Aniractem: What you should know
Last Updated: April 10, 2022
Image by SEAN824/Getty Images
What it is
Aniracetam is a nootropic that purports to improve anxiety, increase performance and limit cognitive decline.
It also goes by the names Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Ro 13-5057 and Sarpul.
Aniracetam can help those suffering from cognitive disorders, but is primarily used for its ability to stimulate mental performance.
It is a member of the racetam family.
Whilst it is a derivative of piracetam, due to a difference in molecular shape, aniracetam is more easily absorbed and has a larger impact.
Preliminary studies show aniracetam works by increasing the sensitivity of AMPA receptors to reduce anxiety, improve and protect memory capability.
This has not been replicated extensively in humans and the majority of studies have been performed using rats.
In humans, aniracetam has been used for its potential to reduce dementia.
Mechanism of action
The mechanism of action is complicated and not well understood in humans. However there is a rudimentary model for how it works according to animal models.
Aniracetam works to increase levels of numerous neurotransmitters in the body such as acetylcholine, GABA and dopamine.
It is able to bind to AMPA receptors, altering the shape of the receptor.
AMPA stimulation releases a cascade of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline .
Aniracetam stimulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors .
The net result is a supposedly wide range of beneficial mental effects.
Aniracetam appears to be absorbed in under 30 minutes, and is rapidly metabolized, with higher doses prolonging excretion.
1. Possibly decreases anxiety and depressive symptoms
Aniracetam is a neuroprotective drug that has been found to clinically decrease anxiety in impaired subjects .
It is proposed that it does this by altering our serotonin, dopamine and choline interactions.
The symptoms of depression were reduced in a study on rats forced to undergo a stressful physical test .
It did this by stimulating nicotonic acetylcholine receptors.
The antidepressant effects of aniracetam were stronger in rats with impaired cognition compared to normal rats.
Aniracetam may enhance also serotonin by mediating the action of GABA .
The neurotransmitter GABA can improve mood and anxiety.
2. Protect against neurological impairment
Dementia symptoms can significantly affect quality of life. Aniracetam appears to ease symptoms in those with mild symptoms of dementia.
In a study of 276 seniors with advanced dementia, Aniracetam supplementation outperformed alternative treatments .
These patients underwent treatment with either aniracetam, cholinesterase inhibitors or aniracetam combined with cholinesterase inhibitors.
The group taking aniracetam performed the best on cognitive tests at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment, maintaining these benefits for the duration of the study.
Furthermore, mood improved at 3 months.
However, it is likely that these improvements are evident far sooner than 3 months, as this time was due to the study parameters.
Taking aniracetam appears to be exert a beneficial effect on emotional stability for dementia patients.
A double-blind randomised study examined the the effects of aniracetam in 150 patients .
Aniracetam was observed to result in a statistically significant improvement in behavioural parameters.
A second group taking piracetam found also had improvement in mental clarity, but aniracetam had greater benefit.
The drug tolerability was excellent in both groups.
Aniracetam dosage of 1500 mg/day was significantly more effective than placebo in all cognitive tests . Preliminary evidence suggests that the safe tolerability of aniracetam lends itself to further evaluation.
3. Possibly Improves memory and learning
The benefits of aniracetam are promising for learning and neuroplasticity.
However most of the benefits have been found in those who have an existing neurological deficit.
Through AMPA modulation, Ampakines like aniracetam & piracetam can upregulate BDNF .
In one study, aniracetam supplementation of 10-100 mg/kg per day led to normalisation of deficient mental function .
These subjects were mentally impaired, and aniracetam reversed these impairments.
Safety & Dosage
Animal studies use oral doses between 10 mg/kg bodyweight and 100 mg/kg bodyweight with no side effects .
In clinical studies of senile adults, dosage of 1500 mg/day was well tolerated .
It is likely that healthy adults can tolerate this dosage without issue.
Intravenous intake is not recommended as toxicity has been reported at 50 mg/kg dosage .
The potential side effects include jitteriness, headache, insomnia, vomiting and irritability.
How to take and buy
Most supplement companies sell aniracetam at dosages of 500-750 mg.
Aniracetam is fat-soluble and should be taken with a fat-containing meal.
However it appears to be taken up in the gut, even in a fasted state.
It is important to follow the recommended dosages.
Aniracetam has a bitter taste, which should be a consideration for those who want to purchase powder formulations.
Aniracetam is safely tolerated at dosages of 1500 mg/day.
Aniracetam has been shown to have clinical benefits for adults suffering from cognitive decline at this dose.
As with other nootropics, healthy people have limited benefit compared to those who are unhealthy.