Cortexin Review: Nootropic Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on September 9, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

In this Cortexin guide, we'll look at this popular nootropic in-depth. We'll review how Cortexin works in the brain and provide information about its benefits, side effects, and where to buy it online.

How often have you found yourself staring at the computer screen with a mental block that won't budge? It happens to the best of us.

But what if there was a way to unlock your brain's full potential, to help you focus better, remember more, and think more clearly? That's where Cortexin comes in.

Cortexin is a neurotrophic peptide that aims to enhance brain activity, improve memory, and boost cognitive function. It's been used for decades to treat neurological disorders, and recently, it's gained popularity as a "smart drug" or nootropic supplement.

So let's take an in-depth look at what Science says about Cortexin and its nootropic benefits.

Cortexin Review Summary

Cortexin is a peptide-based nootropic supplement that has been used for decades to improve cognitive performance and treat neurological disorders. This review discussed its potential benefits, dosage information, side effects, and where to buy it online.

Overall, Cortexin appears to be a safe and effective way to boost your brain power so you can focus better and think more clearly. If you're looking for a way to enhance your cognitive performance, Cortexin is worth considering.


  • Help improve memory and cognitive performance
  • Has been used safely for decades in treating neurological disorders
  • Is generally safe, with minimal side effects reported
  • Robust scientific evidence to back up its efficacy


  • The most effective way to take Cortexin is via injections (which can be inconvenient for some)

What Is Cortexin?

Cortexin® is a specially formulated medication used to treat neurological disorders in young children. Its composition includes the active ingredient, making it a popular choice among pediatric healthcare providers. Since its registration in 2009, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, and pediatricians have extensively used the drug in the complex therapy of various neurological diseases.(1)

what is cortexin

Cortexin is a neurotrophic drug derived from animals' cerebral cortex. It is a lyophilized extraction that contains neuropeptides, amino acids, and trace elements. The extraction process also retains nucleoprotein complexes, which can retain chromatin elements with DNA fragments.(2)

Chromatin is a combination of DNA and proteins that create chromosomes. The components of Cortexin are specifically tailored to interact with molecular and cellular processes at various stages of the pathological process. This unique range of components provides a targeted approach to correcting neurological processes, making Cortexin a promising tool in correcting cognitive decline and neurological disorders.

The role of peptide molecules in neuroprotection is gaining recognition in modern neuro signaling concepts. These peptide components, derived from the animal brain and found in Cortexin, play a pivotal role in interacting with molecular and cellular "targets," providing new insights into the mechanisms of neuroprotection.

While Cortexin has been used to treat various neurological disorders, including cognitive decline, there remains some controversy over its effectiveness. Some studies have found evidence that Cortexin can be effective in treating certain neurological disorders, while others have found no conclusive evidence to support its use.(3)

Despite the ongoing debate over its effectiveness, Cortexin remains a promising tool in treating certain neurological disorders. Its unique combination of components, tailored to target cellular and molecular processes, offers a targeted approach to neuroprotection and cognitive enhancement.

How Does Cortexin Work In The Brain?

Studies have found evidence that Cortexin can effectively restore optimal plasticity and promote neuronal healing in the brain. It does so via several mechanisms.

One way to achieve anti-inflammatory effects in the brain and body is by balancing pro- and anti-oxidative systems. This method also specifically inhibits brain caspase-8 tissue and interacts with neuron-specific proteins such as β5-tubulin, creatine kinase B, and protein 14-3-3 α/β.(4)

The pleiotropic features of Cortexin’s action result from its complex composition of neuropeptides that interact with key pathways involved in neuronal protection and healing. However, its tissue specificity must also be considered when evaluating its effectiveness—which has been demonstrated to be successful in treating various neurological disorders.

