Centrophenoxine: Review of Nootropic Benefits, Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on March 9, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Exploring the cognitive benefits and potential side effects of Centrophenoxine as a nootropic.

In the dynamic world of cognitive enhancers, centrophenoxine stands out as a distinguished player.

Originally developed in France, this potent cholinergic nootropic compound has garnered attention for its multifaceted benefits in brain health and anti-aging.

But, what exactly makes centrophenoxine a sought-after supplement in the realm of brain function enhancement?

Our journey through the latest research unveils how this compound, with its unique blend of DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) and pCPA (parachlorophenoxyacetate), transcends the typical boundaries of nootropics.

Whether you’re a seasoned nootropic user or new to the world of brain health supplements, this review offers valuable insights into how centrophenoxine enhances memory, protects your brain from aging, and optimizes overall brain function.

What is Centrophenoxine?

Centrophenoxine (also known as meclofenoxate and brand names Lucidril, Cerutil, Helfergin, Atsefen, and Closete) is a cholinergic compound with an added DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) molecule.

It has been studied for its ability to improve cognitive functions and slow down the aging process of the body.(1)

This nootropic (”smart” drug) acts as a better-absorbed transporter of DMAE through the blood-brain barrier. It’s a chemical compound that combines DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) and pCPA (parachlorophenoxyacetate), which work together to create a synthesis that enhances its efficacy.

Centrophenoxine is primarily known for its ability to improve memory and cognitive function. It works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a significant role in memory formation and learning processes.

One of the unique properties of centrophenoxine is its potential anti-aging benefits for the brain.

It helps reduce the buildup of lipofuscin, a type of cellular waste that accumulates in brain cells and other tissues with age. This accumulation is associated with age-related cognitive decline.

Beyond its nootropic and anti-aging properties, centrophenoxine is thought to support overall brain health. It has the potential to help protect brain cells from oxidative stress and improve brain cell metabolism.

Initially developed in France, centrophenoxine has been the subject of various research studies, particularly focusing on its effects on aging and cognitive decline.(2)

It’s used both as a prescription medication and as a dietary supplement, depending on the region and regulations.


  • Improves cognitive function, such as concentration, learning, and memory abilities
  • Protects the brain from oxidative stress and age-related changes
  • Boosts acetylcholine levels in the brain
  • Improves overall brain health and metabolism


  • Potential to interact with certain medications
  • Not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as a prescription drug

Mechanism of Action

Centrophenoxine’s mechanism of action involves multiple pathways, primarily focusing on enhancing brain function and combating brain aging.

Here’s a detailed look at how centrophenoxine (meclofenoxate) works:

  1. Increase in Acetylcholine Levels: Centrophenoxine is thought to elevate levels of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter associated with memory, learning, and overall cognitive function. It does this through its component DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), which is a precursor to choline. Choline is then used by the brain to synthesize acetylcholine. Higher acetylcholine levels are linked to improved neuronal communication, leading to better cognitive functions.(3)
  2. Reduction of Lipofuscin Accumulation: One of the distinctive features of centrophenoxine is its ability to decrease the buildup of lipofuscin within brain cells. Lipofuscin is a cellular waste product that accumulates in various tissues as a person ages, and its buildup in brain cells is associated with age-related cognitive decline. By reducing lipofuscin, centrophenoxine may help in maintaining healthier brain cells and preventing the cognitive impairments linked with aging.
  3. Antioxidant Properties: Centrophenoxine exhibits antioxidant properties, which help in protecting the brain cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a key factor in the aging process and can lead to neuronal damage. By scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, centrophenoxine contributes to the overall health and longevity of brain cells.
  4. Improved Brain Cell Metabolism: It is believed that centrophenoxine improves the metabolic activity of brain cells. This means it can enhance the cells’ ability to use glucose and oxygen more efficiently, leading to better energy production. Improved metabolism in brain cells can result in enhanced alertness, cognitive function, and potentially better recovery from brain fatigue.
  5. Neuroprotective Effects: Centrophenoxine may provide neuroprotective benefits, guarding neurons against various forms of damage, including environmental toxins and the natural aging process.
  6. Cell Membrane Repair: DMAE, a component of centrophenoxine, is also suggested to have a role in repairing and maintaining cell membranes. Healthy cell membranes are crucial for proper cell signaling, nutrient transport, and overall cell health.

Nootropic Benefits of Centrophenoxine

Centrophenoxine, as a nootropic compound that combines DMAE and pCPA, is touted for its effectiveness in improving various aspects of cognitive function.

