Aniracetam – Benefits, How it works, Side effects, Dosage

Aniracetam is a bitter, fat-soluble ampakine and nootropic drug of the racetam class which possesses anxiolytic properties.

Also Known AsDraganon, Sarpul, Ampamet, Memodrin, Referan, N-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone
Main benefits
  • Reduces anxiety[3]
  • Enhances memory and learning[4][5][6]
  • Has neuroprotective properties [4]
  • Possesses antidepressant properties[7]
  • Increases motivation and drive[8]
Synergistic with
Typical dose750 mg
Half-life1-2.5 hours
Main mechanism of actionAffects 5-HT2A, nAChr, and D2 receptors
Where to BuyNootrostop



Aniracetam’s effects vary from person to person, however, it generally increases memory capacity and reduces anxiety. Reported anecdotal benefits of this drug include:

  • Enhanced focus, concentration and attention
  • Improved alertness
  • Enhanced vision
  • Increased mental endurance
  • Enhanced musical perception
  • Enhanced train of thought
  • Enhanced verbal fluency
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced brain fog

Side effects

Aniracetam is generally safe and no serious side effects have been reported from supplementation of this drug. However, as it is a drug of the racetam class it can induce acetylcholine-deficiency symptoms, some of which include:

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog

All of the above mentioned side effects can be easily remedied by increasing choline intake. The best way to do this is via supplementation of an acetylcholine precursor, such as choline bitartrate or a more high quality Alpha-GPC. While Alpha-GPC has a higher bioavailability than choline bitartrate, the difference between the two is subjective.

Aniracetam also possesses side effects of its own, some of which include:

  • Unrest
  • Anxiety
  • Uneasiness
  • Insomnia
  • Somnolence
  • Vertigo
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

How it works

Like many other racetam drugs, Aniracetam modulates the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and glutamate, which are implicated in learning and memory. It is also a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor as well as the NMDA receptor.[1]

Aniracetam stimulates the hippocampal cholinergic pathways by eliciting an increase of acetylcholine release from the hippocampus.[2]

The anxiolytic effect stems from the fact that this drug modulates the nicotinic acetylcholine, 5-HT2A and dopamine D2 receptors, as administration of haloperidol, a typical antipsychotic that acts on these receptors, completely reversed the anxiolytic effects of Aniracetam.[3]

Aniracetam also seems to increase the expression of BDNF, an important protein found in the brain that promotes the growth of new neurons and synapses as well as insuring the survivability of existing neurons.[9]

Dosage and how to take Aniracetam

While there is no standard dosage for Aniracetam, many find 750 mg taken 3x daily to work for them. However, some may require a higher dosage, some a lower dosage. Unlike Piracetam which generally takes more than 2 weeks for its effects to appear, some of Aniracetam’s effects should be apparent the first time you take it.

Because it is fat-soluble, you have to take it after a fat-containing meal. If you are taking powdered Aniracetam on an empty stomach then you must use a type of oil, such as canola or olive oil, to dissolve the powder. If you are taking capped Aniracetam then you can just simply take it with water after you had a meal or with fish oil on an empty stomach provided you take enough fish oil. A good ratio for taking fish oil with Aniracetam is 2:1, that is 2 capsules of 1000 mg fish oil for 1 capsule of 750 mg Aniracetam.

It is recommended you start off by taking Aniracetam alone with no choline source. If you experience headache or brain fog then you can start taking a choline source. There are many choline supplements on the market. Some of them include:

  • Choline Bitartrate
  • Choline Citrate
  • Lecithin
  • CDP-Choline (or Citicoline)
  • Alpha-GPC

CDP-Choline actually has some benefits of its own, including increasing focus, attention as well as energy. These effects are mediated by the increase of dopamine receptor density as well as acetylcholine receptor density in the brain. Click here to learn more about Choline and what it does.


This drug is metabolized by the liver into two main metabolites.

  • Bioavailability: 97-100%
  • Half-Life: 0.5 to 2.5 hours
  • Metabolism: Liver
  • Main metabolites: N-anisoyl-GABA and 2-pyrrolidinone
  • Excretion: Urinary

Buying Aniracetam

Aniracetam is available in bulk powdered form, or in capsules. Powdered Aniracetam is always cheaper than its capped alternative.

Visit the Where to Buy Nootropics page to locate an online nootropic vendor that stocks Aniracetam.


  1. Pittaluga, Anna, Andrea Bonfanti, Daniela Arvigo, and M. Raiteri. “Aniracetam, 1-BCP and Cyclothiazide Differentially Modulate the Function of NMDA and AMPA Receptors Mediating Enhancement of Noradrenaline Release in Rat Hippocampal Slices.” Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology (2002): n. pag. SpringerLink. Springer Science Business Media, 21 Apr. 1999. Web.
  2. Giovannini, Maria Grazia, Paola Rodinò, Donatella Mutolo, and Gincarlo Pepeu. “Oxiracetam and Aniracetam Increase Acetylcholine Release from the Rat Hippocampus in Vivo.” Drug Development Research 28.4 (2004): 503-09. Wiley Online Library. Web.
  3. K, Nakamura, and Kurasawa M. “Anxiolytic Effects of Aniracetam in Three Different Mouse Models of Anxiety and the Underlying Mechanism.” European Journal of Pharmacology (2001): n. pag. PubMed. Web.
  4. Vaglenova, Julia, Noemi Pandiella, Nayana Wijayawardhane, Tiru Vaithianathan, Sandjay Birru, Charles Breese, Vishnu Suppiramaniam, and Clark Randal. “Aniracetam Reversed Learning and Memory Deficits Following Prenatal Ethanol Exposure by Modulating Functions of Synaptic AMPA Receptors.” Neuropsychopharmacology 33 (2008): 1071-083. Nature. Web.
  5. Cumin, R., E. F. Bandle, E. Gamzu, and W. E. Haefely. “Effects of the Novel Compound Aniracetam (Ro 13-5057) upon Impaired Learning and Memory in Rodents.” PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY 78.2 (1982): 104-11. SpringerLink. Web.
  6. Yan Rao, Peng Xiao, Shi-Tong Xu, Effects of intrahippocampal aniracetam treatment on Y-maze avoidance learning performance and behavioral long-term potentiation in dentate gyrus in rat, Neuroscience Letters, Volume 298, Issue 3, 9 February 2001, Pages 183-186, ISSN 0304-3940, 10.1016/S0304-3940(00)01744-4.
  7. K, Nakamura, and Tanaka Y. “Antidepressant-like Effects of Aniracetam in Aged Rats and Its Mode of Action.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 158.2 (2001): 205-12. UK PubMed Central. Web..
  8. Kazuo Nakamura, Mitsue Kurasawa, Aniracetam restores motivation reduced by satiation in a choice reaction task in aged rats, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 68, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 65-69, ISSN 0091-3057, 10.1016/S0091-3057(00)00440-8.
  9. X, Wu, Zhu D, Jiang X, Okagaki P, Mearow K, Zhu G, McCall S, Banaudha K, Lipsky RH, and Marini Am. “AMPA Protects Cultured Neurons against Glutamate Excitotoxicity through a Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent Activation in Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinase to Upregulate BDNF Gene Expression.” Journal of Neurochemistry 90.4 (2004): 807-18. National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2004. Web.

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