Pramiracetam: Everything You Need To Know (Benefits & Risks)

Updated May 12, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 6 minutes)
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Some people say that there's nothing new under the sun. But wait, let's take a look at this new-ish nootropic called pramiracetam. Who knows? Maybe it will offer something different!

A common question about pramiracetam is whether or not it's safe to use. Well, that depends on your definition of safe and what you consider to be the risks of using it for improving memory and cognition as a nootropic.

We certainly have our own opinion on this subject, but you'll have to read on to find out what it is. But before we dive into it, let's first take a quick look at what Pramiracetam actually is, shall we?

What Is Pramiracetam?

We wouldn't be doing our duty if we didn't start this piece off by explaining what pramiracetam is and how it works.

Pramiracetam was the original racetam, a compound developed in the 1960s by Parke-Davis (now Pfizer). It's one of those racetams that you don't hear much about these days, but it's still sometimes prescribed by doctors for treatment of cognitive symptoms of some medical conditions.

It's also still used in research, and some people take it for memory enhancement.

Pramiracetam is fat-soluble, so it can be taken by mouth and absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. It also crosses the blood-brain barrier, so once it's in the brain, it binds to receptors on neurons that influence their ability to respond to stimulation.

There are several different types of nootropic receptors, but pramiracetam seems to bind preferentially with sigma receptors.

How Does Pramiracetam Work?

As a nootropic, pramiracetam is used to treat cognitive impairment or decline caused by aging or trauma. It may also be used to prevent or delay the onset of cognitive impairment caused by brain damage from lack of oxygen before birth.

Pramiracetam appears to promote the growth of new branches, or dendrites, within neurons that tend to link neurotransmitters together at the axon terminal.

These networks are called synapses, and they're where signals are exchanged between neurons. Synaptic plasticity is believed to play a direct role in memory formation, so it's thought that pramiracetam may help increase mental performance in this area of cognition.

According to some animal studies, pramiracetam's effects on the brain seem to be permanent. Other studies have demonstrated a return of cognitive function after discontinuation. This may be due to extensive binding in the brain beyond receptors that are related to cognition.

What about the side effects?

While it's unlikely that any side effects will lead to serious consequences, here are some possible issues that can come up:

Mild anxiety and sleep problems: Some people experience mild anxiety and insomnia when taking pramiracetam. It seems to activate the HPA axis in humans, which is associated with stress, hormone release, and sleep regulation.

Some people experience mild anxiety and insomnia when taking pramiracetam. It seems to activate the HPA axis in humans, which is associated with stress, hormone release, and sleep regulation.

Feeling loopy: Some people report feeling like they're "loopy" while taking it. They may feel they're "loosing it" or that they're not "there". While this may or may not be a true effect, it's still worth keeping in mind.

The Best Dosage

What is the right pramiracetam dosage? How much should you take? This depends on several factors. The first one is your individual physiology. One person may need more than another to feel its effects (dose-response relationships).

The second factor is whether or not you're taking other supplements, drugs, or nootropics. If they act synergistically with pramiracetam, then smaller doses may be effective for you (nested synergism).

Thirdly, how long you've been taking it will have a bearing on your dose. Lastly, the time of day that you take it will matter.

When it comes to dosage, most studies have used doses between 1.2 and 3.6 milligrams (mg). The exact dose depends on the study and how long it lasts. Studies that found no effects used lower doses.

Here are some typical pramiracetam dosages from clinical trials:

  • 1.2 mg/kg body weight – 2-week study on healthy elderly adults
  • 1,280 mg/day – 14-day study in elderly medical patients with a variety of cognitive issues
  • 3.6 mg/kg body weight – single-dose study in healthy volunteers
  • 7-12 mg/kg body weight – 1-month study in elderly adults

It is important to note that the effects of pramiracetam may diminish quickly after the drug leaves your system, so you should take it as long as possible.

A guideline for dosages in medical practices is about 12 weeks, but this isn't always feasible. How long to take it depends on how well you can tolerate it.

Some people find that they become tolerant quite quickly and need to take higher dosages over time. Others find that a lower dose is effective for them over time and don't need to increase it.

Be aware that pramiracetam can cause side effects like headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.

Can you overdose? No. It is impossible to overdose on pramiracetam. If you take a high enough dose, the side effects of pramiracetam can become too much to tolerate. That's why it's important not to increase your dosage until you know that it's working for you.

Pramiracetam vs. Aniracetam - My personal experience

Last year, Aniracetam received the highest rank in our Top 7 Nootropics List for its positive effects on cognition. Many people are considering using aniracetam and pramiracetam together, but what is the difference between aniracetam and pramiracetam?

One key difference is that pramiracetam's anti-anxiety properties are considered to be more potent than those of aniracetam by users. I found this to be true as well. I found that the two went well together.

I took 200mg of Pramiracetam first thing in the morning and would experience a sense of well-being, energetic, wakefulness, and an overall feeling of mood enhancement. However, as the day wore on I would begin to feel tired and my responsibilities would become overwhelming.

I knew that this fatigue was not a result of the Pramiracetam because it had been doing so much for me to be feeling tired. So, I decided to bump up my dosage to 300mg again just to see if anything would change.

When I did this around 1:30pm I found myself experiencing the same feelings of increased motivation but with less amounts of fatigue than before. The fatigue that I did have was starting to feel more manageable.

I decided to continue this pattern. Around 3:30pm I was starting to notice that my thoughts were becoming clearer and that my focus was becoming tremendously enhanced, even though the fatigue and slight grogginess were still there.

I thought maybe I had hit a wall with 300mg, so I went for a light nap around 4:30pm instead. Before my head hit the pillow I took another 300mg of Pramiracetam hoping that I would wake up feeling refreshed.

When I woke up around 6:30pm I found that all the fatigue and grogginess that was present when I woke up had significantly diminished. At this point, all the Pramiracetam had completely cleared my system which allowed me to start fresh at 300mg again.

After taking another 300mg at 7:30pm it was clear to me that this drug worked best for me between 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Where Can You Buy Pramiracetam?

If you'd like to try pramiracetam for yourself, they're available from most supplement retailers, such as Amazon.

You can buy straight from the manufacturer, but Nootropics Depot or currently have a better price. is an online retailer that sells nootropics and other health supplements.

In summary

Pramiracetam is a racetam nootropic that's used for cognition enhancement. It's been shown to be effective for conditions like ADHD, stuttering and anxiety. It may also improve your memory in some ways. Some people may experience no effects from pramiracetam, while others notice a difference with intermittent use or after continuous daily use for several weeks.

The science is still out on how effective it is for cognitive enhancement. It may be more effective for certain people than others, but it's definitely worth trying. You can use the Pramiracetam supplement to:

If you've tried pramiracetam and enjoyed its effects, you might want to try other nootropics such as Aniracetam and Oxiracetam.