Targeting Panic Attacks with Nootropics

It is normal to feel some level of stress and anxiety. It’s hard-wired into our brains, allowing us to utilize our ‘fight-or-flight’ response. However, some individuals suffer from extreme anxiety. A panic attack is when someone experiences a sudden overwhelming level of anxiety.

If panic attacks are left untreated, they can evolve into panic disorders. Some individuals become withdrawn, as they’re fearful of various scenarios. Luckily, there are steps you can take to decrease the number of panic attacks, as well as the intensity.

What Is A Panic Attack? Am I Experiencing Panic Attacks?

Panic attacks are generally sudden, unexpected, often disabling episodes. They’re typically a symptom of an anxiety disorder, affecting approximately 20% of the American population at some point in their lives. As mentioned, it’s normal to feel anxious about certain situations.

However, if you feel as though you are experiencing a higher level of anxiety than normal, you may need to focus on treating your symptoms. The following symptoms are common regarding panic attacks; dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, feeling detached from the situation, trembling, and chest pain.

These attacks can be random and unexpected; or brought on by a specific trigger. There’s a genetic component to these attacks. There’s also a link to one’s environment regarding major life changes. For instance, entering the workplace, having a baby, getting married, or losing a loved one.

anti-aging-brainPanic Attacks and the Brain

What’s happening in your brain when you experience panic attacks? Is there a way to control these attacks? When you experience a panic attack, it’s believed that there’s a higher level of excitatory neurotransmitters in comparison to inhibitory.

If you balance your neurotransmitters, you can obtain the correct ratio of both inhibitory and excitatory. When the brain is not balanced, our central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and body; cannot communicate effectively. This can lead to the symptoms which were listed above.

When you are chronically stressed, you can actually deplete neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters usually prevent heightened anxiety, but when they’re low, panic attacks are more likely to occur. Two of the key neurotransmitters that are linked to this occurrence are GABA and serotonin.

How Can Nootropics Help with Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

Nootropics are typically taken to enhance cognitive functioning. However, nootropics can also benefit individuals regarding their mood and stress levels. When you take nootropics for anxiety and panic attacks, you can address issues with your neurotransmitters.

Although anxiety can be brought on by a number of factors, a deficiency in GABA is common. This neurotransmitter plays a role in anti-anxiety effects. GABA has inhibitory effects on one’s central nervous system. When levels are low, your nerves can become overactive. When cases are mild, individuals generally experience nervousness. It can also progress into panic attacks in more severe instances.

Just as low levels create anxious feelings, normal or higher levels help create relaxation. GABA receptors are stimulated when individuals take sedatives. Alcohol is a classic example of a substance that helps decrease anxiety. Since alcohol is associated with a number of negative side-effects, it cannot be considered a nootropic.

Although you need to increase GABA, it’s important that you realize GABA supplements will not help reduce your anxiety. GABA is not effective when crossing the blood-brain barrier, meaning you need to consume a GABA precursor that can cross over into the brain.

The Best Nootropics to Target Anxiety and Panic Attacks

There are some nootropics that would not be a beneficial choice when targeting your panic attacks. It’s important to understand which supplements to choose. The following nootropics are your best options in terms of panic attacks and overall anxiety.


Aniracetam is part of the racetam family, being the best racetam option for treating anxiety. Glutamate is responsible for synthesizing GABA and Aniracetam stimulates the AMPA receptors (producing Glutamate). Therefore, this supplement has an indirect effect on GABA, improving levels of anxiety.

Many individuals who suffer from social anxiety are shy and introverted. This supplement helps to decrease social inhibitions. It is also known to improve one’s communication skills, increase focus, energy, and motivation.


Overall, Phenibut is generally recommended as the best nootropic for anxiety. However, it’s not recommended that you take this supplement daily. Phenibut is so effective because it is a derivative of GABA, but it can cross the blood-brain barrier. Once this occurs, Phenibut causes a sedative effect. Since there are some potential negative side-effects, it is not recommended for extended use.


This supplement is similar to Phenibut, because it is also a GABA derivative that can cross the blood-brain barrier. However, Picamilon is considered to be much safer in comparison to Phenibut. It is typically taken in a stack so that users can increase their levels of motivation and energy.


There are mixed reviews regarding Noopept, as some people swear by it and others do not experience results. Just like Aniracetam, Noopept stimulates Glutamate uptake. There is also a link between Noopept and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin. Since this supplement is up to 1000 times stronger than Piracetam, you need to be conscious of your dosage. It also has a fairly long half-life, meaning one dose will provide you with anti-anxiety effects for hours.