Some users claim that you can improve your memory with Prl-8-53, the brain-boosting “smart” supplement. There is a lot of information across the internet that spreads the hype behind this potentially powerful nootropic drug. But is it backed by science? Read on to find out.

Note: By writing this post, we are not recommending this drug. Some of our readers who were already taking the drug requested that we commission a post on it, and we are simply providing information that is available in scientific literature. Please discuss your medications with your doctor.

What is Prl-8-53?

Prl-8-53 is touted as a memory-boosting synthetic supplement. It was first created in the 1970s by professor Nikolaus Hensl. He patented the synthetic compound in 1974.

Prl-8-53’s full scientific name is methyl 3-(2-(benzyl (methyl) amino) ethyl) benzoate.

Prl-8-53 comes from benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in many berries, plants, milk products, and in the human body. It is also a waste product from gut bacteria and is removed through urination [1, 2].

Although there are promising anecdotal experiences available, there is only one human study on Prl-8-53 and one rat study. Both were done in the 1970s [1, 3].

Currently, there appears to be no ongoing research on Prl-8-53. However, nootropic enthusiasts claim that Prl-8-53 has the potential to be the best memory booster on the market.

Mechanism of Action

Prl-8-53’s mechanisms of actions are currently unknown. It may enhance the brain activity of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter important for learning and memory [1].

In addition, Prl-8-53 may increase dopamine levels, which can improve memory, motivation, and reduce fatigue. It may also block serotonin production, which can increase anxiety, depression, and insomnia [3, 1].

Increases in dopamine and decreases in serotonin can cause impulsive aggressive disorders [4].

However, the human study did not directly study these changes in neurotransmitter levels [1].

Effects of Prl-8-53

1) Prl-8-53 May Improve Memory

Prl-8-53 is a nootropic that could improve long-term memory. “Nootropic” is a general term for drugs or supplements that enhance the brain, improving memory, creativity, motivation, focus, and learning.

In a 1978 human study (double-blind randomized controlled trial) of 47 healthy adults, when the participants took a 5 mg dose of Prl-8-53 were able to better recall test questions in a word recollection test than the ones who took a placebo pill. Most patients were able to better recite the correct order of words up to 4 days after listening to the words [1].

Those who struggled in the recollection test on placebo (below 50% correct) showed significant improvement with Prl-8-53.

However, average and high scoring participants didn’t improve significantly [1].

The rat study used an avoidance learning test to study Prl-8-53’s memory effects. The avoidance learning test studies how well a rat can remember a response to avoid a stressful situation. Rats had improved memory after Prl-8-53 supplementation [3].

2) Prl-8-53 Purportedly Improves Cognitive Function

Dr. Hansl claimed that Prl-8-53 can improve the mathematical abilities of the user in his unpublished study. Participants were able to solve basic algebra problems in a shorter time after taking an undefined dose of Prl-8-53 [5].

He also claimed the users had improvements in verbal proficiency and pattern analysis with Prl-8-53 [5]. 

Side Effects

In the single human trial of Prl-8-53, the small 5 mg dosage did not cause any side effects [1].

However, higher Prl-8-53 doses caused reduced movement in rats [3].

Drug Interactions

There are no known drug interactions in humans or animals.

Since there are few studies on Prl-8-53, users should be cautious mixing Prl-8-53 with other drugs.

Forms of Supplementation

Prl-8-53 is a synthetic supplement, and thus not found in nature.

Currently, Prl-8-53 is available for purchase as a powder, pill/capsule, and liquid solution.


The dosage used in the human study was 5 mg of Prl-8-53 given in a single oral supplement [1].

According to Prl-8-53 users, doses between 10 and 20 mg were effective and well tolerated.

Limitations and Caveats

The patent holder funded all the available studies for this supplement, and the studies are decades old. This does not disprove the evidence and studies available, but modern independent research would be better.

There is only one human-based study on Prl-8-53, thus side effects, drug interactions, and dosage information are unavailable [1].

Prl-8-53 is an unscheduled drug. Government agencies do not control unscheduled drugs, and non-pharmacy stores can sell them. 

User Experiences

Users reported massive memory improvement with doses ranging between 10 and 20 mg. They easily recalled specific words and even entire concepts after taking Prl-8-53 supplements.

Some users had a deeper focus when understanding new material and struggled less when explaining recent subjects.

Prl-8-53 is a confidence builder, improving motivation for studying and reducing anxiety during social interaction.

The users also had improved reaction time during sports and video games.

When Prl-8-53 is combined with marijuana, users experienced an enhanced effect of THC.

Most experienced no side effects. Reported side effects are minor and only last a few hours, which included overheating and insomnia. The insomnia is sometimes caused by sudden hunger or even intense nightmares.

Where to Purchase

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