Whenever the best brain supplements for depression and anxiety are discussed, Aniracetam is usually mentioned a lot due to its capabilities in these areas.
And while anxiety, memory, better mental performance, and depression are what many people know it for, it also helps with other different areas of the brain.
Here, we will be discussing Aniracetam at length and how good it really is as a nootropic.
What is Aniracetam
Aniracetam is one of the most common nootropics that people know and find effective in improving cognitive functions.
Unlike many popular brain enhancement supplements that are natural, Aniracetam is made synthetically from the lab.
Some of the areas it has been found to be effective in improving include moods, memory, learning abilities, focus, concentration, dementia, creativity, easy concept association that helps with problem-solving tasks such as working on getting a puzzle together, as well as creativity and depression.
It falls under the category of nootropics called Racetams. All racetams share a similar chemical structure where a pyrrolidone nucleus is present in all of them.
Actually, Aniracetam was created to be a more powerful racetam than Piracetam, which was the first racetam to be made, and they both share many similarities.
Aniracetam was discovered by Hoffman-LaRoche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company back in the 1970s and it is an approved substance in Europe where it is used as prescription medication.
However, it is not approved by the FDA (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration) in the United States.
It is also unregulated in the UK and Canada.
Other names used to refer to Aniracetam include N-aniosyl-2-pyrrolidinone, memodrin, Referan, Sarpul, Draganon, Ampamet, Pergamid, and RO 135057, to name a few.
How Does Aniracetam Work
Aniracetam is believed to have an influence on a number of neurotransmitters in the brain that are linked to memory, moods, and cognition.
Although it has not been fully established how exactly it works, animal studies and experimental data have revealed some of the brain regions that it affects.
To start with, Aniracetam is fat-soluble, which makes it easy to be absorbed into the bloodstream, especially when taken with fatty acids and crosses the blood-brain barrier faster compared to other racetams like Piracetam, which is water-soluble.
This makes it faster acting and allows the users to feel its effects within a very short period of time.
Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier, Aniracetam is known to affect various neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Studies show that it reduces dopamine levels in brain regions like the hypothalamus and striatum, and reduces serotonin levels in the hypothalamus while increasing it in the striatum and cortex (1)(2).
By binding to the serotonin and dopamine receptors, Aniracetam is able to regulate these two neurotransmitters and ensure their levels are well-balanced.
This in turn helps to increase energy levels in the body, improve moods, reduce depression and anxiety (3).
The other neurotransmitter that Aniracetam effects is Acetylcholine by binding to its receptors, which increases the levels of Acetylcholine as well as the sensitivity of the receptors (4).
Acetylcholine is associated with attention span, memory, arousal, learning abilities, and other processes related to cognition. And when its levels increase, these functions are enhanced (5).
Also, Aniracetam is said to bind to two glutamate receptors known as AMPA and Kainate receptors. This activity increases the stimulation and transmission of glutamate that has memory improving benefits (6)(7)(8)(9)(10).
Benefits of Aniracetam
When it comes to the benefits that Aniracetam is said to provide the users, there is a lot of contrasting information. Some say that the benefits are visible while others say otherwise.
And although Aniracetam has been around for a good while now, the research studies done on it have been mostly animal studies. Human studies are very few.
The reason why animal studies, especially involving rats, are used is that they tend to have better measures and control.
While previous users of this nootropic have reported brain improvement benefits, it is not a guarantee that it works well for everyone who uses it.
Some of the benefits associated with Aniracetam include:
1. Reducing anxiety – Animal studies on how effective Aniracetam is for anxiety have given mixed results. Some studies show that it contains anxiolytic effects that can help with different types of disorders related to anxiety as well as social-related issues while other studies say it has no anxiety-reducing effects at all (11)(12).
Currently, there are no human studies that have been done on Aniracetam which have been specifically aimed at this aspect.
But a study on the effect of Aniracetam on people with dementia showed that it brought down anxiety levels in the participants (13).
Also, when it comes to the users who have used it for anxiety, some have reported good results but others said it didn’t help them.
One study that involved more than 200 elderly patients with dementia who received different interventions including Aniracetam revealed that Aniracetam brought better results than other interventions such as monotherapy and it also improved moods and cognitive function in patients (17)(18).
Another study that involved elderly patients who were suffering from mild to moderate cognitive issues linked to a type of senile dementia known as Alzheimer’s disease showed that Aniracetam had a positive impact on the patients. Although, more trials are needed to determine how effective it really is and which degree of this condition does Aniracetam best deal with (19)(20).
