Aniracetam: A Military-Grade Ampakinic Cognitive Enhancer
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 leveled-up Racetam which fits into the Ampakine Nootropic class meaning that it enhances attention span, memory, and alertness by chemically affecting the AMPA receptor which defines many dimensions of our experience of reality.

Ampakines: Military-Grade Cognitive Enhancers
Scientific Research
Infographic: Visualizing Aniracetam Science
The Racetams: Agents of Motivation and Inspiration
Vs Anxiety
Vs Sleep Deprivation

Vs Depression
Mechanism of Action
Vs Alzheimer's
Coming Soon: High-Absorption Aniracetam
Dosage and Usage
Side Effects
Closing Thought
Aniracetam Videos

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Aniracetam 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.

 Ampakines: Military-Grade Cognitive Enhancers

Ampakines are so effective at increasing our awareness of the world around us that DARPA has investigated them for military applications. In 2008 the Pentagon’s Office of Defense Research and Engineering commissioned a research paper on Biohacking, Human Performance, which doesn't name Aniracetam specifically but speaks highly of Ampakines...

...primates have been subject to behavioral tests to evaluate the correlated effects of ampakines on performance, with tests including subjects of various ages, and subjects with disease-induced impairment of cognition. Of particular interest for possible uses in non-disease related human performance modification have been studies on healthy young adults... 

There is a clear improvement in performance, correlated with changes in fMRI patterns, when the monkeys were treated with ampakines.

 Scientific Research

You can find over 200 science papers on Aniracetam on Pubmed, including eleven human clinical trials.

A disproportionate amount of Aniracetam studies are of Chinese origins.

 The Racetams: Agents of Motivation and Inspiration

Head Strong bookThe Father of Biohacking, Dave Asprey praises Aniracetam in his Mitochondrial manifesto Head Strong:

Racetams are some of the best studied and the oldest cognitive-enhancing pharmaceuticals on the planet, and they have very few side effects... I recommend two forms of this drug that are better absorbed. My favorite is called aniracetam, because it is fat soluble and documented to improve your memory. My second favorite is called phenylpiracetam, which gives you quite a lot of energy. Both of these drugs are available online and are virtually ignored in Western medicine because they’re off patent. I take 800 mg of aniracetam and 100 mg of phenylpiracetam most mornings, and I can feel the difference in my brain as a result. This entire book was written on higher doses of those two substances (as well as every other supplement in the book!). (pp. 287-288)

 Vs Anxiety

Got anxiety?

Aniracetam is chemistry's gift to the anxious and nervous, it is an anxiolytic, meaning that it replaces the physiological and psychological experience of anxiety with a sense of calm, clarity, and well-being. It is not a sedative so it's unlike many "cures" for anxiety it doesn't bring you down.

A 2001 Japanese study demonstrated it as highly effective in treating anxiety.

These results indicate that aniracetam possesses a wide range of anxiolytic properties, which may be mediated by an interaction between cholinergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic systems. Thus, our findings suggest the potential usefulness of aniracetam against various types of anxiety-related disorders and social failure/impairments.

A report on

"...dreaming quite a bit and waking up excited. All physical appetites were heightened, anxiety virtually nonexistent. It is difficult to overemphasize the novelty of that condition! Productivity was well over typical.."

 Vs Sleep Deprivation

The Pentagon commissioned paper identified Ampakines as sleep deprivation counter-agents that allowed monkeys at least to function at full competence in a sleep-deprived state.

The potential of using ampakines to ameliorate the effects of sleep deprivation was also tested... Repeating the tasks with sleep-deprived monkeys that had been administered ampakines... restored performance to levels comparable to or better than those for well-rested monkeys without ampakine treatment. If the amapkines prove useable for extended periods without adverse side effects, it is likely that they will also find application in chronic fatigue syndrome.

 Vs Depression

What about those struggling with depression? It is also demonstrated as an effective antidepressant for aged brains in another study by the same Japanese team. This is because Aniracetam promotes dopamine and serotonin. To quote a third Japanese study:

Aniracetam, a cognition enhancer, has been recently found to preferentially increase extracellular levels of dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)...

An American 2002 study also suggested that Ampakine drugs decrease submissive behavior:

The present study tests the activity of nootropic drugs in a behavioral test linked to depression. This test measures the reduction of submissive behavior in a competition test...

 Mechanism of Action

Its mechanism of action revolves around the AMPA receptor:

  • AMPA Receptors have a lot to do with learning and the formation of long-term memories. Ampakines also upregulate Brain-derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which has all kinds of positive implications for the mind, including Neuroplasticity according to a 2006 Norwegian study.
  • Modulation of glutamate neuroreceptors, Ampakines alter the conductivity of AMPA receptors by, in effect, modifying their structural conformation when glutamate is docked on the AMPA...
  • Aniracetam is Cholinergic, meaning that it promotes the third major neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an essential chemical component of the process of creating new connections between brain cells, along with the corresponding memories, skill sets, and personal development.

Vs Glutamate

BoundlessBen Greenfield names it as brain detox biohack, in Boundless

While you may not be shoveling mouthfuls of glutamate down your hatch or eating cartons of MSG-laden Chinese food each night, aniracetam can help protect your brain from inflammation caused by other central nervous system irritants, such as herbicides, pesticides, and rancid oils. Effective doses of aniracetam range from a single 400 mg dose to two doses of 500 to 750 mg per day, taken with meals.


