Aniracetam saves baby mice


David Tomen
David Tomen
10 minute read
Aniracetam has been shown to relieve depression, boost learning & memory, improve verbal fluidity, increase music listening pleasure, and make you more social.

Aniracetam (1-p-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone) is a fat-soluble ampakine nootropic in the racetam-class of compounds. Aniracetam is up to 10-times more potent than the original racetam, Piracetam.

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]

Aniracetam helps:

  • 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 reduces the desensitization of 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.

Reach your potential with Aniracetam

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 is fat-soluble while Piracetam is water-soluble. Fat-soluble molecules cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than water-soluble molecules.

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.

Aniracetam vs. Piracetam - counter-intuitiveThe 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.

  1. 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 reduces the desensitization of 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.

  1. 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.

Aniracetam boosts 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

All of these changes can happen at any age. And are a product of the food we eat, what we drink, lifestyle habits, the air we breathe and more.College student needs aniracetam

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 benefits

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.

Aniracetam boosts acetylcholine so you should add a good choline source. Try Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline with Aniracetam. And give your brain the choline it needs.

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.
  • Aniracetam helps music sound fuller and richerIncreased 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.  A 750 mg dose of Aniracetam should last for several hours.  And unlike other stimulants, there is no “crash” once Aniracetam leaves your system.

Aniracetam Clinical Research

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 Aniracetam saves baby miceimpaired. 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]

Aniracetam Dosage

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.

A 750 mg dose of Aniracetam taken in the morning will last until noon. And a noon 750 mg dose of Aniracetam should last until about mid-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 unrefined coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil. My preferred healthy fat is a tablespoon of the new organic, non-GMO Performance Lab® MCT Oil.

Aniracetam Side Effects

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.

Where to Buy Aniracetam

Aniracetam is sold in tablet, capsule and powder form. Tablets and capsules are usually 750 mg each.

You can buy Aniracetam from Smart Nutrition – Aniracetam in capsules or tubs of powder.

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

Nootropics Expert Tested and ApprovedI recommend using Aniracetam as a nootropic supplement.

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, workflow, 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.

You can buy Aniracetam from Smart Nutrition – Aniracetam in capsules or tubs of powder.

And don’t forget that Aniracetam is a fat-soluble nootropic. So must be taken with a healthy fat for best results. My preferred healthy fat is a tablespoon of the new organic, non-GMO Performance Lab® MCT Oil.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Malykh A.G., Sadaie M.R. “Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders.” Drugs. 2010 Feb 12;70(3):287-312. (source)

[ii] Gabryel B., Chalimoniuk M., Małecki A., Strosznajder J. “Effect of aniracetam on phosphatidylinositol transfer protein alpha in cytosolic and plasma membrane fractions of astrocytes subjected to simulated ischemia in vitro.” Pharmacological Reports 2005 Sep-Oct;57(5):664-9. (source)

[iii] Isaacson J.S., Nicoll R. A. “Aniracetam reduces glutamate receptor desensitization and slows the decay of fast excitatory synaptic currents in the hippocampus” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America vol. 88, pp. 10936-10940, December 1991 (source)

[iv] Zhao X., Kuryatov A., Lindstrom J.M., Yeh J.Z., Narahashi T. “Nootropic drug modulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat cortical neurons.” Molecular Pharmacology 2001 Apr;59(4):674-83. (source)

[v] Purves D., Augustine G.J., Fitzpatrick D., et al., editors. “Glutamate Receptors” Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001. (source)

[vi] Roncan G. “Human Pharmacokinetics of Aniracetam” Springer – Drug Investigation June 1993, Volume 5, Supplement 1, pp 68-72 (source)

[vii] Gouliaev A.H., Senning A., “Piracetam and other structurally related nootropics” Brain Research Reviews 19 (1994) 180-222 (source)

[viii] Nakamura K. “Aniracetam: Its Novel Therapeutic Potential in Cerebral Dysfunctional Disorders Based on Recent Pharmacological Discoveries” CNS Drug Reviews 2002 Neva Press, Branford, Connecticut Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 70–89 (source)

[ix] Testa B., Mayer J.M. (1 August 2003). Hydrolysis in Drug and Prodrug Metabolism. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-3-906390-25-3.

[x] Nakamura K., Kurasawa M. “Anxiolytic effects of aniracetam in three different mouse models of anxiety and the underlying mechanism.” European Journal of Pharmacology 2001 May 18;420(1):33-43. (source)

[xi] Koliaki C.C., Messini C., Tsolaki M. “Clinical Efficacy of Aniracetam, Either as Monotherapy or Combined with Cholinesterase Inhibitors, in Patients with Cognitive Impairment: A Comparative Open Study” CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 302–312, April 2012 (source)

[xii] Nakamura K, Tanaka Y. “Antidepressant-like effects of aniracetam in aged rats and its mode of action.” Psychopharmacology (Berlin). 2001 Nov;158(2):205-12. (source)

[xiii] Cumin R., Bandle E.F., Gamzu E., Haefely W.E. “Effects of the novel compound aniracetam (Ro 13-5057) upon impaired learning and memory in rodents.” Psychopharmacology (Berlin) 1982;78(2):104-11. (source)

[xiv] Wijayawardhane .1, Shonesy B.C., Vaglenova J., Vaithianathan T., Carpenter M., Breese C.R., Dityatev A., Suppiramaniam V. “Postnatal aniracetam treatment improves prenatal ethanol induced attenuation of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission.” Neurobiology of Disease 2007 Jun;26(3):696-706. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 427 comments

February 11, 2024

How long Aniracetam should be taken before effect kicks in?

    David Tomen
    February 12, 2024

    Artur, it should work right away as long as you take it with CDP-Choline or Alpha GPC and a healthy fat like unrefined coconut oil.

January 24, 2024

Hello David, in the article about aniracetam there is controversial fact about glutamate in the brain that says it stimulates the brain and on the other hand too much of it can kill neurons in the brain, so how to know the right balance when taking the supplement? Thank you!

    David Tomen
    January 26, 2024

    Valerly, you need healthy levels of glutamate for things like learning and memory. But glutamate toxicity is bad. Most healthy people do not need to worry about glutamate toxicity. Simply supporting the effectiveness of glutamate receptors has been found to be beneficial which is one of the reasons why we use Aniracetam as a supplement.

Adrian Rezvani
January 8, 2024

Is there a risk of tolerance buildup when taking this nootropic everyday?

    David Tomen
    January 9, 2024

    Adrian, it depends on your system. I’ve been using Aniracetam twice per day for many years without a problem. But that may not be the same for you.

Paul Schietinger
December 9, 2023

David, have been using Nootropics for years especially racetams. Now I am finding that the FDA is squashing the sale of these great supplements. They are hard to find and one major reseller has been sued by the FDA for 2.5 Million. WTH?!?! Any news on why they are doing this or how we can fight back? This is not a good thing because over the counter popular supplements will be next.

    David Tomen
    December 9, 2023

    Paul, the racetams have never been “approved” as dietary supplements by the FDA. Most supplements have not been approved by them either. But The Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 is supposed to make supplements freely available with no interference by congress.

    However, the compromise they came up with is no one is supposed to make any type of health claim for a cure when advertising these supplements. That is why you see disclaimers on this website stating, *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and supplements referred anywhere on Nootropics Expert are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

    Which is complete BS but that’s the law. I am not sure which company you are referring to but they likely made some type of “claim”, were asked to take it down, they didn’t so they got sued.

    A lot of sellers do not want to take the chance of selling supplements like the racetams for that reason. You’ll notice when they are available it says on the label something like “for research purposes only. Not intended for human consumption”.

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