shown to promote neuroprotection, improve oxygen and glucose consumption in the brain, and stimulate the production of nerve growth factors.

This comprehensive review will delve deeper into the potential benefits, side effects, and considerations of Actovegin as a nootropic supplement.

Join us as we uncover the research and explore whether this supplement lives up to its cognitive-boosting claims.

Actovegin in Summary

Actovegin is a nootropic supplement that is derived from deproteinized calf blood hemoderivative. It offers a range of cognitive benefits, such as improved oxygen and glucose uptake in the brain, neuroprotection, and stimulation of nerve growth factors. Research into Actovegin has generally been positive, and side effects are rare when taken as directed.

Pros of Actovegin:

  • Promotes neuroprotection
  • Stimulates nerve growth factors
  • Improves oxygen and glucose uptake in the brain

Cons of Actovegin:

  • Difficult to find high-quality Actovegin
  • Not widely available

What is Actovegin?

Actovegin is an antihypoxic that is made from a deproteinized calf blood hemoderivative. It treats various medical conditions, such as burns, ulcers, and diabetic neuropathy. Actovegin is intended to improve the body’s utilization of glucose and oxygen, enhancing the healing process in damaged tissues.

Actovegin® is unique because it has pharmacodynamic actions that can be summarized to a common goal – enhancing cellular metabolism. But what does this mean?

This means that Actovegin contains inositol-phospho-oligosaccharides, which mediate an insulin-like activity that enhances glucose and oxygen uptake and utilization by the body’s cells. This results in improved energy metabolism in tissues with insufficient oxygen and glucose supply, leading to faster healing times and reduced inflammation.(1)

Actovegin has several beneficial effects in clinical settings. For example, Actovegin has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce limb pain in patients with circulatory disorders, including those with peripheral arterial disease.(2)

Trophic disturbances of the brain, such as post-stroke, can be improved with Actovegin treatments. Scientifically backed research has found that cognitive function is enhanced, and memory impairments are significantly reduced when using this medication.(3)

Actovegin has also shown benefits in treating acute and chronic wounds, such as burns and pressure ulcers. It promotes tissue regeneration, improving the healing process and reducing the risk of infection.(4)

Actovegin is a combination of various physiologically active ingredients:

  • Amino acids, e.g., ornithine, leucine, alanine, glutamate, proline, glycine, taurine, etc.
  • Oligopeptides
  • Lipids
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Nucleosides, e.g., adenosine, uridine.
  • Antioxidants
  • Electrolytes, e.g., Na, Cl, K, Mg, Ca, F, Fe.
  • Microelements, e.g., Cu, Si, Se, Zn.

How Does Actovegin Work In The Brain?

The mechanism of Actovegin’s action involves several cellular processes. Actovegin promotes glucose transport into cells, increases the activity of key enzymes involved in energy metabolism, and stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source in cells. Additionally, Actovegin reduces oxidative stress in cells, which can damage them and impair cell metabolism.(5)

By blocking apoptosis caused by the beta-amyloid peptide (Aβ25-35), Actovegin also modulates nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFkB) – a protein complex responsible for controlling both inflammation and cell death in central and peripheral nervous systems.

Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Actovegin in various preclinical and clinical models. In human studies, treatment with Actovegin reduced inflammation and improved blood flow in the brain, which is essential for proper functioning.(6)

Studies have shown that Actovegin can have potential neuroprotective effects and enhance cognitive function. Animal studies have found that treatment with Actovegin improves spatial memory and learning in rats.(7)

In human studies, Actovegin has also been shown to reduce cognitive impairment in patients with post-stroke cognitive impairment and to improve cognitive function in patients with dementia.

One study found that treatment with Actovegin improved neurological outcomes and cognitive function in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).(8)

That said, Actovegin’s efficacy also varies depending on the delivery method. For example, intravenous administration is usually preferred in cases of severe wounds and peripheral artery disease, whilst topical or gel forms are used for diabetic wound healing.(9)

Nuclear poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, otherwise known as PARP, plays an essential role in detecting and repairing single-stranded DNA. Unfortunately, excessive activation of this enzyme can cause cellular death if conditions like cerebrovascular disease or diabetic neuropathy are present. Actovegin is a beneficial solution that reduces the activity of PARP, subsequently leading to improved function and appearance of the central nervous system.

What Is Actovegin Used For?

The active ingredient in Actovegin is deproteinized calf blood extract, which contains a mixture of bioactive substances, including amino acids, oligopeptides, and trace elements.

