Piracetam Review: Nootropic Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on January 1, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

In this Piracetam review, we'll take an in-depth look at this popular nootropic. We'll also go over how Piracetam works in the brain, provide information about the benefits, side effects, and where you can buy it online.

Piracetam (commonly sold under the brand name Nootropil) is a nootropic drug belonging to the racetams group, characterized by its chemical name 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide. It is related to pyroglutamic acid, which shares the same 2-oxo-pyrrolidone base structure.

It's a popular nootropic supplement due to its purported ability to improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive performance.

Let's look at the scientific evidence for its effectiveness and how it works.

Piracetam Review Summary

Piracetam is a derivative of GABA and is known to have various effects on the body. It has been shown to modulate neurotransmission in different transmitter systems, including cholinergic and glutamatergic, and neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties. It has been clinically proven to be effective in treating cognitive disorders such as dementia, vertigo, cortical myoclonus, and dyslexia.

In addition to these effects, research suggests that piracetam may help restore cell membrane fluidity, which could benefit a range of physiological functions.

Pros

  • Improves focus, memory, and cognitive performance
  • Helps restore cell membrane fluidity
  • Protects against cognitive decline

Cons

  • Hard to find high-quality Piracetam online

What Is Piracetam?

chemical structure of piracetam

Piracetam is a smart drug marketed for treating myoclonus and as an enhancer of cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and learning. Piracetam belongs to the racetams family and is a chemical relative of GABA, 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide.

Imagepiracetam
NamePiracetam
ClassNootropic
EffectsEnhances brain function, reduces dyslexia, helps Alzheimer's, reduces inflammation
Potential Side EffectsHeadache, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, agitation
Half-Life5 hours
Common Dosage2 - 3 g daily
Content125 g
Price$19.48
Money Back GuaranteeCase-by-case
Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ 4.5/5
Best VendorClick Here ›

Of note are its derivatives, Levetiracetam and Brivaracetam, which have anticonvulsant properties, and putative nootropics Aniracetam and Phenylpiracetam with cognition-enhancing effects.

All these compounds share the same foundation, namely Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), whilst Pyroglutamic Acid (PCA) provides further structural similarity.

Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964 by Romanian psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, and it is the most researched of all racetams.

It has been used to improve memory loss caused by head trauma or stroke, as well as to reduce seizures in epilepsy patients and also to aid cognitive problems in Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

How Does Piracetam Work In The Brain?

Piracetam is a nootropic drug that has been known to influence cognitive functions such as memory, focus, and learning without the typical sedative or stimulant side effects commonly associated with other cognitive-enhancing drugs.

Although its exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, current evidence shows that it interacts with ion channels and ion carriers (Na+ and K+) to increase neuron excitability. It has also been shown to act as a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor [1].

Piracetam reviews featured image

Piracetam does not appear to affect GABA metabolism or receptors within the brain. This allows for a more balanced effect when compared to other substances, which may lead to more predictable and consistent results.

On a neurological level, Piracetam has the capacity to modify neurotransmission across several transmitter systems (including cholinergic and glutamatergic pathways) while also providing neuroprotective and anticonvulsant effects. It can further optimize neuroplasticity and mitochondrial function [2].

In addition, its vascular function is shown to prevent erythrocyte adhesion to blood vessel endothelium, obstruct vasospasm episodes, as well as enhance microcirculation [3].

The variety of physiological reactions induced by Piracetam is in line with its utilization for different clinical purposes. Its success has been proven to benefit patients suffering from cognitive disorders and dementia, vertigo, cortical myoclonus, dyslexia, and sickle cell anemia alike [4].

Piracetam boosts acetylcholine's (ACh) neurotransmitter performance, which is associated with memory processes. When it reaches the brain, Piracetam has been shown to boost cytochrome b5 production [5].

This protein plays a role in electron transport mechanisms inside mitochondria. Moreover, Piracetam also boosts the permeability of several Krebs Cycle intermediates across mitochondrial outer membranes while in the brain.

What Is Piracetam Used For?

Piracetam is most commonly used to enhance cognition and protect against cognitive decline, especially in elderly individuals. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms of cognitive impairment caused by head trauma, stroke, and even Alzheimer's disease.

