Semax | N-Acetyl-Semax Amidate | Peptides

Chemical structure semax
Source: PubChem

Chemical Structure of Semax (Pro-gly-pro-acth (4-7))

What is Semax?

Semax is a russian nootropic medicine which is administered as a nasal spray. It is an analogue of the naturally occuring peptide ACTH, with longer lasting and more potent effects on the brain.

Semax (Cemakc)

A small vial of semax 0.1% with a nasal dropper attached

What does it do?

Semax increases the amount of bioavailable brain derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) in the brain. BDNF is associated with neurogenesis, so Semax is used mainly to improve the ability to learn.

In practice, Semax has the effect of allowing you to focus on tasks for longer, and with greater focus.

In animal trials, Semax was given to rodents. They experienced a surge in the amount of BDNF, and their dopaminergic and serotonergic systems were activated1 Rodents are often used as ‘model organisms’ because they share many of our neurochemical pathways and so the effects are thought to be replicable in humans.

During these same trials, Semax was also shown to increase the effects of D-Amphetamine, and being neuroprotective it follows that it should also decrease the negative side effects of ADHD medicines more generally.

Read our blog post on Nootropics for ADHD and Adderall Alternatives if you’re interested in learning more

History and Legal Status

Semax is available in Russia, Ukraine and other eastern bloc nations but it is not approved for use by the FDA in the United States, or in the UK. Even so, it has a high safety profile and has been researched extensively since its creation in the 1960s in Russian labs.

It is included on the list of ‘Vital and Essential Drugs’ by the Russian Federation after being shown to be one of the most effective post-stroke remedies. Although it has many purported effects and benefits besides ->

Where to Buy Semax?

Semax Peptide (Cemackc)

The Semax we ordered from Cosmic Nootropic. It comes with a small glass nasal dropper, instructions for use and the licensed packaging.

Semax can degrade if not shipped at the correct temperatures. We liked Cosmic Nootropic’s Semax solution because of its reliability, they typically ship their orders from their Russian warehouses promptly, and with a non-harmful preservative to keep it in good shape. It arrives well within the time-frame for the peptide to remain in great condition too!

Other sellers are available, but as a rule we will only recommend sellers we have actually ordered from and one of our authors has tried themselves.

For more information check out their page, although we will be posting a review soon- watch this space!

Selank vs Semax

Selank is an anxiolytic russian nootropic peptide, which can also help with focus. Semax is more for focus, and some anecdotal reports even suggest it can increase anxiety.

Semax Peptide Benefits

Treats stroke, especially ischemic (smaller scale) strokes1 and the possible follow up strokes that can sometimes accompany it

Antioxidant – decreases the deleterious effects of oxidative stress in the brain

Focusing – especially when it comes to repetitive tasks that demand attention, for example compiling sources for footnotes. No, we’re not hinting at anything2Maybe we are..

  • Focusing – improves symptoms of ADHD / ADH / SCT

Possible Semax Side Effects

  • Irritation of nasal mucosal membranes can occur, especially in frequent users. Avoid combining this with other nasal sprays or using it after insulfating… anything.
  • Rare alergic reactions could occur, although we could not find any accounts trawling the web. As with any nootropic or medicine, consult with your doctor before use.
  • Hair loss has been reported, and is associated with increased BDNF.
  • As with any nootropic or medicine, starting at a very low dose and working your way up is not only safer, and cheaper but also comes with a lower risk of activating side effects.

Taking Semax / Dosage (Cemakc)

Cemakc comes in 0.1% and 3% variants. The former variant is better for r for treating ADHD, ADH, SCT, CDD, because it is focusing, and more generally it can be used as a nootropic medicine.

The 1% formulation is more appropriate for people recovering from stroke or who otherwise have suffered or are suffering from brain injury-following neurosurgery for example.

Semax is administered as 3 droplets in each nostril for a total of 6 droplets, 3-4 times a day.

Wait 15 minutes before redosing!

Stacking Semax

Taking semax alone is enough, it covers a lot of bases because it activitng the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, and increases BDNF levels.

If you take amphetamines already for ADH, then pairing them with semax will lead to synergistic benefits31.

Some people claim that Semax makes them more anxious and reduces quality of sleep. Anxiolytics like l-theanine, valerian extract, and the peptide Selank are all good choices if this is the case for you.


More footnotes are available on the websites listed in our additional resources. For semax, we only picked a few to cover our main bases, partly because a lot of the literature covering Semax is in Russian.

  1. Eremin, K.O., Kudrin, V.S., Saransaari, P., Oja, S.S., Grivennikov, I.A., Myasoedov, N.F. and Rayevsky, K.S. (2005). Semax, An ACTH(4-10) Analogue with Nootropic Properties, Activates Dopaminergic and Serotoninergic Brain Systems in Rodents. Neurochemical Research, [online] 30(12), pp.1493–1500. Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].
  2. Miasoedova, N.F., Skvortsova, V.I., Nasonov, E.L., Zhuravleva, E.I., Grivennikov, I.A., Arsen’eva, E.L. and Sukhanov, I.I. (1999). Investigation of mechanisms of neuro-protective effect of semax in acute period of ischemic stroke. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova, [online] 99(5), pp.15–9. Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].
  3. Medvedeva, E.V., Dmitrieva, V.G., Povarova, O.V., Limborska, S.A., Skvortsova, V.I., Myasoedov, N.F. and Dergunova, L.V. (2014). The peptide semax affects the expression of genes related to the immune and vascular systems in rat brain focal ischemia: genome-wide transcriptional analysis. BMC Genomics, [online] 15(1), p.228. Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020].

Secondary Sources and other Resources:

Semax Reddit Reports:

Could I get some SEMAX experiences up in here? from Nootropics

What SEMAX did for me from Nootropics

Semax Review 1 Year and counting… (I address hair loss!) from Nootropics

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