It’s particularly noted the following cognitive benefits.

1. Enhancement of Memory and Learning Abilities

Centrophenoxine has been shown to improve memory function and learning capacity.(4) This is particularly beneficial in the context of age-related memory decline, but it also aids in general memory enhancement in younger individuals.

2. Cognitive Function Improvement

Clinical research shows that centrophenoxine enhances overall cognitive functions, including learning capacity, focus, and mental clarity. This is largely attributed to its role in boosting acetylcholine levels.(5)

By reducing the buildup of lipofuscin in brain cells, centrophenoxine helps in slowing down brain aging to prevent age-related cognitive issues.(6)

4. Neuroprotective Effects

Centrophenoxine offers neuroprotective benefits, safeguarding neurons against damage caused by oxidative stress and potentially other neurotoxic factors.(7)

5. Mood Regulation

Some users report mood-enhancing effects, although this benefit may vary among individuals and is less documented in scientific literature.

6. Brain Health Support

Centrophenoxine contributes to overall brain health by improving cell metabolism and maintaining cell membrane integrity, ensuring healthier functioning of brain cells.(8)

7. Oxidative Stress Reduction

Its antioxidant properties help in reducing oxidative stress in the brain, a factor that leads to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

8. Increased Alertness and Energy

Users often experience increased alertness and mental energy, likely due to improved brain cell metabolism and neurotransmitter activity.

9. Support in Neurological Conditions

While more research is needed, centrophenoxine may offer benefits in managing certain neurological conditions and preventing memory loss. This is beneficial in the treatment of cognitive disorders such as like dementia or Alzheimer’s, due to its various neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing properties.(9)

Uses of Centrophenoxine

Centrophenoxine, known for its cognitive-enhancing and neuroprotective properties, has a range of uses in both clinical and supplemental contexts.

Here are some of its primary uses:

  1. Enhancing Cognitive Function: It is widely used to improve cognitive abilities, including memory, focus, learning capacity, and mental clarity. This makes it a popular choice among students, professionals, and anyone looking to boost their cognitive performance.
  2. Aging and Brain Health: Centrophenoxine is particularly noted for its potential in combating age-related cognitive decline. It’s used to help maintain memory and brain function in older adults and to slow down the progression of age-related cognitive impairments.
  3. Neurodegenerative Disorders: While more research is needed, centrophenoxine shows promise in the management of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, due to its neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects.
  4. Reducing Brain Cell Aging: Its ability to reduce lipofuscin accumulation in brain cells, a waste product associated with aging, makes it a candidate for use in anti-aging therapies targeting the brain.
  5. Stress and Mood Regulation: Some users take centrophenoxine for its potential mood-enhancing and stress-reducing effects, though these benefits are less scientifically documented compared to its cognitive-enhancing properties.
  6. Neuroprotection: It offers protective benefits against oxidative stress and neuronal damage, making it useful for individuals looking to preserve brain health and function over time.
  7. Supplemental Use for Overall Wellness: Centrophenoxine is used as a part of nootropic stacks (combinations of nootropics) to enhance overall mental performance and well-being.

Where to Buy Centrophenoxine

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Centrophenoxine Dosage

The appropriate dosage of centrophenoxine can vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s age, health status, and the specific reasons for using the supplement.

However, here are general guidelines that are commonly followed:

  • Standard Dosage: For cognitive enhancement in healthy adults, the typical dosage of centrophenoxine ranges from 250 to 1000 mg per day. This dosage is often divided into two separate doses, taken in the morning and early afternoon to avoid any potential interference with sleep.
  • Starting Dose: It’s recommended to start with a lower dose, such as 250 mg per day, and gradually increase as needed and as tolerated. This approach helps to assess individual tolerance and effectiveness.
  • Maximum Dosage: While doses up to 2000 mg per day have been used in some studies, it’s important not to exceed the recommended dosage range without medical advice. Higher doses may increase the risk of side effects.

The appropriate duration of centrophenoxine supplementation varies.

Some individuals use it for specific periods when enhanced cognitive function is desired, while others may take it for longer durations under medical guidance, especially in the context of age-related cognitive decline.

Centrophenoxine Side Effects & Safety

Centrophenoxine is considered safe when used at recommended doses, but like most nootropic supplements, it can have potential side effects, especially if taken in high doses or without proper guidance.

