What Is Aniracetam?

Aniracetam capsules and powder

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

Aniracetam is a supplement with potential nootropic effects. This means that aniracetam might support brain health, like memory.

Aniracetam likely works with its positive effects on certain brain receptors (binding sites). These sites include alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-sensitive glutamate receptors.

Aniracetam may also affect various brain chemicals, such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved aniracetam as a prescription product.

However, the European version of the FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), included aniracetam in its list of nationally authorized medical products.

In Japan, potential uses for aniracetam included certain mental health conditions. However, it was removed from the market in Japan.

This article discusses what you should know about aniracetam—its potential uses, side effects, and interactions.

Dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement tested by a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLab, or NSF.org. However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn't mean they are necessarily safe for all or effective in general. Therefore, talking to a healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and checking in about potential interactions with other supplements or medications is essential.

Supplement Facts

  • Active ingredients (s): Aniracetam
  • Alternative name(s): 1-(4-methoxybenzoyl)-2-pyrrolidinone, Ampamet, Memodrin, Referan, Draganon, Sarpul
  • Legal status: Over-the-counter supplement. (United States)
  • Suggested dose: May vary based on the dosage form and medical condition.
  • Safety considerations: Children, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Potential medication interactions.

Uses of Aniracetam

Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent disease.

In general, more recent, quality, and long-term research on aniracetam is necessary. But like many supplements, people may use aniracetam for various reasons.


One clinical trial suggested that aniracetam benefited memory problems. Participants were divided into the following four groups:

  • Aniracetam alone
  • Common prescriptions for dementia from Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Combination treatment with aniracetam and common AD prescriptions
  • No treatment

This study used the following AD medications:

  • Aricept (donepezil)
  • Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Namenda (memantine)
  • Razadyne (galantamine)

While the results look promising, more recent, long-term research with higher quality and larger clinical trials is necessary.


In a study, results suggested aniracetam improved mood in people with memory problems.

Healthcare providers prescribed aniracetam to people in Japan for mental health conditions, such as anxiety, agitation, or depression.

However, it's presently removed from the Japanese market because of study results.

Due to conflicting results, more recent research with a larger group of people is needed.


In a review, aniracetam had stimulating effects. The researchers suggested this may help some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In particular, the stimulating effects of aniracetam might address some of the learning and language problems that some children with ADHD experience.

This article, however, also stated the need for additional clinical trials.

What Are the Side Effects of Aniracetam?

Like many medications and supplements, side effects are possible with aniracetam.

Common Side Effects

Aniracetam seems well-tolerated. However, some common short-term side effects may include:

Severe Side Effects

One article suggested there were no serious safety issues with aniracetam.

However, a severe allergic reaction is a serious side effect possible with any medication.

If you're having a severe allergic reaction to aniracetam, symptoms may include breathing difficulties, itchiness, and rash.

Call 911 and get medical help immediately if you have a severe allergic reaction or any of your symptoms feel life-threatening.


A healthcare provider may advise against taking aniracetam if any of the following applies to you:

  • Severe allergic reaction: If you have a severe allergic reaction to aniracetam or its components (ingredients or parts), you shouldn't take this medication.
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding: Most aniracetam product labels didn't appear to target pregnant or breastfeeding parents. Reach out to a healthcare provider to discuss the benefits and risks of aniracetam while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Children: A few clinical trials studied aniracetam in children, but additional high-quality research is still necessary. What's more, most aniracetam product labels likely target adults—not children. If you are considering aniracetam for your child, have a conversation with their healthcare provider.
  • Older adults over 65: Older adults have participated in aniracetam research. Generally, some older adults might be more sensitive to medication side effects. For this reason, take aniracetam with caution.

Dosage: How Much Aniracetam Should I Take?

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage are appropriate for your individual needs.

Some healthcare providers may recommend that children take 750 milligrams (mg) by mouth twice daily to address learning or language problems with ADHD.

As for improving memory, function, and mood in older adults with dementia, 1,500 milligrams of aniracetam per day might help.

While there are some studies on aniracetam in humans, more recent, larger, longer-term, and well-designed clinical trials are still necessary.

Follow a healthcare provider's recommendations or label instructions if you or your child take aniracetam.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Aniracetam?

There is little information about aniracetam toxicity in humans.

Extremely high doses of aniracetam might result in mood changes and severe insomnia.

Since aniracetam may also have stimulating effects, it might increase your heart rate and blood pressure, similar to other ADHD stimulant medications—like Ritalin (methylphenidate).


One study suggested aniracetam didn't have significant medication interactions.

However, since aniracetam might affect various brain chemicals, this supplement may interact with other medications that also affect similar brain chemicals.

For example, aniracetam might interact with the following:

If aniracetam does have stimulating effects that increase blood pressure and heart rate, aniracetam might also interact with blood pressure medications—like Zestril (lisinopril).

It is essential to carefully read a supplement's ingredients list and nutrition facts panel to learn which ingredients are present and how much of each ingredient is included. Please review this supplement label with a healthcare provider to discuss potential interactions with foods, other supplements, and medications. 

How to Store Aniracetam

Since storage instructions may vary for different supplements, carefully read the directions and packaging label on the container.

Keep your medications tightly closed and out of the reach and sight of children and pets, ideally locked in a cabinet or closet.

