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

Joseph Haraszko
December 13, 2020

Hi David. Thank you very much for all of the time and effort you have put into this subject. I just wanted to mention that aniracetam has been a real breakthrough for me. Super focus, calm, MUCH better sleep are the main differences. I feel like I can enjoy life again. Currently stack with empowerplus multivit, coconut oil, ALCAR, lions mane, alpha gpc and TOP from sunrider. I will eventually switch the MLP for my TOP and performance lab multi for my empower plus multi. Then I will investigate the rest of your list and go from there. God bless you sir. You are making a difference !!!

    David Tomen
    December 14, 2020

    Thank you Joseph. Much appreciated.

December 13, 2020

Hi David, If Aniracetam remains in the body for as little as one hour at most, its benefits will still continue there hours later or after an hour the depression will return without any impediment? According to your experience, does this work like this?

    David Tomen
    December 14, 2020

    Flavio, I find that an Aniracetam dose lasts for about 3 – 4 hours when used with Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. Which is why I use it twice per day. Morning and noon and the effects last all day.

      December 14, 2020

      thanks David for dedicating your valuable time to help me, I would like to know the best way to supplement with potassium because all the supplements I saw have maximum doses of 99 mg, when the daily dose is 4,700 mg, which makes it extremely expensive to reach the daily dose, it would require 47 pills a day, would you recommend any brand that you can find on Amazon. that provides much more than 99 mg of Potassium?

      — Also wondering if Nootropics Depot’s ALPHA GPC 99% powder tends to liquefy? (because it is not at 50%)

      — Finally I would like to know if Nootropics Depot Magnesium Glycinate powder is as effective as Magnesium Glycinate chelate in Tablets of Dr Best?

        David Tomen
        December 15, 2020

        Flavio, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State the average adult male needs around 3,400 mg potassium per day. And they also advise that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables that supplies 2.6-3.4 g/day of potassium.

        Supplement companies are restricted to 99 mg of potassium by the FDA. Because there is the fear that you’ll overdose on potassium which can cause kidney failure or lesions in your small intestine. My advice for potassium is use citrate or gluconate and follow the manufacturer’s dosage recommendations. Become familiar with low potassium symptoms if you are worried about your intake. Or get a blood test.

        You’ll need to ask Nootropics Depot how stable their 99% Alpha GPC is.

        And magnesium glycinate is magnesium glycinate no matter what supplement it’s in. The key is choosing a supplement with the least “other ingredients” as you can because they are toxic.

December 2, 2020

Can you take vincamine and aniracetam together?

    David Tomen
    December 4, 2020


Vipin Varma
November 18, 2020

Hello David

Thanks for the article.
Can i Mix Piracetam and aniracetam, if yes can you suggest dosage

    David Tomen
    November 19, 2020

    Vipin, you can use both but not sure that you would get much more benefit from it than choosing one or the other. Standard dosage for each regardless of what you decide. But make sure you’re getting enough Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline in either case.

November 14, 2020

Hi David, thank you for your great work and advice you give to people. When I found your website, I realized that I was treating my depression badly. I’ve been suffering from it for twenty years. For the last five years, I’ve been treating her with 5-htp. It helped in the beginning, but it stopped later and I had a lot of problems with it. Three months ago I stopped using 5 htp and started taking aniracetam (3x750mg) + alpha gpc (3x 300mg) + sulbutamine (3x250mg). In addition, I take other B vitamins, vitamin C, D3, K2 and sometimes ashwagandha, rhodiola, lemon balm. It’s much much better. I would also like to try adding L-tryptophan to increase serotonin, as I stopped taking 5-HTP. Do you think I’m good at it? Or how should I try to treat my depression? Thank you for your response.

    David Tomen
    November 14, 2020

    Jozef, L-Tryptophan is a far safer way to raise serotonin especially for long-term use. 5-HTP has a history even in clinical studies for stopping to work after a few weeks.

    Once you learn how 95% of your serotonin is made in your gut and it’s tryptophan working with EC cells rather than 5-HTP it makes much more sense to use L-Tryptophan as a nootropic. Along with a really good prebiotic like the Performance Lab Prebiotic. I sent out a newsletter on this same subject yesterday BTW.

