Aniracetam was patented by Swiss-based pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG in the 1978. It is similar in structure to Piracetam. Aniracetam, like all racetam nootropics, has a pyrrolidone nucleus at its core.
Aniracetam is sold as a prescription drug (Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Referan, Sarpul) in Europe. And as a supplement in the United States.
A favorite racetam among the nootropics community. Neurohackers use Aniracetam to boost memory and learning. And to relieve anxiety, depression, stress, and improve sociability.[i]
- Brain Optimization: Aniracetam significantly improves brain function after traumatic brain injury including stroke (ischemia).[ii] And enhances your brain’s ability to repair damaged cell membranes.
- Neurotransmitters: Aniracetam desensitizes glutamate (AMPA) receptors in your brain. Which boosts neural signaling by increasing the effectiveness of glutamate. Resulting in better focus and concentration.[iii]
- Brain Energy: Aniracetam improves memory and recall. It releases 200 – 300% more acetylcholine in the brain. Which can increase focus, and clarity of thought.[iv]
Aniracetam is in the racetam-family of nootropic compounds. It is a fat-soluble ampakine nootropic. AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic) refers to one of three glutamate receptors in your brain.[v]
The racetam-class of nootropics have a pyrrolidone nucleus at their core. And Aniracetam is a Cholinergic compound, meaning it affects acetylcholine levels in the brain.
Aniracetam is sold as a prescription drug in Europe and some of Asia under the names Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Referan, and Sarpul. It is sold as an over-the-counter, unrestricted compound in the United States. But not as a dietary supplement.
One of the original synthetic nootropic compounds, it is known as a cognitive enhancer. And is known for its anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety effects.
Aniracetam is considered to be up to 10-times more potent than Piracetam. As an ampakine nootropic, it helps increase attention span, alertness and boosts memory.
Ampakines tend to have a stimulant effect. But do not produce the same stimulant side effects as Ritalin or coffee from prolonged use.
Aniracetam vs. Piracetam: What’s the Difference?
Swiss-based pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG developed Aniracetam in the late 1970’s as a derivative of Piracetam.
Aniracetam works faster in the brain after taking it than Piracetam because of its superior bioavailability to the brain. But its effects don’t last as long as Piracetam.
The potency of Aniracetam seems almost counter-intuitive. Because most of an Aniracetam dose is lost in the liver during digestion. Only 0.2% or the original dose is available to the brain.[vi] Piracetam is nearly 100% bioavailable.[vii]
Both Aniracetam and Piracetam are cognitive enhancers. And both have neuroprotective qualities. Both racetams are able to improve learning and memory. And both are able to repair brain damage.
Aniracetam has additional benefits not shared with Piracetam. Aniracetam can reduce anxiety, depression and fear. And increase sociability.[viii] This may indicate its effects on dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain.
How does Aniracetam Work in the Brain?
Aniracetam boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.
- Aniracetam modulates AMPA receptors in the brain. The main metabolite of Aniracetam (70-80%) is N-anisoyl-GABA and is responsible for many of its effects.
2-Pyrrolidinone and p-anisilic acid are additional metabolites of the drug (20-30%), both of which are also active.[ix]
The main function of these metabolites is on the glutamate system in the brain. It desensitizes the glutamate receptors. This causes the neurotransmitter glutamate to become more available in the brain.
More glutamate means better cognition and memory. And neural protection and repair due to brain injury.
- Aniracetam also seems to affect dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. Leading to improved mood and sociability.
One study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology demonstrated the anti-anxiety effects of Aniracetam. Researchers tracked the brain pathways in mice showing Aniracetam’s mechanism of action.[x] Illustrating the effect on dopamine and serotonin.
How things go bad:
Glutamate is an excitatory relative of GABA. While GABA has a calming effect, glutamate stimulates. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
But glutamate is actually toxic to neurons. And too much of it in your brain can kill brain cells. Lou Gehrig’s Disease for example, is caused by excess glutamate.
But glutamate is a pivotal neurotransmitter in the brain. It links the brain circuits involved in memory, learning and perception.
↑ Too much glutamate can kill neurons
↓ Too little glutamate can cause problems with memory, learning and perception
↓ Acetylcholine levels decline
So Aniracetam can help for age-related cognitive decline, as well as a student looking to do better in school. By boosting acetylcholine and controlling glutamate in the brain.
Aniracetam to the rescue
Aniracetam modulates AMPA receptors which are involved in how glutamate is used in your brain. More of the neurotransmitter glutamate is available. Which means better neural signaling across synapses. Your brain is working optimally despite stress, fatigue and anxiety.
There is anecdotal evidence that Aniracetam boosts communication between left and right brain hemispheres. You become more creative. And are prone to making innovative and resourceful decisions.
Aniracetam combined with choline boosts the production of the crucial neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Improving memory, recall and focus.
