Nootropics Phenylpiracetam Racetams

Phenylpiracetam — Stimulant Nootropic: Effects, Dosage & Experiences

Those who spend any amount of time looking into nootropics will be very familiar with the racetam class of nootropics, a group of drugs that are structural derivatives of piracetam. These drugs display variance in the details of their effects, but they all exhibit neuroprotectant and cognitive-enhancing properties.
One of these piracetam derivatives, phenylpiracetam, is appealing to many nootropic users due to its many purported benefits.

Background and Benefits

phenylpiracetam nootropicPhenylpiracetam is frequently cited to display the following effects:[1][2]

  • Memory enhancement
  • Anti-amnesia
  • Antidepressant
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anxiolytic

If phenylpiracetam does indeed have these listed properties, its appeal extends beyond just the sphere of nootropics. Any drug with that kind of resume is certainly impressive. Here we will examine this unique substance and its purported effects.

Phenylpiracetam, also known by its Russian pharmaceutical names Phenotropil and Carphedon, was developed in Russia in the 1980s as a piracetam derivative, with the hopes that it would display and expand upon the nootropic properties that make piracetam such a popular drug. Specifically, phenylpiracetam is a phenylated analog of piracetam, meaning that it is essentially a piracetam molecule with a phenyl group attached. Interestingly, some have theorized that phenylpiracetam’s purported stimulant effects may be due to the molecule’s similarity to phenethylamine (and, by extension, amphetamine).

These potential stimulant properties, along with phenylpiracetam’s ability to improve physical stamina, has led to the drug being banned from use in Olympic competitions.[3]


Dosage, Mechanism, and Effects

Phenylpiracetam is typically sold by online vendors in its pure powder form or as pharmaceutical tablets. Most of these sources sell a racemic mixture of the molecule, but some of the studies done on the effects of phenylpiracetam were conducted using only the R-isomer.

Phenylpiracetam Phenotropil Nootropic
Original Russian Phenylpiracetam (Phenotropil)

A single dose of phenylpiracetam typically ranges from 100200 mg. Most prescription guidelines state that phenylpiracetam can be taken 2-3 times per day, as the drug will exert effects on the body for about 4-6 hours before receding. It should be noted that most anecdotal reports from users indicate that phenylpiracetam builds up a tolerance rather quickly, so it might not be wise to use it for days in a row. That being said, the drug appears to be relatively safe to use regardless of tolerance buildup.

Phenylpiracetam’s mechanism of action still remains largely uncertain. While various studies have been conducted on its effects, few have dealt with the specifics of its pharmacology. However, one study performed on rats found that phenylpiracetam decreased the density of nACh and NMDA receptors in the hippocampus when they had previously been given scopolamine, an anticholinergic drug.

Phenylpiracetam was also found to increase the density of the D1, D2, and D3 dopamine receptors[4]. Dopamine receptors are important for motivation, arousal, pleasure, and memory.

It also appears that phenylpiracetam’s enantiomers have unique effects and properties. Most notably, studies indicate that the R-enantiomer is mostly responsible for its stimulating and cognition-enhancing effects while the S-enantiomer may be more responsible for stopping cognitive decline.[5]

One of the drug’s biggest potential uses is for treating cognitive decline brought on by diseases like Alzheimer’s. Various studies have been conducted in Russia studying the effect of phenylpiracetam on cognitive decline caused by organic causes. These studies found that phenylpiracetam improved the cognition of those with Alzheimer’s disease, and showed minor effectiveness in improving the cognition of patients afflicted with epilepsy. The drug did not, however, appear to improve cognition for those whose cognitive decline was brought on by traumatic brain injury.[6] In a study conducted on 400 patients with ischemic stroke, phenylpiracetam was able to improve cognition when taken at a dose of 400 mg per day for one year.[7]

There is currently no research conducted on phenylpiracetam’s effect on cognition in young, healthy subjects, although anecdotal reports throughout the internet suggest that it does improve cognition among those with no cognitive disorders. One study conducted on rats found that the R-enantiomer of phenylpiracetam was able to enhance cognition, but this result has not been replicated in any study using the racemic mixture.[8]

Zhiliuk, Mamchur & Pavlov[9] found that Phenylpiracetam improves the processes of learning and storing conditional skills when studying cognitive processes and functional state of mitochondria in the neocortex of alloxan-diabetic rats.[10]

Gustov, Smirnov, Korshunova IuA and Andrianova argue that Phenylpiracetam is beneficial to people who develop cognitive deficits and/or depression after encephalopathy and brain injuries.[11] It increased quality of life in patients with encephalopathy after acute lesions (30 people), brain traumas (33 people) and glioma surgery (36 people). The average Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (a 30-point questionnaire) from baseline improved in all groups. Anxiety improved and depression declined substantially, resulting in less discomfort and better ability to execute everyday activities.[12]

phenylpiracetam memorySome preliminary studies have found phenylpiracetam to have antidepressant properties. However, this area of effect has not seen as much research as the area of cognitive enhancement. A study performed on rats found that when phenylpiracetam was administered to rats, it significantly reduced depression symptoms caused by a forced-swim test.[13] A study conducted on human patients with cognitive decline concluded that phenylpiracetam is able to alleviate symptoms of depression.[14]

Perhaps one of the most unique and attractive benefits of phenylpiracetam is its ability to act as a psychostimulant. However, this effect is not very well researched, although one experiment conducted on rats found that phenylpiracetam increases locomotor activity for upwards of 2 hours.[15]

Anecdotal Reports

As with any nootropic drug that has not seen as much clinical research as one might hope, it is useful to look at anecdotal reports from users to give a fuller picture of the drug’s effects. Obviously, individual user reports are especially prone to the placebo effect and should be weighed and judged by the reader with caution.

