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 - 449 comments

January 21, 2019


I’ve been experimenting with aniracetam for the past few weeks, i find it works best for me when i take 750mg in the morning when i wake up and 750mg in the early afternoon. I take 150mg of Alpha GPC with each dose, i initially tried 300mg of Alpha GPC with each dose and had very minor headaches and nausea, tried upping it no dice and found lowering it helped. i recently discovered Fasoracetam and have been experimenting with it over the past few days. Took it one day in between my aniracetam stacks and got a really euphoric/giddy feeling, almost like nothing could get me down. I did not take it with Alpha GPC or a meal as id already eaten and taken Alpha GPC earlier. No other side effects. Today i took it again but this time in the morning with my first aniracetam stack and noticed that i didnt have the euphoric/giddy feeling. I would say i barely felt it at all. The supplement is 20mg from NootropicDepot

Just curious why the effect was so different , and also curious if you could cover this racetam on your page. I find your youtube videos greatly informative and have planned most of my experiments around your videos etc

    David Tomen
    January 22, 2019

    Erik, I’ll put Fasoracetam on my (long) list of nootropic to review. Fasoracetam seems to increase the number of GABA receptors but Aniracetam ‘modulates’ those same receptors. So it could be that one is inhibiting the other when taken together.

      January 24, 2019

      I’m gonna try taking them separate again. Also when you’re cycling off Aniracetam can you cycle them with other racetams or should you cycle off all of them?

        David Tomen
        January 24, 2019

        Erik, each racetam has a different mechanism of action in your brain. So if you’re going to cycle it may be a good idea to cycle them with other racetams. No need to cycle off of all of them at once.

        January 24, 2019

        Thanks for the info! Today i took the fasoracetam in the morning and aniracetam in the early afternoon and it was definitely more noticeable. It wasnt the happy/giddy feeling i felt initially but more calm than anything. But i actually prefer this feeling to the happy/giddy feeling. I feel like it was too much, this seems more tempered. Almost a zen like state, calm and focused, which i prefer. I’m wondering if its because i took it early AM with caffeine and breakfast as opposed to 1 PM on an empty stomach. Only side effect i seem to have is dry mouth, i just drink more water

November 17, 2018

Hi David!
I’m going back to school at age 45. I don’t have that photographic memory I used to have as a kid. Looks like the nootropic stack you use seems like something I would need for energy, memory and focus. If this takes 6 months to kick in, I have time before school starts. Will I need to take this for life after school…maybe, right?


    David Tomen
    November 18, 2018

    Yvette, if it works for you then you’ll probably want to continue using it. Because once you experience the improvements you will not want to go back to the way things were.

November 10, 2018

Hi David,
Would aniracetam be a better option than pirecetam to help gain speech in a child with autism? We have been using piricetam 800mg 2x a day but wondering if aniracetam would work better. Also do they work differently on receptors such as nmda and ampa?

Thank you

    David Tomen
    November 11, 2018

    Paul, Aniracetam and Piracetam share some similarities but do have significant different mechanism of action.

    Aniracetam desensitized AMPA receptors in the brain but also seems to affect dopamine and serotonin receptors which affects sociability and mood.

    Piracetam modulates both AMPA and NMDA receptors which seems to have more of an effect on the release of acetylcholine in the brain.

    Both racetams work more effectively when stacked with an acetylcholine precursor like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. Piracetam is water-soluble which means it can be taken anytime. But Aniracetam is fat-soluble which means it needs to be taken with a meal containing healthy fats. Or accompanies with unrefined coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.

September 10, 2018

David, the Aniracetam purchased from nurtivitashop comes with a scoop however does not say how many servings or dose that one scoop will deliver. I can’t afford an annalytical scale right now, but since you are experienced with this specific brand, could you help me with the answer to that? It says 1/8 scoop ~ 200mg on the package but that’s a little too vague for me and want to get the most out of this.

    David Tomen
    September 11, 2018

    Armory, you can get this scale which I find works very well for about $10:

    I’ve also found that a tightly packed “00” capsule including the top partially filled holds 600 – 800 mg.

August 6, 2018

What dose of alpha gpc would you recommend for each separate dose 750mg dose of aniracetam and each separate dose of 400mg of pramiracetam?
Thank you all for your help so far.

    David Tomen
    August 6, 2018

    Depends on what your brain is begging for. I’d try 600 mg of Alpha GPC each time you dose both. If you start to feel a little sleepy then cut back to 300 mg Alpha GPC.

      August 6, 2018

      Thank you.
      As you have experience with aniracetam is it necessary to wean of after prolonged use or is it safe to stop straight away. I ask due to its effects on serotonin and dopamine….I would like to avoid feeling down if stop suddenly, If so would the same apply for coluracetam?

        David Tomen
        August 6, 2018

        When I run out of Aniracetam I can feel it. But it’s not like I’m detoxing or going through withdrawal. I just don’t feel as good. Not sure about Coluracetam because I don’t have much personal experience with it. I’ve been using Aniracetam daily for about 10 years.

July 5, 2018

Hi David,

is it possible to take Aniracetam in combination of Rhodiola rosea? Or can I expect any side effects like the serotonin syndrom.

Thanks an best wishes from Germany

    David Tomen
    July 5, 2018

    Oliver, two different mechanisms of action and this combo will not affect serotonin so much to cause Serotonin Syndrome. Aniracetam works primarily with AMPA receptors and GABA.

April 24, 2018

Hi David. After reading all comments can you please be more specific about Choline dosages and Aniracetam? So say that I’m taking 4 capsules of Mind Lab Pro a day which amounts to 500mg of CDP
Choline, do you also add 300mg Alpha GPC with 1500mg or 3000mg Aniracetam? I’m confused as to when to add alpha GPC with mind lab pro with Aniracetam. So say that am I took 2 pills of Mind Lab Pro and 750mg aniracetam do you add alpha GPC at that same time or do you just add it when going up to 1500mg Aniracetam 2x a day? Thanks.

    David Tomen
    April 24, 2018

    Derek, it’s a great question with no definitive answer.

    My brain requires an additional 300 mg of Alpha GPC when I dose 800 mg Aniracetam with Mind Lab Pro. But you may not. Our brains our unique when it comes to this kind of thing.

    I suggest adding 300 mg of Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline when you dose the other two. And see how you feel. If you don’t feel unusual fatigue or sleepiness within an hour of taking this stack then you’re good.

    If you do however start to feel a little sleepy or fatigued, it means you’ve got too much acetylcholine in your system. And you need to back off of the amount of acetylcholine precursors you use.

April 24, 2018

If you are taking Mind Lab Pro is there Chlorine in the formulation or do you have to supplement chlorine when taking Aniracetam? I am curious why you have not recommended Phenylpiracetam since it is significantly more potent than Piracetam?

    April 24, 2018

    I meant to clarify – recommended phenylpiracetam for ADD or ADHD? Thanks

      David Tomen
      April 24, 2018

      See my other comment about Piracetam vs. Phenylpiracetam.

    David Tomen
    April 24, 2018

    Yes there is Cognizin in Mind Lab Pro but I find that with the amount of Aniracetam I use it’s not enough. So I add a 300 mg Alpha GPC capsule to my stack every time I use Aniracetam.

    I haven’t recommended Phenylpiracetam over Piracetam for a couple of reasons. First, Nootropics Expert has thousands and thousands of visitors everyday. And many are not experienced with nootropics. Piracetam is one of the safest nootropics there is and most can use it safely. The other thing is Phenylpiracetam is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. So not everyone can use it even if they are experienced with racetams.

    June 26, 2019

    Hi how has MindLabs helped since

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