The clinical applications of Actovegin are somewhat controversial, and there is limited evidence to support its use in many cases. Some studies have suggested that Actovegin can be useful in treating various conditions, including peripheral artery disease, diabetic neuropathy, and traumatic brain injury.

However, other studies have failed to find significant benefits of Actovegin in these or other conditions.

The therapeutic effects of Actovegin have been intensely studied in treating diabetic foot ulcers, with evidence suggesting that it is an invaluable asset to speeding up the healing process and curtailing the risk of infection.(10)

Actovegin is not only employed in clinical settings, but certain athletes such as Lance Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team allegedly utilized the substance for performance-enhancing purposes during their 2000 Tour de France race. However, scientific evidence of its effectiveness and safety remains inconclusive.

Although the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) does not directly prohibit using Actovegin, it is still in a grey area and considered a doping agent. Athletes should consult with their coaches and trainers before using it.

What Are The Benefits Of Actovegin For Cognition?

Actovegin promotes the transport and utilization of glucose and oxygen in the brain, which improves cognitive function.

Here are some of the benefits of Actovegin for cognition:

  • Increased brain energy metabolism
  • Improved memory and attention
  • Reduced brain damage from injury or aging
  • Enhanced recovery from stroke or traumatic brain injury
  • Improved cognitive function in elderly patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

Actovegin has shown promising results in the areas of cognitive function and brain health. However, more research is needed to understand the drug’s effects and mechanism of action fully.

Where To Buy Actovegin Online?

We highly recommend CosmicNootropic, which is an online source of Actovegin. They offer a variety of Actovegin products, including ampoules and tablets. They ship their products worldwide, offering fast shipping regardless of the customer’s location.

CosmicNootropic offer 2 different types of Actovegin:

5x Actovegin Ampoules (5 ml) for $35 USD: This is a ready-made intravenous or intramuscular injection solution. It contains deproteinized calf blood extract and can be used to treat stroke, traumatic brain injury, peripheral artery disease, diabetic neuropathy, and other conditions.

• 50x Actovegin Tablets (200 mg) for $80 USD: This is a convenient oral administration of the same active ingredient. This is preferred for biohackers looking to improve cognitive function and brain health.

CosmicNootropic has a reputation for providing quality products, so you can rest assured that you’ll get the best product available.

If you’re interested in purchasing Actovegin online, you can get your hands on Actovegin here.

What Do People Say About Actovegin On Reddit?

Let’s look at what people are saying about Actovegin on Reddit.

According to n00bPwner on the Reddit Nootropic subreddit:

“I’ve been using Actovegin for a few months now and my cognitive performance has improved drastically. I feel more awake, alert and focused while taking it.”

In another thread on the same subreddit, user u/george278 claims that:

“Actovegin has really helped me with memory and concentration. I find it easier to stay focused for longer periods of time now, which is great for studying! It’s also amazing for athletic performance – my stamina is through the roof.”

According to u/Werkforcevii:

“I’ve been taking Actovegin for a while now, and so far it’s been great. I feel sharper, more alert, and my concentration has improved greatly. It also helps me get into deep flow states quickly and easily.”

Overall, people seem to have positive experiences with Actovegin. However, it is important to note that everyone’s experience will differ, so it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before trying this supplement.

How Do You Take Actovegin For Cognitive Enhancement?

The dosing and administration of Actovegin for cognitive enhancement can vary depending on the individual.

However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Actovegin is typically administered intravenously, although it may also come in pill or injection form.
  • The drug is usually given in cycles of several weeks, with a break in between cycles.
  • The dose may vary depending on the individual’s needs and response to the drug.
  • Actovegin can be taken with or without food, as food is not known to affect its absorption or efficacy.
  • The best time of day to take Actovegin depends on the individual’s schedule and preferences, but it is generally recommended to take it at the same time each day (either morning or noon).

Cycling may be needed to prevent the body from developing tolerance to the drug, although this will also depend on the individual’s response to the drug.

People who take oral Actovegin for nootropic purposes usually follow this schedule:

  • 1 to 3 tablets of Actovegin 3 times a day
  • The tablets are taken before meals
  • The duration of the course is 4-6 weeks

It is important to adhere to the prescribed dosage and timing of administration to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

Missing doses of Actovegin should be avoided if possible, but don’t worry if you forget one. Simply take the missed dose as soon as it is remembered unless the next scheduled intake is shortly after.