3. Dealing with depression – While Aniracetam has shown potency in reducing depression and encouraging positive moods in various animal studies, no human studies have been done to determine how well these abilities apply to humans (21).
Studies have shown that due to its influence on various neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine as well as AMPA receptors, it may have a positive impact on moods, appetite, and quality of sleep (22)(23).
4. Increasing focus and concentration – Based on Aniracetam’s mechanism of action, it can be concluded that it does provide an improvement in these cognitive functions.
Since it has an effect on dopamine and acetylcholine, among other neurotransmitters associated with focus and concentration, it can be said that Aniracetam can be a useful method to enhance these functions (24).
However, since there are no human studies to support that, this area remains unconfirmed.
The few animal studies that have been carried out around this aspect have brought different results. Some studies have found that it does reduce behavior that indicates distraction and reduced impulsivity and others showed that it doesn’t affect and cognitive function in mice (25)(26).
It has also been found to heighten attentiveness that has been impaired by amorphine, which is a chemical found in rats, and also, enhances memory problems that have been brought about by lack of sleep.
The fact that it acts on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine that are closely linked to these functions, it shows that it also plays a role in improving them (30)(31)(32).
There have been studies on both humans and animals that have indicated Aniracetam’s ability to enhance memory.
Starting with human studies, a study revealed that since it modulates AMPA receptors, it is able to boost some aspects of the memory such as motor performance, visual recognition, and general intellectual performance (33).
Animal studies have also shown that it is able to cause a reversal of impairment of the memory and boost functional memory too. Although, it only works on those who have memory problems, not on the healthy ones (34)(35).
6. Dealing with brain damage – Aniracetam has also been found to have potent abilities to manage brain damage.
The few studies that have been done on animals have shown that it increased the flow of blood to the brain and AMPA receptors in rats while led to improved memory and general behavior, and reversing fetal alcohol syndrome effects (36)(37)(38)(39).
Aniracetam can be a good way to deal with brain damage if more research can be done on it.
Human trials on this aspect have however proven hard to carry out due to the danger that they may pose to the participants.
7. Improving sleep – Aniracetam has also portrayed the ability to improve the regular sleeping cycle and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in rats. It could be a reliable medication in enhancing REM sleep issues that are associated with vascular dementia (40).
Aniracetam User Reviews
While we believe that reading user reviews will give you an idea of how people who are using the nootropic are finding it, we strongly encourage you not to rely on this information as a replacement for professional medical advice or as a reason to not check with your doctor before trying it out or for serious cognitive disorders.
This is only for informational purposes and these are only experiences of other users who may have different health statuses from yours in terms of brain and body. Always visit a doctor before trying out any intervention that may affect you physically and mentally.
This is the first time I’ve ever taken something that truly has improved my cognitive capacity. My mind has never been so clear. This was my first day taking it. I took 750mg, 3x throughout the day. I have been battling with severe stress, anxiety and depression. For the first time I feel optimistic. I could actually bear myself and to complete my studying/work. Usually: things don’t work on me, I am a real drug pessimist. I am absolutely blown away by how therapeutic this is for me. I am able to see things clearer and make better decisions. I know for some people, they don’t feel Aniracetam for up to a month. But I couldn’t imagine this getting any better. I am almost excited about waking up early and being productive tomorrow.
I too had a great first week with Aniracetam under similar dosage, but with much less choline. Since then it’s been a disappointment. Haven’t figured out why yet. 30/m, 165 lbs, and I got mine at nsn. Checking my log book I see I stopped taking it with an oil or fat. Maybe I’ll retry that. I hope yours good experience continues!
Aniracetam has severly reduced my anxiety, has allowed me to take back control of my life and has given me a new sense of purpose through increased mental clarity, focus and motivation.
I’ve done a self-experiment with Aniracetam and Piracetam. Nothing rigorous, but I used each racetam for an extensive period and wrote down how and when I was feeling the effects. I first used Anriacetam for about 2-3 months both for focus and socializing purposes. I didn’t notice any effects of Aniracetam on focus (no negative or positive effects), but I relate to many people’s experience that Aniracetam made it easier to socialize and made my words flow more easily. I have recently switched to Piracetam (about a month into it), and I notice positive effects on both focus and verbal fluency. I haven’t been to any social occasions while I was taking Piracetam so I can’t speak to Piracetam’s effect on my sociability personally. Overall, I find that Piracetam works better for me compared to Aniracetam in terms of focus and verbal fluency. Looking into Piracetam over Aniracetam is something you may want to think about.
