Ampakines: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

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Key Information

Ampakines are a class of nootropics

Ampakines modulate the brain’s AMPA receptors and may enhance cognition, memory, mood, and neuroprotection.

Ampakines are derived from racetams

Ampakines are based on aniracetam, the first racetam to activate AMPA receptors, but are much more potent.

Ampakines have various clinical applications

Ampakines may be useful for treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, and others.

Ampakines are still in development

Ampakines are not widely available and are undergoing clinical trials to test their safety and efficacy.

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Ampakines: The Powerful Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement

Ampakines are a fascinating class of nootropics that have garnered significant attention in recent years for their potential to enhance cognitive performance. At, we are dedicated to exploring evidence-based strategies for optimizing brain function, and ampakines certainly fit the bill. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of ampakines, examining their mechanisms of action, potential benefits, safety considerations, and how they compare to other popular nootropics like racetams.

What are Ampakines?

Ampakines are a class of nootropic compounds that positively modulate AMPA receptors in the brain. AMPA receptors are critical for glutamate transmission and synaptic plasticity, which are fundamental processes in learning, memory, and overall cognitive function. By enhancing the activity of these receptors, ampakines have the potential to boost cognitive performance across various domains.

How Ampakines Work

The primary mechanism of action for ampakines is their ability to serve as positive allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors. This means that they bind to a site on the receptor distinct from the primary glutamate binding site, enhancing the receptor’s response to glutamate. By increasing the activity of AMPA receptors, ampakines can:

  • Enhance glutamate transmission
  • Promote synaptic plasticity
  • Increase long-term potentiation (LTP)
  • Improve memory consolidation and retrieval

Ampakines have also been shown to increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports the growth, survival, and differentiation of neurons. This neurotrophic effect may contribute to their potential neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing properties.

Types of Ampakines

There are two main generations of ampakines:

  • First-generation ampakines: These include compounds like Aniracetam and Piracetam, which are part of the racetam family. While they do modulate AMPA receptors, their effects are generally milder compared to second-generation ampakines.
  • Second-generation ampakines: These are more potent and selective compounds, specifically designed to target AMPA receptors. Examples include CX516 (Ampalex), CX717, CX546, and others in development. These ampakines have shown greater promise in enhancing cognitive function and are the focus of ongoing research.

Benefits and Uses of Ampakines

Ampakines have been studied for their potential to enhance various aspects of cognitive function, including:

  • Improving memory and learning
  • Enhancing attention and focus
  • Increasing processing speed
  • Boosting overall cognitive performance

In addition to their cognitive-enhancing effects, ampakines are also being investigated for their potential therapeutic applications in various neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression

While research is ongoing, early studies and anecdotal reports from users suggest that ampakines may hold promise in these areas.

Side Effects and Safety Considerations

As with any nootropic or cognitive-enhancing substance, it’s crucial to consider potential side effects and safety concerns when using ampakines. Some common side effects reported by users include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

It’s important to note that high doses or long-term use of ampakines may carry additional risks, such as the potential for excitotoxicity or interactions with other drugs or nootropics. As with any new supplement, it’s always best to start with a low dose and gradually increase as tolerated, while closely monitoring your individual response.

Ampakine Dosage and Usage

Dosage recommendations for ampakines can vary depending on the specific compound and individual factors. However, here are some general guidelines:

AmpakineTypical Dosage RangeHalf-LifeBioavailability
Aniracetam750-1500 mg/day1-2 hoursHigh
CX516300-1200 mg/day~4 hoursModerate
CX717100-800 mg/day2-4 hoursModerate

To optimize the effects of ampakines, it’s generally recommended to take them in divided doses throughout the day, rather than a single large dose. Some users also find that cycling ampakines, with breaks between periods of use, can help maintain their effectiveness and minimize the risk of tolerance.

Learn More: The Best Nootropic Stack For Ultimate Brain Performance

Where to Buy Ampakines

When purchasing ampakines, it’s essential to choose a reputable vendor that prioritizes product quality, purity, and safety. Look for suppliers that provide third-party testing results and have a track record of positive customer reviews.

