Coluracetam Review: Nootropic Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on September 25, 2022
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

This Coluracetam review looks at the nootropic's benefits for cognitive enhancement, side effects, dosage, and where to buy online.

Are you looking for a powerful nootropic that can improve your cognitive function? If so, you may want to consider Coluracetam.

Coluracetam (also known as BCI-540 and MKC-231) is a nootropic drug that belongs to the racetam family. This nootropic was first developed in 2005 by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC) to treat Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

However, clinical trials on Coluracetam were never completed, and the drug is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any medical use.

Despite this, Coluracetam has become popular as a so-called "smart drug" or "nootropic" that people claim can improve memory, learning, and other cognitive functions.

Let's take a closer look at Coluracetam and see if there is any scientific evidence to support these claims.

Coluracetam Review Summary

Coluracetam (MKC-231) is a nootropic that has been found to preserve choline uptake into neurons when the brain's ability to use it is otherwise reduced. It has been found to improve long-term and working memory, reduce depression and anxiety, and enhance color and sound perception.

It is structurally similar to other nootropics in the racetam class and is believed to work by modulating high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) sites and acetylcholine receptors.

Pros:

  • Restores the synthesis of acetylcholine
  • Boosts long-term memory
  • Relieves symptoms of major depression and anxiety

Cons:

  • Not sold in stores
  • Hard to find high-quality Coluracetam online

What Is Coluracetam?

coluracetam or bc 540 structure

It is a bioisosteric analog of the 9-amino-tetrahydroacridine family, meaning that it has a similar structure but with different chemical properties.

The drug failed to reach endpoints in its clinical trials but was later licensed by BrainCells Inc to investigate major depressive disorder (MDD), which is accompanied by anxiety symptoms.

Findings from phase IIa studies suggest that it could potentially treat comorbid conditions like GAD and may have future use as a prevention or treatment option after an injury, such as retinal diseases.

Coluracetam appears to potentially help restore choline acetyltransferase production in the medial septal nucleus of rats exposed to PCP. It also shows promise as an antipsychotic and could be helpful for patients with schizophrenia [1].

Imagebuy coluracetam
NameColuracetam
ClassNootropic
EffectsIncreases body use of choline
Potential Side EffectsHeadache
Half-Life3 hours
Common Dosage5-20 mg 2-3x daily
Content1 g
Price$16.99
Money Back Guarantee7 days
Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.8/5
Best VendorClick Here ›

Coluracetam is said to affect AMPA receptors [2], making it a possible new nootropic ampakine with fewer side effects than traditional stimulants.

coluracetam review

How Does Coluracetam Work In The Brain?

Coluracetam has been demonstrated to improve high-affinity choline uptake (HACU). HACU is the rate-limiting step of ACh synthesis [3]. This increases choline and acetylcholine levels in the brain, which are important for memory formation and recall.

Coluracetam works in two specific ways:

  1. It boosts choline uptake in the brain
  2. It improves AMPA potentiation

Acetylcholine (ACh) is a combination of choline and acetate. For neurons to be able to create ACh as needed, these components must always be readily available.

If choline isn’t being taken up by the brain as quickly as it’s being used, then ACh levels will drop. This can lead to cognitive problems like memory loss and difficulty learning new information.

The HACU system is responsible for ensuring that choline is being taken into the nerve terminal at a fast enough rate [4]. If this system isn’t working properly, it can lead to cognitive problems. This is where Coluracetam can be beneficial.

Coluracetam also increases AMPA potentiation. AMPA receptors are found in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory formation.

AMPA receptors play a role in long-term potentiation (LTP), which is the process by which memories are formed and stored [5]. Coluracetam increases AMPA receptor activity, leading to improved LTP and memory formation.

What Is Coluracetam Used For?

Coluracetam is a relatively new nootropic, so there is limited research on its potential uses. However, initial studies suggest that it could be used to treat memory problems, depression, and anxiety.

Most studies are done on animals, so it’s unclear whether humans would see the same effects.

One study published in the Journal of neural transmission in 2008, found that rats whose memory was chemically impaired had higher levels of choline transporter activity after being given Coluracetam for 8 days [6].

They surmise this may be due to a change in how well it is transporting nutrients into cells, which would lead them towards greater cognitive function over time.

