Picamilon (nicotinoyl-GABA), a combination of niacin (a B vitamin) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid – a neurotransmitter), is a prescription drug in Russia, where it was first developed for the treatment of various neural conditions. As a dietary supplement it has been used as a nootropic (cognitive enhancer) ingredient. It is not approved as a drug in the U.S., and it does not meet FDA’s official description of an ingredient approved for use in dietary supplements. Products with picamilon as an ingredient are misbranded.

For additional information, please see the FDA’s information page on Picamilon in Dietary Supplements.

Updated 02 February 2016


Avula, B., Chittiboyina, A. G., Sagi, S., Wang, Y.-H., Wang, M., Khan, I. A., & Cohen, P. A. (2016). Identification and quantification of vinpocetine and picamilon in dietary supplements sold in the United States. Drug Testing and Analysis, 8(3-4), 334–343. doi:10.1002/dta.1853

Avula, B., Khan, I. A., Chittiboyina, A. G., Sagi, S., Wang, Y. H., Wang, M., & Cohen, P. A. (2016). Quantification of vinpocetine and picamilon in dietary supplements. Planta Medica, 82(05), PA7. doi:10.1055/s-0036-1578622

Matsuyama, K., Yamashita, C., Noda, A., Goto, S., Noda, H., Ichimaru, Y., & Gomita, Y. (1984). Evaluation of isonicotinoyl-.GAMMA.-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and nicotinoyl-GABA as pro-drugs of GABA. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 32(10), 4089–4095. doi:10.1248/cpb.32.4089