The Real Life NZT-48 Pill


The Limitless Drug Unraveled

The movie Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper revolves around the superhuman capabilities granted to Eddie Morra (Cooper’s character in the film) when he popped the magical NZT-48 pill. After swallowing the pill, Cooper learns languages with ease and he beats the stock market. Basically, taking the drug makes Cooper act as a superman and he gets stuff done. The fantasy of the film Limitless is that the characters who take the drug are able to handle and accomplish otherwise difficult tasks.

Bradley Cooper in Limitless

So,what drug is Limitless based on?

Modafinil is widely believed to be the drug the film Limitless is based on. Popularly known by its brand name Provigil or simply as Moda by its users, Modafinil is legally available in the market and it is FDA approved as a prescription drug in the treatment of narcolepsy. However, what is driving the increased popularity of Modafinil is not its use in treating narcolepsy or sleeping disorders, but rather, its use as a neuroenhancer or intelligence enhancer.


Modafinil is in a class of drugs called nootropics or smart drugs. These are drugs that enhance the functioning of the brain and have been in use for a long time now. The first ever nootropic to be discovered was Piracetam. The original research showed that once Piracetam got into the brain, it stimulated or activated certain receptors that are in charge of learning and memory. Additionally, studies showed that the drug is neuroprotective and didn’t jeopardize the brain function with any side effects.


Since the discovery of Piracetam, tens of other brain power enhancement drugs have been invented and are available in the market. The latest addition to the market of these brain supplements is Noopept, a highly potent drug that does what it says it does. It is derived from Piracetam and it is touted as being at least 1000 times more powerful than the original.

There are numerous other nootropics in common use today, including Aniracetam, Phenibut, Inositol, Picamilon and Modafinil to mention just a few. Modafinil is indeed used by militaries across the world to keep personnel alert and with high cognitive levels without fatigue even after going for more than two days with no sleep.

Modafinil alternatives

The working of Modafinil is largely compared to that of Ritalin and Adderall which are amphetamine drugs approved by the FDA to treat ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as some forms of sleeping disorders. The three drugs are largely used by healthy individuals without these conditions who use them to accomplish big projects at work and to study in college.

However, Modafinil differs from Ritalin and Adderall in that it doesn’t cause a state of euphoria and it’s a lighter version. Another benefit is that Modafinil isn’t addictive. Indeed, many people use the drug only when they need to. On the days they don’t take the drug, they operate normally without any effects or addictive urge to take them. Numerous Modafinil users laud it as the true Limitless drug as it helps them focus on their tasks for longer and better. There you have it, if you’re searching for the drug that the Limitless film is based on, Modafinil comes closest.

The use of modafinil seems to be gaining traction and some sense of credibility. In an analysis of 24 different studies, experts from Harvard and Oxford observed some startling results: One in four students at Oxford are using the drug, and that it works with minimum side effects. The same panel of experts gathered some scientific evidence to back up the tales of the drug and its effectiveness.