Reddit user The_Antagonist said –

At the peak of it’s effects (about an hour in) I feel intense focus, not especially jittery, unless stacked with something else, just pure attention, and a complete abolishment of any lethargy I would have been feeling previously. It’s not really a euphoric compound, but I’ve noticed it seems to make me significantly happier when I’m accomplishing something on it. It might be the racetam effects rearing their head, but solving mathematical problems, or gaining a more complete understanding of a concept just feels plain good. This attribute [in particular], for me at least, makes it a hell of a study drug.[16]

Reddit user Notlambda

I’m not a social butterfly. I’m retarded when it comes to explaining a concept or defending an argument.
On phenylpiracetam (or daily doses of piracetam), I’m a social genius. What it feels like is that I’m not the one saying the words that I’m saying. It’s like I feed a “command” into a register in my brain that is then picked up by whatever part of my cortex deals with speech, and then I find myself just saying the perfect words to explain everything concisely.
It’s like I’m watching somebody else be awesome, but that somebody else is me. It’s really nice because I can free the rest of my mind to think about concepts while the “other” me is doing all the talking.
It’s also very subtle. I’m explaining this like it’s a dissociative experience or something like that. It’s not.[17]

From user le_unknown

I’ve had great results with phenylpiracetam. Without a doubt, it has been the nootropic that works best for me. Gives me alertness (but no jitteriness, I just feel awake and normal – kills all drowsiness), focus, and a tiny mood elevation. I’m surprised I don’t see more people talking about it…[18]


Phenylpiracetam’s seemingly wide array of effects and benefits makes it well worth looking into. Most notably, phenylpiracetam seems to provide many of the benefits of piracetam, while seemingly being more potent or effective in certain areas. Phenylpiracetam seems to noticeably provide cognitive capacity improvement, mood elevation, and stimulation. Experiences will vary widely among individual users, so we would highly recommend you try phenylpiracetam for yourself to see how it works for you.

You can buy Phenylpiracetam in powder form as well as in capsules at NootropicsDepot.

Reviewer 9

References   [ + ]

Biohacking Coluracetam Nootropics PRL-8-53 Tutorials

Photographic Memory: Nootropics and Mnemonic Devices 101

Photographic memory, or eidetic memory, is the ability to vividly recall images after seeing them for a short period of time. A Google search shows over 16.000 results for “photographic memory nootropics”. Of all the articles I read, no one of them answer the fundamental question: Does photographic memory exist, and is it possible to achieve with a combination of mnemonic techniques, training, and nootropics?

What is Photographic Memory?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary[1]

Eidetic is the technical adjective used to describe what we more commonly call a photographic memory. The word ultimately derives from the Greek noun eidos, meaning “form.” The ability of certain individuals to recall images, sounds, or events with uncanny accuracy is a subject of fascination for researchers in the field of psychology. Among notable people who were reputed to have eidetic memories is the late television comic Jackie Gleason, who reportedly was able to memorize an entire half-hour script in a single read-through.[2]

There are only two case studies of eidetic memory in scientific research. Let’s take a quick look at them.

Case 1: The Mind of a Mnemonist

The first case study of a subject with an “incredible” (photographic?) memory was published in a Russian medical journal in the 1960s by psychologist Alexander Luria.

Alexander Luria was a famous Russian psychologist active in the mid-1900s. In the early days of his career, he met a young man named Solomon Shereshevsky. Shereshevky, — or simply ‘S.’, the acronym used in Luria’s writings — was a Russian reporter working for a local newspaper. Each morning the editor would meet with the staff to hand them a rather long list of assignments. Solomon was able to memorize the entire list by looking at the sheet of paper just once.

Solomon Shereshevsky Photographic Memory Nootropics
Solomon Shereshevsky

Even though he was not a brilliant student due to his shy nature, when S. was a schoolboy he could memorize every single thing he read without ever taking notes. Intrigued, Luria took S. to his lab and, over the course of several months, tested his memory using all kinds of complex mathematical formulas and rare languages. Once, he read him the first four lines of Dante’s La Divina Commedia in Italian, a language he could not understand, and he was able to recite it in a matter of seconds.

On the basis of the research’s findings, Luria diagnosed S. with a rare form of synesthesia, called ideasthesia.

Ideasthesia is a phenomenon in which letters, numbers, and other visual objects evoke a “perception”-like experience. Since humans are hardwired to memorize visual concepts more efficiently than letters or numbers, an individual with ideasthesia can memorize characters, numbers, and symbols after viewing them for a couple seconds

The theory of this phenomenon closely resembles the idea behind the Method of Loci (more on that later), a technique used by mnemonists to memorize many different chunks of information that would otherwise be difficult to memorize.

So what kind of visual perceptions did the Divine Comedy evoke?

The first line, Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, he rendered into images this way: Nel, Nel’skaya, a ballerina; mezzo, she is together with (Russian vmeste) a man; del, there is a pack of Deli cigarettes near them; cammin, a fireplace (Russian kamin) is also close by; di, a hand is pointing toward a door (Russian dver); nos, a man has fallen and gotten his nose (Russian nos) pinched in a doorway (Russian tra); vita, the man steps over a child, a sign of life — vitalism; and so on, for 48 syllables.[3]

In 1968, after S.’s death, Luria published a book of his findings, The Mind of a Mnemonist. He wrote it for a non-scientific audience and I recommend it to anyone. The translated version can be easily found on the web with a quick Google search.

Case 2: The Girl with Eidetic Memory

Fast forward to the 1970s. A Harvard scientist named Charles Stromeyer III publishes a paper about a girl with an incredible ability. He gave her a sheet of paper with a pattern of 10,000 random dots, and the next day another random pattern with a different layout.

The girl was able to fuse the pattern in his mind and form a stereogram, which she saw as a three-dimensional image floating above the surface. A couple of days later, when questioned by the researcher, she could draw each pattern with astonishing accuracy.

The case study of Elizabeth – this is the name of the girl – was published in Nature. However, in a comical turn of events, the researcher later married the girl, and she was never tested again.

dot pattern photographic memory
A random dot pattern like the one given to Elizabeth

A couple of years later, in 1979, a researcher named John Merrit published the results of an eidetic memory test he had placed in magazines all over the country. After seeing Elizabeth results, he had hoped that someone might come forward and prove, once and for all, the existence of photographic memory. He figured that over 1 million people had tried the test. However, of the 30 people that were able to correctly figure it out, he went on to visit 15 of them, and nobody could repeat the experiment with the scientist looking over his/her shoulders.