Recent studies have suggested that Cortexin-related neuroprotective effects are linked to its ability to inhibit brain proteases, particularly caspase-8 (CASP8). This was found to be the initiator caspase that causes neuronal damage when activated.(5)

The role of the CASP8 gene is to produce a specific type of enzyme called caspase, which is initially inactive. Caspases are activated by removing certain molecules, and when activated, they work together to initiate programmed cell death (apoptosis). External signals such as Fas-interacting proteins (FADD) can activate caspases, leading to cell death. Cortexin has been found to prevent caspase-8 from activating and destroying cells, thereby preserving them.

According to Yakovlev, A A et al., Cortexin effectively inhibited caspase-8, with little or no effect on other brain proteases such as caspase-1, -3, -9, cathepsin B and calpain. Furthermore, a fraction of the original drug was isolated that could still retain the neuroprotective capacity of Cortexin but with a much simpler composition. This fraction was observed to prevent neuronal damage in a culture model of glutamate-induced death.

Thus, Cortexin's neuroprotective effects are mediated by the inhibition of initiator caspase-8 in the brain, providing an effective and safe treatment option for various neurological disorders.

What Is Cortexin Used For?

Cortexin is used in the treatment of a range of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, including cerebral palsy, autism, and post-stroke aphasia. It stimulates the activity of neurotransmitters, improving the communication between the brain cells and restoring cognitive function.

Clinical applications for Cortexin have been studied extensively in Russia and other countries, primarily in Eastern Europe, where it is commonly prescribed.

cortexin work in the brain

One of the most researched indications for Cortexin is cerebral palsy. A study conducted in Russia involving 78 outpatients with cerebral palsy (CP) aged 2-7 years old demonstrated Cortexin's high efficacy in the recovery of speech functions in children with cerebral palsy compared to patients of the comparison group.(6)

Another study from 2017 was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Cortexin in treating children who have both cerebral palsy (CP) and epilepsy.(7)

During hospitalization, a total of 84 patients (55 boys and 29 girls), with cerebral palsy (CP) and epilepsy and aged 1 to 11 years were given Cortexin along with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The dosage of cortexin was based on the patient's age and body weight and ranged from 5-10 mg, which was administered intramuscularly.

In 31 (36.9%) patients, Cortexin used in addition to AEDs led to fewer seizures by more than two times and improved motor function. On the other hand, 15 (17.8%) patients experienced an improvement in motor function, but did not see a significant decrease in seizures.

In 14 cases (16.7%), the frequency of epileptic seizures decreased by more than twice without a significant impact on motor function. Only one girl with West syndrome (1.2%) experienced a worsening of epileptic seizures during Cortexin therapy, which was significantly lower compared to the likelihood of seizures worsening with AEDs.

According to the study, Cortexin was found to be effective and safe when used as an additional treatment for children who have cerebral palsy and epilepsy at the same time.

Lastly, in 2014, a study examined the effectiveness of Cortexin in treating cognitive and emotional disorders in individuals with brain ischemia (BI) who also had arterial hypertension and/or atherosclerosis.(8)

The efficacy of Cortexin was analyzed in the study involving 50,000 patients with brain ischemia across 70 cities in Russia. Each patient was given a dose of 10 mg/day of cortexin for 10 days. Their condition was evaluated before the treatment and again at 11 and 30 days after starting the treatment.

Mashin et al. analyzed the treatment outcomes for 500 patients who had BI and were in stage II. The patients had an average age of 63.7 ± 10.23 years. The effectiveness of the treatment was evaluated using various tests, such as the Five Words test, Schulte test, MMSE, Hamilton anxiety scale, and a brief version of the Geriatric Depression scale.

The 5-score scale of subjective and objective neurological symptoms was also used for the evaluation.

The treatment resulted in a reduction or complete disappearance of focal neurological symptoms, improvement in cognitive function indicators, improvement in emotional status, and reduction in the level of depression.

These studies demonstrate the multiple effects of Cortexin on different neurological and psychiatric conditions. Its efficacy in treating cerebral palsy and epilepsy in children, brain ischemia in adults, as well as cognitive and emotional disorders, have been established by numerous scientific studies.

What Are The Benefits Of Cortexin For Cognition?