In 2001, the well-respected peer-reviewed journal JAMA Neurology published a study concluding that Piracetam is an effective remedy for myoclonus epilepsy when used as an add-on therapy. This treatment was sustained and tolerated by patients with progressive myoclonus epilepsy who experienced increasing efficacy over the first 12 months of use before stabilizing [6].

A separate study evaluated Piracetam's effects on verbal and non-verbal cognitive functioning in children with dyslexia. After only 12 weeks of treatment, significant improvements could already be seen in reading ability (Gray Oral Reading Test) and comprehension (Gilmore Oral Reading Test). These positive results persisted for the whole duration of 36 weeks [7].

Numerous biohackers have reported that this cognitive enhancer could assist in the relief of depression and anxiety symptoms. While yet to be scientifically proven, these accounts are highly noteworthy. Consequently, Piracetam is a highly versatile nootropic drug with broad use cases both for medical conditions and cognitive enhancement purposes.

What Are The Benefits Of Piracetam For Cognition?

The benefits of Piracetam are mainly related to its ability to enhance cognitive performance and protect against mental decline.

Let's look at the 3 main benefits Piracetam provides:

  1. Enhances Cerebral Blood Flow: Piracetam has been scientifically proven to enhance blood circulation in the brain, providing neurons with enhanced oxygen and nutrient transportation, ultimately leading to improved cognitive capacity, memory recall, and focus [8].
  2. Anti-inflammatory: Piracetam is a powerful analgesic (painkiller) due to its effect on reducing inflammation markers like IL-1β and preventing the reduction of glutathione, ferric-reducing ability, and free radical scavenging [9].
  3. Boosts Neurotransmitters: Piracetam works to amplify the impact of acetylcholine (ACh) in our brains, ultimately resulting in improved cognition. Multiple studies have even confirmed its efficacy in enhancing learning and memory capacity [10].

Piracetam's unique cognitive enhancement benefits are attributed to its ability to increase high-affinity choline uptake (HACU), a process that takes place in the nerve endings responsible for forming acetylcholine (ACh). By boosting ACh levels through HACU, Piracetam has a remarkable effect on learning and memory [11].

Since Piracetam enhances acetylcholine production in the brain, it's best to add a quality choline source for even greater effects. Alpha GPC and Citicoline are great options that can be easily stacked with Piracetam to supply your brain with the necessary amount of choline. This combination will provide you with more noticeable benefits and give your mind an extra boost of energy!

Where To Buy Piracetam Online?

When it comes to purchasing Piracetam online, it's important to make sure you buy from a reliable and trusted vendor. Buying from unknown sources may lead to decreased product quality, so always check for reviews before making any purchase.

Here at WholisticResearch, we can confidently recommend PureRawz as the superior provider of Piracetam due to their commitment to quality and unbeatable value.

What's even better is that they provide a 100% money-back guarantee – so you know that when you buy from them, your satisfaction will be guaranteed!

They offer an incredible deal for 125 grams of premium Piracetam powder - a mere $19.48 (USD). And to top it off, they also provide exceptional customer service that's second to none!

If you're ready to enjoy all the potential benefits of Piracetam, head over to PureRawz today for your stock of pure and laboratory-tested Piracetam at a cost that won't break the bank.

What Do People Say About Piracetam On Reddit?

Let's see what people on Reddit say about Piracetam.

Reddit user 'Boatboyxd' says:

"I've been taking Piracetam for a long time now, and I'm really impressed with the results! It's helped me focus better and I find my memory has improved significantly. Great stuff!! I take 1000 mg of Piracetam twice daily, which seems to be my sweet spot."

User 'Zenon314' also had positive experiences, saying:

"I've been taking Piracetam for a few months and I'm really happy with the results. My mental clarity and focus have both improved significantly, and I've seen an increase in my productivity. I love how it gives me that extra boost of energy I need to power through my day!"

Another user, 'Trouble412d', had this to say:

"I've been taking Piracetam for a few weeks and have noticed an increase in my mental clarity and focus. It's also helped me feel more relaxed and able to concentrate for longer periods. The only downside I have experienced is a headache that can be managed by taking a choline supplement. Overall, I'm happy with the results!"

How Do You Take Piracetam For Cognitive Enhancement?

Piracetam is usually sold in tablet, capsule, or powder form. To take it for cognitive enhancement, it's best to start with a smaller dose and then increase it over time as you become more familiar with its effects.