If this happens close in time with another planned dosage, simply skip that and resume your regular dosing schedule instead of taking double for a single dose.

The recommended dosage of Actovegin varies depending on the patient’s age, gender, health conditions, etc.

Let’s look at the general recommended dosage for adults, down below:

For Ischemic Stroke

For individuals experiencing an intense ischemic stroke, Actovegin® treatment should start from day 5-7 post-stroke with a dosage of 2000 mg daily. This can be given either intra-arterial or intravenous injections at 10 to 29 ml daily.

If necessary, it may also include several times of slow injections every week in smaller dosages – just 5 ml each time.

Post-stroke Cognitive Impairments

Beginning 5-7 days after a stroke, Actovegin® should be administered intravenously with doses of up to 2000 mg daily for 20 infusions. After this initial period, continue the treatment by taking two tablets three times daily (1200 mg/day) for six months in total.


For four consecutive weeks, Actovegin® is given intravenously at a daily dosage of 2000 milligrams.

Peripheral Circulatory Disorders & Related Complications

For optimal results, Actovegin® should be infused intravenously or intra-arterially (IA) at a dosage of 800–2000 mg daily for four weeks.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Intravenously, 2000 mg of the drug should be administered in 20 infusions daily. Afterward, switch to oral tablets with a dose of 3 pills taken three times daily for 1800mg/day total. The duration of treatment is 4-5 months long.

It is important to note that Actovegin should be taken exactly as a healthcare provider prescribes. Taking too much of this medication can lead to serious side effects. Follow the directions carefully and consult your healthcare provider for any questions or concerns.

What Are The Side Effects Of Actovegin?

Like any other medication, Actovegin is not without side effects. Below, we have listed the most common ones:

  • Immune system complications are rare but possible side effects of Actovegin. One such complication is drug-induced fever, which is characterized by an increase in body temperature. Another possible complication is an allergic reaction, which can result in symptoms of shock. Although these complications are rare, patients who experience them should seek immediate medical attention.
  • Skin and subcutaneous complications are other potential side effects of Actovegin. Hives, also known as urticaria, can appear suddenly and cause itching and redness. In some cases, patients may also experience sudden redness of the skin, which can be accompanied by a burning sensation.
  • Musculoskeletal and connective tissue complications are not commonly reported with Actovegin, but muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is a possible side effect. Myalgia can be characterized by a dull ache, and patients who experience this complication should inform their healthcare provider about it.

Overdosing with Actovegin is uncommon since the drug is non-toxic, even in doses 30-40 times larger than the recommended dose. There have been no reported cases of overdose with Actovegin. 

What Nootropics Are Similar To Actovegin?

2 animal-derived nootropics stand out as similar to Actovegin: Cerebrolysin and Cortexin.

  • Cerebrolysin: Cerebrolysin is a nootropic peptide that has similar effects to Actovegin. Like Actovegin, Cerebrolysin increases oxygen flow to the brain and improves cognitive function. It also stimulates nerve cell growth and repairs damaged cells. Benefits of Cerebrolysin include improved memory, cognitive performance, and neuroprotection.(11)
  • Cortexin: Cortexin is a nootropic peptide that works similarly to Actovegin. It is derived from animal brain tissue and promotes the growth and repair of neural cells. Cortexin also enhances learning and memory and reduces the risk of stroke.(12)

What Brain Supplements Can Actovegin Be Stacked With?

Stacking Actovegin with other cognitive-boosting supplements can be an effective way to amplify the effects of certain compounds. One of the best supplements to stack with Actovegin is NooCube.

NooCube is a potent nootropic blend formulated using natural ingredients, including Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, and L-Theanine. Alpha GPC is an important source of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), which facilitates communication between neurons and plays a vital role in cognitive processes such as memory formation and learning.

Huperzine A is an alkaloid that is used to improve cognitive performance by inhibiting the breakdown of ACh in the brain. L-Theanine helps reduce stress and supports calmness and alertness, allowing users to stay focused for longer.

By stacking Actovegin with NooCube, users can benefit from synergistic effects that enhance their overall mental performance. NooCube provides the perfect foundation for stacking, as it contains natural nootropic ingredients that work harmoniously with Actovegin to support cognitive function.

NooCube supplement bottle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Now let’s look at some of the commonly asked questions about Actovegin.

How Long Does It Take For Actovegin To Work?