So how was Elizabeth able to succeed in the test? Did she have some weird memory superpower?
Some say that the Elizabeth study was not real, but rather a silly prank between friends that got out of hand. nthomas from the Straight Dope forum explains it:[4]

When I was in a graduate seminar on the psychology of memory (about 16 years ago, at a major university) I was told by the professor, an expert in the field, that the “discovery” was, in fact, a hoax. As he told the story, “Elizabeth” was actually the girlfriend of the researcher, who had been talking to her about his interest in eidetic imagery. He had a reputation, however, for being rather gullible, and, for a joke, she, and a group of his other friends, cooked up a fake demonstration of her amazing eidetic powers. He was completely taken in, and became very excited at his amazing “discovery”. But before “Elizabeth” and her friends had the time (or maybe the heart) to let the victim in on the joke, things had got out of hand, and the discovery was already well known, and, before long, published.
The etiquette of scientific publication would make it difficult to get a story like this into the formal record, and, anyway, psychologists probably do not want it too widely known how easily they can be taken in. (Perhaps, also, people were reluctant to ruin the career of the poor, duped but not dishonest, researcher.)
[…]I got the impression from my professor that the hoax story was quite well known amongst memory researchers. Furthermore, my impression is that psychological opinion over whether eidetic imagery (as distinct from the ordinary, relatively unreliable, memory imagery, that nearly everyone experiences) really exists, is still much more divided than Cecil seems to believe. It may be the majority opinion that it is real, but a respectable minority of researchers have their doubts. The amazing abilities of “Elizabeth” do still occasionally get mentioned in the reputable psychological literature, however. Some serious scientists do seem to believe it. I myself am no longer sufficiently close to the “in group” of memory psychologists to have heard the hoax story again, or to check out how widely it is known or believed.

So there you have it: the only recorded case of a genuine photographic memory among ordinary human beings is, very likely, a hoax.

Kim Peek Super Memory
Kim Peek

That’s not to said that there aren’t folks with a really good memory. Kim Peek, the famous savant who was the inspiration behind Rain Man, could supposedly memorize each page of a 9,000+ page book, reading at a rate of 8 to 12 seconds per page (with each eye reading its own page). This has not been thoroughly tested, however.

The American actress and author Marilu Henner, on the other hand, can supposedly remember every day of his life. Again, this has not been tested in a clinical setting, and may just be a symptom of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Another savant, Stephen Wiltshire, has been called the “human camera” for his ability to draw objects around him several minutes (to hours) after having seen them for the first time. However, again, as precise he is, he takes liberties, so it is not clear if he truly has a “photographic” memory, but he’s the closest to it.

Stephen Wiltshire Eidetic Memory
Stephen Wiltshire

How to Develop Photographic Memory

Solomon, Kim, and Stephen are truly fascinating cases, but they are not normal guys – they have very rare abilities. So, can a normal human being develop photographic memory or the closest thing to it?

The answer is No. Photographic memory can’t be achieved, not even with nootropics. However, by taking nootropics and learning a few techniques, we can develop an exceptional memory. Let’s see how.

Memory: What is It, How to Improve it

There are several stages of memory formation: memory acquisition/encoding, working memory/short-term memory, long-term memory/consolidation, memory retrieval, and reconsolidation.

Five major pathways are essential for the formation, retrieval and reconsolidation of memory: dopamine, choline,AMPA, norepinephrine and adrenergic receptors, and neurotrophic factors (BDNF, GDNF, NGF).

  • Choline is essential for short-term memory and memory consolidation
  • Dopamine helps focus, motivation and general cognition[5]
  • Norepinephrine is a memory modulator[6] and it’s essential for memory retrieval[7]
  • AMPA improves synaptic plasticity and strengthen synapses
  • BDNF is important for long-term memory[8], learning, and synaptogenesis[9]

NGF is also important for neurons health and memory — but only in old subjects, as it actually impaired memory when given to young rats[10], so we’re not going to focus on it too much. Same for norepinephrine and adrenergic receptors, GDNF, Sigma, cAMP, PKA, CRE, CREBs and other minor neurotransmitters/neuromodulators.

References   [ + ]

Coluracetam Nootropics Racetams Reviews

Coluracetam Review: A Nootropic With Antidepressant Properties

The drug piracetam is often regarded as the first truly nootropic drug, due to its ability to promote healthy brain function and cognition without potentially debilitating side effects. The family of nootropics that are structurally related to piracetam, known as racetams, have also been held in high esteem by the nootropics community. Coluracetam is one of the many members of this nootropic drug class, but it has some unique properties that set it apart from the rest.


ColuracetamColuracetam is a fairly new addition to the racetam category of nootropics, being developed and initially researched in the mid-1990s.[1] Coluracetam, known also by its research names of MKC-231 and BCI-540, was initially developed and researched by the Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in Japan as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Coluracetam has also seen some limited research concerning its potential use for treating Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.[2]

Mechanism of Action

When ingested, coluracetam becomes present in nerve tissue within 30 minutes of administration. The concentration in the body begins to decrease about 3 hours after ingestion.[3]
The most definitive mechanism through which coluracetam works is high-affinity choline uptake (HACU). HACU is a crucial step in the process of the body’s converting of choline into acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter for cognition processes. [4] In essence, this means that an increase in HACU (caused by coluracetam) will also increase the activity level of acetylcholine in the nervous system. This is the basis for coluracetam’s ability to enhance cognition

My Experience with Coluracetam

My trial run for NootropicsDepot’s coluracetam lasted for one week, due to the fact that coluracetam’s effects seem to all take place rather quickly. In other words, the effects do not appear to be cumulative like some other nootropics. Typically, I took 30 mg orally in the morning, along with another 30 mg in the afternoon. If necessary, I took another dose later on in the day. Dosage recommendations for coluracetam range anywhere from 3 mg up to 100 mg or more, but this dose seemed to work just fine. Having experimented with coluracetam briefly a few months ago, I had a general feel for what dose might work.

Coluracetam powder nootropicDuring the time of this trial, I was not taking any prescription medications. In the morning, I was taking Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, potassium gluconate, fish oil, and turmeric. The effects I experienced from taking coluracetam have been very positive. However, bear in mind that this is only a subjective experience. The placebo effects cannot be ruled out (although I am convinced it was the coluracetam I felt), and experiences will vary between individuals. That being said, I will now go into what I felt are the major benefits of coluracetam:

  1. Motivation enhancement
    Right off the bat, coluracetam seems to provide a decent increase in motivation to engage in productive work. I felt a stronger desire to work on school work that I don’t find very interesting. It made it much easier to push through to get things done, leaving a very satisfactory feeling when things were accomplished.
  2. Stimulation
    This effect goes somewhat hand-in-hand with motivation enhancement. Coluracetam has the effect of making me feel more awake and alert. It seems to help me feel more ready and able to get work done. It didn’t make me feel “jittery” either – I felt quite relaxed the whole time.
  3. Reduction in fatigue
    Coluracetam appears to help alleviate both physical and mental fatigue. There were a few instances when taking it where I went from being exhausted and drained to energized and ready to go.
  4. Enhanced cognition
    This effect is very important for any nootropic compound. After all, it is the main thing that nootropics are purported to influence. Within half an hour of taking coluracetam, I felt much more able to formulate thoughts and translate them into writing. I also felt more able to connect ideas in my mind and get a better idea of the “bigger picture.” I also felt more naturally able to hold conversations with others, feeling much more engaged and fluent.
  5. Music enhancement
    While this is mostly unrelated to the topic of cognitive enhancement, listening to music while on coluracetam was very pleasant. The music itself felt more full, interwoven, and immersive than usual. Individual pieces of melody and minor details became more distinguishable than usual.
  6. Mood Boost
    After taking coluracetam, I can understand why it is being researched as a treatment for depression. It helped me remain more positive and upbeat throughout the day. I also seemed to make things more enjoyable in general.


