IDRA-21: A Next-Generation Ampakine Nootropic

Ampakines are a relatively new addition to the family of nootropic compounds. They are compounds which act as modulators of attention span and increasers of learning ability through the activation of the AMPA glutamate receptor.

The nootropic potential of ampakines is currently being researched by scientists as a treatment for cognitive impairment, and by the United States’ DARPA agency to increase tactical effectiveness of sleep-deprived soldiers.

One of the newest ampakines that is available on the public market is IDRA-21, which features extremely long lasting effects coupled with experimentally proven benefits.

What is IDRA-21?

IDRA-21 is a drug derived from the benzothiadiazine (not to be confused with benzodiazepine) chemical structure. Other chemicals from that class include other pharmaceutical drugs, mostly diuretics to prevent organ failure. An article from Chemical Wizardry claims that IDRA-21 is related to aniracetam, another nootropic with similar (but far weaker) ampakine properties.

idra 21 ampakine

As it is a nootropic substance, IDRA-21 has been shown in a clinical setting to improve cognitive ability with little to no adverse effects. However, it is also important to point out that IDRA-21 is still a very new substance to the world, and still currently has more anecdotal evidence for efficacy compared to the amount of available lab research.


Much of the excitement surrounding IDRA-21 comes from recent animal studies bearing impressive results in the areas of nootropic activity, potency, and lasting of effects.

Comparison to aniracetam

In a study done with patas monkeys, the experimenters measured the subjects’ cognitive performance in a complex behavioral task.  The monkeys were given the drug alprazolam before the task was given in order to induce a learning deficit (Thomas et al.)  The known nootropic drug aniracetam was pitted against IDRA-21 to test the latter’s efficacy in reversing impairment.

Results showed that the IDRA-21 was ten times as powerful as the aniracetam in terms of dosage, meaning that the effects were far more potent dose per dose.  The effects of IDRA-21 remained persistent for three days after a single dose, marking it as an extremely long-lasting nootropic especially when compared to the roughly 2 to 3 hour windows given by many other ampakines.

Similarly, research done with rats indicates that IDRA-21 is useful for reversing cognitive deficit – this time caused by the drug scopolamine.

In both cases, IDRA-21 proved effective for treating desensitization of AMPA receptors in the brain, which was simulated by the application of drugs at the beginning of testing.  This shows promise for treating people who may have AMPA-related learning disabilities, or enhancing intelligence in those with naturally desensitized AMPA receptors.

Use as a behavioral modifier

IDRA-21 has potential as a powerful promoter of wakefulness and awareness, thanks to its properties as an ampakine. Activation of the AMPA receptor results in the easing of learning ability by promoting the plasticity of nerve connections, as well as other glutamate-mediated effects such as improving situational alertness.

Unfortunately, while the general concept of ampakine effects is well-known, the relative effectiveness of IDRA-21 in human subjects is not well-known. The good news is, some people have tried the substance for themselves and have provided anecdotal observations.

The well-regarded online forum Longecity has a number of IDRA-21 related topics, including this one which contains a great deal of additional resources and personal experiences.

My experience

I had the opportunity myself to try IDRA-21 when it became available at a reasonable price. One day while I was at my university on-campus job, I decided to give it a go. Here is a brief summary of my experience:

I’ve been feeling tired all day, like I can’t really concentrate on anything. Hopefully I did alright on the quiz I took earlier, because I stayed up an extra couple hours studying for it, making me pretty sleep-deprived now.

I just received my package from new star nootropics in the mail, the IDRA-21 that just came out.  Going to take the suggested ~20mg dose of it and see if it helps me focus on my code.