Coluracetam belongs to the wider group of racetam drugs. It is often touted for its memory boosting properties as well as its positive effects on manic depression and anxiety.

Although coluracetam is mainly associated with these benefits, it has also been reported to boost optic properties although ongoing studies are needed to identify the exact mechanisms behind this benefit.

Coluracetam was originally synthesized in Japan by the Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in 2005.

When it failed to reach endpoints in its clinical trials, it was licensed by BrainCells, Inc for further research.

Benefits and Effects

After acquiring the license from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, BrainCells Inc. immediately began testing the effects of coluracetam.

As there weren’t enough participants to take part in clinical trials for coluracetam, most of these tests were conducted on rats instead. From these tests, coluracetam was shown to markedly improve memory, learning, and anxiety.

Memory and Learning

Coluracetam is shown to improve cognitive function and memory in rats, and in theory, similar results may translate to humans. A study conducted by BrainCells Inc showed a memory improvement in rats who were given substance AF64A (a neuron-specific neurotoxin) for eight days along with coluracetam in 3 mg doses. They were then put through the standardized Morris Water Maze to mark their ability to get through it, and even up to 72 hours after the last 8 mg dose, they were still able to.

Another key finding of this study was that the results were still apparent three days after the last dose, even though the serum concentration of coluracetam was negligible.‍[1]

Depression and Anxiety

BrainCells Inc. found that a dosage of 240 mg (split into three daily doses of 80 mg) was useful in treating major depression with co-morbid GAD (generalized anxiety disorder).

However, the differences were most pronounced in those who didn’t find relief in using standard antidepressants.

After one dose, there were no noticeable differences, but after two doses of 80 mg, 36% had improved scores during a depression assessment test.‍[2]


Coluracetam has been anecdotally reported to provide optical benefits such as enhanced color vision, recognition, and vividness.‍[3]‍[4]

Although there isn’t any conclusive evidence to support the mechanisms behind this benefit, experts theorize that coluracetam may work in the parts of the brain that runs visual processes.

How It Works

Like most racetam compounds, coluracetam increases choline uptake, but it also increases uptake in damaged neurons. It does this by enhancing uptake in the nerve cells via the choline uptake system (HACU).‍[5] By coluracetam improves choline preservation during this process, a larger amount is converted into acetylcholine. This process likely explains how coluracetam increases memory, attention, and alertness. It is important to note that these benefits were only observed in subjects with previously impaired neurons, not in subjects with normally functioning neurons.

Coluracetam interacts with choline transporters as well, there isn’t enough evidence to explain why or how this interaction occurs, or what occurs after the interaction.‍[6]

Coluracetam may also improve AMPA potentiation, which is a process that triggers cognitive function and alertness.


Because the subjects of the research were rats, there are no recommended human dosages guidelines.

Anecdotally, nootropic users report dosing in the range of 3–35 mg, up to 3x per day.

It is generally advised to begin dosing at the lower end of the range to determine your reaction to the substance and work up as desired.

Side Effects

There isn’t very much information to indicate toxicity of coluracetam, although doses given at the above increments showed no adverse side effects. If you haven’t used a nootropic before, you may develop a headache after use, which is a common side effect in first-time users. By stacking coluracetam with a bioavailable choline source, you’ll likely reduce this risk.


Like most racetams, coluracetam stacks well with a choline source, such as Alpha GPC, for added memory and cognitive benefits. The recommended doses for supplemental choline is 300–600 mg daily if you’re stacking with Alpha GPC and 250–750 mg daily if you’re using CDP choline.

Where to Buy

Coluracetam is only available at certain online specialty vendors. We recommend as your source for coluracetam or any other nootropics you would like to buy.

Closing Thoughts

Coluracetam is a lesser known nootropic with less research compared to other more popular nootropics.

The few studies that exist are promising, however, more research, particularly on coluracetam’s effects on humans, is necessary.

References   [ + ]

Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.

This page was last updated on November 21, 2018.