Coluracetam seems to be a very promising nootropic in terms of its multiple benefits and few side-effects. I did not experience any apparent increase in tolerance during the week I was taking it, even with multiple doses in one day. Experiments in which rats were given coluracetam for 14 days at a time seems to reinforce this.[5] The only possible side-effect I experience was mild to moderate headaches, which occurred throughout the week. This should be taken with a grain of salt because I am normally fairly prone to headaches in the first place. I’ve also heard that taking choline can alleviate headaches that come with racetam supplementation, so that could be a potential remedy.


All things considered, I was very pleased with the effects of coluracetam. I will certainly be implementing it into my nootropic stacks, as it is one of the most noticeable and useful nootropics I have personally taken. It seemed to have a real impact on my motivation, energy, and cognition. Everyone is bound to react differently to coluracetam, but I strongly encourage nootropics users to give it a try.

You can buy Coluracetam powder and capsules at NootropicsDepot.

Reviewer 8.4
I highly recommend coluracetam for anyone who needs to spend extended periods of time working on demanding mental tasks. The cognitive boost and mental stimulation was extremely useful.

References   [ + ]

Fasoracetam Nootropics Racetams Reviews

Fasoracetam: How This Nootropic May Help You Focus Better

Originally known as NS-105, Fasoracetam is one of the newest nootropics on the market. Besides being the latest racetam to be discovered, it has some unique properties unlike any other racetam on the market. Let’s find out what makes this substance a truly unique nootropic, and why you should (or should not) try it.

One of the primary effects of Fasoracetam is the modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptors II and III (mGluR).[1] mGlu receptors have been shown to be involved in synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection. In addition, LY354740, am mGlu2/3 agonist, has been shown to be effective in generalized anxiety disorder.[2]

Fasoracetam is also the only racetam that significantly enhances cAMP formation[3] and that has been shown to be potentially effective in individuals with glutamatergic gene variants that are suffering from ADHD[4]. A Phase III clinical trial is near completion, but the drug is not currently listed as an ADHD treatment by the FDA.

Fasoracetam has also shown to have antidepressant effects[5] and to counteract learned helplessness, an avoidance behavior typically associated with depression. Fasoracetam, however, does not act on serotonin and other monoamines, and researchers think the antidepressant effect may stem from its ability to upregulate GABA-B receptors.[6]

Generally speaking, Fasoracetam has shown to be more effective with chronic use, and, in the ADHD study, most benefits were felt at week five onward.[7]
Fasoracetam ADHD

Mechanism of Action

In rat studies, fasoracetam restores the function of key receptors, glutamate mGluR II and III[8].  It also upregulates GABA-B receptors through receptor antagonism[9], a fact which may be related to its ability to reverse phenibut tolerance (which is one of the few supplements reported to relieve anhedonic depression). The GABA-B receptor is very important and has been found to play a role in cognition[10], anxiety and mood.

Alcohol, a very disinhibiting and fog-inducing compound (with pleasurable effects similar to phenibut) is thought to achieve its activity by activating GABA-B and A receptors (as well as dopamine).  However, because it downregulates these receptors, prolonged use may cause anxiety and cognitive disruptions.  Phenibut binds in a similar fashion to GABA-B.

FasoracetamBecause of its relatively narrow range of receptor targets, fasoracetam does not feel like a classic stimulant nor does it alter one’s feeling of wakefulness.  It lacks clinical dopamine activity but remarkably still managed to address ADHD symptoms, according to the study.  It is not clear how fasoracetam has such a specific utility in treating ADHD, more research on other neurotransmitters may be turned up in coming years, but judging on present evidence, it seems that Fasoracetam could reduce ADHD symptoms by modulating glutamatergic receptors.

That being said, the FDA does not list Fasoracetam as an ADHD medication and it should not be used as such. Only a professional can prescribe medications for ADHD and you should not self medicate.

Although it is a newer supplement without much of a user-base, it does appear to be well-tolerated even in large doses or extended periods. Among college students, it may soon become a mainstay, alongside other trusted nootropics such as Bacopa, Modafinil, and Noopept.


In addition to the findings surrounding glutamate and ADHD, rat studies have also revealed fasoracetam to have profound cholinergic activity.  Many common nootropics work by controlling acetylcholine, including several drugs used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

It increases the uptake of choline at sites in key brain regions involved in intelligence and mood, the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.  This, in turn, results in increased production and release of acetylcholine.[11]
This, similarly to what has been commonly reported with piracetam, may explain a need for choline supplementation in the case of symptoms such as low mood, headache or brain-fog.

Although I personally have only ever tried piracetam and aniracetam (and found, despite a slight cognitive boost, that they both caused a slightly lowered mood, with piracetam being more stimulating and anxiety-prone while aniracetam was calm and relaxing), I haven’t read any complaints of fasoracetam and depression (on the contrary it appears to be a robust antidepressant nootropic, similar to tianeptine). This is remarkable because excessive acetylcholine production is typically associated with low mood and depression. Even with something as mild as bacopa, reports of moodiness are easy to pin down.

Since all three of the mentioned racetams seem to operate through a shared mechanism of acetylcholine, it’s not clear how fasoracetam achieves a similar cognitive boost without side effects on mood.  Perhaps it has been less trialed and as more users sample it, more negative reports will pour in.  This seems unlikely, however, given multiple reports of antidepressant effects, and at higher doses, near euphoria.

Fasoracetam and coluracetam are interesting racetams with multiple mechanisms of action compared to piracetam. Although they both share a cholinergic effect, the former modulates mGlu receptors (as well as GABA-B receptors) while the latter interacts with a process named high-affinity choline uptake.  This may explain their calm, clear effects when compared with the more bland effects of piracetam.


