Dr. Corneliu Giurgea created the first racetam nootropic in 1964 at the Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB Pharma.
He aimed to develop a calming-type drug for motion sickness. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter, and Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA.
However, Piracetam did not exhibit any GABA-related behavior despite its connection to this calming neurotransmitter. This means that GABA receptors are not directly affected.
The scientist discovered that even healthy people could benefit from Piracetam’s cognitive enhancement properties. So, in the early 1970s, the company launched this new ‘drug’ as ‘Nootropil’ in Europe.
How do racetams work?
Since Piracetam was developed, dozens of racetam derivatives have been developed. A pyrrolidone nucleus is the core of all synthetic compounds called racetams.
Many of these racetams are now available as prescription drugs in countries around the world. Among other neurocognitive disorders, they are prescribed for dementia, stroke recovery, ADHD, epilepsy, and epilepsy recovery.
In the USA, racetams can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.
However, they are not classified as “dietary supplements.” The racetams described below are provided solely for research purposes.
This post may be helpful if you are new to nootropics and are unsure which racetam to choose.
A brief description of the seven most popular racetams can be found below. Anyone can use these compounds regardless of their knowledge of nootropics. But you need to know how to use them.
You will learn what it is, where it came from, what it is used for, how it works in your brain, clinical studies, dosage recommendations, side effects, and where to buy it.
NOTE: You will notice that each of these racetams affects your brain’s acetylcholine levels. It must be taken along with a quality choline supplement, Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline.
Without choline supplements, these racetams will not work. This will likely result in a racetam headache. Please see the end of this post for more information on dosage recommendations.
Top 7 Racetam Nootropics
Piracetam is considered to be the first true nootropic ever developed. Dr. Corneliu Giurgea synthesized it at UCB Pharma in 1964.
Dr. Giurgea intended Piracetam, a cyclic derivative of GABA, to be a calming nootropic for motion sickness. It turns out that wasn’t the case.
Dr. Giurgea discovered that Piracetam can boost cognition in healthy individuals as well.
It increases glutamate’s effectiveness by modulating AMPA and NMDA receptors in the brain. As well as increasing cerebral blood flow, it improves the flow of acetylcholine (ACh) and the sensitivity and density of the ACh receptors Stoll L., Schubert T., Müller W.E. “Age-related deficits of central muscarinic cholinergic receptor function in the mouse: partial restoration by chronic piracetam … Continue reading.
The fact that Piracetam has decades of clinical research supporting its use makes it a popular choice for people new to nootropics. However, many people are disappointed after trying Piracetam a few times.
Because they don’t know how to use Piracetam, it didn’t work for them.
Before you notice the benefits of Piracetam, it takes 2 – 3 weeks of consistent use. For the first three days, experienced Neurohackers recommend taking Piracetam 3,000 mg three times daily.
You should notice a better mood, less social anxiety, heightened creativity, improved verbal fluency, and eventually, better memory once you start taking Piracetam.
The recommended dosage of Piracetam is 1,600 mg three times a day.
My favorite racetam is Aniracetam. Nootropic ampakine was developed at Hoffman-La Roche AG in 1978. In addition to boosting brain cell signaling, aniracetam improves the effectiveness of glutamate, which improves concentration and focus.
Your brain releases 200 – 300% more acetylcholine when you take aniracetam, which helps you focus, think clearly, remember, and recall information. In addition, it appears to affect dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain.
In addition to being an effective anxiolytic, aniracetam stands out among the other racetams. The nootropic reduces anxiety, depression, and fear in many users.
Recommended dosage of Aniracetam is 750 mg twice per day.
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma of Japan created Coluracetam in 2005, a fat-soluble racetam nootropic. By boosting high affinity choline uptake (HACU), it helps the brain convert choline into acetylcholine (ACh). Improving learning and memory.Takashina K., Bessho T., Mori R., Eguchi J., Saito K. “MKC-231, a choline uptake enhancer: (2) Effect on synthesis and release of acetylcholine in AF64A-treated rats.” Journal of Neural … Continue reading
Moreover, Coluracetam increases the effectiveness of glutamate in the brain, improving focus and concentration.