Another study published in the Journal of neural transmission in 1994 by doctors at the Japanese university of Iwate Medical found that Coluracetam improved working memory in mice with impaired function [7].

They also found that Coluracetam increased high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) and released more acetylcholine than before, which suggests it can help people suffering from cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease.

What Are The Benefits Of Coluracetam For Cognition?

According to the scientific research available on Coluracetam, this nootropic offers the following benefits:

  • Preventing and reversing cognitive decline
  • Reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia
  • Improving mood and reducing symptoms of depression
  • Treating anxiety disorders
  • Helping to repair damage to the brain and eyes
  • Increasing choline uptake
  • Enhancing long-term potentiation

These benefits seem to be long-lasting, even after Coluracetam is no longer being taken regularly.

Where To Buy Coluracetam Online?

We recommend purchasing Coluracetam online from SwissChems. Not only do they offer high-quality products, but they also provide a bulk discount for Coluracetam, as shown below:

  • Qty 2 = 2% discount ($16.65/Unit)
  • Qty 3 = 4% discount ($16.31/Unit)
  • Qty 4 = 6% discount ($15.97/Unit)
  • Qty 5 = 8% discount ($15.63/Unit)
  • Qty 5+ = 10% discount ($15.29/Unit)

When you order Coluracetam from SwissChems, you receive it in a 1-gram bottle at $16.99/unit (USD).

What Do People Say About Coluracetam On Reddit?

Here's feedback from Reddit users after trying Coluracetam:

According to SunFlesh:

"The anxiolytic effects are great, also a very nice mood enhancer. And I noticed it significantly improved my vision, my short and long term memory, and even improved my verbal fluency…."

According to proxwell:

"I haven't noticed a tolerance building, and the effects are pretty consistent. I find it's most noticeable in visual and spatial memory and creativity... I'm usually using it alongside various other racetams…."

How Do You Take Coluracetam For Cognitive Enhancement?

Coluracetam is sold as a powder, but some online vendors now offer it in a liquid form, making it easier to dose and take sublingually (under the tongue).

If you are new to nootropics, start with a lower dose and increase gradually until you find the sweet spot. Coluracetam is non-toxic and does not seem to have any serious side effects, even in high doses, so there is no need to worry about taking too much.

As with all nootropics, it is always best to cycle Coluracetam, taking a break for a few days or weeks after several weeks of use. This will help to avoid tolerance build-up and keep the effects strong.

Coluracetam can be taken with or without food. If you have a sensitive stomach, it is best to take it with food to avoid any discomfort.

If you can get the sublingually absorbed form of Coluracetam, we recommend taking it this way for the quickest and most effective absorption. Bypassing the digestive system allows the nootropic to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Coluracetam can be taken at any time of day. If you find it affects your sleep, take it in the morning or early afternoon.

What Is The Recommended Dosage For Coluracetam?

According to user reports and data from clinical trials, the most effective dose of Coluracetam for cognitive enhancement is between 20-80 mg daily.

We recommend starting at the lower end of this range and increasing gradually until you find the best dose.

What Are The Side Effects Of Coluracetam?

Since Coluracetam is non-toxic and well-tolerated, it is considered safe. However, many first-time users report fatigue after taking it, which often happens when they start with too high of a dose.

Other reported side effects include headache, anxiety, irritability, and dizziness. These side effects are usually mild and disappear quickly once the body adjusts to the supplement.

To avoid unwanted side effects, start with a lower dose and increase gradually until you find the best dose.

What Nootropics Are Similar To Coluracetam?

Coluracetam is similar to other nootropics in the racetam family, such as Piracetam, Aniracetam, and Oxiracetam. All of these nootropics share a common mechanism of action and have similar cognitive-enhancing effects.

Piracetam is a nootropic that was created by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea at UCB Pharma in 1964 as the first real cognitive enhancement ever developed.

It works through modulation of AMPA and NMDA receptors which increases glutamate's efficacy while improving ACh neurotransmission (and thereby acetylcholine flow) as well sensitivity/density of cholinergic neurons. This leads to better memory retention because more blood flows toward your brain.

Aniracetam is a derivative of Piracetam and has a higher potency and shorter half-life. It enhances the amount of acetylcholine in your brain by 200 – 300%. This helps with focus, clarity of thought, memory, and recall.