Of the eight known metabotropic glutamate receptors, only one and five are believed to increase NMDA receptor activity and neural excitation (these two are postsynaptic).  The other six receptors all function to lower NMDA (and are presynaptic), lessen excitation and thus reduce potential neurotoxicity.

By slightly lowering glutamate activity and at the same time boosting GABA-B levels, fasoracetam offers a collected state of mind compared to piracetam’s more scattered one.  Normal tasks would flow much easier, and performance would be improved without adverse effect.
While OCD and more recently schizophrenia have been described as hyperglutamatergic, ADHD has always been thought of as a condition of low glutamate.[12]

However, fasoracetam may very well regulate the metabotropic receptors in both directions and benefit everyone equally (restoring both high and low activity of the receptors to normal).

It is not clear how to explain the remarkable improvements reported in samples of both schizophrenia and ADHD. An explanation may be the selectiveness for the presynaptic mGluRs (mGluR1 and mGluR5) coupled with the fact that these receptors both elevate cAMP and lower NMDA activity. Levels of these receptors in the body are both altered in schizophrenia (so fasoracetam would produce two favorable alterations for the schizophrenic patient).

Despite all this fine talk about schizophrenia and glutamate, most of the reports surrounding fasoracetam are concerned with ADHD symptoms, specifically motivation and focus.  It is not widely known for its use as psychiatric medicine, and it may be considered by ADHD patients who have not responded well to conventional treatments. Again, it is not approved by the FDA as an ADHD treatment, and we are not suggesting people suffering from that disease to use it without a medical prescription.


As stated above fasoracetam appears to have GABA-B antagonistic properties[13], and it may upregulate these receptors and thus diminish the tolerance to GABA-B agonists like Phenibut, Baclofen, and Alcohol, and may even act as an “antidote” to a Phenibut overdose.

Before many of the newer designer supplements hit the market and much was known about fasoracetam, Noopept was one of the more recommended supplements for alcoholics to recover cognitive capacities. But in light of this newer evidence, fasoracetam may address the issue more directly. Because of its activity here, fasoracetam may eventually find use in treating age-related memory decline, dementia, and even depression. For now, the research and hype seem to surround the potential treatment of ADHD symptoms.

Dosage and half-life

Buy Fasoracetam CapsulesNo dependence potential was noted in the rhesus monkey over the course of four weeks.[14]  However. users cannot be completely absolved of concern, due to interspecies differences and the possibility of an only mildly addictive substance requiring an exceptionally long habituation period.

If its use is not completely discouraged in elderly patients, significant caution and close monitoring are recommended.  Its metabolism and clearance depend heavily on the kidneys and at least one studied has reported significant accumulation in the elderly (whose renal function is typically compromised).[15]

It is typically taken at 10mg twice daily, but it is probably best to start with 5 mg and taper up. Even though the dosage is very low, bitterness is still a problem and the use of capsules or parachuting is recommended.

Although some work their way up to 30 mg in one dose, this may not be the most effective strategy (due to a short half-life of the compound) and this pattern of use is more likely to be helped along by a large meal.  A potent nootropic with a half-life of around 90 minutes, taking it even once a day may be enough for active levels to build up in your system, but tolerance will be close behind.

You can buy Fasoracetam capsules and powder at Nootropics Depot. Fasoracetam is not approved by the FDA as an ADHD treatment.

Reviewer 8.8

References   [ + ]

Memantine Noopept Nootropics Phenylpiracetam Piracetam Pramiracetam

Best Nootropics for ADD & ADHD: 10 Alternatives to Adderall®

WARNING: The substances mentioned in this article are not approved by the FDA, we only list them for information purposes. They should NOT, and I repeat NOT, be used as replacements for a true and tested ADHD treatment. Our website and all the websites listed in this article are not responsible for errors, omissions, or for any outcomes related to the use of the contents of this article.

Attention Deficit Disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADD, ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in children between 6 and 12 years of age. It is especially problematic for those attending school, as it adds an extra barrier that both students and teachers must overcome. There are various popular forms of medication in the amphetamine class used to treat these attention disorders. These medications are typically quite effective in alleviating attention deficits, but they carry with them the possibility of addiction and dependence.[1]

Attention Deficit Disorders

Two of the most commonly used drugs for the treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents are Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate).[2] Many people seek alternatives to classical stimulants because they know of potential adverse effects or want to avoid using potent phenethylamine derivatives on their own children or themselves. For this reason, we will investigate the potential benefits of nootropics in the treatment of attention disorders.

The most common nootropics that people use as alternatives to amphetamines are racetam drugs, modafinil and noopept. These nootropics have been demonstrated to have positive effects on cognition, but it is necessary to personalize treatment for each individual, evaluating if the course of treatment is actually working for them. It should be noted that the onset and duration of action of nootropics (as well as their effectiveness) can vary greatly. It would be wise to keep a journal where you take notes about the dosage and administration of nootropics you are using. Many nootropic drugs can take more than a week to establish their full effect, and dosages may need to be adjusted to achieve maximum effect.

Not all nootropics will ultimately be beneficial to those who suffer from attention deficits. However, many nootropics are well-known for their ability to improve cognition, motivation, and concentration.[3] Always consult your doctor before making adjustments to medication. Because most cognitive supplements and nootropics are stable and safe to use indefinitely, individuals who fear health risks or addiction to amphetamines may want to consider using nootropics as an alternative form of treatment.

Top 10 Nootropics for ADD & ADHD

These are the best nootropics for Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity, according to scientific studies and our anecdotal experience. As we frequently say in the nootropics community, your mileage may vary.


piracetam nootropic adhdPiracetam is considered by many to be the father of all nootropic drugs. It has a history of being used to treat dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other cognitive diseases that come with old age. Most research conducted on piracetam has come to the consensus that it does not have much effect on individuals who are not experiencing cognitive decline. For this reason, piracetam does not seem like an ideal alternative treatment for attention deficits. However, piracetam is extremely safe to take, and supplementation by anyone will help prevent cognitive decline before it even starts. Thus, it might be worthwhile to take piracetam alongside another medication on this list. One small study mentions a combination of atomoxetine (an ADHD medication) and Piracetam.[4][5]

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Noopept11Noopept is a favorite among nootropic users due to its ability to improve cognition and increase the ability to focus. Although it is not technically a racetam, due to the fact that it does not contain a pyrrolidone nucleus, it is still quite similar in structure and effects. Noopept is commonly touted as having an effective dose 1000 times smaller than that or piracetam.[6] There is not very much information out there about noopept as a treatment for ADD, but experts at the Second International Congress on ADHD noted that noopept may be a very good alternative medication for attention deficits.[7] Many anecdotal reports from users have found that noopept is helpful for maintaining focus and concentration for extended periods of time.