Studies have shown that Cortexin has the potential to improve cognitive function in individuals with neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Based on the existing scientific research, the summary of Cortexin's benefits for cognitive function is as follows:

  • Promotes better language and communication skills
  • Improves cognitive functioning
  • Improves higher cerebral functions
  • Enhances motor skills
  • Activates metabolism of neurons
  • Improves memory
  • Boosts attention and concentration
  • Improves social interactions

It should be noted that Cortexin is not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and larger clinical trials need to be conducted to establish its efficacy and safety in enhancing cognition.

Where To Buy Cortexin Online?

We highly recommend CosmicNootropic as the best online source for Cortexin. They offer premium-grade nootropic supplements at affordable prices, with fast shipping worldwide. Their Cortexin is the highest quality available and comes in two different formulations:

  • 10 Cortexin vials x 10 mg ($75 USD)
  • 10 Cortexin vials x 5 mg ($45 USD)

They ship from Russia or the US, depending on the destination country. If you want to get your hands on Cortexin, then CosmicNootropic is the way to go. You can find their website right here:

What Do People Say About Cortexin On Reddit?

Let's look at what people are saying about Cortexin on Reddit.

One Reddit user wrote:

"I have been using Cortexin for a few weeks now and I must say that the results are really good. I noticed my memory improving, as well as an overall increase in mental clarity".

Another Reddit user said:

"Cortexin is an amazing noot, it has greatly improved my focus and concentration levels. It also helps me feel more energetic throughout the day".

A user named Brainynoot8721 stated:

"I have been using Cortexin on and off for the past few months, and I really like it. It helps me concentrate better, improves my mood and overall gives me a mental boost. That said I did experience some mild headaches when I first started taking it".

Cortexin is generally perceived as a powerful nootropic that can help improve cognitive function. Although some people report experiencing side effects, many consider the benefits to outweigh the risks.

How Do You Take Cortexin For Cognitive Enhancement?

Cortexin should be administered intramuscularly, with the preferred injection site being the gluteal muscle. Always use sterilized needles and syringes and avoid injecting into a blood vessel.

It can be taken with or without food. For optimal results, it is best to administer Cortexin at the same time every day. Cortexin should be taken in short courses/cycles, typically 10 days, with 3 to 6 months intervals between each course.

Regularly monitoring the effects of Cortexin is advised. Keeping a journal to record your cognitive function before and after injections can help you detect any changes and improvements resulting from the medication.

The recommended dosage of Cortexin can vary depending on the individual's age, weight, medical history, and the condition being treated.

The dosage can range from 5 to 20 mg per day, typically administered intramuscularly or intravenously, depending on the patient's specific needs.

In treating cerebral palsy, Cortexin is usually injected intramuscularly at a dose of 5-10 mg per kilogram of the child's weight, 10 to 20 days once a day. Children aged 3 and below are recommended to take 0.5-1 mg/kg of Cortexin, depending on their weight.

cortexin dosage

It can take 5-10 days per course for older children, taking 0.5-1 ml of the medicine intramuscularly on days 1, 3, and 6.

For post-stroke aphasia and other cognitive impairments, the recommended dose is 10 to 20 mg per day, given for 10 to 14 days, although this can vary depending on the patient's condition.

When using Cortexin as a nootropic for cognitive enhancement, the recommended dose is typically lower than when treating a neurological condition, with dosages ranging from 5 mg to 10 mg per day.

What Are The Side Effects Of Cortexin?

Some of the most common side effects of Cortexin include nausea, dizziness, and headache. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.

Still, paying attention to your body's reactions and consult a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse effects is essential. Individual patients' physical or medical conditions can also increase the risk or severity of certain side effects.

For example, patients with a history of seizures, epilepsy, or other neurological disorders may be at an increased risk for seizures when using Cortexin. Patients with underlying health conditions such as liver or kidney disease may experience complications with their conditions.