Keep in mind that the availability and legal status of ampakines can vary by jurisdiction, so always check your local laws and regulations before purchasing or using these compounds.

Ampakines Discussions on Reddit

Reddit can be a valuable resource for learning about personal experiences and anecdotal reports related to ampakines. Here are some notable discussions and insights from the community.

Experiences with IDRA-21

I’ve tried IDRA-21 several times now. Makes me feel like my operating memory was bigger. I can remember more things, calculate better, think more clearly, even think about several things at once. It also brings back up old memories in a very clear way. I took 10mg sublingually. It’s the most noticeable nootropic i’ve ever taken.

u/Slapbox in discussion “Looking for experience reports of AMPAkines”

Comparisons between Ampakines

Oxiracetam. Had most of the others and Oxi stands out. Strictly positive results, tastes good, and disolves in water/coffee. Other racetams have drawbacks that makes them not worth it and their benefits do not compare anyway.

u/nealpert in discussion “What ampakines/racetams are worth taking?”

Stacking Ampakines

An ideal stack would be an AMPAkine, something that promotes glutamate release, and something that prevents excessive signalling of NMDA

u/silverhydra in discussion “Zinc as an Ampakine? I tried 100mg/day and it felt like Sunifiram.”

As with any nootropic, individual experiences can vary, so it’s important to approach ampakines cautiously and to listen to your own body. Always prioritize safety and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are ampakines safe for long-term use?
A: The long-term safety of ampakines is not yet fully established. While they are generally well-tolerated in the short term, more research is needed to determine potential risks associated with prolonged use. It’s always best to use the lowest effective dose and to cycle ampakines with breaks to minimize the risk of adverse effects.

Q: How do ampakines compare to other nootropics like modafinil?
A: Ampakines and modafinil work through different mechanisms, with ampakines primarily targeting AMPA receptors and modafinil acting as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. While both can enhance cognitive function, their specific effects and side effect profiles may differ. Some users find ampakines to be more subtle and well-tolerated, while others prefer the more stimulant-like effects of modafinil.

Learn More: The 8 Best Natural Modafinil Alternatives That Actually Work!

Q: Can ampakines be used to treat specific medical conditions?
A: While ampakines are being investigated for their potential therapeutic applications in conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, ADHD, and depression, they are not yet approved for the treatment of any specific medical condition. More research is needed to establish their efficacy and safety in clinical settings.

Q: Are there any natural alternatives to ampakines?
A: Some natural compounds, such as aniracetam and piracetam, are considered first-generation ampakines and may offer milder cognitive-enhancing effects. Additionally, certain lifestyle practices, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, can support brain health and cognitive function.

Learn More: Adaptogens and Nootropics: What’s The Difference?

Q: How long does it take to notice the effects of ampakines?
A: The onset of effects can vary depending on the specific ampakine and the individual. Some users report noticing cognitive enhancements within a few days of starting supplementation, while others may require a few weeks of consistent use to observe benefits. It’s important to remain patient and to track your own progress over time.


Ampakines represent an exciting frontier in the world of nootropics, with the potential to significantly enhance cognitive function and support brain health. As research continues to unveil their mechanisms of action and potential applications, it’s crucial to approach these compounds with caution and to prioritize safety above all else.

At, we believe in empowering our readers with the knowledge and resources needed to make informed decisions about their cognitive health. By staying up-to-date with the latest research, engaging in open discussions, and prioritizing a holistic approach to brain optimization, we can unlock the full potential of nootropics like ampakines while minimizing risks.

Remember, the most effective cognitive enhancement strategies involve a multifaceted approach that combines targeted supplementation with healthy lifestyle practices, such as regular exercise, quality sleep, stress management, and a nutrient-dense diet. By taking a holistic view of brain health, we can harness the power of ampakines and other nootropics to support our cognitive function and overall well-being.

If you have any personal experiences, insights, or questions related to ampakines, we encourage you to share them in the comments below. Together, we can navigate the exciting world of cognitive enhancement and support each other on

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.