Aniracetam is fat-soluble and quickly enters your brain after you take it. Once in your brain, it boosts signal transmission, and protects neurons.
How does Aniracetam feel?
Nootropics users report:
- Aniracetam as a study aid. On its own, Aniracetam seems to increase attention span for many neurohackers. And when combined with caffeine, many report being able to work effortlessly for hours on end.
- Increased auditory perception. If you love music, Aniracetam can take you deeper into your listening experience. Minute details like background guitars, and other auditory effects come alive. Every instrument becomes part of the sound stage.
- Increased visual acuity. The visual effects of Aniracetam feel like your brain is processing a broader spectrum of what’s in your visual range. Nature and your surroundings look more vibrant and beautiful.
- Sociability. Many users report being able to articulate thoughts, and improved speaking ability. Language and your vocabulary seem to flow effortlessly. Thoughts and ideas come with less effort.
You should be able to experience the effects of Aniracetam soon after you take it. It’s fat-soluble so it’s digested and enters your cells quickly. And unlike other stimulants, there is no “crash” once Aniracetam leaves your system.
Researchers worked with 276 patients with cognitive disorders. They were given Aniracetam and tested at 3, 6 and 12 months.
Improved emotional states and better motor functionality was observed within 3 months. A boost in cognitive performance was observed within 6 months.
Findings concluded Aniracetam “is a promising option for patients with cognitive deficit” disorders. Improvements held throughout the 12-month study. And there was a favorable effect on emotional stability in patients with dementia.[xi]
Aniracetam as an Antidepressant
A study published in Psychopharmacology in 2001 showed Aniracetam helped stimulate the release of dopamine. The study reported Aniracetam as effective against depression caused by age-related brain dysfunction.[xii]
Aniracetam Improves Learning & Memory
Researchers put rats and mice through six scenarios. From drug-induced memory loss to electric shock avoidance, while administering Aniracetam. The results of all tests conclusively showed Aniracetam improving cognitive function. It didn’t matter what they put these animals through. Learning and memory improved with the use of Aniracetam.[xiii]
Aniracetam Repairs Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
We’re exposed to toxins everywhere we go. And in everything we do during our day. This toxin exposure wreaks havoc in our body, including our brain.
In this study, scientists showed one way to repair damage to synaptic transmission in the brain. They exposed pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats to ethanol and a saccharin-like sweetener. Pups born to these female rats would normally be extremely cognitively impaired. Just like babies born to alcoholic mothers.
In this study, the pups born with fetal alcohol syndrome were treated with Aniracetam 18 and 27 days after birth. Aniracetam completely restored synaptic transmissions in their brains. And reversed any cognitive deficits associated with fetal alcohol syndrome.[xiv]
Recommended Aniracetam dosage is 1,500 mg per day. Taken in two 750 mg doses. One Aniracetam dose in the morning, and one in the early afternoon.
Aniracetam is sold in tablet, capsule and powder form. Tablets and capsules are usually 750 mg each.
Since Aniracetam is a fat-soluble nootropic, you should take it with a meal containing healthy fats. Or with a tablespoon of extra virgin, expeller cold-pressed coconut or olive oil. Or other similar healthy fat to ensure quick absorption.
Aniracetam is non-toxic. So is considered well-tolerated and safe.
Side effects are rare but can include anxiety, fatigue, headaches, nervousness and nausea. Side effects are often a result of unusually high doses of the nootropic.
Headaches from using Aniracetam typically happen when you forget to combine it with a good choline supplement. Headaches are often a symptom of a choline deficit in your brain.
Aniracetam is sold in tablet, capsule and powder form. Tablets and capsules are usually 750 mg each.
In Europe and some other countries around the world, Aniracetam is a prescription drug. And sold under the brand names Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Referan, and Sarpul.
Nootropics Expert Recommendation
Aniracetam 1,500 mg per day
Your body does not make Aniracetam on its own. So to get its benefits you must take it as a supplement.
Aniracetam is especially helpful for those suffering from depression. Studies show it helps stop and reverse the symptoms associated with depression. This nootropic helps boost the activity of dopamine and serotonin in your brain.
Personally, I’ve found Aniracetam to be more effective (and safer) than any prescription anti-depressant I’ve ever tried.
Aniracetam is also particularly useful to students and executives who want to boost cognition, learning and memory. My experience using Aniracetam shows it helps boost study scores, work flow, learning and memory.
Aniracetam also helps improve verbal fluidity and sociability. Words seem to come easily, and vocabulary you didn’t know you had access to come into play.
Music sounds richer and fuller, and your listening experience enters a new level of music appreciation.
You should use Aniracetam with a good choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. It helps boost neural acetylcholine, so demands the presence of more choline in your brain.
You can safely boost daily intake of Aniracetam to 3,000 mg. if needed.