The optimal storage condition for medicines is usually in a cool and dry place.

Discard after one year or as indicated on the packaging.

Avoid putting unused and expired medicines down the drain or in the toilet. Visit the FDA's website to know where and how to discard all unused and expired medicines. You can also find disposal boxes in your area.

Please ask a pharmacist or healthcare provider any questions about how to take care of your medications or supplements.

Similar Supplements

Aniracetam is chemically similar to piracetam, which may also have similar effects.

Aniracetam might be more stimulating, and piracetam may have more calming effects.

Aniracetam may have potential uses for memory, mood, and ADHD. Potentially similar supplements may include the following:

  • Gingko biloba: Potential uses for gingko biloba may include memory and ADHD. But at this moment, there's not enough evidence to support using it for any of these conditions.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Possible uses of omega-3 fatty acids may include memory, mood, and ADHD. Based on available data, omega-3 fatty acids from eating more fish may prevent worsening memory problems in older adults. There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may benefit ADHD. There is some evidence of the benefit of omega-3 for postpartum depression. However, the evidence for major depressive disorder is unclear.
  • St. John's wort: St. John's wort might be effective for depression, but it has several significant drug interactions. As for ADHD, St. John's wort doesn't appear to improve symptoms based on a limited number of studies.
  • B vitamins: In reference to some long-term studies, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) might slow down worsening memory problems in older adults. But too much vitamin B6 may increase your risk of serious side effects.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E might slow down worsening function in people with Alzheimer's.

Don't combine multiple supplements until you first discuss with a healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Checking in can help you avoid possible interactions and side effects and ensure you're giving these supplements a fair trial at appropriate doses.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the most common dosage form of aniracetam?

    Aniracetam is likely only available in a capsule dosage form.

  • Is aniracetam from manufacturers in the United States?

    Yes. There are aniracetam products that are made by manufacturers in the United States.

  • How do I take aniracetam safely?

    In general, to safely take supplements—like aniracetam—inform your healthcare provider about any medication change. This includes over-the-counter (OTC), herbal, natural medications, and supplements.
    They can help prevent possible interactions and side effects. They can also ensure you’re giving aniracetam a good trial at appropriate doses.

Sources of Aniracetam & What to Look For

There are only a few sources aniracetam.

Food Sources of Aniracetam

There is little information about food sources of aniracetam.

Aniracetam Supplements

Aniracetam is likely only available in a pill dosage form, such as capsules.

Talk with a pharmacist or healthcare provider if you have trouble swallowing pills. They may recommend the pop-bottle method, lean-forward technique, or other options.

Aniracetam is not available in vegetarian or vegan forms.

Your specific product will depend on your preference and health goals. Each product may also work a bit differently.

Following a healthcare provider's recommendations or label directions is essential.


Aniracetam is a supplement with possible effects on supporting brain health, such as learning and memory. It could also improve mood.

However, like many medications and supplements, side effects and medication interactions are still possible.

More recent, high-quality, long-term, and extensive clinical trials are still necessary to evaluate aniracetam's effectiveness and safety.

Before taking aniracetam, contact your healthcare provider, registered dietitian nutritionist, or pharmacist to help you safely achieve your health goals.

15 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Suliman NA, Mat Taib CN, Mohd Moklas MA, et al. Establishing natural nootropics: recent molecular enhancement influenced by natural nootropic. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016;2016:4391375. doi: 10.1155%2F2016%2F4391375

  2. National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences: Inxight Drugs. Aniracetam.

  3. PubChem. Aniracetam.

  4. European Medicines Agency. List of nationally authorised medicinal products: aniracetam.

  5. Koliaki CC, Messini C, Tsolaki M. Clinical efficacy of aniracetam, either as monotherapy or combined with cholinesterase inhibitors, in patients with cognitive impairment: A comparative open study. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012;18(4):302-12. doi:10.1111/j.1755-5949.2010.00244.x

  6. Sharma A, Gerbarg PL, Brown RP. Non-pharmacological treatments for ADHD in youth. Adolescent Psychiatry (Hilversum). 2015;5(2):84-95. doi: 10.2174%2F221067660502150430154937

  7. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement label database.

  8. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 7 things to know about dietary supplements for cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

  9. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder at a glance.

  10. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Mental health.

  11. Chang JP, Su KP, Mondelli V, Pariante CM. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Youths with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials and Biological StudiesNeuropsychopharmacology. 2018;43(3):534-545. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.160

  12. Mocking RJT, Steijn K, Roos C, et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for Perinatal Depression: A Meta-AnalysisJ Clin Psychiatry. 2020;81(5):19r13106. doi:10.4088/JCP.19r13106

  13. Appleton KM, Voyias PD, Sallis HM, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids for depression in adultsCochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021;11(11):CD004692. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004692.pub5

  14. MedlinePlus. A guide to herbal remedies.

  15. Schiele JT, Schneider H, Quinzler R, et al. Two techniques to make swallowing pills easier. The Annals of Family Medicine. 2014;12(6):550-552. doi: 10.1370/afm.1693

By Ross Phan, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP, BCPS
Ross is a writer for Verywell with years of experience practicing pharmacy in various settings. She is also a board-certified clinical pharmacist and the founder of Off Script Consults.