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

Updated on February 7, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Overview of Pramiracetam's nootropic benefits, uses, and potential side effects.

Pramiracetam, a potent agent belonging to the racetam family of drugs, has garnered significant attention in the latest nutrition and pharmaceutical research.

Developed as an advanced derivative of Piracetam (the first nootropic compound) Pramiracetam is celebrated for its purpose of cognitive enhancement, particularly in the realms of long-term memory and working memory. 

Could Pramiracetam be the solution to your cognitive problems?

Let’s review the data from the latest research on this potent nootropic to discover if it’s right for you.

What is Pramiracetam?

Pramiracetam is sold under the brand name Pramistar as a treatment for memory and attention deficits in aging people with neurodegenerative and vascular dementias. Pramiracetam (also known as CI-879, Neupramir, and Remen) is a synthetic nootropic agent belonging to the racetam family of cognitive-enhancing drugs.(1)

Pramiracetam is 30 times more potent than Piracetam and was created as an advanced derivative, making this nootropic a part of the acetamide group. The acetamide group consists of nootropic supplements with a higher bioavailability, fat solubility, and strength

Pramiracetam is attached to the 2-pyrrolidinone base structure, unlike its predecessor, and is able to enhance high-affinity choline uptake, thus boosting acetylcholine synthesis in the brain, a neurotransmitter pivotal for cognitive performance. 

This action helps in improving memory formation, learning capacity, and focus. These effects of Pramiracetam are particularly noted for its efficacy in enhancing long-term memory and cognitive ability.

While its primary use is as a cognitive enhancer, Pramiracetam has also been investigated for potential therapeutic applications. Using Pramiracetam is beneficial in treating memory and cognitive problems resulting from head injury and anoxia, as well as certain neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Pramiracetam was designated an effective orphan drug (developed to treat a specific medical condition) for myoclonic seizures. However, it is not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for human consumption due to mixed results. In some places, it’s available by prescription, while in others, it can be purchased over the counter or online as a dietary supplement.

Unlike stimulant drugs, Pramiracetam rarely causes jitteriness, anxiety, or a crash as it wears off and it has no impact on your adrenal glands.


  • Improves memory, focus, and learning capacity
  • Increases neuroprotection and aids in recovery from brain injuries
  • Improves mood and promotes increased energy levels


  • Not approved by the FDA
  • Limited clinical human studies available to confirm the long-term safety profile

Mechanism of Action

Pramiracetam (a chemical synthesized from Piracetam) is known for its ability to effectively transport across the blood-brain barrier. This characteristic ensures that a significant amount of the drug reaches the brain, where it can exert its effects on brain function. 

Here is an overview of the most notable mechanisms of action of Pramiracetam powder:

  • Increased Choline Uptake: Pramiracetam primarily works by enhancing hippocampal synaptosomal sodium-dependent high-affinity choline uptake. This process is crucial for the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter intimately involved in cognitive functions such as memory and learning.
  • Crosses the Blood-Brain Barrier: Pramiracetam induces alterations of choline transport across the blood-brain barrier to neuronal membranes. By influencing choline dynamics, Pramiracetam directly impacts the synthesis and release of acetylcholine.
  • Stimulates Nitric Oxide Synthase: Administration of Pramiracetam increases nitric oxide synthase activity in the cerebral cortex of the brain. Nitric oxide is a neuromodulator and neurotransmitter that plays a role in neural plasticity, which is crucial for the support of memory function and learning new information.
  • Stimulates Brain Cells and Neurotransmitter Activity: Animal studies on in vitro rat models suggest that Pramiracetam can influence several neurotransmitter systems. These include not only acetylcholine but potentially others that play roles in cognitive processes.

Nootropic Benefits of Pramiracetam

Pramiracetam benefits include the following:

1. Memory Improvement

Neurobiological studies of brain function in rats discovered that Pramiracetam boosts memory encoding and retrieval.(2) This is beneficial for patients with cognitive deficits, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, who experience regular memory loss.

Additionally, changes in brain wave patterns through quantitative EEG recognized ameliorative action was stimulated by Pramiracetam during animal studies.(3) 

Pramiracetam is also beneficial for healthy individuals who are looking for a way to resolve memory problems and improve both short-term and long-term memory.(4)

The influence of Pramiracetam, as one of the most powerful nootropic supplements, will increase your daily productivity and ability to recall information.

