Pramiracetam is a man-made nootropic compound developed to enhance cognitive performance. Despite the lack of research, preliminary evidence shows that pramiracetam promotes acetylcholine synthesis and supports long-term memory. But is it really effective? And how about its safety? Read on to learn all about pramiracetam benefits, side effects, dosages, and mechanisms.
Pramiracetam is a racetam molecule that was initially synthesized from piracetam. [*] It was developed in 1979 by Parke-Davis, a division of the famous pharmaceutical company Warner-Lamber. Currently, it is sold under the brand name “Pramistar” by the renowned pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Pramiracetam is a nootropic due to its cognitive-enhancing properties. Unfortunately, like most other racetams, pramiracetam is under-researched, so we know little about the mechanism of work, its effects, and long-term safety. Little research didn’t stop many brainhackers and biohackers from experimenting with this nootropic drug.
Pramiracetam was initially developed for patients with brain injuries, that’s why most studies were done on people with cognitive disorders. Pramiracetam is one of the more popular members of the racetam family and is commonly used in the US. Due to its complicated legal status, it’s hard to find pramiracetam in most other developed countries.
Let’s first check what science is saying about pramiracetam and then look at more anecdotal data.
Mechanism Of Work
Scientists must understand the mechanisms of work for a studied compound. Such an understanding can steer further research in the right direction. Sadly, the mechanisms of action behind pramiracetam, the 2-oxo-pyrrolidine class compound, are not yet fully understood. But that doesn’t mean there have been no studies done.
Just the contrary, based on the limited evidence, scientists pointed towards a few potential mechanisms of work:
- Pramiracetam may increase acetylcholine levels by increasing choline uptake into the cells (through the high-affinity choline uptake system) [*] [*]
- Pramiracetam may increase nitric oxide production in the brain [*]
- Pramiracetam may impact adrenal hormones (cortisol and aldosterone) [*] [*]
The proposed mechanisms of action are similar to compounds from the racetam family. Unlike piracetam, pramiracetam shows a high affinity for extrasynaptic AMPA receptors and synaptic receptors in rat forebrain membranes.
The biggest challenge for us is that most studies were done on animals, and we still lack high-quality clinical trials on people (especially on the healthy population).
Now let’s check the potential pramiracetam benefits.
The following benefits of pramiracetam are based on the preliminary studies that have been published since this compound was synthesized. Keep in mind that we lack quality human studies before we can come to any science-based conclusions about the efficacy of pramiracetam.
It May Enhance Memory
The most available evidence shows the positive pramiracetam effects on memory. The research was done on people as well as animals.
One double-blind, randomized controlled trial of four men with brain injury showed that pramiracetam helped them improve short- and long-term memory. In addition to the positive benefit, the effects lasted for at least a month after the treatment was finished. [*]
Another pilot study with 35 elderly volunteers with memory loss showed that people given pramiracetam had a greater memory improvement than people who did not receive it or received special memory training. [*]
The third study (double-blind, randomized controlled trial) of 24 otherwise healthy individuals showed that pramiracetam reduced the memory loss caused by scopolamine, a drug that produces temporary amnesia. [*]
Yet another human study reported pramiracetam being more effective for reducing amnesia symptoms than piracetam. [*]
Besides the human studies, there are a few interesting animal studies as well. One study looked at the effects of pramiracetam on long-term memory. The results show that pramiracetam has, in fact, improved object-recognition memory in rats. [*]
Another animal study shows that that seven weeks of pramiracetam treatment increase memory in otherwise healthy rats. [*]
It May Help With Brain Recovery
Other research looked at the pramiracetam potential effects on treating trauma and recovery from brain injury.
Firstly, one study reported the improved memory decline in chronic cerebrovascular insufficiency patients. [*] Chronic cerebrovascular insufficiency refers to multiple conditions in which the arteries that supply blood to the brain are blocked. The result of the blockage is memory loss.
Another study that we already mentioned showed that men with severe brain injures had a significant memory improvement after just six weeks of supplementing pramiracetam. [*] No other cognitive benefits were noticed during the study.
Lastly, one preliminary cohort study of 65 people with mild brain injury showed that pramiracetam reduced nausea, dizziness, and headaches. [*] Again, no other cognitive benefits were noticed.
Is It Neuroprotective?
The already mentioned studies also showed that pramiracetam can protect the brain from different types of damages. People with damaged cognitive function improved cognition after being treated with pramiracetam, but we lack higher-quality studies to confirm pramiracetam’s effects.
Is Pramiracetam Effective?
