cortexin, cerebrolysin and some other nootropics


The nootropic properties of brain hydrolysates were discovered in the late 1940s. Since then, the pharmacological preparations like Cerebrolysin have found its usage in the neurologic practice. All drugs of that class have similar pharmacological effects and indications for use. Clinical applications include:

  • Dementia of various origins.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Parkinson disease.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Traumatic brain injuries.
  • Cerebrovascular disorders.


The method of administration is intramuscular, intravenous or subcutaneous injections (depending on the drug and the disease). A big advantage of brain hydrolysates over other preparations with similar indications is fewer side effects. The treatment is usually well-tolerated by the patients, and because of that, they are also used in pediatric practice.


Cerebrolysin is the first and the main representative of this class of drugs. The fact that it was developed in 1949 and used since 1954 (even before Piracetam) makes Cerebrolysin one of the oldest nootropics. It is a mixture of neuropeptides and amino acids extracted from porcine brain. Contains 24 different neuropeptides and 17 amino acids. Can be administered intravenously or by intramuscular injection.

Cortexin is a composition of polypeptides, vitamins and amino acids with nootropic action. It is extracted from the cerebral cortex of young cattle and pigs. Cortexin, which was developed in the 1980s, is more modern drug than Cerebrolysin. The chemical composition of Cortexin is also different, containing more peptides and less amino acids. Can be administered only intramuscularly. Some studies and patents also suggest that intranasal administration is also possible. However, such method of administration did not listed in the official instruction from the manufacturer. One of the indications for use of Cortexin is epilepsy, while epileptic status is the official contraindication for use of Cerebrolysin and its generic analogs.

Cerebrolysat is a generic version of Cerebrolysin, manufactured by various CIS manufacturers. It has similar dosage form, indications for use and way of administration as genuine Cerebrolysin from Austrian EBEWE pharma. The chemical composition is also similar, but may significantly vary regarding tyrosine content, depending on the manufacturer. Cerebrolysat from Belmedpreparaty contains 2.8 times more tyrosine than EBEWE version. It also can’t be used in patients less than 18 years of age.

Cerebromedin is a hydrolysate of cattle and pig embryos. Manufactured by “Dialek”, Belarus.

Cerebrocurin is extracted from cattle embryos. The dosage form is 0.5 and 2ml ampoules. Manufactured by “Scientific Production Enterprise NIR”, Ukraine.

Ceregin is produced by “Belmedpreparaty” for Ukrainian market, and are similar to Cerebrolysat.

Cellex is derived from pig embryos. The method of administration is subcutaneous injections, unlike other analogs which should be administered via IV/IM injections. Manufactured by “DEKO” company, Russia.