November 12, 2020

Hi David,
Firstly, thank YOU for providing a very comprehensive one stop shop for all supplements brain related – amazing you provide such support to so many people.
Secondly, I was after some advice from you regarding direction (my previous comment seems to have disappeared from 5HTP page). I have been taking SSRI’s (Paroxetene/ Seroxat) for 20 years from when I was just 14 and experiencing panic attacks, depression and suicidal tendencies. I don’t believe my bloods were ever checked and it is only now in my 30’s I’m in a position where I want to completely turn my back on this drug due to long term fatigue, completely absent libido, digestive issues, lack of interest in life etc etc.
I stopped the drug about 3 weeks ago now (under care with GP/ Doctor) however I’ve experienced a myriad of discontinuation symptoms since and I’m not sure where to start with supplementing. I’ve had brain zaps (who knew this was a thing!), body seems unable to control temperature (either boiling hot or freezing cold – which I’ve always had but is now much worse), trembling in my back muscles, social interaction anxiety (feel stressed and panicked when talking), sleep/ wake cycle all over the place, uncontrollable temper outbursts and crying over very small things.
I’ve been taking approx 600mg of Ashwagandha for the last 2 weeks or so, have just received my delivery of Vit B complex and DHA (all levels almost mirroring your advice on each) but I wondered if you had any ideas where I can add to my stack? I feel like I’m not as depressed as I was with all the fatigue fog from before but the emotional outbursts are scary and disruptive and I would like to feel more balanced emotionally if possible.
I hope to hear any ideas you may have for me (whether to look at anxiety related or depression lists).
Thanks so much in advance,

    David Tomen
    November 13, 2020

    Kayleigh, not something that the big pharmaceutical companies include in their advertising. Is it?

    You are doing the right things to help yourself. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution however to what you are experiencing. Many of those symptoms are from the damage the drugs did to your brain. I don’t intend to make it worse or scare you.

    But you need to be aware that those drugs did more than mess with neurotransmitter levels. They also did things like affected gene expression. And I don’t know of anything that can reverse that. Only your brain’s natural ability to heal itself as long as you provide the things it needs to do that.

    Any nootropic that can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor may help (

      November 20, 2020

      How does it affect Gene expression? No one fully knows what psych meds even do.

      Side effects seem to be more damaging to transmission sites, but most seem to get off RIs with usual withdrawal horror, and eventually heal “if they are mentally equipped to ride that” which seems to be the bigger X factor.

      I know each person differs, but most i know didnt suffer extremes. Only he @#$& storm of altered brain chemistry.

      Has Aniracetam and other stacks been successful in major depressive disorder?

        David Tomen
        November 23, 2020

        Robert, antidepressants and gene expression came up in my research awhile ago. And I’d need to go digging for it. But it was an “aha” moment for me.

        Aniracetam has been shown to help with depression that is caused by low dopamine.

        If your depression is caused by anything other than low dopamine it likely won’t help.

Stephanie H
November 2, 2020

Hi. How do you feel about the four day on three day off cycling strategy? It also calls for a one week break after several months. Is this just as effective as the traditionally recommended approach of several months on followed by a break?

    David Tomen
    November 4, 2020

    Stephanie, it depends on the individual. Because each of us is different. I personally dose Aniracetam twice per day every day and have for several years without a problem. But you may be different. You’ll need to experiment as you suggested and come up with a regimen that works for you.

October 27, 2020

Hi David, I have been using many types of different nootropics for a while to treat my ADHD. They’re all could be found easily on all supplements websites. On the contrary, Aniracetam seems to be a different category that can barely be found online. Normally on those websites you can also find Adrafinil, which in my country considered a prescribed drug from a neurologist. I was wondering if Aniracetam considered as safe as normal supplements or more on the drug side like Ritalin and other stimulants. I hope you can explain to me the difference between the two and the risks involved. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the world.

    David Tomen
    October 27, 2020

    Aniracetam is one of the safest nootropic supplement around. But it is not approved by the US FDA as a “dietary supplement”. So the major supplement stores online do that carry it for that reason.

    And Aniracetam is far safer than using Ritalin or any other prescription stimulant including Adrafinil.

    All of the racetams share a pyrrolidone nucleus core. The original racetam was Piracetam which is a derivative of GABA.

      October 29, 2020

      Thank you David. Following your advice I tried to place an order with hr supplements, however, they don’t ship to my country. Do you recommend another reliable source that can deliver worldwide? Thanks.

        David Tomen
        October 29, 2020

        MG, you can try Natural Stacks which has a supplement called “Nexus” from Axon Labs which contains Aniracetam.

        But if HR Supplements don’t ship to your country it’s likely that Natural Stacks won’t either. But check them out anyway and see if they will.

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