You may have seen the movie Lucy or Limitless, if so then you will know all about smart drugs and how they can allow you to use the full 100% of your brain. Could you imagine how much smarter you’d be? You may even be able to develop a whole new set of powers, like telepathy.

If you think you may have heard of this somewhere else, then this would have been from the movie Lucy. The drug that leaked into Scarlett Johansson’s stomach was called CPH4, which was able to give her the power to do this. You may have also heard of the series and movie called Limitless, which has quite a similar storyline to Lucy, but the smart drug is called NZT-48, and it certainly made Bradley Cooper pretty good at everything he did.

Well, we’re going to tell you if these types of drugs do actually exist and whether or not Modafinil is the realistic version of them.


What is NZT-48?

This is a fictional drug that is from the movie and series called Limitless. Bradley Cooper is the main character throughout this movie, and he plays a writer who is struggling until he finds a drug called NZT-48. He discovers this drug through a friend that he knows.

Once he takes the drug, he realizes that it can really increase his brain’s possibilities. For instance, he can now learn complicated ideas in not a long time at all, he’s more observant, and he can recall all of his memories in great detail. When he takes the NZT-48, you will find that he finally publishes his best novel, which he wrote in only one night. If you do watch the movie you’ll then see that his brain goes into an overdrive state where he doesn’t sleep, he becomes very productive, and he has amazing attention to detail.

Not only this but the more he takes NZT-48, the more his brain increases, because of all of the new skills he’s gained through taking this drug, you will see him become a great success, and he will undoubtedly be earning quite a bit of money. He ends up making millions of dollars through the stock market, and next you’ll see him fake his way to the very top of a big corporation.

There’s one downside to NZT-48, and that’s the fact that it does actually come with some side effects. Later on, he discovers that people have actually died from NZT-48 and they tended to suffer from massive migraines.


So, what’s CPH4?

This is quite a similar drug to NZT-48, but this drug is actually in the movie Lucy and is completely fictional. The storylines are a little different because this drug will allow anyone to be able to obtain the full use of 100% of their brain. Therefore when you see this happen to Scarlett Johansson, you will see her intelligence increase in a whole range of different forms.

The movie does mention that we only actually use 10% of our brain. You may have heard of this or something similar before, but did you know that it’s actually a complete myth. This is because our brains won’t waste any space or energy, so we do actually use the whole of our brain.

The movie’s story is about a girl who is a drug mule (Scarlett Johansson), and she has to carry a new batch of drugs in her stomach. Unfortunately, she ends up getting attacked by a group of thugs, and one of them happens to kick her in the stomach. This means that the drugs actually tear open while they’re inside her, so the drug gets released into her body and her bloodstream.

Because of this, she manages to obtain access to her entire brain, which leads to her being able to control things with her mind and she can quite easily communicate through the internet.


Are any of these effects possible when you take these smart drugs?

A drug like this may be something that you do actually quite like the sound of, and I’m sure many people would actually be in the same boat as you. However, smart drugs like these are only fictional, and there really isn’t any type of medication like NZT-48 or CPH4. You may be able to find products that claim that they are these on the internet, but they are fake drugs, and we wouldn’t recommend you taking them as nobody knows the contents.

One good thing you’d like to hear is that there is actually an alternative to these drugs, but it works it quite a different way.


Challenging CPH4 and NZT-48

It’s known that the CPH4 drug is able to increase your brain’s usage from 10% too 100%, but there’s one little problem with this, and it’s the fact that it makes you think that you’re not using 90% of your brain.  Therefore it actually makes people believe that the myth of only using a certain amount of our brain is true, and people actually think that this is common knowledge now, but it’s completely wrong.

This is because we actually do use the full 100% of our brains. The reason why this myth came about was more than likely because of a neurologist who was called William James. When he was alive, he made a statement that said we only use up to 10% of our brain’s latent mental energy. However, this doesn’t mean that the other 90% isn’t actually doing anything, it simply means that we just use the other part when we need to and not all of the time.

Not only this, but Lowell Thomas also misquoted it in his book How To Win Friends and Influence People. In his book, he also stated that a person would only develop 10% of their mental ability. So you can really see why people may believe the myth, and this myth has been going on for quite some time.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s actually no drugs or medication that are able to increase your IQ levels and increase your brain’s ability, no matter how much you see this happen in Limitless and Lucy it hasn’t happened yet in real life.


What can nootropics do then?

Nootropics are a real drug that is able to give you a cognitive boost, and they are able to do a whole load of things like improving the speed that our neurons send signals, it can also make your brain resist and recover from overexertion better, as well as increase your neurotransmitter function.

There might not be any medical supplements that are able to increase the IQ of your brain or give us different powers, but if you want a cognitive boost then try a nootropic. Nootropics can be very useful if you want to be able to work more effectively when you’re studying, and they can help you be more alert at work. Not only this, but they can actually help assist a healthy brain function every day.


Is Modafinil the best alternative smart drug?

Modafinil is actually the closest realistic drug to NZT-48 or CPH4, and the fictional NZT-48 was actually influenced by Modafinil, but obviously, they added a few more extreme features to it.

