The nootropic PRL-8-53, a synthetic supplement has potential benefits as a powerful intermediate term memory booster.

Currently marketed as a nootropic research chemical, PRL-8-53 (named for Pacific Research Labs, the entity who owned the patent for the drug until its expiration) is derived from phenylmethylamine (Benzylamine) and benzoic acid.

This nootropic compound was invented by Dr. Nikolaus Hansl in 1970. The public was first made aware of the potential effects through published findings of various animal studies conducted between 1970 and 1974.

The only human study was published in 1978.

The effects of PRL-8-53 on learning and on the retention of certain verbal information in human subjects was confirmed. The study concluded that there were improvements in the following areas:

  • General word acquisition
  • Intermediate term recall
  • Intermediate retention of verbal information

Alternative Names

3-(2-benzylmethylaminoethyl) benzoic acid methyl ester hydrochloride, PRL- 853

Editor’s Note

Due to lack of data on dosage and long term effects, I have not taken this nootropic drug. However, there is a lot enthusiasm for the potential uses of PRL-8-53 in the nootropic’s community, at large.

Anecdotal evidence is that users report positive outcomes from taking PRL-8-53 with no immediately discernible side effects or adverse reactions.

The demand for viable and potent nootropics has led users to seek long forgotten compounds, such as those created by Dr. Hansl.

This pull from the community has impacted the supply of such experimental compounds and will continue to propel studies into their usefulness, efficacy and long-term safety.

This is a wonderful thing for those interested in bringing nootropic research on supplements and novel synthetics to the forefront, though research efforts will likely remain small and independent.

The public’s demand for research-grade substances is evident in the fact that this nootropic is available for purchase, though, with the following caveat displayed by one compounding site.

“*This compound has not been approved by the FDA and should be used for research purposes only.”

During my research, I found references to several articles or interviews, in which Dr. Hansl discussed the findings of independent studies he conducted over the years. I was able to verify one such article from 1979 which I cited in a subsequent section of this review.

Unfortunately, Dr. Hansl passed away in 2011 with much of this research unpublished and thus unverifiable.

Interestingly, an enthusiastic group of indie researchers have contacted Dr. Hansl’s daughter and plan to obtain his research papers with hopes of continuing where he left off.

Due to the limited availability of information, our review of PRL-8-53 is based largely on four sources:

  1. Results of a single double-blind, randomized human study of PRL-8-53
  2. Peer reviewed article published in 1979
  3. Anecdotal or social proof found throughout the Internet including reputable Nootropic community sites.