Sunifiram: A Problematic Racetam


Sunifiram: A Problematic Racetam
By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

A new member of the Racetam family; a piperazine derivative of Piracetam.

First researched in 2000, Sunifiram is a young rival of another junior member of the Racetam family, Noopept. As a cognition-enhancing agent, it has interesting potential for improving the learning and memory faculties of the mind.

Non-Stimulatory Memory Enhancer
A Dubious Nootropic
Scientific Research
Extreme Potency
Mechanism of Action
Biohacker Review: Not an outstanding effect
Recommended Daily

Side Effects
Shortcomings of Sunifiram and Unifiram

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Sunifiram and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

 Non-Stimulatory Memory Enhancer

Memory thinking brain

Unlike Caffeine, Adderall, or Piracetam which will give you that productive energy buzz that lifehackers like me so relish, Sunifiram is just going to give your memory and learning capacity an edge. One self-experimenter said:

"It is not an extreme rush of energy nor a sedative effect. I just feel a sense of clarity that I had not felt before."

This makes it a potent tool for:

  • STEM professionals whose work with science, technology, engineering, or math daily puts high demands on their memories.
  • Doctors or lawyers who constantly need to study; reading new papers and publications to stay skilled and competitively competent.
  • Web designers and IT laborers that need to learn new technology, systems, software, and programming languages constantly to stay on the cutting edge of tech trends.
  • As a study aid for college students who need to consume and retain a lot of information.

Because of its effects on memory, it's currently undergoing investigations as a treatment for those who suffer from Alzheimer's or other age-related cognitive decline diseases.

 A Dubious Nootropic

Pills capsules

Prior to proper human studies being conducted, it's been embraced enthusiastically by the Biohacker community. Although there is some lively debate as to whether its potency is a double-edged sword that can cause mania and mood imbalances. To quote one thorough review from a Biohacker well acquainted with Racetams:

"As far as effects, I would say the average time it takes to kick in is about the same as noopept... say 10-15 minutes. After the initial waiting period for the effects, I felt a slight change in perception and attention. I got that similar "enhanced" effect I feel from noopept, with a bit more of a rushing onset. Whereas noopept provides a gradual increase, I feel like sunifiram have a very quick onset for full effect. I was switching attention between an episode of Archer, and a conversation with my fiancé, and I felt like I was able to totally change my direction of thinking and experience whichever I was focusing on with full focus. There was a slight euphoria along with all of this as well. One of my first thoughts after the effects had kicked in was that sunifiram had accessed some hidden switch in my brain, flipped it on, and given my brain an extra jolt for mental processes."


mood sad happy

Several reports include potential anti-depressant effects within as short as 15 minutes after consumption, to quote one Biohacker's experience:

"Is it just me or is Sunifiram one hell of an anti-depressant? Today is my 3rd day of dosing and I'll be damned if I haven't been just happy as shit lately. If placebo, I've yet to have an effect this grand from a Nootropic with the exception of maybe high doses of Piracetam"

 Scientific Research

icon case study science

It currently has just 13 (it was 9 eight years ago when I first wrote this article) scientific studies listed on Pubmed and, thus far, not a single clinical study done with human participants. So why would someone desiring cognitive enhancement take Sunifiram when there are far more proven smart drugs available?

  1. Primarily, the outstanding potency of the stuff.
  2. Secondly, price: it's an excellent value for cognitive enhancement. If you try Sunifiram and find that it's comparable to other cognitive enhancers you've been on - all things being - equal you would choose the most economical option.
  3. Thirdly, approximately 10% to 15% of people are non-responders to Piracetam. It's worthwhile for them to consider something like Sunifiram which may share some of the same benefits acting through different mechanisms.
  4. Finally, curiosity, lifehackers are typically hardcore novelty junkies, who have an addiction to trying new things in every area of their lifestyle. Even if our current diet and Nootropic regimen deliver us the mindset we need to be productive and happy, we are driven to tinker with it.

 Extreme Potency

Strength Potent Muscle Exercise 350

Like Noopept, Sunifiram is regarded as a value leader Nootropic. It is suggested as being thousands of times more potent than Piracetam. Piracetam dosages can be as high as several grams daily (I take 3-4 grams).