Piracetam is usually taken 2 or 3 times daily and can be taken on either an empty or full stomach, depending on individual preference.

For optimal results, it's important to stack Piracetam with choline supplements so your brain can access enough acetylcholine (ACh). Alpha GPC and Citicoline are great sources of choline to take with Piracetam.

It's also important to stay hydrated while taking Piracetam, as dehydration can lead to headaches or other side effects. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day! Taking Piracetam with a healthy diet and adequate sleep will also help maximize its effects.

Some biohackers choose to cycle Piracetam to avoid tolerance. Cycling usually involves taking Piracetam for at least 8-12 weeks, followed by taking a break for 4 weeks before starting again. However, the research shows that Piracetam's benefits accumulate over time, so this is unnecessary.

Piracetam is best taken in 3 evenly spaced doses throughout the day. For optimal results, take one dose of 1,600 mg early in the morning, again around midday, and a third later on in the afternoon. You can adjust the dose up or down depending on individual tolerance.

Some biohackers 'front-load' their dose, meaning they take a higher dose in the beginning (usually between 4800 mg and 6800 mg) at once to kick-start their cognitive enhancement. However, this isn't recommended as it can lead to adverse side effects. It's best to start low and gradually increase the dosage over time.

It's important to note that some people report experiencing headaches when taking Piracetam, which is usually due to not taking enough choline with it. If this occurs, reduce your dosage and/or increase your choline intake.

What Are The Side Effects Of Piracetam?

Piracetam is a safe and well-tolerated supplement with many advantages, including improved mental clarity and enhanced cognitive function.

Unfortunately, some users may suffer from headaches as it increases your brain's acetylcholine levels. However, this can be remedied by taking additional choline supplements such as Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline.

They have been shown to reduce the frequency of these headaches while increasing Piracetam's effectiveness in boosting memory recall and overall cognition.

What Nootropics Are Similar To Piracetam?

The 3 most popular nootropics similar to Piracetam are Phenylpiracetam, Noopept, and Oxiracetam. Let's take a look at each one and how they compare to Piracetam:

  • Phenylpiracetam (Phenotropil) is a phenylated analog of Piracetam, which means it has an extra phenyl ring attached to the Piracetam molecule. It is considered one of the most potent nootropics available, with effects reported to be 20-60 times stronger than Piracetam alone.
  • Noopept (GVS-111) is a powerful peptide compound, providing immense cognitive benefits to the brain by enhancing acetylcholine signaling and expression of BDNF/NGF proteins. It has further been found to protect against glutamate toxicity in addition to increasing inhibitory neurotransmissions within neurons.
  • Oxiracetam (ISF 2522) is a derivative of Piracetam used for enhancing concentration and focus. It is one of the strongest racetams, with effects reported to be stronger than Piracetam.

The primary divergence between Piracetam and these three nootropics is the varied chemical structures in each one, allowing them to interact with your brain differently.

Phenylpiracetam is the most effective nootropic, with Noopept and Oxiracetam trailing behind. However, Piracetam remains among the top choices due to its established safety and efficacy records.

What Brain Supplements Can Piracetam Be Stacked With?

The best supplements to stack with Piracetam are choline and ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine). Choline is an essential nutrient that supports healthy acetylcholine levels (ACh) in the brain. It helps reduce headaches while also improving mental clarity and focus.

ALCAR is a form of the amino acid L-carnitine and is known to energize the body and brain. It also helps preserve memory, improves focus and concentration, and even boosts mood.

Both choline and ALCAR have been found to exponentially enhance the effects of Piracetam when taken together [12].

The best choline sources are Alpha GPC and CDP-Choline. If you don't want to buy all the different nootropic ingredients separately, we highly recommend looking into nootropic blends like NooCube.

NooCube contains 13 science-backed ingredients - including Alpha GPC - that all work synergistically with Piracetam to provide maximum cognitive benefits. It's a great solution for those looking to get the most out of their nootropic experience.

You can read more about NooCube right here:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Let's take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Piracetam:

How Long Does It Take For Piracetam To Work?

The effects of Piracetam can vary from person to person. However, it is generally accepted that Piracetam reaches its peak efficacy after approximately 2-3 weeks of consistent use.

How Does Piracetam Make You Feel?

Piracetam makes you feel alert and focused and can help improve your working memory. It also increases creativity and helps reduce anxiety. People report feeling less socially anxious and more confident in communicating effectively.