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Phenylpiracetam nootropic for adhdPhenylpiracetam is a derivative of piracetam that has an additional phenyl group. It is noticeably more stimulating than piracetam, as well as more potent. An 800 mg dose of piracetam is comparable to about 100 mg of phenylpiracetam. It has been found to be effective at improving cognition and produces stimulation that may translate to improved focus.[8][9] One drawback of phenylpiracetam is that it cannot be used indefinitely, as tolerance develops relatively quickly. However, this might make it useful to cycle with another nootropic compound, or to use a few times a week alongside something else like noopept.

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pramistar-nootropic-pramiracetamPramiracetam is another derivative of piracetam. It is not as well researched as some of the more popular racetams, but it has a lot of potential as a cognitive enhancer. While there is no research that specifically addresses the issue of attention in the traditional sense, pramiracetam demonstrated and ability to help reverse scopolamine-induced attention deficits in humans[10], and anecdotal experiences on the web show that it’s effective in young subjects with ADD, but not in those with normal “baseline” performance. Even though pramiracetam still needs to see more research before anything definitive can be said, the fact that it is considered safe to use opens up the possibility of personal experimentation.

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Memantine NootropicMemantine is another drug commonly used to treat cognitive decline, such as moderate and severe Alzheimer’s Disease. Memantine works on the glutamatergic system as an antagonist to NMDA receptors, which works to combat excitotoxicity. One of the benefits of Memantine is that it avoid the development of tolerance to a number of substances, including stimulants, caffeine, cannabis, alcohol and so on. It is therefore frequently combined with stimulants to reduce their neurotoxic effects as well as reducing tolerance to the positive effects of Adderall and Ritalin. Some research has been done on memantine’s possible effectiveness in treating ADHD (by itself, not in combination). One study found that memantine was fairly beneficial for alleviating symptoms of ADHD, but concluded that there is not enough evidence to draw any real conclusions.[11] Because of this, memantine could be a good choice to use in low doses alongside another substance on this. It must be noted that memantine acts as a dissociative at supratherapeutic doses, so proceed with caution.

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provigil-modafinilModafinil is a wakefulness-promoting (eugeroic) drug that is classified in many places as a prescription medication. Armodafinil, a closely related drug, consists of only the active (−)-(R)-enantiomer of modafinil, meaning it is theoretically more potent. Because of this, both drugs work in a similar fashion. Modafinil has shown a good amount of promise as an alternative treatment of ADD/ADHD. One study conducted on children found that 48% of the participants felt a significant improvement in attentive skills while on modafinil.[12] Multiple other studies have found that modafinil provides moderate increases in cognition, memory, and motivation.[13] Although modafinil’s mechanism works through modulation of dopamine, it does not seem to carry an addiction potential to the same degree as amphetamines.

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selegiline adhd nootropicSelegiline (L-deprenyl) is a substituted phenethylamine drug commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It has also seen some use as an alternative treatment for depression. There has not been a significant amount of research done on its efficacy in treating ADHD, but one study done on a small group of 28 children with ADHD studied the treatment effects of selegiline in comparison to methylphenidate. The children treated with selegiline displayed fewer symptoms of ADHD than those treated with methylphenidate while also displaying fewer side effects.[14] This research is preliminary, but it demonstrates the selegiline displays promise as an ADHD treatment.

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These supplements are not strong enough to treat ADD/ADHD on their own, but they can potentiate and work synergistically with the nootropic drugs mentioned above.


acetylcholineCholine is an essential nutrient and precursor to acetylcholine that can be obtained in various ways in different foods. However, the easiest way to consume ideal amounts of choline is through a supplement. CDP-Choline and Alpha GPC are generally considered to be the two most effective sources of choline for nootropic use. Because racetam drugs and noopept work through modulation of acetylcholine, taking them alongside a choline source can make them more effective.

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L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and dopamine. One study found that supplementation of both Tyrosine and 5-HTP (a serotonin precursor) helped improve ADHD symptoms in 77% of the participants.[15] Taking these supplements can help improve attention deficits by increasing levels of neurotransmitters that play a significant role in attention. Tyrosine should be taken on an empty stomach to prevent it from competing for absorption with other amino acids found in food.

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uridineUridine is a nucleotide base that has been found to improve memory, attentiveness, cognition, and learning.[16] The majority of uridine’s cognitive benefits appear to occur with its supplementation alongside other nootropics, such as racetams and noopept. It is considered a safe substance to combine with other nootropics and medications. Although uridine can be found naturally in liver, fish, and beer, it is most commonly supplemented through a uridine compound like uridine monophosphate or triacetyluridine.

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There are many nootropics, pharmaceuticals, and supplements that show significant promise for treating attention deficits. These substances are definitely worth looking into for those who are wary of amphetamines and the side effects and addictive potential they entail. In the end, the efficacy of each of these substances will vary between each individual and cautious experimentation will maximize the potential of finding an effective treatment regimen.

References   [ + ]

1. What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD)?
2. Methylphenidate
3. Gouliaev, A. H., & Senning, A. (1994). Piracetam and other structurally related nootropics. Brain Research Reviews, 19(2), 180–222.
4. Zavadenko, N. N., & Suvorinova, N. I. (2008). [Atomoxetine and piracetam in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children]. Zhurnal Nevrologii I Psikhiatrii Imeni S.S. Korsakova / Ministerstvo Zdravookhraneniia I Meditsinskoi Promyshlennosti Rossiiskoi Federatsii, Vserossiiskoe Obshchestvo Nevrologov [i] Vserossiiskoe Obshchestvo Psikhiatrov, 108(7), 43–47.
5. Baumgaertel, a. (1999). Alternative and controversial treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 46(5), 977–992.
6. [The original novel nootropic and neuroprotective agent noopept].
7. Thome, J., & Reddy, D. P. (2009). The current status of research into Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on ADHD: From Childhood to Adult Disease. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 1(2), 165–74.
8. Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders.
9. Investigation into stereoselective pharmacological activity of phenotropil.
10. Pramiracetam effects on scopolamine-induced amnesia in healthy volunteers.
11. Memantine: a review of possible uses in child and adolescent psychiatry.
12. Efficacy and safety of modafinil film-coated tablets in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose study.
13. Modafinil
14. Selegiline in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children: a double blind and randomized trial
15. Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation
16. Cognitex supplementation in elderly adults with memory complaints: an uncontrolled open label trial.
Nootropics Piracetam Racetams