Sunifiram recommended dosage is 5 milligrams - 10 milligrams daily
For comparison's sake also consider...
Noopept recommended dosage is 10 milligrams - 30 milligrams daily

The good news is that this drastically decreases the daily price of cognitive enhancement. Prices start at 10 grams for $35, which per gram seems high but a little math will show that at a higher daily dosage of 10 milligrams the cost of Nootropic supplementation is just 6 cents daily. At that rate, the minuscule package it comes in (small enough to avoid the prying eyes of TSA employees at the airport or border security agents) will last you over a year.

 Mechanism of Action

Sunifiram molecule

The pathways with which it affects change in the brain have been the subject of several clinical studies conducted in the past couple of years.

1. It's another AMPA receptor-modulating smart drug - an Ampakine - Ampakines are so effective at increasing our awareness of the world around us that DARPA has investigated them for military applications. a French study stated:

These results suggest that DM 232 and DM 235 [Sunifiram] act as cognition enhancers through the activation of the AMPA-mediated neurotransmission system.

2. Additionally, it is a Kinase activator, according to a 2013 Japanese study:

Novel nootropic drug sunifiram improves cognitive deficits via CaM kinase II and protein kinase C activation in olfactory bulbectomized mice.

It's a source of long-term potentiation and improved cognition.

3. It's also Cholinergic, animal tests show it releases acetylcholine in the cerebral cortex.


Sunifiram powder

In North America, you can get it powdered from Swiss Chems, which offers 10 grams for $35.

If you want to get it capsuled (to avoid its nasty taste) you'll have to order it from Intellimeds in Europe, which offers it purity-verified with COA.

 Biohacker ReviewNot an outstanding effect

I did as much as 50 milligrams once along with Tyrosine, ALCAR, and BP coffee and while I was in a good focused mood for about 5 hours I was pretty underwhelmed - the Sunifiram didn't have an outstanding effect.

I took it subliminally and it produces a not overwhelming, yet unpleasant burning sensation under the tongue. Luckily the bad taste was easily washed away by some green tea.

One time I had a noticeable sensation of body heat, that really contrasted with the chilly Ukrainian fall weather, about 90 minutes after about 20 milligrams, almost like the sweets I get from Modafinil.

 Recommended Daily

Animal studies suggest tolerance is built up quickly. So maybe something not to take daily.



Similar to Noopept, the best way to take it is sublingually, just take the little spoonful of white powder and dump it underneath your tongue. Its taste is pretty tame compared to the other Racetams.


Lots of Biohackers report interesting effects from taking it with Noopept.

Because of its effect on acetylcholine, like other racetams, taking it with an ACh precursor, like Alpha GPC, is a good idea.

 Side Effects

insomnia sleep anxiety night pillow

There's a handful of reports around the Internet of it causing mild insomnia and mania. No clinical data backs these reports up but if you have had problems with insomnia in the past may be a good idea not to take it in the afternoon and it's a good idea to keep the dosage low.

 Shortcomings of Sunifiram and Unifiram

The most thorough scientific paperUnifi nootropics from the lab to the web: a story of academic (and industrial) shortcomings, looking at Sunifiram and its cousin Unifiram was published in 2016 by an Italian researcher. It points out that these two "Nootropics" are extremely potent.

There is an evident pharmacological similarity between our series of compounds and piracetam-like nootropics, the main difference being the potency of Unifiram and Sunifiram: some 30 000 times higher than piracetam and more than 1000 times that of the most potent piracetam-like drugs such as oxiracetam, nefiracetam, etiracetam, and aniracetam.

This level of potency should make you skeptical of both. As Tim Ferriss, says there's no biological free lunch - there's going to be some downside down the road to cognitive enhancers this strong.


I can't recommend Sunifiram as enthusiastically as I do smart drugs with more proven effects.

If you are new to the world of Biohacking and smart drugs, I recommend starting with something like Piracetam instead. For me, I'm going to take a wait-and-see stance on Sunifiram, but I'm optimistic that it will prove a useful Nootropic to those with the self-control to use it at low doses. Furthermore, I like to see that the Racetams are being iterated upon and experimented with and that there is a consumer market driving that.

As a biohacker, I embrace risk rationally. Given the mediocre experience that I had with Sunifiram, the concerning side effects, and some research done pointing out the significant shortcomings and problems with this branch of the Racetam family of Nootropics - I would not order or consume Sunifiram again.


Sunifiram vs Unifiram
Sunifiram molecule


Sunifiram as a Nootropic: a Value Leading Racetam that Delivers Clarity


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