Here are some of the known side effects:

  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood changes

Safety considerations include:

  • Dosage Adherence: It’s important to adhere to recommended dosages and to start with a lower dose to gauge individual tolerance.
  • Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly cardiovascular issues, neurological disorders, or psychiatric conditions, should consult a healthcare provider before using centrophenoxine.
  • Medication Interactions: Centrophenoxine can interact with other medications, especially those affecting neurotransmitter levels (like acetylcholine). It’s crucial to discuss potential interactions with a healthcare provider.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Due to a lack of sufficient research, centrophenoxine is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Long-term Use: The long-term safety of centrophenoxine has not been extensively studied. Therefore, prolonged use should be monitored by a healthcare professional.


Centrophenoxine emerges as a compelling available nootropic with promising benefits found for cognitive enhancement and brain health.

Its ability to boost memory, combat age-related cognitive decline, and provide neuroprotective effects makes it a noteworthy addition to the world of cognitive supplements.

Whether you’re seeking to sharpen your cognitive abilities, preserve your brain health as you age, or explore the frontiers of neuroprotective supplements, centrophenoxine offers an intriguing option.

However, remember that the journey to optimal brain health is multifaceted, involving a balanced diet, regular exercise, and mental stimulation. Always discuss supplementation information with your healthcare provider before adding to your wellness regimen.

Overall, as we continue to unlock the mysteries of the human brain, centrophenoxine stands as a testament to the potential of nootropics in enhancing our cognitive landscape.


How long does centrophenoxine take to work?

Generally, some users may begin to notice effects within a few hours of taking centrophenoxine, while for others, more noticeable benefits in cognitive function might take a few days to a couple of weeks of regular use.

What is the elimination half-life of centrophenoxine?

For centrophenoxine, the exact elimination half-life can vary, but it’s generally considered to be relatively short, in the range of several hours.

Should you cycle centrophenoxine?

This comes down to personal tolerance. While there’s no universally recommended cycling pattern for centrophenoxine, some users choose to take it for 3 weeks, then take a week or two-week break before taking it again. 

Can I stack centrophenoxine with other nootropics?

Centrophenoxine can be stacked with other nootropics, but it’s important to choose combinations wisely to avoid overstimulation or adverse interactions. For instance, it’s often combined with racetams (such as Piracetam or Aniracetam) for enhanced cognitive benefits.

How should I store centrophenoxine?

To maintain its efficacy, centrophenoxine should be stored properly. Keep it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Ensure the container is tightly closed when not in use.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Bakhtogarimov, Ildar R et al. “The Effect of Meclofenoxate on the Transcriptome of Aging Brain of Nothobranchius guentheri Annual Killifish.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 23,5 2491. 24 Feb. 2022, doi:10.3390/ijms23052491 ↩
  2. Bhalla, Punita, and Bimla Nehru. “Modulatory effects of centrophenoxine on different regions of ageing rat brain.” Experimental gerontology vol. 40,10 (2005): 801-6. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2005.06.016 ↩
  3. Sharma, D, and R Singh. “Centrophenoxine activates acetylcholinesterase activity in hippocampus of aged rats.” Indian journal of experimental biology vol. 33,5 (1995): 365-8. ↩
  4. Mosharrof, A H et al. “Effects of meclofenoxate on learning and memory–dependence on the experimental conditions.” Acta physiologica et pharmacologica Bulgarica vol. 12,3 (1986): 7-14. ↩
  5. Nandy, K. “Centrophenoxine: effects on aging mammalian brain.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society vol. 26,2 (1978): 74-81. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.1978.tb02544.x ↩
  6. Liao, Yun et al. “Centrophenoxine improves chronic cerebral ischemia induced cognitive deficit and neuronal degeneration in rats.” Acta pharmacologica Sinica vol. 25,12 (2004): 1590-6. ↩
  7. Nehru, Bimla et al. “Evidence for centrophenoxine as a protective drug in aluminium induced behavioral and biochemical alteration in rat brain.” Molecular and cellular biochemistry vol. 290,1-2 (2006): 33-42. doi:10.1007/s11010-006-9125-7 ↩
  8. Cohen, Pieter A et al. “The unapproved drug centrophenoxine (meclofenoxate) in cognitive enhancement dietary supplements.” Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.) vol. 60,10 (2022): 1156-1158. doi:10.1080/15563650.2022.2109485 ↩
  9. Khan, Sabiya Samim et al. “Strategies for Treatment of Disease-Associated Dementia Beyond Alzheimer’s Disease: An Update.” Current neuropharmacology vol. 21,2 (2023): 309-339. doi:10.2174/1570159X20666220411083922 ↩