Does Piracetam Show Up On A Drug Test?

Piracetam does not show up on a normal drug test since it is not a controlled substance in the United States. However, since Piracetam could be considered a performance enhancer, it may show up in a specialized drug test (e.g., for athletes).

What's The Half-Life Of Piracetam?

Piracetam has a plasma half-life of 5 hours after being administered either orally or intravenously. The cerebrospinal fluid's half-life is 8.5 hours, with an apparent total body clearance rate of 80-90 mL/min.

Is It Safe To Use Piracetam?

Yes, Piracetam is considered a safe and non-toxic nootropic. There are some potential side effects associated with it. However, they are generally mild and minor.

Is Piracetam Legal?

Piracetam is an unregulated compound in the United States, meaning it is legal to buy and possess without a prescription. In the United Kingdom, Piracetam is classified as a prescription-only medication (POM).

Conclusion

So what do we know about Piracetam?

Piracetam is the original nootropic and is still one of the most popular cognitive enhancers on the market. It has been used safely for decades and has an established safety record.

It is generally taken orally and has a half-life of 5 hours, so it should be taken regularly throughout the day to maintain its effects. It works best when taken with a choline source and/or ALCAR, which helps to boost its efficacy.

Piracetam is a safe and effective nootropic that can provide several cognitive benefits, including enhanced focus, improved memory formation, and recall, increased creativity, and decreased anxiety. While its effects may take some time to notice, the results are worth it.

References

References
1Ahmed, Ahmed H, and Robert E Oswald. “Piracetam defines a new binding site for allosteric modulators of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors.” Journal of medicinal chemistry vol. 53,5 (2010): 2197-203. doi:10.1021/jm901905j
2Stockburger, Carola et al. “Enhanced Neuroplasticity by the Metabolic Enhancer Piracetam Associated with Improved Mitochondrial Dynamics and Altered Permeability Transition Pore Function.” Neural plasticity vol. 2016 (2016): 8075903. doi:10.1155/2016/8075903
3Winblad, Bengt. “Piracetam: a review of pharmacological properties and clinical uses.” CNS drug reviews vol. 11,2 (2005): 169-82. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2005.tb00268.x
4Oosterveld, W J. “The effectiveness of piracetam in vertigo.” Pharmacopsychiatry vol. 32 Suppl 1 (1999): 54-60. doi:10.1055/s-2007-979238
5Woelk, H, and K Peiler-Ichikawa. “The action of piracetam on the formation of ethanolamine-plasmalogen by neuronal microsomes of the developing rat brain.” Arzneimittel-Forschung vol. 28,10 (1978): 1752-6. 
6Fedi, M et al. “Long-term efficacy and safety of piracetam in the treatment of progressive myoclonus epilepsy.” Archives of neurology vol. 58,5 (2001): 781-6. doi:10.1001/archneur.58.5.781
7Wilsher, C R et al. “Piracetam and dyslexia: effects on reading tests.” Journal of clinical psychopharmacology vol. 7,4 (1987): 230-7. 
8Malykh, Andrei G, and M Reza Sadaie. “Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders.” Drugs vol. 70,3 (2010): 287-312. doi:10.2165/11319230-000000000-00000
9Navarro, Suelen A et al. “Analgesic activity of piracetam: effect on cytokine production and oxidative stress.” Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior vol. 105 (2013): 183-92. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2013.02.018
10Bering, B, and W E Müller. “Interaction of piracetam with several neurotransmitter receptors in the central nervous system. Relative specificity for 3H-glutamate sites.” Arzneimittel-Forschung vol. 35,9 (1985): 1350-2.
11Pepeu, G, and G Spignoli. “Nootropic drugs and brain cholinergic mechanisms.” Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry vol. 13 Suppl (1989): S77-88. doi:10.1016/0278-5846(89)90112-7
12Author links open overlay panelRute A.P.CostaaMariana P.FernandesaNadja C.de Souza-PintobAníbal E.VercesiaPersonEnvelope, et al. “Protective Effects of L-Carnitine and PIRACETAM against Mitochondrial Permeability Transition and PC3 Cell Necrosis Induced by Simvastatin.” European Journal of Pharmacology, Elsevier, 17 Jan. 2013, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001429991300006X. 
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