2. Effects on Metamemory

Pramiracetam acts differently on memory and metamemory functioning. While it enhances memory formation and recall, it also influences metamemory, which is an individual’s knowledge and self-awareness of their own memory capabilities.(5)

3. Increased Learning Ability

In vitro studies using rat brain tissues have provided insights into how cognition-enhancing drugs like Pramiracetam alters synaptic function and plasticity, leading to increased cognitive performance.(6)

By enhancing neuroplasticity and influencing neurotransmitter systems, Pramiracetam improves learning capacity, making it easier to absorb and retain new information.

4. Improved Focus and Concentration

Users often report increased levels of focus and concentration, which is beneficial for studying, working, or partaking in tasks that require sustained mental effort. Pramiracetam enhances mental clarity, allowing for clearer thought processes and better problem-solving abilities.

5. Neuroprotective Properties

Pramiracetam offers protective benefits to the brain, playing a part in helping to preserve cognitive function and aiding in recovery from traumatic brain injuries.(7)

6. Improved Mood and Cognitive Stability

Some users experience improved mood stability and reduced anxiety while using Pramiracetam, which indirectly contributes to enhanced cognitive performance. With more motivation and drive, you can successfully go about your day feeling calmer and more productive.

7. Improved Sensory Perception

There are reports of Pramiracetam that found it affects sensory perception. This leads to experiences of heightened visual acuity or more vivid auditory sounds, although these effects can vary among the individuals who take Pramiracetam.

8. Non-Stimulant Cognitive Enhancement

Unlike traditional stimulants, Pramiracetam provides cognitive enhancement without the physical discomfort associated with the effects of various cognition-enhancing drugs, such as jitteriness or a crash.(8) This means Pramiracetam is a suitable option for those sensitive to nootropic stimulants, such as Modafinil.

Uses of Pramiracetam

Pramiracetam is more potent than piracetam and is used for various cognitive functions and therapeutic applications, such as the following: 

  • Cognitive Enhancement: Improves memory, learning capacity, and concentration.
  • Neuroprotective Properties: Protects the brain from damage and supports brain health.
  • Treatment of Cognitive Impairments: Used in some cases to treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or neurological conditions.
  • Enhanced Sensory Perception: Some users report improved sensory perception, such as heightened vision or hearing.
  • Mood and Anxiety: Has mood-stabilizing and anti-anxiety effects.
  • Memory Recall: Aids in quicker and more efficient memory recall.
  • Focus and Concentration: Often used to increase focus and concentration, particularly in tasks requiring extended mental effort.

Where to Buy Pramiracetam

Finding the perfect nootropic product is hard enough without having to worry about which vendor to choose. That’s why we have you covered.

Our top pick for the best place to buy Pramiracetam is the well-renowned website, Science.Bio.

This reputable company supplies high-quality nootropics with third-party testing, and also offers worldwide shipping.

Pramiracetam Dosage

The dosage of Pramiracetam can vary depending on individual factors such as intended use, body weight, and tolerance. However, there are general guidelines that can be followed:

  • Typical Dosage Range: The standard dosage of Pramiracetam typically ranges from 400 mg to 1200 mg per day.
  • Divided Doses: It’s common to divide the total daily dosage into two or three small administrations throughout the day to maintain stable levels of the compound in the system. Either 400 mg thrice daily or 600 mg twice daily. Pramiracetam should be taken in the morning and early afternoon to avoid sleep disturbances.
  • Starting Dose: For those new to Pramiracetam, it’s advisable to start with a lower dose, such as 400mg per day, to assess individual tolerance. The dose can then be gradually increased as needed.
  • Administration with Food: Pramiracetam is fat-soluble, meaning it is absorbed better when taken with food, especially meals containing fats, or with a fat source like fish oil.
  • Consistency in Dosing: Maintaining a consistent dosing schedule helps in assessing the effectiveness and tolerability of the supplement.

Pramiracetam Side Effects & Safety

Pramiracetam is generally considered safe when used at recommended dosages. However, like all nootropics, it can have potential adverse effects.

