Pramiracetam and Coluracetam: Two Cognitive Enhancing Agents


Pramiracetam and Coluracetam are two nootropics from the racetam family that are often being compared by experienced users of smart drugs. This is primarily because of these two cognitive enhancing agents are generally believed to share a similar mechanism of action. While the exact mechanism of action of these two racetams is not fully established (as with other racetams for that matter), both Pramiracetam and Coluracetam are thought to impart their nootropic effects by affecting the high affinity choline uptake (HACU) within the brain.

HACU is a rate-limiting step in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neuroendocrine transmitter responsible for most of the cognitive processes that take place in the brain. These processes include memory formation, retention, and recall; logical reasoning, learning abilities, and verbal fluency. It is theorized that Pramiracetam and Coluracetam potentiates the HACU step, which in turn speeds up the synthesis of more acetylcholine. This is perhaps the reason why Pramiracetam and Coluracetam are highly synergistic with high quality choline supplements like CDP choline and Alpha GPC, as well as other cholinergics.

Although Piracetam and Coluracetam have similar mechanisms of action, their difference structure-wise gave them unique effects and abilities. These unique abilities are the primary reasons why nootropic users prefer one over the other.

In order to make a fair comparison between Pramiracetam and Coluracetam, let us examine each one to see how these two racetams stack up against the other.


PramiracetamPramiracetam is one of the earlier racetams ever developed along with Piracetam, Aniracetam, and Oxiracetam. Pramiracetam was developed by Parke-Davies, the oldest US-based pharmaceutical company in the late 70s. The patent for the drug was granted in 1978 in Europe and the following year in the US. It wasn’t until 1984 however, when Pramiracetam began to be prescribed for nootropic purposes. This racetam is estimated to be around 15 to 30 times more potent than Aniracetam, the second racetam synthesized right after Piracetam. There is very little data with regards to the effects of human supplementation with Pramiracetam and most of the information and claims about the effects of this smart drug are based mostly on personal observation and experiences.


  1. It appears to be an effective nootropic.
  2. Its effects as a smart drug appear to be most effective in memory formation and recall, and logical reasoning, which make it an ideal study aid.
  3. It increases blood flow to the brain.
  4. It has neuroprotective abilities.
  5. It is widely available.
  6. It is relatively more affordable compared to Coluracetam.


  1. It has a sedating effect.
  2. It is still a bit pricey.
  3. It has a short half-life.
  4. It has a number of side effects common to racetams such as headaches, dizziness, and upset stomach.


COLURACETAMThis is one of the more recent racetams developed, having been synthesized in Japan in only 2005 by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation. The patent of this smart drug has since been transferred to BrainCells, Inc., the same company that has been actively conducting tests on this relatively new nootropic. Initial tests shows that apart from its nootropic abilities, Coluracetam also appears to show promise as a treatment option for major depressive disorder that is co-morbid with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Given the high cost of synthesizing this racetam compound, the reviews of the effects of Coluracetam is a bit limited. All the available claims from those who have tried Coluracetam are also mostly based on personal experience and are merely anecdotal.

Among the most common effects of Coluracetam according to those who have tried it are listed below.


  1. It appears to have the ability to enhance visual, olfactory, and auditory perceptions.
  2. It improves concentration and focus.
  3. It may improve attention, alertness, and vigilance.
  4. It has anxiolytic and antidepressant effects.
  5. It can increase your sociability.
  6. It has neuroprotective properties.


  1. Supplies are very limited.
  2. It is very expensive to have a batch synthesized.
  3. It also has a short half-life.
  4. It has a very unpleasant and caustic taste.
  5. It shares the side effects common to racetams like headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

As you can see from the comparison of the properties and effects of Pramiracetam and Coluracetam, these are two distinct racetams with different benefits. The similarity of their mechanism of action does not translate to similar effects, and one cannot be effectively substituted for the other. Based on the comparison above, a nootropic user may prefer one over the other for specific benefits.

The daily recommended dosage for Pramiracetam is set at 1,200 to 3,200 milligrams preferably divided into three doses, while the doses for Coluracetam is 80 milligrams taken three times daily.

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