Coluracetam is used by Neurohackers for its cognitive benefits. This racetam also enhances color and sound.
Recommended dosage of Coluracetam is 20 – 80 mg per day.
If the dosage is higher, it should be divided into two smaller doses. In the morning and at noon, take one dose each.
Developed by Daiichi Seiyaku in the 1990s as a treatment for cerebrovascular disorders, Nefiracetam is a fat-soluble racetam nootropic.
In addition to potentiating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, Nifiracetam also inhibits GABA-A receptors. Enhancing the release of GABA and glutamate. Boosting learning and memory while improving neuroplasticity and calming the body.
When GABA is too low, Nefiracetam enhances the signaling of GABA on GABAa receptors. When GABA levels are too high, it has a suppressive effect. As a result, mood and sociability are stabilized. There are no mood swings!
One American study of 159 stroke patients found that 600 – 900 mg of Nefiracetam daily for 12 weeks significantly improved mood in the most severely depressed patients.Robinson R.G., Jorge R.E., Clarence-Smith K. “Double-blind randomized treatment of poststroke depression using nefiracetam.” Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 2008 … Continue reading
In addition, Nefiracetam prolongs calcium channel opening. Keeping neurotransmitters active for a longer period of time. Enhancing memory formation and recall.
According to students, Nefiracetam is the best racetam for studying because it improves attention span, and motivation, and reduces apathy and mental fatigue.
As a result of taking Nefiracetam, many users report they have a calm focus, are able to articulate their thoughts, and have improved their speaking ability.
The visual effects of Nefiracetam are one of the coolest things about it. As a result, your brain seems to be processing a broader spectrum of visual information. Your surroundings look more beautiful and vibrant.
Recommended dosage of Nefiracetam is up to 900 mg per day.
It is best to use smaller amounts, such as 400 mg in the morning and 400 mg at noon.
The third racetam nootropic, Oxiracetam, was developed in 1977. As a result, more acetylcholine is made in your brain by choline-acetyltransferase (ChAT). As a result, short-term and long-term memory are improved. Eliminating ‘brain fog’ as well.
Additionally, Oxiracetam increases the density of neurotransmitter binding sites on AMPA receptors. As a result, stimulants are produced without any negative side effects.Nicoletti F., Casabona G., Genazzani A.A., Copani A., Aleppo G., Canonico P.L., Scapagnini U. “Excitatory amino acids and neuronal plasticity: modulation of AMPA receptors as a novel substrate for … Continue reading)
As a result of using Oxiracetam, people report improved focus and motivation, as well as a reduction in brain fog. In particular, when learning new material or completing a tedious task.
Your recall should also improve significantly. It makes reading easier because you can read more pages faster and retain more information. Perfect for preparing for exams or board presentations.
Additionally, Oxiracetam improves mood.
Recommended Oxiracetam dosage is 750 – 1,500 mg per day. Each dose is divided in half. A morning dose and an afternoon dose.
In 1983, Russian scientists created Phenylpiracetam by adding a phenyl group to Piracetam. Astronauts’ physical and mental performance during space flight should be boosted. Russian cosmonauts use it on the International Space Station.
In addition, Phenylpiracetam has been shown to boost athletic performance very effectively. A significant stimulant effect is provided, as well as the ability to resist colds. Phenylpiracetam has been banned for athletes in the Olympics and other professional sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Acetylcholine (ACh), NMDA, GABA, and dopamine receptors in the brain are all enhanced by Phenylpiracetam. Having more receptors means more binding sites for neurotransmitters that affect memory, cognition, sleep, and mood.
Increased blood flow in the brain boosts alertness, cognition, focus, and mood by providing more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells.
Additionally, Phenylpiracetam reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fear without the negative side effects associated with antidepressants. Acetylcholine (ACh), GABA, and NMDA receptors are likely to be more densely expressed as a result.
Additionally, Phenylpiracetam has been shown to be an effective epilepsy treatment due to its ‘anti-convulsive’ action in the brain.
According to many Neurohackers, Phenylpiracetam is the strongest nootropic they have ever used. Taking it within 30 minutes results in instant results because it is highly bioavailable.
Recommended dose of Phenylpiracetam is 100 mg twice a day.
A dose of Phenylpiracetam in the morning and in the afternoon.
A team of researchers at Parke-Davis first synthesized Pramiracetam in the late 1970s. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is synthesized by high-affinity choline uptake (HACU), which is boosted by pramiracetam (ACh). Improves memory, focus, recall, and cognition.
It has no direct effect on GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin-like some of the other racetams do. In other words, it is not a good choice if you’re trying to improve your mood or anxiety.
The use of Pramiracetam quickly increases focus and boosts confidence, according to many Neurohackers.
Long, intense study sessions have been reported to benefit from it. You might also need sharp focus when you have logical, attention-based tasks to complete.
There have been other reports of improved memory, fluidity of thought, and ease of verbal communication and numerical calculation.
Recommended Pramiracetam dosage is 250 – 400 mg up to 3-times per day.
You should take one dose in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and a third dose later in the day if you are doing one.
Which racetam is best for you?
Each of the above racetams has a pyrrolidone nucleus core. They also boost acetylcholine and modulate glutamate in the brain, among other things.
In addition, each racetam provides unique benefits due to its unique mechanism of action. If you follow dosage recommendations, all of these are considered safe and non-toxic.
Piracetam might be a good choice if you’re just starting out and want something safe. To work, you need several grams per day (i.e. several grams).
Students may benefit from Nefiracetam, Oxiracetam, or Pramiracetam.
Aniracetam is a powerful anxiolytic and relieves anxiety and depression.
Phenylpiracetam may be useful for astronauts or athletes for the reasons outlined above. If you are an Olympic athlete, do not use this nootropic. Also, check with your professional sports association to see if this racetam is on their “banned” list of substances.
In addition, Coluracetam is worth trying if you’d like to see and hear the world in a more vibrant way.
But as I mentioned near the beginning of this post, each racetam nootropic must be dosed with Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. Because each racetam affects acetylcholine levels in your brain.
As each of these preformulated stacks contains Cognizin® (CDP-Choline), these racetams stack well with Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Mind.
A few of the racetams listed above are fat-soluble. It is important to take them with a healthy fat. To ensure absorption, try a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil.
Finally, many of the above racetams are only available in certain countries like the USA as a nootropic that can be easily ordered online. In many countries, they are prescribed drugs. To determine if they are available in your country, check your local regulations.
In this post, most of the racetams are available from HR Supplements in Pheonix, Arizona. They have an extensive testing program, their racetams are pure, and they work. I have tried them and recommend them. (I receive a small commission if you buy through the link above).
|↑1||Stoll L., Schubert T., Müller W.E. “Age-related deficits of central muscarinic cholinergic receptor function in the mouse: partial restoration by chronic piracetam treatment.” Neurobiology of Aging. 1992 Jan-Feb;13(1):39-44. (source)|
|↑2||Takashina K., Bessho T., Mori R., Eguchi J., Saito K. “MKC-231, a choline uptake enhancer: (2) Effect on synthesis and release of acetylcholine in AF64A-treated rats.” Journal of Neural Transmission (Vienna). 2008 Jul;115(7):1027-35. (source)|
|↑3||Robinson R.G., Jorge R.E., Clarence-Smith K. “Double-blind randomized treatment of poststroke depression using nefiracetam.” Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 2008 Spring;20(2):178-84. (source)|
|↑4||Nicoletti F., Casabona G., Genazzani A.A., Copani A., Aleppo G., Canonico P.L., Scapagnini U. “Excitatory amino acids and neuronal plasticity: modulation of AMPA receptors as a novel substrate for the action of nootropic drugs.” Functional Neurology. 1992 Sep-Oct;7(5):413-22. (source|