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

Updated on February 22, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Overview of Selank's nootropic benefits and its impact on brain function.

Selank, a synthetic analog of the immunomodulatory peptide tuftsin, has gained prominence for its potential in cognitive enhancement and anxiety management, distinguishing itself through its unique neuropsychopharmacological properties.

This article delves into the multifaceted world of Selank, exploring its role as a nootropic drug and its therapeutic potential in treating anxiety disorders and improving mental health.

By examining the existing research and clinical trials, we aim to provide a thorough understanding of how Selank can be integrated into health and wellness regimens. This is particularly useful for those seeking natural, effective options for managing anxiety and enhancing cognitive function.

Could this be the right nootropic peptide for you?

Let’s find out!

What is Selank?

Selank (also known as Selanc, or scientifically as L-threonyl-L-lysyl-L-prolyl-L-arginyl-L-prolylglycyl-L-Proline) is a synthetic analog of the naturally occurring peptide tuftsin, and has garnered attention for its anxiolytic effects that make it an anti-anxiety peptide. Selank was originally developed at the Institute of Pharmacology by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Clinical studies have shown that Selank exerts a positive influence on the GABA neurotransmitter system, akin to the mechanism of action seen in benzodiazepines, yet without the unwanted side effects typically associated with these drugs.

Selank’s ability to modulate serotonin and dopamine levels further contributes to its mood-enhancing properties, making it related to the drug Semax.

Beyond its mental health applications, Selank peptide has been shown to play important roles throughout the body, including in immune function. Its unique blend of anxiolytic, antidepressant, and neurotrophic properties, coupled with its role in increasing the expression of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), makes it a promising candidate for a range of cognitive and psychological conditions.

The administration of Selank is often through a nasal spray, allowing for ease of use and rapid absorption. This peptide therapy has been approved in Russia and is being studied worldwide for its potential to help people treat not only anxiety and depression, but also to boost cognitive enhancement and neuroprotection.


  • Regulates important neurotransmitters to boost cognitive performance
  • Improves memory and learning abilities
  • Regulates BDNF expression
  • Pronounced anxiolytic that reduces anxiety symptoms and stress


  • This peptide drug is not yet approved by the FDA
  • More clinical studies are needed to fully understand the long-term impact of this drug’s administration

Mechanism of Action

Selank is a synthetic peptide derivative that exhibits a unique and complex mechanism of action that contributes to its various therapeutic effects, particularly in the realm of cognitive enhancement and anxiety management.

Here is a breakdown of the mechanism of action for peptide anxiolytic Selank.

Interaction with Neurotransmitter Systems:

  • GABAergic System: Selank is known to influence the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter system in the brain.(1) This interaction is believed to be central to Selank’s anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. Unlike benzodiazepines, which also target the GABA system and GABA receptors, Selank does not lead to dependency or significant sedation.
  • Serotonergic Activity: Selank modulates serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation. This increase in serotonin levels helps in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety, contributing to an overall improvement in emotional well-being.
  • Dopaminergic Influence: There’s evidence suggesting that the effect of Selank also affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked with motivation, pleasure, and reward. This might contribute to its cognitive-enhancing effects.(2)
  • Memory and Learning: By influencing neurotransmitter systems and enhancing neurotrophic factors like BDNF, Selank can potentially improve cognitive functions such as memory and learning.

Modulation of Peptide Systems:

  • Peptide Therapy Parallel: As a peptide, the action of Selank interacts with various endogenous peptide systems in the body. It mimics the effects of tuftsin, a natural immunomodulatory peptide, thereby potentially influencing immune function and boosting metabolic rate from within. This action provides medical support for a healthy human body.
  • Impact on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF): Selank has been observed to regulate the expression of BDNF, a protein that plays a crucial role in nerve cell growth and plasticity. This aspect of Selank’s action is particularly relevant in neuroprotection and cognitive enhancement.(3)

Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Properties:

  • Inflammation Reduction: Selank exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial in conditions where chronic inflammation is a factor.
  • Immune System Modulation: Its influence on the immune system is not just limited to its tuftsin-like activity. Selank can modulate immune responses, which may be beneficial in reducing the immune-related components of stress and anxiety.

Anxiolytic Effects Without Sedation:

  • Unique Anxiolytic Profile: Unlike many traditional anxiolytics, Selank provides anxiety relief without causing significant sedation or cognitive impairment. This makes it a favorable option for individuals seeking to manage anxiety while maintaining mental clarity and alertness.

