Aniracetam is a popular choice among nootropic users for its ability to enhance cognition while reducing anxiety and boosting mood. It’s also moderately priced and has little to no reported side effects when taken at recommended dosages.
Aniracetam is chemically classed as a racetam (a drug that shares a pyrrolidone nucleus), and like most racetams, it works to a large extent by modulating neurotransmitters.
Here are some of aniracetam’s highlights:
- 8x more potent than piracetam
- Increases literary fluidity and learning of abstract concepts
- Ampakine nature causes increased memory retention
- Anxiolytic/mood enhancer
- Creativity booster
- Vision appears sharper, more vivid
- Improves right brain functioning
The majority of people that have taken aniracetam report that its anxiolytic and mood enhancing effects are notable. Users report an increase in social confidence and improved verbal fluency.
Despite aniracetam being fat soluble, which often indicates a slower breakdown with lasting effects, it only has a half-life of 1-3 hours, meaning it effects are short lived compared to some other nootropics. For this reason, it may be preferable to dose it 2-3 times a day, as necessary.
Benefits and Effects
Aniracetam’s well-documented positive mood and anti-anxiety properties, combined with powerful cognitive enhancements and a demonstrated lack of side effects, make it one of the most popular nootropics on the market. While some users report an initial feeling of mental fogginess, the effect is usually temporary and within a day or two aniracetam’s true nootropic nature starts to have a noticeable effect.
In addition to generally elevating mood and lessening anxiety, aniracetam can enhance creativity while improving verbal fluency, comprehension, and memory retention. Users have reported a distinct feeling of calm and relaxation along with increased learning capacity, greater social ease and fluency, and better focus and attention to mental tasks over longer periods. There are also some reports that visuals may seem enhanced by aniracetam, appearing deeper and more vivid.
While immediate acute benefits are anecdotally reported, studies involving individuals with senile cognitive disorders demonstrated significant improvements over placebo at 4 and 6 months.
Aniracetam is fat soluble and is metabolized in the liver. Though it is fast acting, crossing the blood-brain barrier in as little as 30 minutes, it has a relatively brief half-life of just one to three hours so multiple doses over a period of hours may be needed to maintain effects.
How it Works
Though not all of its exact mechanisms of action are completely understood, aniracetam has been extensively studied, and it has been shown to modulate the following important neurotransmitters:
Acetylcholine – Aniracetam improves general cognition by enhancing activity throughout the acetylcholine system, which plays a pivotal role in memory, attention span, learning speed and other cognitive processes. It works by binding to acetylcholine receptors, inhibiting receptor desensitization and promoting the synaptic release of acetylcholine.
Dopamine and Serotonin – Aniracetam improves mood, boosts energy, and lessens anxiety by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin. By binding to dopamine and serotonin receptors, aniracetam inhibits the breakdown of these important neurotransmitters and restores optimum levels of both, making it an effective mood enhancer and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) agent.
Glutamate Transmission – Aniracetam is uniquely effective at improving memory and information storage because of the way that it enhances the transmission of glutamate, the neurotransmitter that plays the primary role in neural activation. By binding to and stimulating the AMPA and kainate receptors, glutamate receptors strongly associated with information storage and the creation of new memories, aniracetam improves neuroplasticity in general and long-term potentiation in particular.
While individual requirements vary, a dosage of 750-1500 mg is typically accepted as both safe and effective, though doses of up to 3000 mg daily have been documented as well-tolerated. It is wise to start with the minimum effective dose and gradually increase as necessary.
One human study involving individuals with senile cognitive disorders reported benefits over placebo at 1500 mg/day.
Because of its relatively brief half-life of one to three hours, dosage may have to be repeated at intervals to maintain effects.
Like most nootropics in the racetam family, the effects of aniracetam may diminish if too much is present in the system, so dosage should be monitored closely.
Like most racetams, aniracetam works well on its own or in combination with other nootropics. Here are some common aniracetam stacks to consider.
Aniracetam and Choline Stack
The addition of a supplemental choline source usually recommended when taking racetams, such as aniracetam. Choline, an essential nutrient which we consume in our diet, is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which responsible for various brain functions such as memory.
Supplementing a high-quality, bioavailable source of supplemental choline, such as alpha GPC or citicoline, may have nootropic effects of its own by ensuring the availability of the necessary building blocks for synthesizing acetylcholine.
This process is especially relevant when taking aniracetam since it works in part by stimulating the cholinergic system. Supplementing choline ensures that there is enough in your system to maximize aniracetam’s effects while mitigating the potential common side effects that may result in the lack of acetylcholine in the brain such as headaches.
The PAO Stack
The PAO stack, an acronym for piracetam, aniracetam, and oxiracetam, is a classic stack that involves combining these three popular nootropics. Stacking aniracetam with piracetam and oxiracetam strengthens the perceived effects of all the components in the stack and could potentially extend the period of which the benefits are experienced. Including piracetam may also intensify aniracetam’s anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties. As previously mentioned, it’s also a good idea to include a choline source.
Before attempting a stack this complex, it is recommended that you have experience with the individual components of the stack before combining them. Only consider this stack once you are familiar with each of their respective effects and how you react to them. Also remember when combining racetams, or nootropics in general, you should use less than you’d usually dose if taken on their own because most nootropics have synergistic effects.
Aniracetam and Mind Lab Pro Stack
An easy and effective stack is to combine aniracetam with a preformulated nootropic blend, such as Mind Lab Pro by Opti-Nutra which contains 11 all-natural research-backed ingredients. Mind Lab Pro can serve as an excellent foundation to your stack as it is designed to improve all aspects of memory, mental performance, mood and stress resistance, maintenance, and brain repair.
For a detailed overview of its ingredients and effects, refer to our Mind Lab Pro review.
When taken at recommended dosages, aniracetam produces very few documented side effects, and those that are reported are both minor and temporary. The most frequently reported side effects of aniracetam are headaches and mild nausea, both of which can often be successfully addressed by the addition of a choline source.
High doses of aniracetam can result in a feeling of excessive nervousness, digestive discomfort, or both. If either of these effects occurs, try reducing dosage. Some users report a loss of inhibition when taking aniracetam; while not necessarily an unwelcome side effect, a sudden feeling of loss of inhibition could be surprising and perhaps unsettling (especially in retrospect).
Each user should carefully monitor their response while taking aniracetam or any nootropic to ensure that the results are as expected and as wanted.
Where to Buy
Aniracetam can only be bought from a select few online vendors. Only buy from trusted sources to ensure you are getting a pure product.
We recommend you purchase your aniracetam from AbsorbYourHealth.com as they specialize in high-quality nootropics and all their batches tested for purity by 3rd party laboratories.
Aniracetam’s uniquely diverse effects make it a truly balanced nootropic; it improves mood and promotes calmness, easing social anxiety and enhancing performance (especially useful for public speakers, performance artists, or anyone who is ill at ease in groups). It can also markedly sharpen cognitive acuity so that learning is easier and faster it enables better focus and concentration over longer periods, making it popular with students.
Users routinely report that aniracetam gives them a creativity boost, and many also report that visual stimuli are more enjoyable when taking aniracetam.
All in all, aniracetam provides quite a package of benefits in a form that’s remarkably well tolerated and with very few associated side effects.
Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.