Even though aniracetam and piracetam are nootropic drugs within the same family (racetams), they have very different interactions within the brain.
Piracetam requires a higher dose and is considered to be less stimulatory. Aniracetam requires frequent, small doses and is anecdotally useful both for memory formation and for reducing anxiety and improving concentration.
Recommendation: Try both piracetam and aniracetam separately. See which you like more. Due to the synergy between the two, you might want to buy both and take them together.
When comparing aniracetam vs. piracetam, there is no one-size fits all answer. Below we will provide a basic overview on the subject.
Aniracetam vs. Piracetam (or Both)
When comparing piracetam vs. aniracetam, it is first important to look at the studies on the drugs. Piracetam was the first synthetic derivative in the family, which was discovered in the 1960s . Aniracetam was discovered shortly thereafter as a nootropic compound with similar desired effects and slightly different outcomes .
Both piracetam and aniracetam were developed to be memory enhancing drugs and tools for people with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia. This is particularly useful as a neuroprotective agent. Piracetam is considered a powerful tool to combat against neurodegeneration in elderly populations .
The difference for aniracetam is that it modulates AMPA receptors that can influence feelings of anxiety and depression . Many people consider the main difference between aniracetam and piracetam to be this anxiety reduction and antidepressant feeling.
Anxiety and Concentration: Aniracetam vs. Piracetam
As we mentioned, reducing anxiety (working as an anxiolytic) is a major component of aniracetam. Some people claim the same effects from piracetam, but it is more prevalent with aniracetam.
Aside from reducing anxiety and improving mood, there are focus and concentration benefits of aniracetam. This is not an assured feature, but it is something that many people experience when they are using this smart drug.
This may have something to do with the difference in bioavailability and half life. Piracetam has a long half life that lasts for a while in your brain, but it doesn’t enter your bloodstream and produce stimulation in as many people as aniracetam. In contrast, aniracetam is fast-acting because it gets absorbed so quickly and does not stay in the bloodstream a long time.
The human body and brain handles these two synthetic compounds differently, which is the cause of the distinct cognitive effects of each.
Deciding Which Racetam to Buy
Out of these two racetams, it may be that you only have the funds or desire to try one at a time. To decide, it's important to dispel a few myths and take precautions that will support you in the long-term.
Unfortunately, many people like aniracetam better than piracetam simply because it can be “felt” (i.e: mental stimulation) while piracetam is not as likely to have the same feeling. As Dr. Andrew Hill told me in a recent interview, looking for a particular feeling with nootropics is tantamount to drug seeking behavior.
One of the favorite smart drug enthusiasts, Jesse Lawler, has shared his experience using the racetams and their purpose. During the Brain Optimization Summit, he explained that aniracetam was his go-to drug for feelings of creativity and overcoming his creative challenges. As a programmer, he has to write hundreds if not thousands of lines of code and aniracetam helps him to find novel solutions to difficult problems.
The common wisdom on comparing aniracetam vs. piracetam is to consider aniracetam fasting-acting and more potent while piracetam is more of the beginner gateway drug that works “behind the scenes” to make us more intelligent and enhance our cognitive abilities.
Make sure that you understand the clear differences between these two drugs before you decide whether to buy aniracetam vs. piracetam. Both have their strong-suits and weaknesses and it's worthwhile to understand them beforehand.
Editors' Thoughts on Aniracetam vs. Piracetam
Oddly enough, I haven't experienced much sensation or stimulation from either aniracetam or piracetam. Both of these drugs are useful for improving optimal performance in my opinion, but they are definitely “behind the scenes” workers to some degree.
When I first did aniracetam, I experienced some interesting things when training for Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It seemed like I could make connections faster and my visual clarity was half-way between a psychedelic drug and normal.
There is no better of the two per se (or at least it's a matter of opinion) so if I were a beginner looking to get started, I would do so via both of them separated by week-long trials.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor