Racetams: An Overview

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All Racetams are neuroprotective and enhance cognitition

Structure of pyrollidine

Structure of pyrollidine

Piracetam and similar nootropics belong to a class of drugs known as racetams. These drugs all have a nucleus of pyrollidine, an organic compound with the formula C4H9N. While all of the racetams are neuroprotective and all behave as cognitive enhancers, each one has unique effects.

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Which is the best? It depends on what you’re using it for. Here’s an overview of the most popular racetams, so you can decide which one best suits you.


Piracetam is the oldest of the racetams, and a starter racetam for many newbie nootropic users. In fact, the word “nootropic” was invented to describe Piracetam. Because Piracetam has been studied since the 1960s, we know more about it than any other racetam, so if you want a nootropic that’s been extensively researched, it’s the one for you.

Piracetam in the Scientific Literature:

Piracetam molecule

Piracetam Molecule


Speed of action and bioavailability

Piracetam is water soluble, and therefore does not cross the blood-brain barrier easily. Therefore, it takes a while for it to take effect.

It is almost 100% bioavailable.


A usual Piracetam dose can range from 1500 to 4800 milligrams per day.

Click here to read more about Piracetam.


Aniracetam can do something that Piracetam can’t – enhance mood. People take Aniracetam not only to improve their cognitive ability, but to reduce fear, anxiety and depression. Animal studies show that it increases sociability, and people often take it to help with social anxiety.

Aniracetam molecule

Aniracetam Molecule

Aniracetam in the Scientific Literature:


Speed of action and bioavailability

Aniracetam is fat soluble and therefore crosses the blood brain barrier easily. That means it’s fast acting. Some people claim they can feel the drug’s effects within a few hours of taking it. However, it has a bioavailability of only 0.2%, so it does not stay in the system very long.


Because Aniracetam is not very long lasting, it needs to be taken throughout the day. Recommended doses range from 750 to 4000 milligrams each day, divided into four doses per day.

Click here to read more about Aniracetam.


Oxiracetam is a newer, more powerful drug than Piracetam, and therefore a good choice for someone who already has experience with Piracetam and is ready for something stronger.

While it has neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing properties, it is not a mood enhancer.

Oxiracetam molecule

Oxiracetam Molecule

Oxiracetam in the Scientific Literature:

Speed of action and bioavailability

Oxiracetam is water soluble, and therefore not very fast acting. It has a relatively high bioavailability between 68 and 82 percent.


You only need to take Oxiracetam once a day. Your dose can range from 600 to 3000 milligrams per day.

Click here to read more about Oxiracetam.


Pramiracetam is a very strong nootropic, suitable for an advanced racetam user who can handle a very powerful drug. Research performed on rats suggests it’s between 10 and 15 times as strong as Piracetam.

Pramiracetam moleculea nootropic that’s  exceptionally strong, it might be just right for you. Like Aniracetam, Pramiracetam, N-(2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl)-2-oxo-l-pyrrolidineacetamide, is fat soluble. That means it crosses the blood-brain barrier easily. In fact, Pramiracetam dissolves in fat more easily than any of the other racetam do. This allows it to be absorbed very rapidly and could explain why its effect is so stroing. Effects on Cognition Pramiracetam was developed by Parke, Davis and Co., which reported the drug’s nootropic effects in 1978. Since then, further research has demonstrated its neuroprotective and memory enhancing effects. Studies in rats and mice have shown that Pramiracetam improves retention, enhances spatial learning ability and helps prevent chemically induced amnesia. A 1991 study showed that Pramiracetam improved memory and helped treat other cognitive problems in men with brain injuries. The improvements persisted a month after the men stopped taking the drug. In 1994, researchers gave male volunteers scopolamine to induce amnesia. When the volunteers were given Pramiracetam, the amnesic effects were partially reduced. Some studies have suggested that Pramiracetam could help people with Alzheimer’s disease, but other studies have produced conflicting results. Pramiracetam users report that it allows them to think more clearly and focus more easily. How It Works Scientists aren’t exactly sure how Pramiracetam gets its effects. Research shows it increases choline uptake in the cerebral cortex and in the hippocampus, which plays a role in memory formation. Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with learning and memory. Pramiracetam has also been shown to increase blood flow to the brain. It appears to increase brain membrane fluidity in old, but not young rats. Although some users claim that Pramiracetam helps with social anxiety, it hasn’t been shown to have any effect on dopamine or serotonin receptors. If you’re specifically trying to relieve social anxiety, you’re better off taking Aniracetam, which does affect these neurotransmitter receptors. How Take It Pramiracetam is much stronger than Piracetam. Research on rats shows that a dose of Pramiracetam can have 10 to 15 times the effect as the same dose of Piracetam. Recommended doses of Pramiracetam range from 75 to 1500 milligrams day. These should be broken up into two or three doses throughout the day. In fact, Pramiracetam is so powerful on its own that it’s been recommended that you don’t stack it with any other nootropic. You can take it with choline to prevent headaches. Piracetam in powder form is known to have an exceptionally bitter taste, to the point of being almost unpalatable. Because it isn’t water soluble, you can’t mix it with juice. Instead, you can mix it with something fatty, such as milk. You can buy Piracetam in pill form, but it will cost more and you won’t be able to make small dosage adjustments.

Pramiracetam Molecule

Pramiracetam in the Scientific Literature:


Pramiracetam is fat soluble and crosses the blood brain barrier quickly. It should be taken two or three times a day, for a total of 75 to 1500 milligrams per day.

Click here to read more about Pramiracetam.


Phenylpiracetam is the athlete’s racetam. In addition to improving memory and learning ability, it acts as a mild stimulant and enhances physical performance. In fact, some sporting organisations, including the Olympics, have banned it. Like Aniracetam, it is also a mood enhancer.

An extremely powerful racetam,Phenylpiracetam is between 20 and 60 times stronger than Piracetam and probably not the racetam of choice for beginners.

Phenylpiracetam molecule

Phenylpiracetam Molecule

Phenylpiracetam in the Scientific Literature:


Phenylpiracetam is extremely strong, so it’s recommended that you start with no more than 100 milligrams in a day. Do not take more than 300 milligrams in one day.

Phenylpiracetam should not be taken late in the day, as it can cause insomnia. You can divide your dose into morning and early afternoon doses.

You can develop a tolerance to Phenylpiracetam, so you shouldn’t take it every day. Either take it only occasionally, when you need an especially powerful cognitive enhancer, or try a one week on, one week off schedule. You can take another racetam on your week off.

Click here to read more about Phenylpiracetam.


  1. By jay whyman on

    Hello , i am inaatentive adhd type 2 , lazy , moody , slow to learn , temper , not wanting to learn ect . I am looming for a med , I’m currently on nitrovit from neurolabs before that focus formula from briansmart.net.

    Both are ok , but nothing special , to really motivate me , and give some drive and enthusiasm .
    they start off ok , but then deplete ., esp the focus formula , however focus was ok.

    Can you help with piracetam ?

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