The Benefits of Picamilon

Close-up of a young man taking nutritional supplement pills

Letizia Le Fur/Getty Images 

Picamilon is a dietary supplement made from a combination of niacin (also known as vitamin B3) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Sometimes referred to as nicotinoyl-GABA, picamilon is sold as a prescription drug in Russia.

Niacin is known to promote widening of the blood vessels, while gamma-aminobutyric acid plays a key role in regulating nervous system activity. An amino acid found naturally in your body, GABA acts as a neurotransmitter (a type of chemical responsible for carrying information from one cell to another). Research indicates that people with certain mental health problems (such as major depression and anxiety) may be more likely to have low levels of GABA.


Picamilon is often referred to as a "smart drug," a class of drugs used in alternative medicine to enhance brain function. In addition, picamilon is said to help treat the following conditions:

Some alternative medicine proponents claim that picamilon can also help sharpen memory, enhance mood, and protect against Alzheimer's disease.


So far, few scientific studies have tested the health effects of picamilon. However, some preliminary research suggests that picamilon may offer certain benefits.

For example, a rat-based study released by Kiev's Institute of Biochemistry in 1998 determined that picamilon shows promise for the treatment and prevention of diabetic neuropathy (a condition marked by nerve damage that results from a diabetes-related elevation in blood sugar levels). However, there is currently a lack of clinical trials testing picamilon's effects against diabetic neuropathy.

In addition, a 2010 study published in the Russian journal Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology found that picamilon may help protect against hypokinesia. In tests on rats, the authors of the study found that injection of picamilon helped restore the animal's number of active GABA receptors (a class of molecules that respond to GABA). A condition marked by decreased bodily movement, hypokinesia is sometimes associated with Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders.


Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of regular use of picamilon. However, there's some concern that picamilon may trigger a number of side effects, such as a headache, tingling, and nausea. Picamilon may interact with certain medications, such as benzodiazepines.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. 


If you're seeking to improve brain function, a number of natural remedies may serve as an alternative to picamilon. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to enhance cognitive function, preserve memory, and protect against depression and Alzheimer's disease. Found naturally in foods like flaxseed oil and oily fish (including salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring), omega-3 fatty acids are also sold in supplement form.

There's also some evidence that certain alternative therapies may help increase GABA levels in the brain. For instance, preliminary research suggests that herbs like kava and valerian may elevate GABA levels by stimulating the production of GABA or by slowing the body's breakdown of GABA. In addition, some research shows that practicing yoga may help increase your GABA levels and, in turn, improve mood and alleviate anxiety.

Where to Find It

Widely available for purchase online, picamilon is sold in some drugstores.

A Word From Verywell

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend picamilon as a treatment for any condition. It should be noted that treating a condition with picamilon and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering the use of picamilon for a condition (such as high blood pressure or Parkinson's disease), consult your physician before taking the drug, as it may not be appropriate or safe for people with certain conditions, such as cancer.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources