Aniracetam: Review of Nootropic Benefits, Uses, & Side Effects

Updated on February 16, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Overview of Aniracetam's nootropic benefits, uses, and potential side effects for cognitive enhancement.

Aniracetam (also known as N-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone and Draganon) is a widely recognized nootropic compound classified under the racetam family (a class of cognitive enhancers).

Aniracetam has currently gained popularity in the nootropics community based on its cognitive-enhancing properties and potential use in treating neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

As a member of the racetam group, Aniracetam shares similarities with other racetams, including Oxiracetam, Piracetam, and Pramiracetam. 

This article will delve into the world of Aniracetam, exploring its mechanisms of action, benefits, side effects, and where to buy Aniracetam.

Read on to learn more about the factual data surrounding this nootropic agent!

What is Aniracetam?

Aniracetam is a nootropic supplement that has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function. It boosts the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is important for learning and memory recall. It also boosts dopamine and serotonin, allowing users to focus clearly.

Aniracetam was developed as a more potent nootropic than Piracetam. These two have a similar chemical structure as other racetams that work primarily to support the production of neurotransmitters.

However, Aniracetam is a fat-soluble, fast-acting nootropic. Aniracetam quickly enters the brain and provides potent results for your cognitive performance.

Additionally, the clinical data collected during numerous studies with Aniracetam showcase its potential nootropic for people wanting both neuroprotective and anxiolytic effects.


  • Enhances cognitive performance for increased productivity
  • Neuroprotective properties that potentially reduce and prevent brain damage
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects
  • Mood enhancer that stimulates feel-good neurotransmitters
  • Potential to treat ADHD symptoms


  • Limited research available 
  • Short half-life (users must dose at least twice a day)

Mechanism of Action

Aniracetam (also known as N-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone and Draganon), a member of the racetam family, is a novel therapeutic nootropic (smart drug). Aniracetam was first developed primarily for its cognitive-enhancing properties and its potential to treat various cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Aniracetam is structurally related to the pioneer nootropic, piracetam, but exhibits its unique set of effects and benefits. Unlike piracetam, aniracetam is fat-soluble, which means it’s absorbed rapidly in the body.

Aniracetam is not a new drug, it was developed in the 1970s by a pharmaceutical company called Hoffman-La Roche.

An overview of this nootropic drug shows its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties. Aniracetam works as a stimulant for mental enhancement that keeps you awake and alert.

Once in the brain, Aniracetam performs acts that are connected to cognitive functions. It helps release dopamine through the AMPA and glutamate receptors.

It increases glutamate receptor activity as it binds with other glutamate receptors like kainate receptors.

Like most nootropics, Aniracetam’s effects are often brought by the increased acetylcholine transmission. This leads to improved learning and enhanced memory.

The modulation of AMPA receptors may be the reason for Aneracetam’s cognitive enhancing effects, as it promotes synaptic plasticity and AMPA neurotransmitter concentration.(1)

Lastly, Aneracetam increases the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

How does Aneracetam do all of this?

Well, it does this via the cholinergic mechanisms found within the prefrontal cortex of the human brain. This is what may contribute to Aneracetam’s effects of improving mood and overall happiness.

Nootropic Benefits of Aniracetam

Aniracetam, a prominent nootropic, has been extensively researched for its range of cognitive and neurological advantages. Nakamura K led pioneering studies on aniracetam in three different mouse models, shedding light on the multifaceted Aniracetam benefits.(2)

These investigations using three different rat models have underlined its impact on cholinergic systems, which play a crucial role in memory and attention. 

As the scientific community delves deeper, the aniracetam benefits continue to unfold, positioning it as a promising compound for enhancing cognitive functions.

1. Increased Mental Energy and Alertness

Another effect seen in most users is feelings of energy and euphoria. This can be attributed to Aniracetam’s action on dopamine and serotonin receptors, which acts as a stimulant to increase motivation levels.

For this reason, students use it during exams, and professionals use it to stay alert during long work schedules. It doesn’t cause jitters or restlessness, which are problems associated with many stimulants.

2. Enhances Memory Recall

Aniracetam is a nootropics supplement that provides many benefits to cognitive and affective behavior. One of the main benefits is that it enhances learning and memory. The effects of Aniracetam make it ideal as a treatment for elderly people who have gone senile or experience cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Aniracetam impacts both short-term and long-term memory in various ways, including enhancing access to stored memories and increasing understanding when reading. This also contributes towards making Aniracetam an effective study aid.

The ability to focus on the present information or to remember details is also improved with Aniracetam.

