4 Real-Life Limitless Pill Alternatives (and Where To Get Them)

If you’re looking for a real versions of the “limitless pill,” you’re in luck because that’s exactly what I share in this article.

But first I have to be honest with you… there are pills like the one from Limitless, they’re just not quite what you think.

Now, most of you have either heard of or seen the 2011 thriller film Limitless, which stars Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra, a man who turns his life around using a powerful nootropic drug called NZT-48.

Ever since its release, Limitless has generated a huge deal of interest in nootropics. Many people (including myself) first learned about nootropic “smart drugs” after watching the movie.

All of a sudden, a ton of people became aware that smart drugs (beyond, say, Adderall and a few nootropic alternatives) exist, and a now-thriving market began to appear for them. Of course, people were curious to see if NZT-48 — the “perfect” smart drug — was real in some way.

Today, you can see ads and stories all over the internet with claims about finding NZT-48, and even some products which are named NZT-48 in an attempt to fool people into buying a mediocre product or outright sham.

The fact is, there is no real drug on the market that is exactly like the fictional pill in the movie. However, there are a handful of nootropics on the marketplace that are real and have very noticeable effects and real benefits.

So the question now is: which of these substances bear the most similar effects to NZT-48 from Limitless?

Life Without Limits: Effects of NZT-48

In Limitless, NZT-48 worked miracles for Eddie Morra, who upon being introduced to it changed from a struggling writer into a millionaire stock trader within weeks.

The effects all came from a single pill, but could be considered diverse and individual in nature.

The effects kicked in fast and hard. When Eddie first took NZT, it was as if all of the parts of his brain became seamlessly connected.

He could retrieve memories that he passively formed years ago and turned them into useful opportunities. In a way, it was like a retroactive photographic memory. For example, he could help his landlord’s wife finish a law school paper without any formal training in the field himself.

His energy and motivation were through the roof. After taking the NZT, Eddie was able to not only completely clean his filthy apartment, but he was then able to completely write a novel that he had writer’s block on for months.

He could speak circles around other people with a heightened social ability, impressing his friends and colleagues with his wit and knowledge.

His boosted analytical skills enabled him to see patterns in financial markets that no one else could, leading to his rise as a stock trader and investor. Together, these abilities (and various others) all led Eddie Morra to incredible success.

However, Eddie experienced unusual and alarming side effects, including several-hour long blackouts with no memory retention, as well as a physical addiction leading to painful withdrawal symptoms.

This alone could ban NZT-48 from a traditionalist’s definition of a nootropic, but the incredible effects speak for themselves as parts of a cognitive enhancer.

Now we already established that there isn’t a pill that grants these benefits, but we can certainly see parts of NZT-48 in some of the most powerful nootropic alternatives in the real world.

4 Real-World Equivalents of the Limitless Pill

Below you will find a complete list of my favorite Limitless Pill alternatives. If used wisely, these nootropics can be used to improve your quality of life.

NameMain EffectDosageWhere To Buy
ModafinilAttention, Wakefulness100 mgSource
1p-LSDFocus, Creativity12.5 ugSource
PhenibutRelaxation, Anti-Stress300 - 500 mgSource
DesmopressinMemory0.2 - 0.5 mgSource

Now, let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. Modafinil

One drug that is constantly compared to NZT-48 is Modafinil, and the reasons for this are easy to see.

It’s a drug that was originally put on the market for the purpose of enhancing the wakefulness of third-shift workers or those with narcolepsy. Off-label, Modafinil has been used quite notably by silicon valley employees, top students, and other high-achieving individuals to boost their alertness and efficiency while working.

In an article in New York Magazine, Robert Kolker discussed the experiences that a number of people had on Modafinil and how it greatly improved their work performance. One person tried it for standard office work, and found that even tedious tasks became easier to tackle.

“Tasks that were usually soul-crushing now had his undivided attention. He spent hours fine-tuning ad campaigns for his new business, and his output wasn’t just faster and longer—it was better.” -NY Magazine

While not strictly a stimulant, Modafinil increases the speed of thought and helps with focus and attentiveness during tasks. It can act as a mood booster as well, which adds to its ability to help in social situations. It works by boosting the activity of dopamine, serotonin, and histamine in the brain.

This is exactly how I view the instantaneous, noticeable effects of NZT from the film. The user wakes up, much like Eddie did from his dull original state. The user can get to work quickly, and even become the life of the party because of the increase in internal motivation.

Of course, this electric surge isn’t all of what a drug like NZT-48 has to offer. There are more sides to it than you might expect.

As of 2019, a hand