Coluracetam is a nootropic that has been getting a lot of attention from the medical community and from nootropic users. This substance continues to grow in popularity, as users claim it can improve memory and mood, decrease anxiety, and increase focus.
In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at coluracetam. We’ll explore its benefits, safety, dosage, and more. But first, let’s see what coluracetam is.
What Is Coluracetam?
Of all the nootropics that are available today, this is one of the newer ones. Coluracetam was first developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Mitsubishi Tanabe as a treatment for Alzheimer’s. It was first synthesized it by modifying the well-known nootropic, piracetam. They’re both in the same class of substances, the racetams.
Coluracetam has been scientifically studied for its potential as an antidepressant. The San Diego biotechnology company BrainCells, Inc. is investigating coluracetam for this purpose. BrainCells, Inc. specializes in developing compounds for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Phase 2 clinical trials have showed that coluracetam may be effective at treating people who suffer from both depression and anxiety.
Developed under the code names BCI-540 and MKC-231, coluracetam has been shown to affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are associated with memory and learning. Acetylcholine is one such neurotransmitter.
Coluracetam has been shown to increase high-affinity choline uptake (HACU). HACU is involved in acetylcholine synthesis. Increasing HACU can increase acetylcholine levels in the brain. This goes a long way in explaining many of the memory-enhancing effects that coluracetam users have reported.
Unfortunately, aside from the phase 2 clinical trial mentioned above, coluracetam has not really been scientifically studied in humans. While preliminary investigations have shown it to be safe and possibly effective at treating certain conditions, more human research is needed. However, several animal studies have been done on coluracetam. The results have been promising and support what many nootropic users have been saying.
A 1994 study done on mice showed that coluracetam was able to improve memory. Mice were given a chemical that produces memory deficits and then given one of three nootropic compounds, coluracetam being one of them. The results of this study showed that coluracetam improved the working memory deficits caused by that chemical and that coluracetam increased HACU.
A rat study published in 1998 showed coluracetam to have neuroprotective properties. Researchers wanted to see what effect it had on glutamate neurotoxicity. They found that exposure to coluracetam for 12-24 hours ameliorated glutamate cytotoxicity.
In 2008, researchers wanted to see if coluracetam could improve the performance of learning-impaired rats in a water-maze task. They reported significant improvements in the rats that were given coluracetam. The researchers also noted that coluracetam could have “long-lasting procognitive effects.”
A similar study done over a decade earlier showed similar results. In 1996, researchers tested memory-impaired rats to see if coluracetam would help them through the Morris water maze. This is a test that scientists commonly use to study the behavior of rats. The researchers found that the rats given coluracetam showed significant improvements in learning. They also noted that coluracetam did not produce any significant side effects.
The last rat study I’ll mention here was done in 2007. Researchers wanted to see if coluracetam had any effect on the behavioral deficits caused by repeated phencyclidine (PCP) exposure. PCP is a drug that can cause hallucinations, delusions, and full-blown psychosis in humans. The researchers found that the rats given coluracetam showed a significant reduction in cognitive impairment. They suggest that coluracetam is studied as a possible treatment for schizophrenia.
More human studies are needed before coluracetam’s nootropic benefits can be conclusively stated. But the animal studies above definitely support a lot of the claims coluracetam users have made. Here are some of the nootropic benefits of coluracetam that are commonly reported:
- Improved memory
- Increased focus
- Improved learning
- Improved mood
- Decreased anxiety
Coluracetam Dosage & Safety
There have not yet been any human studies done to figure out the optimal dosage of coluracetam. Users often report nootropic benefits with as little as 20 milligrams (mg). Others say they need a dose in the 40-80 mg range to notice the nootropic effects of coluracetam.
While users often report a nootropic effect after one dose, many say coluracetam works best when taken daily. It’s not uncommon for coluracetam users to dose two-to-three times a day.
Although there haven’t been any human studies done to assess the optimal dosage of coluracetam, one human study has been done that tested its safety. Coluracetam passed the safety testing of phase 2 clinical trials. Participants were given either 80 mg of coluracetam a day (q.d.) or 80 mg three times a day (t.i.d.) for six weeks.
Since coluracetam passed through phase 2 safety testing, it seems to be safe to take at a dosage of up to 240 mg a day for six weeks. And there are a number of anecdotal reports of users taking even higher dosages for longer periods of time with no ill effects. However, until long-term safety studies have been done, it might be best to limit your coluracetam intake to no more than six weeks at a time.
Many coluracetam users take it as part of a nootropic stack. Stacking is simply taking two-or-more nootropics together to increase their effectiveness.
The most-common thing that coluracetam users stack it with is a choline source like alpha-GPC or CDP-choline. Since coluracetam increases high-affinity choline uptake (HACU), taking a choline source with it may further increase acetylcholine levels in the brain. But coluracetam isn’t the only racetam that is commonly stacked with a choline source. Others like piracetam, aniracetam, and many more are often taken with a choline source to boost their effects.
Coluracetam users have reported stacking it with a variety of other nootropics including various racetams and adaptogens. While I couldn’t find any reports of serious side effects from stacking coluracetam with other nootropics, as always, you should do your due diligence before trying anything new.