There are a lot of other nootropics on the market other than Modafinil, but a lot of them can take up to a couple of days to actually work. This is because they have to be repeatedly used in order to work. Whereas, when you buy Modafinil, it will work as soon as you take it and you will only need one dose.

It has been known that Modafinil will actually allow people to be able to work up to 10 to 15 hours working on a project straight with no distractions whatsoever. Modafinil might not be able to increase your IQ, but it can make you a lot more alert, and it will make you more efficient when working on a project or even at work, as it can extend your working hours by up to 20 hours, which is pretty astonishing.

You may have actually seen this type of behavior before in Limitless after Bradley Cooper takes the NZT-48 pill. He ends up spending a lot of time writing and using the stock market without getting tired at all. NZT-48 does work in a similar way to modafinil, as when it starts to wear off, you will start to get tired.


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Can you purchase Modafinil online?

Modafinil can be quite difficult to get hold of, and this is because it’s usually a prescription-only drug in many countries. However, a lot of countries have loopholes in the law, which will enable you to purchase Modafinil online and get it shipped to your address. Another downside to getting a prescription of Modafinil is the fact that it can be very expensive this way.

You can easily purchase Modafinil from many sites online, like Afinil Express. If you want to save more money when you buy some, you can also apply the code ‘MODAFINILORG’ when you go to the checkout. This should save you a further 10% on your bill.

When you do purchase it online, you don’t need a prescription at all, and you will also find that the price per tablet is a lot cheaper, which is an absolute bargain.


So, how does Modafinil work?

When you take Modafinil, it will be able to stimulate parts of your brain, and these are actually stimulated with your sleep-wake cycle. This means that it really stimulates the ‘waking’ factors of this specific cycle, which will keep you in the waking state for up to 15 hours. If you do feel tired after an 8-hour working day then if you take Modafinil you won’t feel this at all, in fact, most people won’t feel tired after taking the tablet for 10-15 hours.


How does it stimulate the central nervous system?

There are three main neurotransmitters that are stimulated in your brain after taking Modafinil, which includes:

1. Orexin

This transmitter is actually a neuropeptide, which follows through the task of the waking portion of the sleep-wake cycle. Orexin actually goes from deep within your brain to a whole range of other areas, which include the cerebral cortex. When the orexin goes to this location, it is then able to stimulate the whole area and make us feel more awake.

If you happen to suffer from a sleeping disorder called narcolepsy, then this will mean that there is a dysfunction with the orexin system and will make you feel tired.

Modafinil is used to treat sleeping disorders like this because it is able to increase orexin even when your body limits it. This means if you’re feeling tired Modafinil will make you feel awake again.

2. Histamine

Histamine works on many different functions in your body, you would have probably heard that it is most common during an allergic reaction. This is because it can cause things like swelling and itchiness.

Histamine that is in your brain works completely differently to this though, as it actually works as a stimulating effect. When you wake up, this is actually when histamine is used, as it will make your brain go into a state of arousal and stimulation.

3. Dopamine

When you take Modafinil, it is also able to increase the levels of dopamine concentrations in your brain.

Dopamine actually has several jobs in the brain; the most important one is that it regulates the reward center. This part of the brain is actually able to develop any of your habits as well as your routines on a daily basis. Another thing that it actually does is when we do something that benefits us then it will give us some oxytocin in the brain, and this will make you feel good about what you have just done.

Therefore it will store this, and it means that your brain will want you to do this again to get more oxytocin. You will find that this is very important when you’re learning or concentrating.  People that have ADD or ADHD will struggle with this because their brain has to work more to get oxytocin. Therefore when someone with this takes Modafinil, it is able to increase the number of dopamine concentrations so they will get more oxytocin rewards.


How long does Modafinil take to work?

After you have taken a Modafinil tablet, it should take around 1-2 hours to start working, but there other factors that may change this. For instance, what you’ve eaten recently. It’s actually recommended that you do take the Modafinil tablets after you’ve just had a meal. This is because it’s able to suppress your appetite.


What does Modafinil make you feel?

Modafinil will simply make you feel more awake compared to what you usually do, and it will also make you a lot more focused on any of your jobs. Because of these effects, it makes it ideal for students, business professionals, and creative tasks or anything that can be mentally challenging. There have also been reports that it can make your memory better when you’re taking the drug too.


Modafinil timeline:

After you have taken the drug it should start to work within an hour or two (depending if you’ve eaten or not). After that, it should reach its peak after another two hours. Then after another two hours from this, it will continue to be at its highest working rate. Within the next 12-14 hours, the effects of the drug will then start to very slowly wear off.


Side effects:

There are some side effects that you may get from taking Modafinil, but they aren’t too serious.


Here are some of the side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Tension
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite suppression

There are some other things that it can cause, like Steven Johnson Syndrome. This is a very serious skin reaction, but it’s very rare.



I’m afraid to say that NZT-48 and CPH4 out of the movies Lucy and Limitless are not actually real, and drugs similar to these don’t exist. There is one drug that is slightly similar though, and that’s Modafinil, it won’t be able to increase your IQ or give you special powers, but it can keep you awake and more alert for quite a long period of time.


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