December 7, 2020

Aniracetam is a supplement that belongs to a special class of drugs known as synthetic nootropics, which means it does not occur naturally in the body. Hence it has to be taken as a supplement. A Nootropic is a drug or substance which is believed to enhance cognitive function.

History of Aniracetam

Aniracetam was discovered in the 1970s by F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, a Swiss multinational healthcare company. The company patented it in 1978 as a brain booster and stimulant.

It belongs to a class of nootropics known as racetam nootropics, including similar drugs like piracetam. The chemical name is 1-p-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone, which is a real tongue-twister.

How Does It Work?

Aniracetam affects the brain positively in several ways, but below mentioned three main effects had been proposed as the main mechanisms of action:

Enhancing the Action of Glutamate 

Most of the drug is metabolized within the brain into its active metabolites, N-anisoyl-GABA (70-80%), 2-pyrrolidinone, and p-anisic acid (20–30%). These active metabolites positively modify a group of receptors within the brain called AMPA receptors.

The AMPA receptors act as a gateway that shuttles glutamate within the brain cells. Over time the amount of glutamate the receptors allow within the brain is reduced due to a natural process called desensitization

The active metabolites of Aniracetam bind to the receptor and prevent this process from happening. This increases the amount of glutamate available within the brain. This increase in glutamate levels increases cognitive function, memory and is also neuroprotective.

Promoting Dopamine and Serotonin Levels

Aniracetam has been found to increase the concentration of dopamine and serotonin in certain sections of the brain. These include parts of the brain involved in social interaction and mood stability.

The overall effect is an increase in sociability and improved mood. This also has some anxiolytic properties, which means it can help reduce anxiety.

Increasing Acetylcholine Production

Acetylcholine is a naturally occurring substance found within the body and, most importantly, in the brain. Falling acetylcholine levels are associated with a decrease in cognition, memory function, and mood stability.

Reduced acetylcholine levels are one of the major contributing factors in Alzheimer’s disease. Aniracetam boosts acetylcholine production within the brain, replenishing our natural stores and warding off the gradual mental decline associated with aging.

That is why Aniracetam is a great supplement for those who are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or are genetically predisposed to the condition. For adequate acetylcholine production, it’s best to combine Aniracetam with a choline supplement.

Functions of Aniracetam

  • Cognitive enhancer: Aniracetam increases cognitive function by increasing the levels of glutamate and acetylcholine within the brain. This makes it a popular study aid and prophylactic supplement against memory decline as we get older.
  • Neurotransmitter booster: Aniracetam promotes the levels of several key neurotransmitters like glutamate, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine within the brain. This improves brain health in a wide range of ways.
  • Stimulant:  There is some anecdotal evidence that Aniracetam may also function as a stimulant and increase productivity. It sharpens focus, staves off brain fag, and allows you to recover more quickly from mental fatigue. Most importantly, unlike other stimulants, there is no “crash” phase associated with this drug.
  • Memory optimization: Aniracetam increases the production of acetylcholine within the brain, especially when used in conjunction with a choline supplement. This enhances memory capacity, recall and sharpens focus.
  • Neuroprotection: Aniracetam is fat-soluble and can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier (a special membrane that prevents harmful substances from passing from the blood into brain tissue). Within the brain, it protects neurons from damage and promotes the regeneration of damaged or aging neurons.
  • Increased creativity: Some evidence points towards the added benefit of Aniracetam as a creativity aid. By increasing communication between both hemispheres of the brain, it promotes innovation and resourcefulness.
  • Helpful in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: Current research shows that reduced acetylcholine levels are a pivotal mechanism behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. By increasing levels of this important neurotransmitter within the brain, Aniracetam is useful in preventing and treating both these conditions.
  • Anxiolytic and antidepressant properties: Imbalances in serotonin and dopamine within the brain are closely linked with the development of anxiety and depression. Some evidence suggests that Aniracetam may be helpful in the management of such conditions. It was also shown to improve the quality of sleep, appetite, and weight maintenance.


How to Take Aniracetam

Aniracetam is sold as a tablet, capsule, or powder. Most tablets and capsules are usually 750 mg each. The recommended dose is 1500 mg per day but can be safely raised to 3000 mg per day if needed.

It is usually taken as two 750 mg doses, typically one in the morning and one in the early afternoon. Avoid taking Aniracetam at night due to its stimulant properties, which may disturb your sleeping patterns.

For optimal results, take Aniracetam with a choline supplement. Also, since the drug is fat-soluble, it should be taken with meals that contain healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, or omega-3 oils.

Side Effects

Aniracetam is generally well-tolerated and should have no serious side effects. However, some rare side effects may include:

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • nausea
  • vomiting 
  • irritability
  • insomnia


These usually occur when unnaturally high doses of Aniracetam is taken. Headaches are a common sign of choline deficiency and can be prevented by supplementing Aniracetam with adequate choline amounts.


Aniracetam is an effective and safe cognitive supplement with numerous benefits. The drug is sold under prescription within Europe but can be purchased online by several USA vendors as a non-dietary supplement. Aniracetam is most effective when combined with a healthy diet, exercise, and adequate sleep.

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