Nootropic Benefits of Selank

Selank has garnered attention in the field of cognitive enhancement for its nootropic benefits. 

The research and development of Selank at the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Research Institute of Pharmacology involved extensive studies to understand its pharmacological profile, safety, and efficacy.(4)

These findings suggest that Selank stimulates various neurotransmitter systems and enhances brain function.

Below is an overview of the nootropic benefits of Selank.

1. Improvement in Memory and Learning

Selank has been shown in animal studies to enhance cognitive processes, particularly in memory and learning.(5) This is partly due to its impact on neurotransmitter systems like dopamine and serotonin, which play crucial roles in cognitive functions.

2. Enhancement of Mental Clarity and Focus

Users of Selank often report improved mental clarity and focus. This is attributed to its modulating effects on brain chemistry, which aids in better concentration and attention.(6)

3. Anxiety Reduction

While primarily known for its anxiolytic properties, Selank’s ability to reduce anxiety contributes to its nootropic effects. Lower anxiety levels lead to better mental performance and reduced mental fatigue.(7)

4. Mood Stabilization

By influencing the serotonin system, Selank treatment helps stabilize mood, which is beneficial for cognitive tasks. A stable mood aids in maintaining consistent performance in mental activities.

5. Stress Reduction

Selank’s ability to mitigate stress impacts cognitive function positively. Chronic stress can impair cognitive abilities, so reducing stress can lead to improved mental performance.(8)

6. Neuroprotective Properties

Selank has shown potential neuroprotective effects, which could be vital in protecting the brain from various forms of cognitive decline and enhancing overall brain health.

7. Enhanced Neuroplasticity

The peptide is known to influence neurotrophic factors like BDNF, which play a critical role in neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganize and form new neural connections. Improved neuroplasticity is associated with better learning and memory capabilities.(9)

8. Reduced Mental Fatigue

Selank helps alleviate symptoms of mental fatigue, making it easier to perform cognitive tasks for extended periods.

9. Improved Attention Span

Selank’s impact on neurotransmitter systems can lead to significant changes such as improved attention span and focus, aiding in tasks that require prolonged mental effort.

10. Aid to Manage Cognitive Disorders

While more research is needed on this functional medicine, Selank shows promise as a potential adjunct therapy in cognitive disorders due to its neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing properties.

Uses of Selank

Selank’s unique properties make it suitable for a range of applications, from treating anxiety disorders to improving cognitive functions.

Here are the key uses of Selank:

  • Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): It has shown promise in the treatment of GAD, helping patients worldwide to alleviate the general feeling of unease or worry.
  • Managing Daily Stress: Selank can help in reducing stress levels, making it useful for individuals facing high-stress environments or situations.
  • Memory and Learning: Selank is used to enhance memory, learning, and overall cognitive function.
  • Focus and Concentration: It improves focus and concentration, making it useful for tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • Balancing Mood Fluctuations: This peptide drug helps stabilize mood swings, aiding in maintaining a consistent emotional state, which is beneficial for mental health and well-being.
  • Complementary Treatment: Selank’s mood-stabilizing and anxiolytic effects make it a candidate for use as an adjunct in the treatment of depression and potentially metabolic syndrome.
  • Regulating Immune Response: Its immunomodulatory effects make Selank useful in regulating immune system activity, which is beneficial in conditions where the immune response is a factor.
  • Enhancing Mental Endurance: The peptide can be beneficial in reducing mental fatigue, thereby enhancing mental endurance and performance.
  • Indirect Uses: While not a primary use, the reduction in anxiety and stress levels can contribute to improved sleep quality.

Where to Buy Selank

Finding the best source of Selank can be really tough and time-consuming. 

Luckily, we have done the work for you!

Through comprehensive research and testing, we have found the following online retailers:

Selank Dosage

The appropriate dosage of Selank can vary depending on the individual’s specific needs, health status, and the condition being treated. However, we have put together a general guide on Selank dosage.

  • Typical Dosage: For the nasal spray form, a common dosage is 400-600 mcg (micrograms) per day. This is usually divided into two or three administrations throughout the day.
  • Dosage for Sublingual Use: If taken sublingually (under the tongue), the dosage might be similar to the nasal spray, but absorption rates can differ. Always follow the specific guidelines provided for the sublingual form.

