Semax is what's called a synthetic heptapeptide, meaning that it's a chain of 7 amino acids as a single molecule. Interestingly enough, the semax molecule mirrors a fragment of adrenocorticotropic hormone, which is released in the pituitary gland of humans in response to environmental stress.
It was originally developed in Moscow, Russia as a treatment mostly for neurological-related disorders, such as poor memory, depression, ADHD, and post-stroke treatment.
Additionally, Semax can be used as an immune-system booster or as a treatment for peptic ulcers, strangely enough.
Semax can also be used off-label as a nootropic, with many properties that make it quite suitable for regular use.
Medical uses for Semax include treatment of stroke, transient ischemic attack, memory and cognitive disorders, peptic ulcers, optic nerve disease, and to boost the immune system.
In animals, Semax rapidly elevates the levels and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its signaling receptor TrkB in the hippocampus, and rapidly activates serotonergic and dopaminergic brain systems.In accordance, it has been found to produce antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects, attenuate the behavioral effects of exposure to chronic stress, and potentiate the locomotor activity produced by D-amphetamine.As such, it has been suggested that Semax may be effective in the treatment of depression, as well as in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Benefits of Semax:
In between the 2 - 3 decades since semax was synthesized and tested, there have been numerous studies on animals and humans to see the benefits of the drug. One of the primary benefits of semax is as a cognitive enhancer. One 2 day study of power plant workers tested semax and memory formation. The 1 mg dose 1 hour prior to the exam showed a drastic increase in correct responses.
The mechanism for improving cognitive function relates to brain chemicals like BDNF and NGF. Semax can increase BDNF and NGF by 8 and 5 times the baseline. Numerous other studies have confirmed the increase in BDNF, which acts as a type of fertilizer for the brain to develop new neurological connections.
Another way semax improves cognitive abilities is through the increase of alpha brain wave states. EEG studies show semax can increase alpha brain waves in patients, but also can prevent negative EEG changes during stressful situations (hyperventilation).
The benefits for alpha brain waves may also help support positive mood enhancement and reducing anxiety. Semax benefits include reducing symptoms of stress and depression. The Journal of Psychophysiology published a study on the sedative effects of semax on those who were suffering from mental illness. Part of these benefits may come from an increase in serotonin turnover, which is traditionally done with SSRIs.
Finally, an interesting but not incredibly well-researched benefit of semax is as for stimulant potentiation. Studies show that semax in combination with stimulants (such as amphetamine) could increase the dopamine release from the drug. One study showed an increase of activity from 182% (just the amphetamine) versus 261% (amphetamine and semax).
For nootropic purposes, a dose 0.25-1mg per day would seem suitable. A single dose is sufficient for the entire day and possibly beyond. Intranasal or Sub-Q administration are the only accepted ways of administering Semax. Do not consume by mouth or sublingually as Semax will be rendered inactive.
Lyophilised Semax will require reconstitution with sterile water before being suitable for injection or intranasal administration.