Here’s an overview of Pramiracetam’s side effects and safety considerations. 

Common side effects include: 

  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue

Safety considerations include: 

  • Allergic Reactions: As with any substance, there is a potential for allergic reactions to Pramiracetam, which could manifest as rashes, itching, or other allergic symptoms.
  • Long-Term Safety: The long-term safety profile of Pramiracetam is not fully established, as most studies have focused on short-term use.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Pramiracetam could interact with other medications, particularly those affecting the central nervous system. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider about potential drug interactions.
  • Individual Sensitivity: Individual responses to Pramiracetam can vary. Factors like body weight, metabolism, and overall health can influence how a person reacts to the nootropic.

It’s important to use Pramiracetam responsibly and under medical supervision, especially for individuals with pre-existing health conditions or those taking other medications.


In conclusion, Pramiracetam stands out as a potent nootropic within the racetam family, renowned for its potential to enhance cognitive functions. Its purported benefits range from improved memory and learning capabilities to increased focus and sensory perception.

Additionally, it offers neuroprotective qualities and assists in managing cognitive impairments. 

The scientific evidence supporting its efficacy is still emerging, and its safety profile remains to be fully understood. Therefore, while it holds promise as a cognitive enhancer, individuals should consult healthcare professionals before incorporating it into their regimen.

Pramiracetam’s potential is intriguing, but like any supplement, it must be used responsibly and with a clear understanding of its possible effects.


How long does Pramiracetam take to work?

The time it takes for Pramiracetam to start working can vary among individuals. Generally, users begin to notice its effects within 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion.

What is the elimination half-life of Pramiracetam?

The elimination half-life of Pramiracetam is about 4.5 to 6.5 hours. This means that it takes approximately this time for the concentration of Pramiracetam in the blood to reduce to half its initial value.

Should you cycle pramiracetam?

Cycling Pramiracetam (alternating periods of use and non-use) is often recommended, with a maximum of 8 weeks on, and 1 week off. 

Can I stack Pramiracetam with other nootropics?

Pramiracetam can be stacked with other nootropics. It’s often combined with choline sources, as racetams can increase choline uptake in the brain. Stacking should be done cautiously, starting with low doses to monitor the body’s response.

How should I store Pramiracetam?

Pramiracetam should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Keeping it in its original container with the lid tightly closed is usually recommended.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Murray, C L, and H C Fibiger. “The effect of pramiracetam (CI-879) on the acquisition of a radial arm maze task.” Psychopharmacology vol. 89,3 (1986): 378-81. doi:10.1007/BF00174378 
  2. Ennaceur, A, and J Delacour. “A new one-trial test for neurobiological studies of memory in rats. 1: Behavioral data.” Behavioural brain research vol. 31,1 (1988): 47-59. doi:10.1016/0166-4328(88)90157-x 
  3. Poschel, B P et al. “Pharmacologic therapeutic window of pramiracetam demonstrated in behavior, EEG, and single neuron firing rates.” Experientia vol. 41,9 (1985): 1153-6. doi:10.1007/BF01951704 
  4. Mauri, M et al. “Pramiracetam effects on scopolamine-induced amnesia in healthy volunteers.” Archives of gerontology and geriatrics vol. 18,2 (1994): 133-9. doi:10.1016/0167-4943(94)00542-7 
  5. De Vreese, L P et al. “Memory training and drug therapy act differently on memory and metamemory functioning: evidence from a pilot study.” Archives of gerontology and geriatrics vol. 22 Suppl 1 (1996): 9-22. doi:10.1016/0167-4943(96)86906-8 
  6. Corasaniti, M T et al. “Systemic administration of pramiracetam increases nitric oxide synthase activity in the cerebral cortex of the rat.” Functional neurology vol. 10,3 (1995): 151-5. 
  7. McLean, A Jr et al. “Placebo-controlled study of pramiracetam in young males with memory and cognitive problems resulting from head injury and anoxia.” Brain injury vol. 5,4 (1991): 375-80. doi:10.3109/02699059109008110 
  8. Chang, T et al. “Pharmacokinetics of oral pramiracetam in normal volunteers.” Journal of clinical pharmacology vol. 25,4 (1985): 291-5. doi:10.1002/j.1552-4604.1985.tb02841.x