Racetams family

Aniracetam review

Aniracetam improves mood

Aniracetam (also known as N-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone) is a nootropic drug that can improve cognitive function and mood.

It was discovered in the 1970s by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche. It is available as a prescription drug in some European countries and Japan (brand names Draganon, Sarpul, Ampamet, Memodrin, Referan). In the US, Canada and the UK, it is not officially registered as a drug or dietary supplement.

Aniracetam title

Aniracetam is similar in action to piracetam, the first synthetic nootropic. It was developed as a more potent and efficient alternative to piracetam.

This nootropic is part of the racetam family, a group of synthetic compounds similar in both chemical structure and mechanism of action.

Aniracetam’s main mechanism of action is to stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly glutamate. In higher doses, it is also a weak MAO inhibitor.

As with all racetams, the mechanisms of action are not fully known.

These are the main mechanisms of action and known effects on the nervous system.

Aniracetam and AMPA receptors

AMPA receptors are activated by the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Aniracetam binds to AMPA receptors, enhancing their response to glutamate activation and causing the release of norepinephrine [1, 2].
Aniracetam slows the desensitization of AMPA receptors to glutamate. Desensitization occurs when receptors no longer respond or respond less effectively to neurotransmitters after prolonged exposure [3].
Aniracetam also binds to another class of glutamate receptors called kainate receptors and increases the effects of glutamate stimulation [4].
Aniracetam increases acetylcholine transmission in the brain. Such effects are called cholinergic effects [5].
Aniracetam increases serotonin levels in some areas of the brain (cortex and striatum) while decreasing them in others (hypothalamus). At the same time, Aniracetam slightly decreases dopamine levels in some brain areas (striatum and hypothalamus) and [6].

The main reason people take Aniracetam is to improve cognitive function, enhance memory and improve mood. Also, its antidepressant effect and its effect on sensory function – improving vision and hearing.

Studies do not provide a clear answer as to whether Aniracetam causes these effects. Most of the evidence for such effects comes from users who test nootropics on themselves and describe their effects on the Internet. There are many positive and detailed descriptions of Aniracetam’s effects.

Users describe benefits for concentration, social anxiety, memory, attention, awareness and good mood. Also its antidepressant effects and increased motivation. This is not strictly scientific evidence but it would be a mistake to ignore these reviews.

Benefits and effects of aniracetam

Aniracetam has been known for a long time and well studied. Studies seem to confirm its effectiveness as a nootropic agent.

Aniracetam has several documented positive properties and effects.

Improves memory and learning ability

Aniracetam can improve long-term memory and even reverse the effects of memory impairment.‍ This is one of the primary reasons why people use this nootropic drug [7].

Aniracetam has been studied on healthy people. In these studies, it not only improved memory but also improved vision, motor skills and intellectual performance [8].

Aniracetam was found to improve memory by positively affecting the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain – acetylcholine, serotonin, glutamate and dopamine [9]‍[10].

Limited studies in mice failed to confirm the memory-enhancing effects. This suggests that Aniracetam in this regard may only have a positive effect on individuals with memory impairment [11].

Increased focus and concentration

Aniracetam is considered one of the most effective nootropics for improving focus and concentration. For this reason, it is used to treat people with ADHD [12].

Its effects on acetylcholine, dopamine and other neurotransmitters strongly support this hypothesis.

Aniracetam also acts as an ampakine, stimulating glutamate receptors involved in memory coding and brain neuroplasticity.

Reducing anxiety

Aniracetam acts as an anxiolytic meaning it reduces anxiety, including social anxiety. It effectively reduces anxiety and enhances social behavior in rats. This is probably done by raising serotonin and dopamine levels in the CNS.

There have been no extensive human studies on anxiety reduction. However, elderly people with dementia who took aniracetam experienced a marked reduction in anxiety. Also, many people who use Aniracetam on their own have used it successfully precisely to reduce anxiety [13][14]‍[15].

Antidepressant properties

Aniracetam has proven antidepressant properties. Official studies have been conducted on rats. It reduced immobility and brain dysfunction – factors indicative of depression. Extensive human studies have not been conducted. This property of Aniracetam is one of the main reasons for the use of this drug by people using it on their own [16].

Aniracetam’s antidepressant properties may be due to the release of neurotransmitters in the brain – dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine.

Treatment of dementia

It can be an effective drug for people with dementia. That’s what research suggests, and for this reason, among others, it is prescribed to the elderly.

Patients who had dementia and were given Aniracetam had significantly better cognitive performance, functioned better, had a better mood and were more emotionally stable[17].

Mechanisms of action

How drugs interact in the human body is often little known. Sometimes it is one big mystery. The exact mechanisms of action of aniracetam are also not fully understood. However, there are strong indications to explain the mechanisms – raising levels of serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters.

Aniracetam is a fat-soluble compound. It is metabolized in the liver and then rapidly absorbed and transported to other parts of the body. It quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier. Perceptible effects can appear after only about 30 minutes [18].

Aniracetam increases the production of key neurotransmitters in the brain associated with mood, memory and cognitive functions:

Acetylcholine – Aniracetam improves overall cognitive function primarily by increasing the activity of the acetylcholine system, which plays a key role in memory, attention, learning speed and other cognitive processes. It works by binding to acetylcholine receptors, inhibiting receptor desensitization and increasing the synaptic release of acetylcholine.

Aniracetam has been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. These neurotransmitters alleviate depressive states, increase energy levels and cause reduced anxiety. By binding to dopamine and serotonin receptors, aniracetam inhibits the breakdown of these two neurotransmitters. This makes it an effective mood enhancer and anti-anxiety agent.

Glutamate transmission – Aniracetam may be effective in improving memory, learning and information storage because it improves glutamate transmission. It binds to and stimulates AMPA receptors and glutamate receptors, which are strongly associated with information storage and the formation of new memories. It can improve neuroplasticity for long periods of time [19].


It is often the case that nootropics work better in synergy with other drugs. The same is true of Aniracetam.

Aniracetam and choline stack

Adding an additional source of choline is usually recommended when taking all racetams. Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, Acetylcholine is involved in memory formation and learning. Racetams consume a certain amount of acetylcholine, so it is a good idea to supplement these deficiencies.

Alpha-GPC or CDP-choline itself has nootropic properties. They provide the building blocks for acetocholine.

When taking Aniracetam, this is especially important because it also works by stimulating the cholinergic system. By replenishing the choline supply, we enhance the effects of Aniracetam. At the same time, we can eliminate potential side effects in the form of headaches.

The combination of Aniracetam and Alpha-GPC may look like this:

Aniracetam 800 mg and Alpha-GPC 300 mg – 2 times a day.

If we want to stack Aniracetam with another racetam, it could be Oxiracetam or Coluracatam.

In the case of Oxiracetam, we take the same amount as Aniracetam. Both of these racetams work with similar potency. Coluracetam, on the other hand, is much stronger. Coluracetam also has the interesting property that it enhances the effects of other racetams. We can add it from 10 to 20 milligrams to each dose of Aniracetam.

Aniracetam 800 mg and Oxiracetam 800 mg – 2 times a day.
Aniracetam 400 mg and Coluracetam 10-20 mg – 2 times a day.

Side Effects

Aniracetam does not cause many side effects. If they do occur, they are slight and short-lived.

Most commonly, weak headaches occur with racetams. This can be easily remedied by administering an easily absorbed source of choline (for example, Alpha-GPC).

At high doses, slight nervousness and slight sleep problems may occur. This can be remedied by lowering doses of the drug.