3. Improves Cognitive Performance

Aniracetam, when administered, has been shown to be potent as a cognitively enhancing agent. Its underlying mechanism of action involves modulating neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and glutamine in the central nervous system. 

This boost in cognitive capabilities after aneracetam administration makes people more alert, and boosts memory retention. This positions aniracetam as a potent cognitive enhancer for those looking to elevate their mental performance.

4. Mood Regulation and Reduced Anxiety

Users report having motivation to have more social interactions after using Aneracetam. This is brought by the combination of dopamine and serotonin that effectively act as anxiety reducers or anxiolytics.

Aniracetam can also relieve anxiety through its effects on the GABA receptor sites, specifically subtype A.

Aniracetam’s anxiolytic properties may be helpful in the treatment of anxiety disorders typically treated using benzodiazepines, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

However, there is currently insufficient evidence to support its efficacy or safety profile compared to other treatments for GAD, anxiety, or CNS disorders more broadly.

Further high-quality clinical trials are required to prove its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties before suggesting that Aniracetam may be an effective treatment for anxiety.

Additionally, Aniracetam has been shown to reduce depression caused by chronic stress or drug dependency in mice.(3) This suggests Aniracetam could be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, depression associated with chronic methamphetamine use, and neurodegeneration caused by HIV-1.

5. Heals and Prevents Brain Damage

Aniracetam has been spotlighted for its potential to heal brain damage, especially in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. One of the paramount attributes of aniracetam is its role as a positive allosteric modulator, which elevates the potency of aniracetam in the brain.(4)

It notably reduces glutamate receptor desensitization and slows the decay of fast excitatory synaptic currents in the hippocampus. By slowing the rate of receptor desensitization and deactivation, Aniracetam supports cognitive enhancement and protection.

Furthermore, Aniracetam functions as an inhibitor, regulating excitatory synaptic transmission in cortical regions, which is essential for cognition and memory.(5)

By ensuring efficient synaptic communication mediated by its action on receptors, it offers promise for repairing neural pathways without negatively impacting nutrition or the overall health of the individual.

6. Potential Treatment for ADHD

Aniracetam has emerged as a potential treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) due to its unique pharmacological properties. Aniracetam acts as a positive modulator of the AMPA receptor, which plays a significant role in synaptic transmission and cognitive functions.

ADHD patients often display irregularities in neurotransmitter activity, particularly in areas related to attention and impulse control. By enhancing the efficiency of neurotransmission through the modulation of AMPA receptors, aniracetam may improve cognitive processes like sustained attention and information processing speed.

Additionally, its anxiolytic properties can also help address the common symptoms of anxiety in ADHD patients. Given these multifaceted actions, Aniracetam presents a novel therapeutic nootropic for the potential treatment of ADHD.

This is especially true when comparing Aniracetam vs. Adderall. There are multiple Adderall alternatives with less severe side effects and potential dependency problems.

Uses of Aniracetam

Aniracetam, recognized for its diverse neurological effects, is profoundly linked with the modulation of NMDA and AMPA receptors. Notably, the drug’s capacity for modulating neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat cortical neurons has generated significant interest.

Researchers, including Lawrence JJ and Kurasawa, have delved into Aniracetam’s potential to mediate and address the effects of aging on cognitive function.(6) An image of the rat’s brain highlighted that aged rats exhibited improved cognitive performance following aniracetam treatment, which can be attributed to the drug’s action on AMPA receptor-mediated pathways.(7)

Furthermore, Zhao X’s pivotal work revealed that Aniracetam reduces receptor desensitization and slows the decay of certain neural pathways.(8) This is especially in the hippocampal regions, emphasizing its potential therapeutic application in various neurodegenerative disorders

Aniracetam’s potential as an anxiolytic and antidepressant also makes it stand out from other compounds and nootropic drugs as a potential treatment of brain disorders. It has also been proven to be 10 times more potent than cyclothiazide and 100 times more potent than 1-BCP during animal studies.(9)

Where to Buy Aniracetam

Some countries in Europe have regulated the use of Aniracetam, however, Aniracetam has not been approved by the FDA for human consumption in the U.S. or by the MHRA in the U.K. 

Due to Aniracetam being one of the more popular nootropic products available, there are many different places online to buy Aniracetam powder. However, we suggest, due to the continuous customer success rates they have provided. 

This website has third-party tested, high-quality nootropics and an excellent reputation as a trustworthy retailer. 

However, it’s essential to review product quality, read user Aniracetam reviews on Amazon or Reddit, and ensure the source’s reliability.

Aniracetam Dosage

Aniracetam can be taken in pill, capsule, or powder form.

