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

July 6, 2019

Hi David, I’ve been taking aniracetam (from Nootropic Depot) for 2 weeks now and I don’t find any expected positive results. As a matter of fact, my verbal fluency has gone down. I also read somewhere that aniracetam helps with dream recall — it’s has the opposite effect on me. Honestly, I’m not stacking it with Alpha GPC or any choline. I just eat eggs, take magnesium and fish oil supplements.

Since this is my first time using racetam, do you recommend trying a different type of racetams?

    David Tomen
    July 7, 2019

    Jack, Aniracetam is unlikely to provide any benefit unless you stack it with Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. And it’s fat-soluble so you need to take it with a meal containing healthy fats or a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil. Otherwise it cannot cross cell membranes.

    If after following those recommendations it still doesn’t do any thing for you then it’s likely not for you.

      August 4, 2019

      Hello David, thank you for all your work and information. Your website is great. I just want to give some anecdotal support for the alpha-GPC/coconut oil part of your message. I took aniracetam several times by itself and felt nothing at all. Then I took your advice and combined it with alpha-GPC and coconut oil and the results were immediately noticeable. Just fyi, I am trying aniracetam solely for persistent, moderately low mood, and I’m not sure how it will work for me for that purpose, or for how long, but it’s absolutely doing something now that I am taking it with alpha-GPC and coconut oil. (I also feel like the coconut oil is upsetting my stomach a little bit but I hope that will stop over time if I keep doing it.) Thanks again.

        David Tomen
        August 4, 2019

        Try cutting your coconut oil dose in half until your body gets accustomed it.

        Chris Emberton
        May 14, 2020

        Is aniracetam the kind of supplement someone can take daily long term? I recently came off low dose Lexapro with no real help from it except feeling like a robot when normal dosing. I was taking it for feeling wound right and overwhelmed by small things a lot. Stressed and irritable. Phenylparacdtam makes me feel great at 200mg mostly all day but works for a day and then nothing until I take a week off. Not a good replacement for my antidepressant. I’d really like a mood lifter and anxiety shrinker. Aniracetam sound like a good solution maybe?


        David Tomen
        May 15, 2020

        Chris, Aniracetam is one possibility. I’ve used it daily for nearly a decade with Sulbutiamine. And I’ve found this combo the best antidepressant I’ve ever used. Including prescription meds.

        Some say it needs to be cycled to achieve the same benefit long-term. But that’s not been my experience. The thing is this is something you can use daily for a long time and quit it abruptly with zero consequences. Other than not feeling quite as good as I did when I was using it.

        I suggest trying it and see if it works for you. Side note: I tried Phenylpiracetam and didn’t like the way it made me feel. Nothing I can describe except I know I don’t like it.

        You may also want to try an adaptogen or two. I just recommended Lemon Balm to a guy who specifically needed something to calm himself before making presentations in high end board rooms. And he raves about even from the first day he tried it.

July 1, 2019

What is the best place to buy aniracetam?

    July 1, 2019

    Got it read the rest.

    David Tomen
    July 2, 2019

    Jim, I get mine from Nootropics Depot.

June 22, 2019

Hi David,

I find that aniracetam helps with my depression, and would love to take it daily but should I be concerned about building up a tolerance to it? Also, does aniracetam have any kind of cross tolerance effect to other racetams? For example if I take aniracetam daily, but take phenlypiracetam once in a while, will the effects of the phenlypiracetam be diminished due to my daily aniracetam use?

    David Tomen
    June 22, 2019

    Josh, not sure if one would depress the effectiveness of the other. Could be because I use Aniracetam daily and tried Phenylpiracetam a couple of times. And didn’t like it.

    I’ve not experienced tolerance to Aniracetam and I’ve been using it twice a day for nearly a decade. Your experience may be different.

June 3, 2019

Is it generally safe to take Aniracetam with Sam-e ? I am also taking Mind Lab Pro’s nootropic stack. And Alpha GPC.
Many thanks,

    David Tomen
    June 5, 2019

    Chelsea, SAM-e is ‘required’ for the synthesis of all major neurotransmitters in your brain. I can’t see any reason not to use it while using Aniracetam.

John Doe
March 7, 2019

Hi David,

First of all, thank you for all your help and guidance to the nootropics community. I am one of those who got desensitized to normal sexual stimulation because of excessive porn and masturbation since very young age. After much research and digging around the web, I started taking CDP Choline and it made me almost feel the same as how I felt when I was a teenager (31 now). Few weeks back I decided to try Aniracetam, after almost a week of 1500mgs a day, I completely lost my sex drive and erectile strength, even after having upto 750mg CDP Choline.

While there is anecdotal reports of people experiencing this with Racetams but I am still unable to find a connection between aniracetam and sexual health. Would you happen to have any knowledge of it? Thanks in advance.

