Pramiracetam: Your Key to Enhanced Learning

Written by Salma Younas | Last updated on August 4, 2023

If you step out of an important meeting, how much of what was said can you recall - maybe an hour later, or perhaps a day later? Memory retention is something that you greatly rely on, but sometimes, you may need help remembering things. 

It’s not just about memory. What about your ability to focus on what people say? Imagine a long lecture while undergoing training. Can you really concentrate at your fullest for the entire time?

Well, these are areas where nootropics can be useful - and in this article, we turn our focus to Pramiracetam. 

It’s not an FDA-approved drug, but it might help you “boost” your brain and mental capabilities. Let’s explore its uses, mechanisms of actions, and also its safety profile. 

What Is Pramiracetam?


First up - what is Pramiracetam? Well, it’s a type of racetam [1], and this class of drugs falls within the nootropics category.

It’s also sometimes called a “true brain booster” due to the potency that the drug has - especially when compared to some of the other racetams that are available. 

The great thing about Pramiracetam is the fact that it’s so well tolerated. Some people experience side effects, but they are usually very mild. This makes it a worthy option in the world of nootropics!

The drug consists of a synthetic chemical that primarily targets your brain when you take it. In Europe, there are some countries that allow doctors to prescribe Pramiracetam to patients. 

In the United States, it’s rather considered a supplement and not regulated by the FDA. 

We should take a closer look at what Pramiracetam can be used for - and how it works too. 

Mechanisms Of Action

Blood Flow

Now, when it comes to using a drug like Pramiracetam, you really need to understand what it’s going to do in your body. It’s quite dangerous putting something into your body if you don’t know what it’s going to do, after all!

One thing to understand is that scientists are not completely sure about every way or pathway in which Pramiracetam works. But, there are a couple of discoveries that they have made thus far.

When you take Pramiracetam, there’s a neurotransmitter in your brain that becomes more “active”. And this neurotransmitter is called Acetylcholine. That’s also a neurotransmitter that’s really important for things like learning and memory. 

But, that’s not the only mechanism by which Pramiracetam works. See, when you take it, it’s also likely to increase blood circulation toward your brain. Since blood contains oxygen and nutrients, it’s thought to be another way of contributing to better memory and alertness. 

Uses Of Pramiracetam

So, what can you use Pramiracetam for? Well, it’s a nootropic - so the basic use of the drug is as a “cognitive enhancer”. 

The mechanism of action tells us that the drug is particularly good for memory. Your learning ability can also greatly benefit from the use of Pramiracetam, and it may help you stay focused on things for longer - without constant distraction. 

healthy brain vs. with Alzheimer's disease

Due to how Pramiracetam works, it might also be good for people who have certain cognitive problems. For example, if you have Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a possibility that Pramiracetam can help to improve memory. That could be a gateway to warding off dementia symptoms. 

Health Benefits Of Pramiracetam

Even though Pramiracetam hasn’t been approved for any medical use by the FDA, there are several people who have found it to be useful. So, let’s consider the possible health benefits that this supplement could offer. 

First of all, it’s a great choice for improving memory, concentration, and learning capabilities. 

girl in a good mood

But, apart from these, there are other potential benefits that people have also noted. This includes improvements in mood and even sometimes reduced anxiety symptoms.

Plus, when your mood improves and you can focus better, you may find a burst of motivation!

And by boosting blood flow to your brain, it might also offer neuroprotective properties. That means it might help to protect against cognitive decline over time. 

Possible Side Effects Of Pramiracetam

woman with headache

Okay, so we’ve established that there are certain benefits that Pramiracetam can offer you. But, what about the side effects? Now, there are a couple of side effects that have been reported for this drug, so let’s review them:

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Agitation

  • Upset stomach

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Nervousness

  • Depression 

  • Hair loss

  • Weight gain

  • Increase in blood pressure levels

As you can see, the list is quite extensive.

But, one thing to keep in mind is that taking the drug does not mean you are going to have side effects. They happen sometimes, and in most cases, when there are side effects, it’s a mild headache and dizziness. 

