Piracetam and Aniracetam Comparison – Top Two Racetam Nootropics

Piracetam was the first nootropic ever to be developed and synthesized, which is why it is fitting for newer cognitive enhancing agents to be compared with it. More than just being the first nootropic, Piracetam, which was developed in the 1960s, is still one of the best and most reliable cognitive enhancers today. While no other nootropic can definitely say that it is better than Piracetam, there is a chance that a nootropic may actually be better for you when taking into consideration three important variables:

  1. The effects that are unique to a particular nootropic,
  2. Your specific goals for supplementation, and
  3. Your sensitivity to the nootropic.

If there are any nootropics that can come close to the versatility of Piracetam, Aniracetam will certainly make for a strong case. Aniracetam was developed and released right on the heels of Piracetam in the 1970s and it has quite a following as well. Considered as one of the top 3 tier racetams (the third being Oxiracetam), it has a few of studies on laboratory animals with positive results in terms of cognitive enhancement.

This article will examine the first two racetam nootropics ever developed Piracetam and Aniracetam, then you can try to compare how each one will work for you.


As mentioned earlier, Piracetam was the first nootropic developed. It was first synthesized 1964 by Dr. Corneliu Giurgia, who was then working for UCB, a multi-national company that is headquartered in Belgium. It was Dr. Giurgia himself who coined the word “nootropic” to call compounds that promotes the enhancement of the cognitive functions. For a compound to be considered a nootropic, Dr. Giurgia also laid down the standards in order it to be considered as such.

Based on the standards set by Dr. Giurgia, a compound must have the following abilities to be considered as a nootropic:

  1. It should be able to improve memory functions,
  2. It should be able to prevent memory loss,
  3. It should be able to improve learning abilities,
  4. It should have neuroprotective abilities,
  5. It should not have psychotropic effects and,
  6. It should not be toxic.

It can be argued that Dr. Giurgia had Piracetam in mind when he set the standards above. If one were to measure all the “nootropics” today based on these standards, it will be plain to see that a good number of them won’t be able to make the cut and deserve to be called a nootropic.


Below are the known effects and benefits from Piracetam supplementation.

  1. It has been proven to improve memory functions.
  2. It has been observed to improve verbal fluency.
  3. It has been observed to improve focus and concentration.
  4. It has nearly 100% bioavailability with long half-life.
  5. It has been observed to improve cognitive functions in the elderly.
  6. It has been observed to delay the effects of cognitive decline.
  7. It has been observed to have neuroprotective effects.
  8. It is safe and well-tolerated even in very high doses.

Piracetam supplementation has its own share of what some nootropic users may consider as negatives. Below are some of them.

  1. You need to take large doses of it to feel its effects.
  2. If you do feel its effects, it will be mild and subtle.
  3. It takes a few days after supplementation before its effects become evident and noticeable.
  4. Studies show that the elderly and the cognitively impaired are the ones who benefit the most from its supplementation.
  5. It has also set the standard for the side effects associated with racetam supplementation such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and upset stomach.

When taken along with a choline supplement, which it has been found to be highly synergistic with, the effects of Piracetam are greatly enhanced. The daily recommended doses for Piracetam supplementation is 1.5 to 4.8 grams daily. Piracetam reaches peak plasma concentrations faster when it is not taken with meals and it stays in the body for approximately 30 hours.


This nootropic was developed in the 1970s after Piracetam was released to the public. Aniracetam was first synthesized in the laboratories of Hoffmann-La Roche, a subsidiary of the multi-national company Roche Holding AG that is based in Switzerland. It is structurally similar to most racetams, but subtle nuances in its chemical makeup create some differences in its actions and effects.


As opposed to Piracetam, which is water-soluble, Aniracetam is fat-soluble putting it at the lower end of the hydrophilicity spectrum. This property of Aniracetam makes it easily absorbed, but it does have low a bioavailability with a good part of it failing to reach systemic circulation intact.

Below are the known properties, effects, and benefits of Aniracetam supplementation.

  1. It is fat-soluble.
  2. It is up to 5 times more potent than Piracetam.
  3. It has a slightly different mode of action.
  4. It has also shown the ability to improve memory functions and learning skills.
  5. Its cognitive enhancing effects have been observed to stimulate creative analytical thinking.
  6. It has been observed to promote the formation of new synapses.
  7. It has been observed to have the ability to prevent memory loss.
  8. It has been observed to have neuroprotective abilities.
  9. It has been observed to have anxiolytic effects.

Although Aniracetam appears to offer unique benefits from supplementation, there are some proven and reported negative effects that come with it.  Some of these negative effects along with some misgivings with Aniracetam supplementation are listed below.

  1. There is little human study to confirm its supposed cognitive enhancing effects.
  2. Its bioavailability is questionable despite being more potent than Piracetam.
  3. Its other effects may not be ideal for everyone.
  4. Although it is reported as having anxiolytic effects, there are numerous reports that say it causes depression.
  5. It has been reported to have the effect of making the user less motivated.
  6. It has been reported as having sedating effects.
  7. It has a short half-life of only 1 to 2 hours.
  8. It has similar side effects as Piracetam such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and upset stomach.

Unlike Piracetam, Aniracetam does not seem to go too well with a choline supplement especially among cholinergic users. Aniracetam used by itself has been known to cause depression, and using choline along with it seems to worsen this effect. Another unique ability of Aniracetam is that users report of having lucid dreams while on the supplement. One clear advantage of Aniracetam as far as effectiveness is concerned is that even healthy individuals benefit as much as the cognitively impaired when it comes to its cognitive enhancing effects.

Due to its questionable bioavailability, the proper dosing of Aniracetam is not very definitive. The usual supplemental dose of Aniracetam that is believed to have beneficial cognitive enhancing effects is set at 750mg taken two to three times a day.


Piracetam advantages over Aniracetam:

  1. It is more bioavailable.
  2. It is well-rounded when it comes to its cognitive enhancing effects.
  3. It has a number of human studies that attest to its effectiveness.
  4. It improves focus and motivation.
  5. There hardly are any reports of it causing depression.

Aniracetam advantages over Piracetam

  1. It is more potent.
  2. It is the go-to nootropic if your task requires creative analysis of problems.
  3. It has been observed to have the ability to grow new synapses in laboratory animals.
  4. It has been observed to have anxiolytic effects.
  5. It can induce lucid dreaming

At the end of the day, only the user can say which of these two racetams will best suit his or her cognitive enhancing needs. The effects and benefits of Piracetam and Aniracetam mentioned here may still vary depending on the physical and perhaps, psychological makeup of the user. Due to varying sensitivities, the effective dose for both this racetams may change depending on the user.

There are no rules however, that say you can’t use these two racetams at once in order to enjoy the benefits that are unique to each of them. This practice is also known as stacking and it can also negate some of the negative effects that each nootropic has. You can read tips about stacking multiple racetams at once here.

As with any other supplement, it will be best if you first consult with your doctor before starting on supplementation with either or both Piracetam and Aniracetam.

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