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

Updated on January 30, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Comprehensive review of Cerebrolysin's nootropic benefits, usage guidelines, dosage, and potential side effects.

Cerebrolysin, a peptide-based drug, has been explored as a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of stroke, including acute ischemic stroke. However, recent preclinical studies, including the Cochrane Review, indicate that it probably does not reduce the risk of dying in acute ischemic stroke and may increase the number of people with serious, non-fatal unwanted effects.

Cerebrolynsin is known for its ability to potentially improve cognitive functions and repair damaged brain cells and neurons.

As an active neuroprotective and neurotrophic agent, Cerebrolysin has been studied for potential benefits in enhancing the recovery process in patients with stroke, but high-quality studies to conclusively prove its efficacy are still needed.

This article will delve into all the multifaceted aspects of Cerebrolysin, exploring its efficacy in treating brain injuries, neuroprotective properties, and the potential it has to support improved cognition. We will also discuss benefits, uses, side effects, safety, and optimal dosage information.

What is Cerebrolysin?

Cerebrolysin is a peptide-based drug primarily used for the treatment of stroke, including acute ischemic stroke, and other cerebral disorders. Cerebrolysin has garnered attention for its potential pharmacological properties, including its ability to improve cognitive functions and repair brain cells damaged by neurological conditions such as TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). 

This neuroprotective and neurotrophic agent is derived from porcine brain proteins and contains a mixture of low molecular weight peptides and amino acids that stimulate neural growth and repair.

In some clinical trials, Cerebrolysin has been examined for its efficacy in improving symptoms and outcomes in patients with stroke. However, recent reviews, including the Cochrane Review, indicate that its benefits in this context are likely limited and it may increase the risk of serious non-fatal adverse events..(1)

Cerebrolysin works by enhancing the brain’s repair mechanisms and protecting brain cells from further injury. The drug is administered via injection, and its dosage commonly varies depending on the severity and type of brain injury or disease being treated.

The neuroprotective effects of Cerebrolysin extend beyond potential stroke treatment therapy. Preliminary studies have suggested potential improvements in neurocognitive functions with Cerebrolysin in conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, though further rigorous research is necessary to establish these effects.(2)

Cerebrolysin treatment has multimodal action, combining the neuroprotective, neurotrophic support, and cognitive enhancement properties. This makes Cerebrolysin a unique therapeutic agent compared with other nootropics in neurology.

While it can cross the blood-brain barrier, the overall safety profile of Cerebrolysin in clinical studies, particularly concerning non-fatal serious adverse events, warrants careful consideration when evaluating its potential for treating neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries.


  • Potential beneficial therapeutic effects on patients with neurological disorders and TBI
  • Improves cognitive performance, enhances mood, and improves focus
  • Cerebrolysin can potentially reduce the level of dependence in stroke patients
  • Helps in cell death (apoptosis) inhibition in neurological disorders, thereby preserving the functionality of the nervous system


  • The exact mechanism of action of Cerebrolysin is unclear
  • Cerebrolysin is typically administered via injection

Mechanism of Action

Cerebrolysin (FPF-1070) is an enzymatically treated mixture of peptides derived from pigs’ brains that contain BDNF, GDNF, NGF, and CNTF. These neuropeptides are essential for nerve growth stimulation and maintenance of healthy neurological functions. 

Cerebrolysin’s mechanism of action, particularly in the context of stroke and acute ischemic stroke, is multifaceted, combining neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects to improve cognitive functions and repair brain cells.

As a peptide-based drug derived from porcine brain proteins, it includes a complex mixture of low molecular weight peptides and amino acids. These components are the main key to its therapeutic properties in various neurological disorders.

Here is an overview of the most notable mechanisms of action of Cerebrolysin:

  • Neuroprotection: Cerebrolysin exhibits neuroprotective properties, which ar epotentiallyuseful in stroke and brain injury. It helps protect neurons from ischemic damage, reducing neuronal death and mitigating the effects of acute brain injury.
  • Neurotrophic Action: The drug promotes the survival, development, and function of neurons. It stimulates nerve growth and enhances synaptic plasticity, which is crucial for repairing and maintaining healthy brain cells.
  • Cognitive Improvement: Clinical studies have shown that Cerebrolysin can improve cognitive functions, particularly in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This improvement is attributed to its ability to enhance synaptic connectivity and neural network efficiency.
  • Modulation of Neuroinflammation: Cerebrolysin has been observed to modulate inflammatory responses in the brain, which can be beneficial in reducing the chronic inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Reduction of Free Radical Formation: By combating oxidative stress and reducing the formation of free radicals, Cerebrolysin helps protect the brain’s cellular integrity.
  • Enhancing Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability: Its components can influence the blood-brain barrier, potentially allowing better delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain.
  • Stimulation of Synthesis and Repair: Cerebrolysin stimulates the synthesis of proteins essential for neuronal repair and function. This is particularly significant after an injury or in any neurodegenerative conditions that come with age, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Its ability to enhance cognitive functions and repair damaged brain cells makes it a potential treatment option for various cerebral disorders.