The effects of Actovegin become noticeable within a few weeks of taking it. As with any nootropic, the time frame depends on individual factors such as age and general health.

How Does Actovegin Make You Feel?

Because Actovegin enhances cellular metabolism and respiration, users report feeling more alert and energized. They also report improved cognitive performance and better memory retention.

What’s The Half-Life Of Actovegin?

Depending on the route of administration, dosage, and patient’s characteristics, Actovegin has a variable half-life. The half-life of intravenous administered Actovegin is fairly short – around 5 to 6 hours, whereas when taken orally, its effects last up to 20 to 24 hours.

Is It Safe To Use Actovegin?

Yes, it is generally safe to use Actovegin. Even at higher doses, Actovegin has not been associated with any serious side effects.


So what do we know about Actovegin?

This peptide supplement is derived from animal brains and increases cellular metabolism, respiration, and oxygenation. It also stimulates the growth of nerve cells, and repairs damaged neural pathways.

Actovegin has many cognitive benefits, including improved memory, enhanced learning, and better concentration. It can be stacked with other nootropic supplements, such as NooCube, to amplify its effects.

It is either injected intravenously or taken orally, and its effects generally become noticeable after a few weeks of taking it. Actovegin is safe to use, with no reported serious side effects.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Buchmayer, Florian et al. “Actovegin®: a biological drug for more than 5 decades.” Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift (1946) vol. 161,3-4 (2011): 80-8. doi:10.1007/s10354-011-0865-y
  2. Fomin, A A, and D R Pershakov. Khirurgiia ,8 (2015): 54-57. doi:10.17116/hirurgia2015854-57
  3. Guekht, Alla et al. “ARTEMIDA Trial (A Randomized Trial of Efficacy, 12 Months International Double-Blind Actovegin): A Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess the Efficacy of Actovegin in Poststroke Cognitive Impairment.” Stroke vol. 48,5 (2017): 1262-1270. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.014321
  4. Nykula, T D et al. “Zastosovuvannia aktovehinu pry virazkoviĭ khvorobi” [The use of actovegin in peptic ulcer]. Likars’ka sprava ,9 (1993): 94-6.
  5. Elmlinger, Martin W et al. “Neuroprotective and anti-oxidative effects of the hemodialysate actovegin on primary rat neurons in vitro.” Neuromolecular medicine vol. 13,4 (2011): 266-74. doi:10.1007/s12017-011-8157-7
  6. Reichl, Franz-Xaver et al. “Actovegin® reduces PMA-induced inflammation on human cells.” European journal of applied physiology vol. 120,7 (2020): 1671-1680. doi:10.1007/s00421-020-04398-2
  7. Meilin, Sigal et al. “Treatment with Actovegin improves spatial learning and memory in rats following transient forebrain ischaemia.” Journal of cellular and molecular medicine vol. 18,8 (2014): 1623-30. doi:10.1111/jcmm.12297
  8. New Approaches Regarding The Use Of Actovegin ® In Subacute/postacute/subchronic Traumatic Brain Injury Patients. (N.d.).
  9. Tsang, Man Wo et al. “Human epidermal growth factor enhances healing of diabetic foot ulcers.” Diabetes care vol. 26,6 (2003): 1856-61. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.6.1856
  10. Smolianinov, A B. “Lechenie aktoveginom bol’nykh iazvennoĭ bolezn’iu dvenadtsatiperstnoĭ kishki, sochetannoĭ s ishemicheskoĭ bolezn’iu serdtsa i sakharnym diabetom” [Actovegin treatment of duodenal ulcer associated with ischemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus]. Klinicheskaia meditsina vol. 78,6 (2000): 24-8.
  11. Fiani, Brian et al. “Cerebrolysin for stroke, neurodegeneration, and traumatic brain injury: review of the literature and outcomes.” Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology vol. 42,4 (2021): 1345-1353. doi:10.1007/s10072-021-05089-2
  12. Gomazkov, O A. Zhurnal “nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova vol. 115,8 (2015): 99-104. doi:10.17116/jnevro20151158199-104

Jacob Kovacs is a cognitive neuroscientist and author at WholisticResearch, specializing in nootropics and neuroactive peptides. His expertise in neuroscience and psychopharmacology bridges cognitive science with drug development. Kovacs’ work focuses on enhancing cognitive functions and brain health through innovative, efficient neuroactive compounds that overcome traditional pharmacokinetic challenges. His contributions are pivotal in advancing the understanding and treatment of neurological diseases.