Aniracetam

A porn star that deliverers the mother load

via GIPHY

Aniracetam is part of a class of nootropics called racetams. The first racetam was called Piracetam. It was developed in 1964 and ushered in an era of massive plagiarism, with all kinds of racetams coming to market. But in 1970, a pharmaceutical company called Hoffmann-La Roche developed Aniracetam to treat brain disorders. This little gem seemed to be far more powerful than the other racetams.
It doesn’t surprise me that a pharma with a name like a porn star delivered the mother load. As a side note, Hoffmann-La Roche first popped up in 1896 and set about deeply penetrating the market. This ballsy company was also the first to produce synthetic vitamin C in 1934.

Aniracetam is sold throughout Europe as a prescription medication and as a non-prescription dietary supplement in the US and Canada. In Australia it’s complicated, but we’ll talk more about this later.

The brain just want’s to party y’all

via GIPHY

Aniracetam is taken orally, absorbed in the gut and aggressively metabolised by the liver. It’s also fat soluble, so it crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily. This means that even though it has a fairly low bioavailability of around 10% because the liver is a party pooper, it starts to work within about 30 minutes because the brain just want’s to party y’all. As a result, it’s fast acting, but not long lasting. A little disappointing for a porn star, but certainly familiar to me.

Like most of the racetams, Aniracetam modulates AMPA receptors. These are one of the glutamate family of receptors, responsible for regulating brain energy or excitation. They work by reducing the desensitisation of the receptor. Which means it makes your brain more sensitive to glutamate already present.

One of the things that’s cool about Aniracetam  is that it is pretty targeted and doesn’t seem to screw with your other glutamate receptors like NDMA. These bad boys are linked to alcohol dependence and when over excited can lead to seriously bad ju-ju like hallucinations, anxiety and dizziness, so it’s best if we leave them be.

It also has serotonergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic interactions, which means it modulates the amount of these brain chemicals as well, generating a wide range of neurological effects, including improved mood and reduced anxiety.

Fiendishly clever and exceedingly happy

It’s main effect is on improving memory, learning and concentration, possibly by upregulation of AMPA and acetylcholine receptors. But it also has a significant effect on reducing depression and anxiety too (possibly by upregulating dopamine and serotonin in the prefrontal cortex). So lots of people take it for mood regulation. In fact, mice studies show it makes them more sociable, not just less anxious.

It’s also neuroprotective and reparative. Some animal studies (yes my fiendishly clever and exceedingly happy rat overlords, I’m talking to you) have shown it can protect from amnesia and repair damage from things like mild dementia, starving the oxygen of brain, stroke and even shock therapy. It may even help with the treatment of PTSD and ADHD, but that’s getting very speculative.

The rendered carcases of my enemies

Because it’s powerful, fast acting, but not long lasting, most people seem to take small doses at frequent intervals. For example 200mg-400mg four times per day. Students are reported to use this drug for quick, intense bursts of study. But other websites recommend one 1000-1500 mg dose, once per day.

As with all smart drugs, start at a lower dose, once per day and see how you go. Some people have reported gastrointestinal distress from taking too much. Like many other smart drugs, there are also reports of brain fog or headaches at higher doses, often resolved with a Choline supplement.

Aniracetam is a fat soluble molecule, so many people take it with fats like fish oil, ghee, whale blubber or the rendered carcases of my enemies. While there is little direct evidence for this increasing its bioavailability, taking fat-soluble substances with fat definitely makes sense and. can’t do any harm. At the very least, probably take it after a meal. Also, it’s bitter so you might opt for pills over powder. Though bulk powder is always cheaper.

Some Nootronauts report that it can take at least two weeks for enough Aniracetam to build up in your brain before you experience its full effects, but others report immediate effects. Most of these varying anecdotal reports point to one thing.

Effects differ between people. So my advice is be cautious. Start with a low dose and work your way up. Always cycle off the drugs for a period of time every few weeks to reduce the chance of developing a tolerance.

Clearly motivated by what’s best for you

In Australia, Piracetam is marketed under the brand name Nootropil. But you might also find it listed as Breinox, Dinagen, Lucetam, Nootropyl or Oikamid, just to name a few. These are all schedule 4 drugs and require a prescription.

I have seen the argument made, that because racetams like Oxiracetam, Aniracetam and Pramiracetam are not specifically mentioned on a banned or schedule 4 list, they are therefore allowed to be imported under the personal importation scheme. But I suspect they are covered under analogue drug and psychoactive substances legislation and are therefore prescription only as well.

Many people seem to have no trouble importing racetams into Australia, but I’m not condoning this behaviour. After all, a system that makes profoundly destructive substances like alcohol and tobacco widely available and then collects massive tax windfalls as a result, is clearly motivated by what’s best for your health right?