Oxiracetam enhances choline-acetyltransferase (ChAT) in the brain, which improves acetylcholine production. As a result, short- and long-term memory are improved.

What Brain Supplements Can Coluracetam Be Stacked With?

The best way to take Coluracetam is to stack it with other nootropics with complementary effects. For example, stacking Coluracetam with a choline source will increase its effectiveness because Coluracetam works by increasing the flow of acetylcholine in the brain.

We recommend Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline as a good choline source to stack with Coluracetam.

If you don't want to buy a separate choline supplement, we recommend NooCube. NooCube is a nootropic blend that contains 13 nutrients your brain needs to function at its best.

It's the perfect foundation to build a cognitive enhancing stack on because it contains Alpha GPC, which will potentiate the effects of Coluracetam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions about Coluracetam:

How Long Does It Take For Coluracetam To Work?

According to preliminary studies, Coluracetam (MKC-231) shows a fast onset of action and peaks in the blood at around 30 minutes before declining within 3 hours.

How Does Coluracetam Make You Feel?

Coluracetam can help you feel alert, motivated, and focused. It also enhances your ability to learn and remember new information. With Coluracteam, you may start to experience decreased anxiety and an improved mood.

What's The Half-Life Of Coluracetam?

The half-life of Coluracetam is 3 hours, which means it will be out of your system in about 6 hours. It will reach peak levels in your blood 30 minutes after you take it.

Is It Safe To Use Coluracetam?

Coluracetam is considered non-toxic and safe to use. Some first-time users report tiredness after using it, which is often caused by taking too high a dose at first.

Is Coluracetam Fat-soluble?

Coluracetam is fat-soluble, which means it's best dissolved in fats and oils. This makes it easier for your body to absorb and use.

Is Coluracetam Addictive?

There is no evidence that Coluracetam is addictive. In fact, Coluracetam appears to have a very low potential for addiction and does not produce any of the typical signs or symptoms of addiction.

Conclusion

So what do we know about Coluracetam?

Coluracetam is a nootropic in the racetam family that was developed to treat cognitive decline and memory loss. It works by increasing the flow of acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain.

What separates Coluracetam from other racetams is that it directly affects the high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) process. This allows Coluracetam to increase ACh levels more efficiently than other racetams.

Coluracetam has been shown to improve memory, focus, and learning in both healthy individuals and those suffering from cognitive decline. It's considered non-toxic and safe to use with few side effects.

If you're looking for the best place to buy Coluracetam, we recommend SwissChems. You can find their Coluracetam right here:

References

References
1Shirayama, Yukihiko, et al. “Subsequent Exposure to the Choline Uptake Enhancer MKC-231 Antagonizes Phencyclidine-Induced Behavioral Deficits and Reduction in Septal Cholinergic Neurons in Rats.” European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 17, no. 9, 2007, pp. 616–626., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2007.02.011.
2“AMPA Receptor.” AMPA Receptor - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/ampa-receptor.
3Murai, S., et al. “MKC-231, a Choline Uptake Enhancer, Ameliorates Working Memory Deficits and Decreased Hippocampal Acetylcholine Induced by Ethylcholine Aziridinium Ion in Mice - Journal of Neural Transmission.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01277590.
4Ray, Balmiki et al. “High-affinity choline uptake (HACU) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in neuronal cultures for mechanistic and drug discovery studies.” Current protocols in neuroscience vol. Chapter 7 (2012): Unit 7.23. doi:10.1002/0471142301.ns0723s60
5Sumi, T., Harada, K. Mechanism underlying hippocampal long-term potentiation and depression based on competition between endocytosis and exocytosis of AMPA receptors. Sci Rep10, 14711 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71528-3
6Bessho, Tomoko et al. “MKC-231, a choline-uptake enhancer: (1) long-lasting cognitive improvement after repeated administration in AF64A-treated rats.” Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) vol. 115,7 (2008): 1019-25. doi:10.1007/s00702-008-0053-4
7Murai, S et al. “MKC-231, a choline uptake enhancer, ameliorates working memory deficits and decreased hippocampal acetylcholine induced by ethylcholine aziridinium ion in mice.” Journal of neural transmission. General section vol. 98,1 (1994): 1-13. doi:10.1007/BF01277590
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