Based on the limited evidence, we see many potential uses of pramiracetam. However, we lack quality human studies (especially on a healthy population) to understand pramiracetam better. Besides the already mentioned studies, we also checked the Reddit survey from biohackers about the potent of nootropics. If we just look at the nootropics effects on memory, pramiracetam ranks in 8th position (below our favorite bacopa monnieri) but above most other potent nootropics. Again, this ranking is based on a survey of about 300 people, and it is far from a scientific study.
We believe that the limited evidence of pramiracetam shows lots of potential in terms of its effects on cognitive function and memory. We also believe that such a synthetic compound is probably mainly effective for people with cognitive issues, not healthy individuals. If further studies are done on healthy people, and they show positive effects of pramiracetam, we will immediately update this article and change our opinion.
Here are crucial brain benefits people with cognitive issues may expect:
- Improved recall
- Improved memory
- Faster recovery from brain injury or trauma
It is currently unknown if healthy individuals can also expect better cognitive function and improved memory.
Pramiracetam Side Effects
Due to the lack of studies, we don’t know if pramiracetam is a safe compound for long-term use. Available evidence shows that pramiracetam is well-tolerated and non-toxic if taken as recommended. Researchers reported no side effects, which is a very positive sign. Until more is known, a single dose of pramiracetam for a few weeks will unlikely cause any adverse side effects. To minimize the risks, we suggest taking pramiracetam in the morning with a meal.
If you experience adverse side effects, you should immediately stop taking pramiracetam and consult your doctor.
Researches recommend using up to 1200 mg of pramiracetam daily, taking in three 400 mg dosages or two 600 mg dosages. It is unclear if 1200 mg of pramiracetam is an optimal daily dosage, how and when to take it for optimal results, and if you should cycle it or not. The dose of 1200 mg does seem to be effective though.
To avoid the potential side effects, do not take more than 1200 mg of pramiracetam daily. Also, it is better to take a lower dosage first and slowly build it up.
Pramiracetam powder is the most popular form, but you can also take it in capsule or tablet form. Order the form you like the most.
Many biohackers and researchers believe that it makes sense to stack pramiracetam with a choline compound. Pramiracetam depends on choline and may deplete its supply. Therefore, combining it with citicoline or alpha-GPC seems a smart decision. The optimal dosage of choline compounds for stacking pramiracetam is currently unknown, but, interestingly, experts recommend combining choline with the whole racetam family.
If you like experimenting with nootropics, you may stack pramiracetam with aniracetam. Pramiracetam may boost your cognition, and aniracetam will make you less anxious and more relaxed. It is an interesting synthetic stack that may be worth trying.
You could also stack with other nootropics for brain performance.
Where To Buy Pramirecatem?
If you are based in the US, you can order pramiracetam on one of the reliable nootropic online retailers. If you are based in the EU or other countries, check the legal status of pramiracetam in your country before ordering it online.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pramiracetam prices vary widely, depending on where you are buying it and in what form. A pramiracetam capsule costs between $0.30 and $0.60 each, while powder costs about $2.00 per gram. If you decide on buying pramiracetam, we suggest purchasing a more expensive supplement to avoid low-quality nootropics.
Limitations & Caveats
Pramiracetam is currently not approved by the FDA in the US, nor EFSA approves it in the EU. The available studies show many positive effects, but we lack long-term clinical trials in young and healthy adults. Many claims that you can find online rely on anecdotal reports or a based on hype. Measuring memory improvement is quite a complete task that professionals can only do. So you need to be careful when reading about potential pramiracetam benefits like “improved memory”, etc.
The limited evidence shows that pramiracetam is an effective and non-toxic compound that can improve memory in people with cognitive disorders. It seems to positively impact the brain to enhance cognitive in adults of different ages. Due to its relatively low half-life (4-7 hours), quick effects (30-60 minutes after you ingesting pramiracetam), and potential benefits on cognition, it seems a nootropic drug worth trying.
On the other hand, a few legal, safer, and even stronger nootropics are available on the market for boosting memory and cognition. Until we know more about pramiracetam, we suggest sticking to the more researched nootropics.
1. How Long Does Pramiracetam Take To Work?
After you ingest the supplement, it takes about 30 to 60 minutes to feel the effects. To speed up the process, you may try to take it on an empty stomach.
2. Is It Safe?
Based on the limited evidence available, pramiracetam is safe and non-toxic for short-term supplementation.
3. Is It The Best Nootropic In Class?
No, there are better, more effective, and safer nootropics available at a similar or even lower price than pramiracetam.