Interactions And Contraindications Of Pramiracetam


If you’re currently on prescription drugs, then you’ll have to make sure you talk with your doctor. The problem here is interactions. Now, when you take an MAO inhibitor, for example, mixing it with Pramiracetam could increase the side-effect risk. 

Anticonvulsants and antidepressants are also not meant to be mixed with Pramiracetam. See, if you’re taking antidepressants with Pramiracetam, then you may be more likely to experience problems like insomnia, anxiety, and weight gain!

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, then these are also reasons to avoid Pramiracetam. In fact, you shouldn’t take any racetam during this time. 

There are other contraindications too. For example, people with liver or kidney disease must be very careful with what they take - and Pramiracetam is one of those drugs that’s usually on the “do not take” list. 

Clinical Studies Of Pramiracetam

scientist researcher holding medical slide

A. McLean, D.D. Cardenas, D. Burgess, and E. Gamzu conducted a study to determine how Pramiracetam would affect people with cognitive problems [2]. A group of men was included and each of the participants had suffered a head injury previously. 

A 400 mg daily dose of Pramiracetam was given to each of the participants - and they experienced general improvements in their cognitive function and memory. The effects still remained present after a one-month follow-up. 

Another study also found that Pramiracetam might increase levels of nitric oxide synthase in the cerebral cortex. [3

Recommended Dosage

white capsule

You have to ensure you always fall within the recommended daily dosage for Pramiracetam. If you take too much of the drug, then it spells trouble. But, at the same time, if you take too little - well, that’s going to make the drug less effective. 

It’s generally recommended to NOT go over 1,200 mg of Pramiracetam in a one-day period. The minimum recommended dosage is 400 mg. Now, there are a couple of things that can affect how much you should ideally take. 

Existing medical conditions, your weight, and your age are important considerations to keep in mind. It’s best to start with the minimum daily dose, and then gradually build up until you find the serving size that’s right for you. 

What To Look For In Pramiracetam Supplements

doctor holding a pill

If you’re interested in trying Pramiracetam yourself, then there are a couple of things you should take into consideration. First of all, consider if it's a prescription drug in the area you live. In this case, you’ll need to visit your doctor and get them to prescribe you Pramiracetam. 

When you look at different Pramiracetam supplements, keep the following factors in mind:

  • What are the ingredients in the supplement? Is it pure Pramiracetam, or is it a mixture of different racetams? Perhaps the manufacturer adds additional vitamins and minerals. These factors can all affect the overall purity of the supplement.

  • What is the daily dosage of the supplement? Can you adjust it easily? Remember that you want to start out with a minimal dose and then work from there!

  • How long will one bottle of the supplement last? It’s definitely a good idea to look for a supplement that lasts for at least a month per container. 

  • How much does the supplement cost? There are often a lot of differences in terms of how brands price their supplements. 

Similar Supplements To Pramiracetam

Maybe you don’t like the long list of possible side effects, or perhaps you want something that offers “more” than what Pramiracetam is capable of. We’ve got some good news - there are a couple of similar supplements to Pramiracetam, so let’s take a look at them:

  • Piracetam: If you want the “original” racetam, then this is the one to go for. It’s good for improving cognition without as many side effects. 

  • Coluracetam: This racetam is more than just a cognitive enhancer. It’s also a great choice if you want to get a boost in physical performance and increase your energy levels. 

  • Oxiracetam: A great choice if you regularly have “brain fog”. It’s also a racetam that works on short and long-term memory. 


The ability to take a pill and experience better memory and concentration - that’s something that Pramiracetam promises. It’s a racetam that works as a nootropic - and for some people, it can be a big help. 

But, there are also those that may experience side-effects. Plus, if you’re taking certain meds, you shouldn’t mix them with Pramiracetam. Take all of the info we shared in this post into account before you decide to take the drug. 


  1. Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders. Retrieved from 

  2. Placebo-controlled study of pramiracetam in young males with memory and cognitive problems resulting from head injury and anoxia. Retrieved from 

  3. Systemic administration of pramiracetam increases nitric oxide synthase activity in the cerebral cortex of the rat. Retrieved from 

About the author 

Salma is an experienced community pharmacist who's worked at multiple well-known pharmaceutical companies including Dynatis Limited and Medipak Limited

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