Picamilon is a compound that is formed with the combination of niacin (Vitamin B3) and GABA (γ-Aminobutyric acid). It is being widely sold both as a prescription drug in Russia where it was originally and as a dietary supplement. In Russia, Picamilon is prescribed for a variety of medical conditions and some of these include blood circulation disorders, craniocerebral trauma, asthenia, neuroinfections, and migraine. The compound is also prescribed in Russia to treat depression and as an aid for recovering alcoholics.
In the United States, Picamilon is often used as a supplement for its anxiolytic effects. Manufacturers of Picamilon dietary supplements also claim that it can also boost cognitive performance and stave off both physical and mental effects of ageing. The compound is also thought to stabilize mood, relieve stress, and improve overall brain health.
Developed in the former Soviet Union way back in 1969 at the All-Union Vitamins Scientific Research Institute, Picamilon is still currently being studied in Russia for its potential for other medical applications. One of the strengths of Picamilon is its high absorption rate and bioavailability when taken orally. As a prodrug for niacin and GABA, the ability of Picamilon to cross the blood barrier easily makes it a viable alternative to GABA itself, which has poor bioavailability when taken orally on its own.
GABA is a type of neurotransmitter in the brain known for its inhibitory effects on neuronal excitability. High levels of GABA offset feelings of anxiety and stress, making it one of the feel good neurotransmitters in the brain, along with dopamine and serotonin. Having increased niacin levels in the brain on the other hand is believed to increase mental alertness and focus. Niacin supplementation also improves neuron health and encourages the growth of new ones.
Picamilon is an excellent precursor for both niacin and GABA so in theory, supplementing with it should provide one a combined effect of relaxation and mood stabilization from GABA, complemented by the mental boosting effects of niacin. Some who supplement with Picamilon do so in order to regulate their sleeping patterns as Picamilon has also been observed to have the ability to encourage deep sleep. Along with its anxiolytic abilities, Picamilon has become of the more popular supplements in the United States in terms of sales.
As far as being a nootropic agent is concerned, Picamilon appears to have no direct contribution to the cognitive processes apart from increasing mental energy and mood stabilization. While these contributions may have not directly affect cognitive processes such as memory and learning skills, it helps to make the mechanism of action of other cognitive enhancer more effective, which is why Picamilon can make a good addition to nootropic stacks. Its ability to induce sleep or at least regulate sleep patterns may also be able to negate the side effects of sleeplessness associated with other nootropics.
Its effect as a cognitive enhancer however, may not be significant if Picamilon were to be taken all by itself. There are also a good number of users who claim that Picamilon did not work for them either as a mood stabilizer or as a cognitive enhancer. Other users reported an onset of sleepiness right after taking Picamilon and yet have a very light and restless night of sleep. Among the side effects of Picamilon include upset stomach, nausea, lightheadedness, headache, and hypotension.
- It is good precursor of niacin and GABA.
- It is a good mood stabilizer.
- It can help regulate your sleep patterns.
- It can help improve mental alertness and focus.
- It can complement your existing nootropic stack.
- It has no direct cognitive enhancing effect.
- It may not work for everyone.
- It can cause both sleepiness and restless sleep.
- Some may experience unpleasant side effects.
The recommended dose for Picamilon supplementation is set between 50 to 200mg daily. Lower doses should give you added mental energy, while the higher doses is for managing stress and anxiety. It is advised that you should first consult with your physician before starting with Picamilon supplementation.