You will feel this smart drug switch on in your brain after 10-20 minutes. It is a positive influence on stress, memory, and creativity.

To quote an enthusiastic Reddit account on Aniracetam's effects on the memory:

"I took as much as... 9g of aniracetam. I advise you to not take such high doses, unless you would like to become a super computer... Becoming a computer is not important in a world with a myriad of computer-like humans and technology. "

Anecdotally, it is reported as a stimulant of collective and holistic thinking meaning that it's useful for people who need to solve puzzles or pull together disparate pieces of information to find a solution. It increases blood flow and thereby energizes the association cortex which is responsible for this inclusive form of problem-solving.

To quote a Reddit user:

"Aniracetam straightup reminds me of a low dose of mushroom, benzo and amphetamine. I cannot believe that something like this doesn't have any major side effects or withdrawal (so far).
Things actually started getting trippy when I was having a conversation with someone. Also, since finals are over, I should be curled up under the blanket, crying like a bitch from focalin withdrawal, drinking to wash the pain and emptiness away.
Instead, aniracetam seems to have this similar effect to focalin in that it kills boredom, laziness and gives you a certain sense of purpose. I expected the effect to be long gone after the drug is metabolized but it seems to linger on the next day."

 Vs Alzheimer's

AMPA Receptor modulation by Aniracetam has been investigated as an effective treatment for various neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease. The health of the AMPA receptor has a lot to do with preventing and treating a host of brain conditions, to quote a 2004 UK study on Aniracetam and Piracetam:

Data indicate that these molecules modulate glutamatergic transmission, enhance synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP) and increase neurotrophin expression. Therefore, these AMPA receptor potentiators offer an exciting new class of drugs with potential for treating (1) cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, (2) depression, (3) slowing the progression and potentially enhancing recovery from Parkinson's disease.

From a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled Italian study of 109 elderly patients given Aniracetam for 6 months: 

Patients underwent clinical, behaviourial and psychometric evaluation every other month. The aniracetam group differed significantly from the placebo group by the end of the study and also showed a statistically significant improvement versus baseline in the psychobehavioural parameters, while in the placebo group a steady deterioration was observed. Tolerability to aniracetam was excellent

Supplementing Aniracetam is a generally great idea for the elderly, to quote a New Zealand paper that was published in Drugs & Aging:

Preliminary evidence of the potential benefits and good tolerability profile of aniracetam support continued evaluation of its use in patients with mild to moderate senile dementia of the Alzheimer type.


The drug has been studied since it was first synthesized in the 1970s by Hoffmann-La Roche.

 Coming Soon: High-Absorption Aniracetam

Aniracetam suffers from being poorly absorbed orally, some researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand are hoping to change that and have developed a 2-Hydroxypropyl-β-Cyclodextrin form of Aniracetam which is absorbed 819% times better. From their 2018 paper on their Aniracetam-HP-β-CD formulation:

This novel formulation of aniracetam suitable for parenteral administration will have utility in future studies to further elucidate the pharmacokinetics of this drug.

It is sold in Europe as a prescription drug, going by a couple of names that sound downright devilish like Draganon, Sarpul, Ampamet, Memodrin, and Referan.


Early in my Nootropics journey, I tried powdered Aniracetam which I found kind of unpleasant to consume and I was unimpressed by the Nootropic effect. But you can get pharmaceutical-grade powdered Aniracetam, verified as >97% pure with a public certificate of analysis.

I also used capsuled Aniracetam, which I liked a lot more. If I want to do Aniracetam again, I'll use capsuled stuff.

Downloadable Aniracetam?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical - a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the supplement that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory - which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device...

Infocueticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you're skeptical of Infopathy that's understandable, it's a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I'd urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction...


Since it promotes Acetylcholine but is not a building block of the important neurotransmitter, it's a great idea to take with an Acetylcholine precursor-like Alpha GPC or a Choline supplement. It is fat-soluble, so take it with fatty acids either in your diet or supplementation.

Dave Asprey suggests a stack of 800 milligrams of Aniracetam with 100 milligrams of Phenylpiracetam.

 Dosage and Usage

  • Conservative dosage 250-500 milligrams
  • Moderate dosage of 750-1500 milligrams
  • high-end dosage of 1-2 grams

 Risk Grade: A-

Although you can find several hundred studies and scientific papers specifically on Aniracetam on Pubmed, it is sometimes criticized as a smart drug for having a shortage of human studies.

The most recent Aniracetam study done in 2019 suggested that Aniracetam might not help otherwise healthy peoples' memory:

These findings add to the growing evidence that, while effective at improving memory function in models of impaired memory, aniracetam has no effect in improving memory in healthy organisms.

 Side Effects

Brain toxicity and hepatoxicity are unrecorded.

 Closing Thought

Regulation has scared many good Nootropics vendors away from offering some of the very best smart drugs, like Aniracetam. I'm glad that I got the chance to try them! Did you?


Ampakine receptor synapse


Aniracetam by Pure Nootropics: I'm Ampakined UP!
Review of Peak Nootropic's Aniracatam: a Clumpy Focus Drug for Nerds
Medellín Biohacking #1: Mixing 8 Smart Drugs with Green Tea
Aniracetam as a Nootropic: A Military-Grade Ampakinic Cognitive Enhancer


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