How to Take Aniracetam
You will find most Aniracetam supplements being sold in 750mg per capsule (although you can find it in powder form too). Taking two 750mg capsules per day, which totals 1500mg per day has been found to be generally safe and can have a substantial amount of effect on the users (46).
It is always advisable to start with the lowest dosage possible and slowly climb your way up to the optimal dosage.
It is also very important to follow the instructions on the label of the product you work with.
Seeking medical advice before taking Aniracetam is strongly recommended so that your doctor can help you determine if it will be a good fit for you.
Some users have reported good results when they combined Aniracetam with fatty acids or a choline source.
You should also not overdose as the positive effects of Aniracetam fade away as you increase the dosage and this may also put you at risk.
The effects start kicking in within a time span of around 30 to 40 minutes and its half-life is 1 to 3 hours. So, to keep the effects going on for you, you may have to repeat the dosage after a few hours.
Best Aniracetam Stack
Stacking is when you take more than one supplement all at once for a certain reason.
Aniracetam is a good supplement that brings about reliable effects when taken alone but when stacked with other specific supplements, it increases its value in your brain and body and lessens the negative effects you might experience when you take it alone.
Some of the best Aniracetam stacks include:
* Aniracetam with other racetams – Since Aniracetam has a short half-life, stacking it with other racetams like oxiracetam and Piracetam May increase the period of time which you get to enjoy the brain-boosting effects of it.
Doing this may also enhance the value of effects you get out of Aniracetam like in areas such as dealing with anxiety and depression. Pramiracetam and phenylpiracetam are also great additions to Aniracetam. Also, taking a choline source such as Citicoline or Alpha GPC improves the effect of racetams.
* Aniracetam with -afinils – Combining Aniracetam with -afinils such as modafinil, armodafinil, and adrafinil helps with increasing the focus and mental stimulation and since they affect the brain differently, the variety may increase the effect of Aniracetam generally.
* Aniracetam with choline – Many users who have taken Aniracetam on its own have reported headaches and this can be traced back to insufficient acetylcholine in the brain while Aniracetam is taking action. So combating that with a choline source like Citicoline or Alpha GPC can help reduce the side effects as well as help increase acetylcholine levels that will make Aniracetam even more effective.
* Aniracetam with pre-stacked blends – There are certain nootropics that come stacked by the manufacturer for those people who want to try out nootropic stacks. Examples of these are Qualia Mind, Mind Lab Pro, and Alpha Brain. Due to legal restrictions on Aniracetam in different countries, Aniracetam has been left out in these stacks, and combining it with them can be a good idea.
However, you should make sure that your country allows it and you should also use them with caution as taking too many supplements may have a negative effect on you.
You can start out with 750mg of Aniracetam and 1 capsule of Qualia Mind, Alpha Brain, or Mind Lab Pro and then you can go up to the optimal dosage when you feel comfortable and ready.
Things to keep in mind when stacking are:
– When taking racetams together, you should consider taking a lower dose of each than you would when you are taking it individually. For instance, instead of taking 750mg of Aniracetam together with other racetams, you should take about 400mg.
– it is also recommended that you first try out each of the supplements individually before you stack them so that you assess how you respond to each.
The known side effects of Aniracetam are mild and few when it is taken using the right dosage.
These side effects include diarrhea, loss of inhibition, irritability, nausea, insomnia, vomiting, uneasiness, jitteriness, vertigo, anxiety, and headaches (47).
As earlier mentioned, users have found that taking a choline source together with Aniracetam helps to reduce the headaches and nausea.
However, these side effects don’t occur to all the users. They vary from one person to the other and there are those who have taken it without experiencing any problems.
It all depends on how well your body and brain respond to the nootropic.
If you overdose, there are chances of having digestive issues or extreme nervousness or all of them. In such a case, reducing your dosage helps to handle that.
Ideally, you should seek to visit a doctor before you try out any supplements including Aniracetam, especially if you are in other prescription medications or have another health condition you are battling.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women and children and discouraged from taking it too as the effects on them have not been determined.
Also, avoid taking it when you are about to sleep or you will have trouble sleeping.
As you take Aniracetam, it is essential that you track your progress with it and when you notice that you are not getting what you expect from it or you are probably getting worse, you should stop taking it and seek immediate expert medical attention.