That being said, most studies done on Cortexin have shown it to have very low toxicity. Working closely with a qualified healthcare professional is essential to minimize the risk of developing side effects when using Cortexin. During the consultation, the physician will ask about any underlying medical conditions, medications, or supplements currently being taken to ensure compatibility with Cortexin.

In some cases, it may be necessary to start with a lower dosage or to gradually increase the dose over time to minimize the risk of adverse effects.

What Nootropics Are Similar To Cortexin?

Several nootropics share similarities with Cortexin, many of which have been used as alternatives to Cortexin. Let's take a look at some of them below:

  • Cerebrolysin: This nootropic is also derived from naturally-occurring peptides found in the brains of animals and improves cognitive functioning. Like Cortexin, Cerebrolysin is administered intramuscularly or intravenously and has a low toxicity profile.
  • Actovegin: This nootropic is derived from animal-derived plasma and has been used as an alternative to Cortexin for stroke recovery. It works by improving blood circulation in the brain, which can help with memory loss, neuropathy, and speech impairments.
  • Nicergoline (Sermion): Improves blood flow in the brain by acting as a potent vasodilator. It does this by lowering vascular resistance, increasing arterial flow, and stimulating the use of oxygen and glucose on a cerebral level. This leads to an improvement in cognitive functioning.

Unlike Cortexin, Actovegin, and Cerebrolysin, Nicergoline is an ergot alkaloid derivative with a strong and specific effect as an antagonist on the α1A-adrenergic receptors.

That said, these three nootropics are similar in that they enhance cognitive functioning and have low toxicity, making them a great alternative to Cortexin.

What Brain Supplements Can Cortexin Be Stacked With?

When Cortexin is combined with other nootropic supplements, it can enhance its effects and provide even more cognitive benefits.

NooCube is an excellent foundation to stack with Cortexin because it enhances its effects and includes ingredients that can magnify the benefits of other compounds.

NooCube contains Alpha GPC, a form of choline that reduces cognitive decline and increases the brain's acetylcholine (ACh) levels. Alpha GPC also helps to protect brain cells and supports healthy brain function.

NooCube contains Bacopa Monnieri, a natural herb or adaptogen that boosts memory and cognitive performance. This herb's adaptogenic properties help counteract the negative effects of stress, which is crucial for preserving cognitive function in the long term.

By stacking Cortexin with NooCube, individuals can experience improved cognitive function, memory, and focus.

NooCube is a safe and effective nootropic blend that uses natural ingredients to improve brain function and has the added benefit of being able to be stacked with other nootropics like Cortexin for even greater cognitive benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Let's take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Cortexin.

Is It Safe to Take Cortexin?

Yes, Cortexin is generally considered safe when taken under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. However, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or taking other medications or supplements should consult their doctor before taking Cortexin.

How Long Does It Take for Cortexin to Work?

Cortexin's therapeutic effects are noticeable within the first hours of administration following an ischemic cerebral lesion. The long-term benefits of Cortexin can be seen within a few weeks or months; the maximum effect is usually seen 4-6 weeks after beginning treatment.

How Does Cortexin Make You Feel?

Cortexin has been found to improve cognitive function, memory, and focus. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels, improving mood overall.

What’s the Half-Life of Cortexin?

Cortexin has a half-life of around 5-6 hours. However, this can vary depending on the individual and the dosage taken.


So what do we know about Cortexin?

We know it is a nootropic drug derived from animal plasma that is typically administered intramuscularly or intravenously and has a low toxicity profile. In addition, we know Cortexin improves cognitive function, memory, and focus while helping reduce stress and anxiety levels.

We also know Cortexin can be stacked with other nootropic supplements like NooCube for increased cognitive benefits. With its low toxicity profile and wide range of cognitive benefits, Cortexin is an effective and safe alternative nootropic for those looking to improve their cognitive function.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that each individual may respond differently to Cortexin, so it's always best to consult a qualified healthcare professional before taking it. However, with the right dosage and under medical supervision, Cortexin can significantly boost your cognition and brain health.