Injection Dosage

  • Injectable Form Dosage: For Selank in its injectable form, a common dosage is 250-500 mcg per day. Injections are typically subcutaneous (under the skin).
  • Administration Frequency: The injectable form is usually administered once or twice daily, depending on the individual’s response.
  • Dosing Precision: When using injections, precise dosing is crucial and should be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Doses should be measured carefully, and sterile techniques must be used to prevent infection.

Selank Side Effects & Safety

Selank is generally well-tolerated and safe when used in the correct dosages and with the guidance of a healthcare professional. However, as with most nootropics, there are some side effects and safety considerations to keep in mind.

Common side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nasal Discomfort

Rare side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Mild allergies (itching or swelling)

Safety profile notes:

  • Low Risk of Dependency: Selank does not exhibit the addictive properties in the bloodstream that are often associated with traditional anxiolytics like benzodiazepines.
  • No Significant Sedation: Unlike many anxiolytics, Selank does not generally cause significant sedation, making it safer for use when alertness is necessary.
  • Minimal Interaction with Other Medications: Selank is known to have minimal interactions with other drugs, but consulting with a healthcare provider is always recommended when combining treatments.


The ongoing research into Selank’s mechanisms of action and potential applications continues to unveil its therapeutic possibilities.

As our understanding grows, so does the potential for Selank to become a more widely recognized and utilized tool in both clinical settings and personal health regimens.

In conclusion, Selank stands out as a promising agent in the realms of mental health and cognitive enhancement.

With its unique properties and growing body of research, it holds significant potential for those seeking alternative or adjunct therapies in managing anxiety, enhancing cognitive function, and improving overall mental well-being.


How long does Selank take to work?

Some users report feeling more relaxed shortly after taking Selank. Others notice improved mood or focus over several days. It’s important to give it time and observe how your body responds.

What is the elimination Half-life of Selank?

Typically, the half-life ranges from a few minutes to about an hour. This quick breakdown means that Selank doesn’t stay in your body for long periods. You may need multiple doses throughout the day to maintain its effects.

Should you cycle Selank?

Cycling Selank can be beneficial. It helps prevent tolerance and maintains effectiveness over time. Think of cycling as taking breaks. For example, you might use Selank for several weeks, then stop for a week before starting again. This approach keeps your body responsive to Selank’s benefits.

Can I stack Selank with other nootropics?

Stacking refers to combining Selank with other nootropics for enhanced effects. Yes, you can stack Selank with other supplements or nootropics.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Filatova, Elena et al. “GABA, Selank, and Olanzapine Affect the Expression of Genes Involved in GABAergic Neurotransmission in IMR-32 Cells.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 8 89. 28 Feb. 2017, doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00089 ↩
  2. Markov, Dmitrii D et al. “The Melanocortin System: A Promising Target for the Development of New Antidepressant Drugs.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 24,7 6664. 3 Apr. 2023, doi:10.3390/ijms24076664 ↩
  3. Inozemtseva, L S et al. “Intranasal administration of the peptide Selank regulates BDNF expression in the rat hippocampus in vivo.” Doklady biological sciences : proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Biological sciences sections vol. 421 (2008): 241-3. doi:10.1134/s0012496608040066 ↩
  4. Vyunova, Tatiana V et al. “Peptide-based Anxiolytics: The Molecular Aspects of Heptapeptide Selank Biological Activity.” Protein and peptide letters vol. 25,10 (2018): 914-923. doi:10.2174/0929866525666180925144642 ↩
  5. Semenova, T P et al. Eksperimental’naia i klinicheskaia farmakologiia vol. 73,8 (2010): 2-5. ↩
  6. Kolik, L G et al. “Selank, Peptide Analogue of Tuftsin, Protects Against Ethanol-Induced Memory Impairment by Regulating of BDNF Content in the Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex in Rats.” Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine vol. 167,5 (2019): 641-644. doi:10.1007/s10517-019-04588-9 ↩
  7. Zozulia, A A et al. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova vol. 108,4 (2008): 38-48. ↩
  8. Leonidovna, Yasenyavskaya A et al. “The Influence of Selank on the Level of Cytokines Under the Conditions of “Social” Stress.” Current reviews in clinical and experimental pharmacology vol. 16,2 (2021): 162-167. doi:10.2174/1574884715666200704152810 ↩
  9. Volkova, Anastasiya et al. “Selank Administration Affects the Expression of Some Genes Involved in GABAergic Neurotransmission.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 7 31. 18 Feb. 2016, doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00031 ↩