Pramiracetam is a member of the notable Racetam family of supplements. These are touted as powerful brain drugs that play a role in memory, focus, and other cognitive abilities. Of these, Pramiracetam is said to be the most powerful. Though there is some cursory scientific evidence suggesting that it might be a useful agent for mental enhancement, it isn’t a sure thing, and there are some mixed results that dispute some of the claims proponents make about the drug.
Pramiracetam is a central nervous stimulant and derivative of Piracetam. Piracetam is believed to provide some mood-boosting benefits, but Pramiracetam isn’t as well understood (though proponents claim it functions like Piracetam in a more potent form). Some trials have shown that it might be useful in working memory and long-term memory formation. Those trials, however, were performed on rats. Human studies have not yielded the same results.
As for acute effects (like the cognitive boost), nothing yet has been confirmed. Some studies have been performed to assess its ability to address cognitive decline and central nervous system disorders, but these are preliminary and have not been replicated enough to be considered definitive.
According to its staunchest supporters, Pramiracetam is a stellar option for increasing one’s ability to learn, sociability, alertness, and memory. In fact, you’ll find lots of these claims strewn about the net. The problem is, they are either backed by no research, or supported by a lone study that has some preliminary results, but nothing definitive and no replicated studies supporting the claims. There’s no shortage of anecdotes about how great Pramiracetam is, however!
The method of action for Pramiracetam is not wholly understood. The current understanding is that it can affect EEG activity in the brain, alter choline uptake, and works like other racetams in that it has some connection to the adrenals and binds to receptor sites in the brain to produce its mental effects.
Pramiracetam is not approved by the FDA in the United States, but it is legal to purchase and possess.
Pramiracetam is alternatively referred to as CI-879 or its most well-known brand name, Pramistar.
As mentioned, Pramiracetam isn’t difficult to obtain. The 300-milligram capsules are readily available from a wide range of dealers. I heard that the powder left much to be desired, partly because it tastes like aged chum that’s been left in a dark closet for several months, so I’d avoid it if possible.
There’s no official dosing information, so I decided to start cautiously with 600 milligrams. Within an hour, I felt like it was getting to work. It started as a rush of unease but quickly evened out to a quiet focus. I was able to get things done without drifting much and was able to work for a few hours straight without stopping. I didn’t feel any different in social situations but didn’t feel like withdrawing from talking to people either. Overall, things seemed clear, but it wasn’t anything I would call profound.
Wanting to ensure that this wasn’t just a placebo or chance occurrence, I kept it up for a couple of weeks. I’m glad I did, because I noticed that I got a bit more jittery with daily use, and while I was still sharp, there was a loss of the calm focus the first experience provided. Instead of laser focus, I was downgraded to mere pinpoint focus. Not terrible, but it makes me question the viability of Pramiracetam for daily use, and the safety of this stuff for people who are prone to chasing after altered states. Not to sound like an alarmist INVESTIGATIVE REPORT (capitalization intentional), but there is some potential for abuse here, no doubt.
Is that terrible? It depends on the long-term consequences, which are currently not well understood. Hopefully, further research will shine a light on the specifics of continued Pramiracetam supplementation. For now, I’d say take it occasionally, when you need a boost to get some really important work done.
It wasn’t difficult finding good things about this supplement. As usual, the Reddit boards provide some heartfelt personal stories:
“My brain never has worked this well. I was super focused.”
Many commenters agreed, stating they had great success with Pramiracetam. Many also echoed my analysis, stating that they did notice a drop off after the initial experience. So, anecdotally, yes, this stuff seems to work well. We have to take into account available research as well, though, which might have a somewhat different stance on the efficacy of Pramiracetam.
Currently, there are three effects Pramiracetam supposedly confers that researchers have studied. These are:
According to data from Examine, one study noted that:
“The amnesia induced by scopolamine is partially reversed with pramiracetam administration at 600mg twice daily for 10 days prior to exposure to said amnesiac agent.”
Not sure why we’d be taking scopolamine unless we were on a boat or about to have an operation, but let’s roll with it. Looking at the abstract for the study, we see that the researchers ran some tests: “simple and choice visual reaction times, digit symbol substitution test, Rey’s 15 words test for short and long-term verbal memory.”
They found that the Pramiracetam group performed better than the Placebo group, lending credence to the supposition that the drug does influence the mind, but not showing definitively that it will work as a booster in a supplementation situation.
Kratom may also act as an anti-depressant. It counteracts feelings of sadness and creates a sometimes intense euphoria that will ebb and flow as the substance runs its course through your body. Some users also report heightened levels of sexual energy, a deeper appreciation for art and music, and a general sense of well-being that engulfs the presence of mind.
Another set of studies shows that perhaps the memory boosting claims are true. One study involving elderly subjects showed that Pramiracetam could help with their complaints regarding memory loss: “Pramiracetam was able to increase objective memory formation relative to both control and memory training once weekly without pramiracetam.”