    David Tomen
    March 7, 2019

    This is news to me but it makes sense once you start digging into the research on male sexual health and AMPA receptors.

    Aniracetam does modulate AMPA receptors. While the neuroscience is much too deep for this comment and will not affect everyone the same (it has not negatively effected me for example), it’s possible there is a connection:

      John Doe
      March 7, 2019

      Thank you so much. I will look into it. Things seem to be getting back to normal after a week of stopping Aniracetam. In the meantime I continued 500mgs of CDP Choline and had 200mcg Huperzine A one night (and that day I just had 250mg CDP to be on the safer side ). I have been lifting weights and been actively working out for 14 years, so I am assuming my body does use more ACh than a sedantary person, maybe that is why I never felt any side effects even after trying 1Gram of CDP Choline.

      That being said, I have the same sex-life killing effects from Bacopa as well. Would you suggest any Racetam that might not have adverse effects down there? Going by longecity and reddit, Oxiracetam seems to do the trick, but I don’t want to spend on it only to throw away the bottle 🙁

      Appreciate your inputs.

        David Tomen
        March 7, 2019

        No real way to tell ahead of time which nootropics will work for you and which will not. Because each of us is wired different, has different biochemistry, health issues, eating habits, air we breath, and I could go on …

        It’s why we say in this community, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and they only way to tell is experimenting. Once you gain more experience you’ll know what to stay away from and what will likely work for you. Just like you found that you may be acetylcholine deficient.

        Brent Horton
        November 6, 2019

        Thanks David for all that you do. I was wondering…can aniracetam be taken with acetyl-l-carnitine as the choline source? I at the moment do not have a dedicated choline suppliment. thank you!

        David Tomen
        November 7, 2019

        Brent, Acetyl L-Carnitine is NOT a choline source. It is only a cofactor in the synthesis of acetylcholine. You’ll need to use something like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline.

February 23, 2019

Hi David, i would like to experience the benefits of aniracetam, but every time I try it I just feel tired. I have taken it with a fat source and choline but always the same tiredness. What can I do about this?

    David Tomen
    February 24, 2019

    Justin, Aniracetam releases 2 – 300% more acetylcholine in your brain. Which is the reason you need to take it with a choline supplement.

    But if you feel tired after you take Aniracetam it’s likely because you have too much acetylcholine in your system. Which means a supplement like Aniracetam may not be the right nootropic for you.

      February 24, 2019

      Hi David and thanks for the response. That’s a shame as I have heard interesting things about Aniracetam and was keen to experience the benefits. Is there an alternative racetam which you think would be of benefit to someone with high amounts of acetylcholine in their system?

        David Tomen
        February 25, 2019

        Justin, try Aniracetam once without stacking it with a choline supplement and see how you feel.

        There is really no other racetam that compares to Aniracetam mostly because of its anxiolytic benefits. Piracetam is likely one of the safest of the racetams and has been around the longest. It depends on what you want to achieve. Take a look through the reviews of the other racetams and see if anything else appeals to you.

February 12, 2019

I’m a 21 y/o college student struggling with social anxiety and clinical depression. I saw on both the depression and SA posts you mention aniracetam as a useful supplement. I have tried to take 750mg twice a day but noticed no effect. Given, i only tried it 3 days so far, and once twice in a single day. Does it take a while for this to build up in your system, or would you suggest any other supplement/nootropic to use? Thank you!

    David Tomen
    February 13, 2019

    Kayla, first, are you dosing Aniracetam properly? This nootropic releases 200 – 300% more acetylcholine in your brain. Which means it needs acetylcholine to work. It must be stacked with a good choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline or you are not likely to experience any benefit.

    Second, you need to see if you can figure out what is at the root of your anxiety and depression. You can get to the bottom of the cause by experimenting with different nootropics. And see how you respond to each. It could be a problem with any one of the major neurotransmitters, poor brain signaling, poor cerebral blood flow, or inflammation.

    For a better understanding on what I mean, please read the following posts:

    That will help you begin to understand what you are dealing with. And hopefully, some ideas on what to try next.

      Robert L
      November 17, 2019

      Wow – you just conformed a potential reason I always thought.

      I have pulsatile tinnitus, and orthostatic hypotension moments, head pressure.

      I presume this can cause depression?

        David Tomen
        November 17, 2019

        Robert, it wouldn’t be a primary cause of depression. But I suppose if it had that much of a negative impact on your lifestyle it could result in depression.

January 23, 2019

What brand do you suggest to buy?

    David Tomen
    January 24, 2019

    Milu, it depends where in the world you live and which vendors are available in your area. I’ve been getting my Aniracetam lately here in the USA from Nootropics Depot.

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