The Story and Science of Piracetam

Piracetam, the original Racetam was created as a cognitive enhancer. It is similar to GABA, a neurotransmitter from which it is derived, and it has been used to treat cognitive decline. A fair amount of evidence shows that it can enhance cognition in people who have had a decline in such. However, there is not much in the way of studies of piracetam in people who haven’t experienced such a decline.[1]

Piracetam was created in 1964 by a Belgian pharmaceutical company named UCB. The lead scientist was Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, who came up with the term nootropic to describe piracetam and other similar compounds. In the 1970’s, UCB released Nootropil, the trade name for Piracetam. Nootropil is currently used in Europe.[2]

Mechanisms of Action

The basic mechanism of piracetam is not well established. However, it does appear to be non-sedative and non-stimulatory.[3] The following are some seeming mechanisms of action.

Oxygen and glucose consumption

Piracetam increases the brain’s oxygen and glucose consumption, which may be responsible for the cognitive enhancement seen in those who are impaired. [4]
A study that looked at patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and unclassified dementia showed that piracetam increased brain glucose consumption by 8-10% in people with Alzheimer’s. No such increase was seen in the group who had unclassified dementia. [5] [6]

Glutamate receptors

Chemical structure of Piracetam

Neurotransmitters carry information between neurons. The part of the neuron that receives neurotransmitters is called a “receptor.” The glutamate receptor, as the name implies, is the receptor for the neurotransmitter, glutamate. Glutamate is not only our main excitatory neurotransmitter, but it is also the precursor of GABA, our main inhibitory neurotransmitter. In very simple terms, an inhibitory neurotransmitter has a calming effect on the brain, while an excitatory neurotransmitter has a stimulant effect, and the body needs both in the right quantities to operate correctly.

Glutamate receptors are important for forming memories and learning. AMPA receptors are a type of glutamate receptors that are involved in memory storage. Piracetam acts upon the Glu2 and Glu3 AMPA glutamate receptors. Acting upon the Glu2 subtype of AMPA receptors seems to be a unique site for Piracetam. [7] Piracetam does not seem to interact with the Kainate and NMDA glutamate receptors.[8]

GABA receptors

As you may have guessed, GABA receptors are the neuronal receptor sites for the neurotransmitter, GABA. Despite being a GABA derivative, Piracetam does not interact with GABA receptors as best we know. [9] [10]

Increase in cellular membrane fluidity

Nootropil (Piracetam)Piracetam may restore brain mitochondrial cell membrane fluidity [11] and presumably enhance brain cell function.

Mitochondrial dysfunction may have a causative role in Alzheimer’s Disease [12] [13]. One in-vitro study looked at the hippocampus membranes of Alzheimer’s patients and noted that the fluidity of these cells improved with Piracetam. [14] Findings that Piracetam may improve the fluidity of mitochondrial membranes and thus mitochondrial function have been supported in animal models of Alzheimer disease and aging. These findings may explain some of Piracetam’s cognitive effects in aging and brain dysfunctions. [15]

It is still unclear what this means to healthy young people. Piracetam seems to improve cell membrane fluidity in the brains of aged rats, but not in young rats.[16]

Anti-platelet effect

Piracetam seems to have an antiplatelet effect [17][18][19] [20] [21] [22] [23] when administered in doses that have been used for cognitive improvement [24] [25] [26] [27]. The mechanism for such is not clear.

Conditions for which it has been used

Memory & Cognition in the Elderly

There appears to be a fair bit of evidence that Piracetam may improve memory and cognition in those who are cognitively impaired.

  • A meta-analysis of 19 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials using Piracetam in 1,488 elderly patients with cognitive impairment or dementia showed that the amount of individuals who improved was 112% higher with Piracetam vs. placebo. The studies included in this meta-analysis looked for clinically meaningful improvement. Waegemans et al concluded that this meta-analysis provided compelling evidence of piracetam’s efficacy in a diverse group of aged cognitively impaired people.[28]
  • However, Flicker et al concluded that there was not enough evidence to support the use of Piracetam for dementia or cognitive impairment and that many of the piracetam trials for dementia were flawed.[29]

Memory & Cognition in Healthy Subjects

nootropicsThere is weak evidence of cognitive benefit in young and healthy adults. Such benefit seems more apparent where cognition is not optimal, but there is not frank impairment (e.g., age-related decline). [30]

  • One small double-blinded study showed that Piracetam improved backward word recall, which implies short-term memory enhancement.[31]
  • Another study showed that healthy people improved their verbal learning by 8% vs. placebo over 21 days.[32]
  • Yet another study seemed to indicate that Piracetam improved cognition in 18 people over age 49 who had no sign of cognitive impairment. [33]


Piracetam has been associated with improvements in verbal learning and comprehensive in boys with dyslexia or learning disorders.

  • A review of 11 double-blinded studies with nearly 600 boys aged 8 to 13 who had learning disorders or dyslexia showed that Piracetam improved comprehension and verbal learning.[34]
  • In one study, Piracetam improved verbal learning by 15%. [35]

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Piracetam seems to prevent reduced cognition associated with coronary bypass surgery in some [36] [37] [38] but not all [39] studies.


Human evidence is mixed on whether Piracetam can benefit recovery from stroke. [40] [41] [42] [43][44]


Piracetam appears fairly non-toxic. Adverse effects seem to be rare and of limited duration and limited to agitation, anxiety, clinical depression, drowsiness, headache, hyperkinesia, hypersexuality, insomnia, irritability, libido increase, nervousness, somnolence, tremor, and weight gain [45]. Piracetam appeared to be safe for as much as 18 months in Alzheimer’s patients. The LD50 is 5.6 grams/kg of body weight for rats and 20g/kg for mice.


A fair amount of evidence shows that Piracetam can enhance cognition in those who are impaired and that it has an excellent safety profile. However, clinical studies of Piracetam in people who haven’t experienced cognitive decline is scant.

Although how Piracetam works is not entirely clear, interaction with AMPA receptors may be one of the routes of actions. Besides, there is evidence that it increases acetylcholine production as well as enhance the brain’s consumption of glucose and oxygen and improve fluidity of mitochondrial cell membranes.