A study involving “young males with memory and cognitive problems resulting from head injury and anoxia” found that it indeed helped:
“The results of the study indicate that subject performance in measures of memory, especially delayed recall, evidenced clinically significant improvements after the administration of pramiracetam sulphate as compared to placebo. This improvement was maintained during an 18-month open-trial period on the medication as well as during a 1-month follow-up period after the pramiracetam was discontinued.”
It is important to note, however, that this was in reference to injury-related memory and doesn’t reflect the effects of Pramiracetam on otherwise healthy individuals (or females, for that matter).
As for its abilities as a general “brain drug,” capable of boosting cognitive abilities, there is some evidence, namely, the study referenced above regarding the guys with head injuries. The same caveats apply, though, I’ll note that I was genuinely feeling the effects when I took Pramiracetam, and there is an abundance of anecdotal data supporting this claim as well. Here’s hoping we can get a definitive answer on this one soon.
This is a tricky one. It’s thought to have similar properties as other Racetam varieties: stimulate the brain, increase neurotransmitter availability, increase choline uptake, etc. This, however, is supposition, and researchers don’t yet understand all of Pramiracetam’s inner workings yet.
If it does function as hypothesized, though, then the abilities ascribed to it make sense. Stimulating neurotransmitter sites should affect cognition and mood, and the effect on the hippocampus would explain the increased memory functions.
What is more clear, at least, is the fact that it gets to work quickly, inside of an hour (or a half hour, in some cases). Once in the body, it will last for about four to six hours, providing its acute benefits. Long term, I noted a drop-off in its abilities, but is that the norm? Again, more research should be done on Pramiracetam to assess its long-term effects as a nootropic supplement.
Nothing is set in stone as far as Pramiracetam dosages go. Current research suggests 600-milligram doses twice daily are enough for the acute benefits to manifest. Some advise taking it with a fat source, consuming one dose in the morning and one dose later in the day. Still, there are some who go with the all at once method, with no apparent detriment.
It is important to keep in mind, as always, that supplements of this nature can affect people in different ways. Start small, then work your way up to make sure you don’t have any unwanted episodes from going to deep. In the words of Ryan Robbins, “Everything in moderation…”
Nootropic enthusiasts love their stacks. There’s no shortage of them if you want to blend Pramiracetam for synergistic or complementary benefits. One is the Choline combo. Choline is thought to boost the effects of Pramiracetam (the cognition and memory enhancement) while dulling or nullifying side effects like headaches.
You might also try stacking Pramiracetam with mood-influencing Racetam agents to decrease stress/anxiety and provide a greater feeling of calm along with the confident brain boost. This might be helpful for taking the “edge” off of the jittery feeling some people get while taking Pramiracetam.
One final stack involves the almighty caffeine, for (you guessed it) increased energy along with mental clarity. Caffeine might not last as long as the Pramiracetam, but the initial boost will snap you into action, giving you unimpeded motivation to get even more work done. You’ll be knocking out tasks like you were Chuck Liddell inside the octagon.
Of course, Pramiracetam is plenty powerful on its own, so before you go mixing it with everything, make sure you get a feel for how it will affect you so that you don’t push the needle too far with your experimentation.
Pramiracetam is still fairly unknown, and all of its mechanisms are not yet understood, so if you wouldn’t be faulted for looking into some other options:
The Racetam family has other offerings that confer a range of effects. If you’re looking for something else that will sharpen your mind, you might try Piracetam. It has a milder effect (perhaps ten times less potent than Pramiracetam), so it’s a good option if you’d prefer to start small and work your way up to big league supplementation. Aniracetam might be a suitable choice if you want a boost in mental energy and sociability. Reports of Aniracetam state that it can increase your social fluidity, making you more willing to engage in conversation and more capable when doing so.
If you’re looking for the supreme mental boost, Noopept is said to be the one to do it. It’s supposedly 1000 times more powerful than Piracetam, requiring a much lower dose to achieve an effect, and exhibiting much more potent benefits in addition to psychostimulatory and anxiolytic effects as well. The downside here is the limited amount of research backing up the claims, but people who have taken Noopept seem to believe that, in moderation, it can work wonders as a brain supplement.
Phenibut is a GABA derived nootropic with mood-altering properties. It is used to enhance general well-being, curb anxiety, combat depression, and improve cognitive function. There’s a potential for overuse with Phenibut, as you might quickly build up a tolerance to its effects. Used sparingly, though, it does show promise as a brain drug and might make for a handy addition to your arsenal.
I was definitely feeling it when I took Pramiracetam. I want to go all out and say, “yeah, go for it,” but there are a few caveats that I should point out. First is the drop-off in effect. The first experience was potent, but subsequent uses didn’t yield the same level of clarity. They were still beneficial, but as I mentioned earlier, I can see some people upping their dosage unnecessarily in an attempt to replicate the finer effects, which might not ever happen.
There’s also the fact that the research on Pramiracetam is still limited. What’s available is promising, but I would like to know more about the long-term effects before giving it the full stamp of approval.
That being said, as an occasional brain booster, I think Pramiracetam could work, particularly where memory and mental clarity are concerned. As my, and other stories attest, there’s a capacity for sharpness and concentration with this supplement that really lends itself to being a great study drug if used responsibly. I’m hoping that in time, the full range of effects become well documented, and this