Nootropic Benefits of Cerebrolysin

The nootropic benefits of Cerebrolysin, a peptide preparation used for cognitive enhancement and neurorecovery, are numerous. 

Here’s an overview of Cerebrolysin’s benefits:

1. Cognitive Improvement

Clinical results suggest that Cerebrolysin improves cognitive functions, particularly in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting an enhancement in memory, attention, and executive functions.(3)

Besides specific neurological conditions, Cerebrolysin has also improved general cognitive health in older adults, contributing to enhanced quality of life and daily functioning.(4)

2. Improved Functional Outcome

Multicentre studies indicate that Cerebrolysin has been explored for its ability to potentially improve the functional outcome in patients post-stroke, aiding in better recovery of motor and cognitive abilities.(5) However, more studies are needed to prove this theory.

3. Enhancement of Neuroplasticity

The use of Cerebrolysin enhances neuroplasticity, which is crucial for learning and memory. It promotes the formation of new neural connections, thereby improving cognitive capabilities.(6)

4. Reduction in APP Levels

Research has shown that Cerebrolysin reduces the levels of amyloid precursor protein (APP), a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting its role in potentially slowing the disease’s progression.(7)

5. Increased Oxygen Utilization

Cerebrolysin improves the brain’s oxygen utilization, enhancing cerebral metabolism and thus supporting better cognitive functions.(8)

6. Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration

As a peptide preparation, Cerebrolysin offers neuroprotective and neuroregenerative benefits, protecting neurons from damage and stimulating recovery of the patients, which is beneficial for cognitive health.(9)

Multicentre trials conducted in Austria and other locations have consistently shown positive outcomes in patients treated with Cerebrolysin, emphasizing its potential effectiveness as a nootropic agent.

7. Better Outcomes in Combination Therapies

Studies suggest that Cerebrolysin, when used in combination with other treatments, can lead to better cognitive outcomes compared to using a single therapy or placebo.

In controlled studies, patients treated with Cerebrolysin showed significant cognitive improvements compared to control groups receiving placebo, highlighting its efficacy.

Uses of Cerebrolysin

Clinically, Cerebrolysin has been approved in many European and Asian countries as an injection for treating cerebrovascular disorders, such as acute ischaemic stroke. 

Additionally, here are some of its key applications:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease: Cerebrolysin has shown promising results in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, helping to improve cognitive functions and slow disease progression.
  2. Traumatic Brain Injuries: Cerebrolysincan potentially be used to aid recovery in patients with traumatic brain injuries, enhancing neuroregeneration and neuroprotection.
  3. Cognitive Impairment in Dementia: Cerebrolysin is potentially beneficial in treating various forms of dementia, improving cognitive abilities and daily functioning.
  4. Neurorehabilitation: Cerebrolysin is employed in neurorehabilitation to enhance the recovery of neurological functions post-injury or post-stroke.
  5. Parkinson’s Disease: Its neuroprotective properties make it a potential treatment option for Parkinson’s disease, helping to manage symptoms and protect neuronal health.
  6. Administration in Clinical Settings: Cerebrolysin is administered via injection, making it a treatment that is typically given under medical supervision.
  7. Research and Clinical Trials: Numerous studies, including at least 6 studies, have randomized patients to receive either Cerebrolysin or a control treatment, providing valuable data on its efficacy and safety.
  8. Combination with Other Therapies: Often used in combination with other therapies, Cerebrolysin can enhance the overall treatment efficacy for various neurological disorders to help induce neuroregeneration.

Where To Buy Cerebrolysin

We recommend purchasing Cerebrolysin from CosmicNootropic. Their products are shipped from the United States and contain pure Cerebrolysin at a low price, starting from $69 USD. The shipping takes 2-5 days domestically and 7-14 days internationally.

This is a top-notch vendor and is our top pick for the best place to buy Cerebrolysin. 

Cerebrolysin has dosing tailored to the individual’s condition. The standard method for cognitive enhancement is intramuscular injections of 5 ml daily, with a course of treatment typically lasting 4 weeks unless your doctor specifies differently.

