Be aware that you may experience a number of relapses as you work with the medicines described below. Take notes on your experiences in a journal because your progress will be observable over time. As you get healthier and stronger, you may want to move on and use additional tools to get past your addiction.

What is Semax?

Semax is a drug that is used most commonly in Russia and the Ukraine though it is available in other countries over-the-counter in some situations. It is a nootropic that has neuroprotective properties. Semax is a synthetic peptide that is based on a fragment of Adrenocoroticotropic Hormone (ACTH). 


In Russia, Semax is on the List of Vital and Essential Drugs that are approved by the Russian government. It is used for the treatment of the following:


  • Addiction
  • Memory and cognitive disorders
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gastric protection
  • Optic nerve disease
  • Immune System enhancement
  • Stroke (it works by affecting the expression of genes that impact the immune system and vascular system after a stroke). 
  • Transient Ischemic Attack
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • ADD
  • Antioxidant


Semax increases the level and the expression of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) while activating the serotonergic and dopaminergic brain systems. As such, it acts like an antidepressant as well as sometimes an anti-anxiety medication. However, depending on the dose, Semax can actually cause anxiety.

Semax helps rebuild the brain after a stroke and it can also help to reduce some of the undesirable effects of dealing with chronic stress. Semax and a related synthetic peptide, Selank can have a positive effect on the perception of pain. 


How to Use Semax for Addiction

Semax has poor bioavailability when taken by mouth, so it is generally administered as an intranasal spray or as a subcutaneous injection.


It’s important to get the dosing right for Semax if you’re using it to treat addiction. It has been studied most extensively as a cure for opiate addiction and in fact, it may make withdrawal symptoms worse in stimulant addiction. Small doses of Semax are best as a treatment for opioid addiction. Ad ose of 0.05 mg/kg reduces morphine withdrawal symptoms in rats by 36.4%. Higher doses of Semax are not effective at reducing withdrawal symptoms from morphine or other opiates. 


Semax for Alcohol Addiction

Depending on the dose of Semax, it can either reduce depression and increase exploratory behaviors in situations involving alcohol dependence (at low doses up to 50 μg/kg) or it can cause individuals to develop anxiety and feel more motivated to drink alcohol (at higher doses of  200 μg/kg). So Semax isn’t the recommended choice for alcohol addiction treatment. 

What is Selank?

Selank is often used in conjunction with Semax. It is also a nootropic and an immune peptide that regulates immune response. It works by inhibiting the secretion of histamine and also by reducing how mast cells respond to histamine. Selank reduces inflammation, it has antiviral capabilities, and it reduces vascular permeability. It can help keep peptic ulcers under control and it also promotes concentration and relaxation. It can also be used to treat depression and ADHD in part by balancing wakefulness and sleep-related biorhythms. 


Selank is an analogue of the naturally occurring immuno-modulating peptide tuftsin. It has many of the same effects as tuftsin including:


  • The ability to affect the expression of interleukin-6
  • The ability to affect the balance of T helper cell cytokines
  • It affects dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain
  • Selank increases the expression of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF)
  • Selank may provide pain relief
  • Selank may have an antidepressant-like effect in individuals with apathy


How to Use Selank for Addiction Treatment:

Selank and Semax can be used together or separately. Both are administered intranasally.



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Lovat, M. et al. (2008). The influence of Semax nootropic agent on the behavioral signs of the withdrawal syndrome and on the craving for alcohol in white rats and the determination of its clinical efficacy and safety in patients with alcohol dependene. Retrieved June 23, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226337169_The_influence_of_the_Semax_nootropic_agent_on_the_behavioral_signs_of_the_withdrawal_syndrome_and_on_the_craving_for_alcohol_in_white_rats_and_the_determination_of_its_clinical_efficacy_and_safety_in_ 


Wikipedia (2021). Semax. Retrieved June 22, 2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semax 


Andreevaa, L. A. et al. (2009). Antiviral Properties of Structural Fragments of the Peptide Selank. Retrieved June 23, 2021 from https://lindgren.health/images/downloads/Copy_of_Antiviral_properties_of_structural_fragments_of_the_peptide_Selank.pdf 


Hoffman, B. (2020). The Amazing Benefits of Peptides. Retrieved June 23, 2021 from https://chiropractorsouthelgin.net/the-amazing-benefits-of-peptides/


Konstantinopolsky, M.A. & Kolik, L.G. (n.d.). P.6.c.014. ACTH4-10 analogue Semax and Adamantane derivative Hemantane produce significant reduction of withdrawal signs in morphine-dependent rats. Retrieved June 23, 2021 from https://www.ecnp.eu/presentationpdfs/71/P.6.c.014.pdf 


Wikipedia (2021). Selank. Retrieved June 23, 2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selank