The commonly recommended aniracetam dose is around 750 mg twice per day. However, individual needs may vary, and a higher dose may be necessary. It’s typically better to start with a smaller dose of aniracetam. You can always adjust the dose over the course of time, based on the effects and tolerance.

The maximum high dose of Aniracetam supplements is 1500 mg per day divided equally on five separate days throughout the week. Moderate caffeine intake (1-2 cups of coffee per day) may increase the effectiveness of supplementation.

However, it is advisable to reduce caffeine intake one week before beginning supplementation so as not to overstimulate neurotransmitter activity.

Aniracetam Side Effects & Safety

There are many nootropics that are not yet FDA-approved for human consumption, including Aniracetam. 

The effects of Aniracetam powder may differ from one individual to another. When it comes to pharmacology, it was observed that age, weight, and height also matter in identifying the cognitive enhancer effects of Aniracetam.

Although side effects are rare when the correct guidelines are followed before taking Aniracetam, it’s important to monitor yourself while taking this supplement.

Some reported side effects of Aniracetam include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances

There is limited data on Aniracetam’s long-term effects, so caution and regular monitoring are advised before you use Aniracetam for an extended period.


Aniracetam, a potent nootropic drug, offers multiple benefits, from enhancing memory and cognition to mood regulation. Its mode of action is primarily through the modulation of neurotransmitter activity, especially AMPA receptors.

While Aniracetam’s therapeutic potential is promising, users should approach it with caution, considering potential side effects and ensuring they purchase from reputable sources. 

As always, personal research and consultation with healthcare professionals are key before diving into the world of nootropics.


How long does Aniracetam take to work?

Aniracetam, like many nootropics, can have variable effects depending on individual physiology. However, most users report feeling its effects within 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion.

What is the elimination half-life of Aniracetam?

The elimination half-life of Aniracetam is relatively short, typically in the range of 1 to 3 hours. This means that the effects of the substance can wear off quickly, requiring more frequent dosing.

Should you cycle Aniracetam?

Cycling Aniracetam is often recommended to prevent the potential development of tolerance. A common cycle might involve taking the substance for 2-4 weeks, then taking a break for 1 week.

Can I stack Aniracetam with other nootropics?

Yes, Aniracetam can be stacked with other nootropics. However, it’s important to research and understand the interactions between different substances before attempting a stack.

How should I store Aniracetam?

Aniracetam should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. The original packaging usually provides adequate storage conditions.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Lynch, Gary. “AMPA receptor modulators as cognitive enhancers.” Current opinion in pharmacology vol. 4,1 (2004): 4-11. doi:10.1016/j.coph.2003.09.009 ↩
  2. Nakamura, K, and M Kurasawa. “Anxiolytic effects of aniracetam in three different mouse models of anxiety and the underlying mechanism.” European journal of pharmacology vol. 420,1 (2001): 33-43. doi:10.1016/s0014-2999(01)01005-6 ↩
  3. Nakamura, K, and Y Tanaka. “Antidepressant-like effects of aniracetam in aged rats and its mode of action.” Psychopharmacology vol. 158,2 (2001): 205-12. doi:10.1007/s002130100849 ↩
  4. Canonico, V et al. “Efficacia e tollerabilità dell’aniracetam in pazienti anziani affetti da deterioramento mentale primitivo e secondario” [Efficacy and tolerance of aniracetam in elderly patients with primary or secondary mental deterioration]. Rivista di neurologia vol. 61,3 (1991): 92-6. ↩
  5. Nakamura, Kazuo. “Aniracetam: its novel therapeutic potential in cerebral dysfunctional disorders based on recent pharmacological discoveries.” CNS drug reviews vol. 8,1 (2002): 70-89. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2002.tb00216.x ↩
  6. Shirane, M, and K Nakamura. “Aniracetam enhances cortical dopamine and serotonin release via cholinergic and glutamatergic mechanisms in SHRSP.” Brain research vol. 916,1-2 (2001): 211-21. doi:10.1016/s0006-8993(01)02939-0 ↩
  7. Lawrence, J Josh et al. “The mechanism of action of aniracetam at synaptic alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors: indirect and direct effects on desensitization.” Molecular pharmacology vol. 64,2 (2003): 269-78. doi:10.1124/mol.64.2.269 ↩
  8. Zhao, X et al. “Nootropic drug modulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat cortical neurons.” Molecular pharmacology vol. 59,4 (2001): 674-83. doi:10.1124/mol.59.4.674 ↩
  9. Pittaluga, A et al. “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 vol. 359,4 (1999): 272-9. doi:10.1007/pl00005352 ↩