Reviewer 7.5

References   [ + ]

1, 2. S. D. Shorvon (2004). “Piracetam”. In Simon D. Shorvon, David Fish, Emilio Perucca, W E Dodson. The treatment of epilepsy. Wiley–Blackwell. pp. 489–495
3. Piracetam: physiological disposition and mechanism of action (1986)
4, 8, 30, 34, 45. article on Piracetam
5. Effect of piracetam on cerebral glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease as measured by positron emission tomography (1988)
6. Piracetam improves mitochondrial dysfunction following oxidative stress. (2006)
7. Piracetam defines a new binding site for allosteric modulators of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. (2010)
9. Piracetam–an old drug with novel properties? (2005)
10. Piracetam and other structurally related nootropics. (1994)
11. Piracetam: a review of pharmacological properties and clinical uses. (2005)
12. Mitochondrial dysfunction: common final pathway in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease–therapeutic aspects. (2010)
13. Mitochondrial dysfunction: the first domino in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (2007)
14. Piracetam reverses hippocampal membrane alterations in Alzheimer’s disease (1999)
15. Improved mitochondrial function in brain aging and Alzheimer disease – the new mechanism of action of the old metabolic enhancer piracetam (2010)
16. Effects of piracetam on membrane fluidity in the aged mouse, rat, and human brain. (1997)
17. In-vivo platelet inhibition by Piracetam (1979)
18. Inhibitory effect of piracetam on platelet-rich thrombus formation in an animal model (1998)
19, 24. Platelet anti-aggregant and rheological properties of piracetam. A pharmacodynamic study in normal subjects. (1993)
20, 25. Treatment of Acute Ischemic Stroke With Piracetam (1997)
21. Piracetam and platelets–a review of laboratory and clinical data. (1999)
22, 26. Piracetam versus acetylsalicylic acid in secondary stroke prophylaxis. A double-blind, randomized, parallel group, 2 year follow-up study. (2000)
23, 27. Effects of acetylsalicylic acid in stroke patients. Evidence of nonresponders in a subpopulation of treated patients. (1991)
28. Clinical efficacy of piracetam in cognitive impairment: a meta-analysis (2002)
29. Piracetam for dementia or cognitive impairment. (2001)
31. Increase in the power of human memory in normal man through the use of drugs. (1976)
32, 35. Piracetam as an aid to learning in dyslexia. Preliminary report. (1979)
33. Piracetam-induced improvement of mental performance. A controlled study on normally aging individuals. (1976)
36. Effect of piracetam on cognitive performance in patients undergoing bypass surgery (2003)
37. Cerebroprotective effect of piracetam in patients undergoing coronary bypass burgery. (2008)
38. Piracetam prevents cognitive decline in coronary artery bypass: a randomized trial versus placebo. (2006)
39. Cerebroprotective effect of piracetam in patients undergoing open heart surgery. (2011)
40. Piracetam in acute stroke: a systematic review. (2000)
41. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of piracetam and piracetam-like compounds in experimental stroke. (2008)
42. Does long term use of piracetam improve speech disturbances due to ischemic cerebrovascular diseases. (2011)
43. Piracetam improves activated blood flow and facilitates rehabilitation of poststroke aphasic patients. (2000)
44. Restitution of alpha-topography by piracetam in post-stroke aphasia. (2001)
Aniracetam Nootropics

A Scientific Overview of Aniracetam

Aniracetam is a fat-soluble and supposedly more potent analog of piracetam. Anecdotally, it is claimed to facilitate associative thinking and creativity, as well as to reduce anxiety and depression. Although there are few human studies, it is currently used as a treatment for dementia and it’s being researched as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, anxiety and depression.[1]

Mechanism of Action

AMPA receptors

Neurotransmitters carry information between neurons. The part of the neuron that receives neurotransmitters is called a “receptor”. The glutamate receptor, as the name implies, is the receptor for the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate is not only our main excitatory neurotransmitter, it is also the precursor of GABA, our main inhibitory neurotransmitter. Glutamate receptors are important for forming memories and learning. AMPA receptors are a type of glutamate receptors that are involved in memory storage.[2] AMPA receptors are the targets of therapeutic drugs given that glutamate is believed to be involved in psychiatric and neurological disease.[3] Aniracetam seems to reduce the rate that AMPA receptor become desensitized [4] to positive stimuli like glutamate. Thus, Aniracetam and other AMPA modulators are being investigated for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. [5] It appears that aniracetam stimulates the AMPA receptor more than other racetams.

GABA receptors

Aniracetam seems to increase the effects of GABAergic inhibition. GABA is important for emotional wellbeing cognition, and improving GABA function could be potentially therapeutic for anxiety and cognitive disease. [6]

Cholinergic receptors

Aniracetam appears to enhance acetylcholine transmission, which plays an important role in cognitive function and the Alzheimer’s Disease. [7] It is theorized that the reduction of depression seen in animal studies may also be a result of Aniracetam interacting with these receptors. [8]

Serotonin and dopamine receptors

Animal studies indicate that Aniracetam may reduce anxiety and increase socialization by interacting with serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine receptors [9][10]. It also seems to increase the release of serotonin and dopamine, which may work together to improve mood and judgment. [11] This is an interesting aspect of aniracetam; it is the only racetam that seems to be able to reduce anxiety.


In animal studies, aniracetam seems to alleviate impairment to memory and learning caused by various means, including cerebral ischemia, cholinergic antagonists, and electroconvulsive shock.[12] Aniracetam can also protect against scopolamine-induced damage and seems more powerful than piracetam at doing so on a milligram by milligram basis. [13]

Conditions for which it has been used

There is some evidence that Aniracetam may improve memory and cognition in those who are cognitively impaired. Trial results involving elderly people who were cognitively impaired from either Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia suggested that aniracetam may benefit theses conditions. Further trials are needed for confirmation of its safety and efficacy. Aniracetam was significantly more effective than placebo in tests at 4 and 6 months, and in a further 6-month trial was more effective than piracetam on certain testing parameters.[14]

Safety Data

Available information from trials seems to indicate that aniracetam is well tolerated. In particular, one published overview noted that aniracetam does not appear to raise in liver enzyme levels. Preliminary evidence points towards a good tolerability profile.[15]


Aniracetam is a fat-soluble racetam nootropic. Human studies are lacking, but it may prove to be a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease or depression. Anecdotally, it is claimed to facilitate associative thinking and creativity, and animal studies have shown an anti-anxiety effect. In addition, as far as we can tell, there it does not seem to be associated with significant side effects and appears to be well tolerated.

Reviewer 7.2

References   [ + ]