Here’s an overview of how  to correctly take a dose of Cerebrolysin for each condition:

  • Stroke: 20-50 ml for 21 days
  • Vascular dementia: 10-30 ml 5 days a week for 4 weeks, 2-4 cycles per year
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 10-30 ml 5 days a week for 4 weeks, 2-4 cycles per year
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): 20-50 ml for 7-30 days
  • As a Nootropic: 1-5 ml 5 days a week for 4 weeks

Remember to avoid high doses (80 ml and above) during the beginning of Cerebrolysin treatment.

Cerebrolysin Side Effects and Safety

The most common side effects of Cerebrolysin include: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Lower back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue.

It is important to note that the effects of Cerebrolysin are not the same for everyone, and it is recommended to consult a doctor before taking this medication. Additionally, if these side effects persist or grow in intensity, visit a hospital and see a medical professional to avoid adverse effects.

Caution should be exercised when combining Cerebrolysin with antidepressants, particularly MAO inhibitors, as they may interact adversely and lead to severe side effects.


So what do we know about Cerebrolysin?

We know that it is a peptide complex nootropic with powerful neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing properties. Cerebrolysin was studied for its potential to treat neurological disorders like stroke, traumatic brain injury, and dementia. However, more clinical trials are needed to confirm its efficacy in this area.

Cerebrolysin can be used independently or stacked with other supplements to get even more profound effects. When used as directed, it can help improve cognitive function and memory while providing an overall sense of alertness and energy.

It is important to remember that Cerebrolysin should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider, as it may interact with certain medications or supplements. Professional guidance will provide you with useful information on how to get the best out of your Cerebrolysin therapy.

With that in mind, Cerebrolysin can be an excellent addition to your nootropic regimen. It has numerous benefits and, when used correctly, can help to enhance cognitive function and memory while providing a sense of focus and alertness.


How long does Cerebrolysin take to work?

Cerebrolysin’s effects vary among individuals. Some users report feeling effects within a few hours of administration, while others may take several weeks. Consistency and dosage can influence the onset time.

What is the elimination half-life of Cerebrolysin?

The elimination half-life of Cerebrolysin is not clearly defined due to its complex mix of peptides. However, its effects typically last for several hours following administration.

Can I stack Cerebrolysin with other nootropics?

Yes, Cerebrolysin can be stacked with other nootropics. However, it’s important to research potential interactions and consult a healthcare professional before starting a new stack.

How should I store Cerebrolysin?

Cerebrolysin should be stored in a cool, dark place, like a refrigerator. It is sensitive to heat and light, which can degrade its potency.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Lang, Wilfried et al. “A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial about safety and efficacy of combined treatment with alteplase (rt-PA) and Cerebrolysin in acute ischaemic hemispheric stroke.” International journal of stroke : official journal of the International Stroke Society vol. 8,2 (2013): 95-104. doi:10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00901.x ↩
  2. 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 ↩
  3. Ghaffarpasand, Fariborz et al. “Effects of cerebrolysin on functional outcome of patients with traumatic brain injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment vol. 15 127-135. 27 Dec. 2018, doi:10.2147/NDT.S186865 ↩
  4. Chen, Chun-Chung et al. “Cerebrolysin enhances cognitive recovery of mild traumatic brain injury patients: double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study.” British journal of neurosurgery vol. 27,6 (2013): 803-7. doi:10.3109/02688697.2013.793287 ↩
  5. Brainin, Michael. “Cerebrolysin: a multi-target drug for recovery after stroke.” Expert review of neurotherapeutics vol. 18,8 (2018): 681-687. doi:10.1080/14737175.2018.1500459 ↩
  6. Cui, Shuhui et al. “Cerebrolysin for vascular dementia.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 2019,11 CD008900. 11 Nov. 2019, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008900.pub3 ↩
  7. Liu, Zehui et al. “CH(II), a cerebroprotein hydrolysate, exhibits potential neuro-protective effect on Alzheimer’s disease.” PloS one vol. 14,9 e0222757. 23 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0222757 ↩
  8. Colucci, Luisa et al. “Effectiveness of nootropic drugs with cholinergic activity in treatment of cognitive deficit: a review.” Journal of experimental pharmacology vol. 4 163-72. 11 Dec. 2012, doi:10.2147/JEP.S35326 ↩
  9. Lu, Weihong et al. “Cerebrolysin alleviates early brain injury after traumatic brain injury by inhibiting neuroinflammation and apoptosis via TLR signaling pathway.” Acta cirurgica brasileira vol. 37,6 e370605. 5 Sep. 2022, doi:10.1590/acb370605 ↩