Piracetam vs. Oxiracetam: Differences & What’s Better

Updated on January 16, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Comparing the neural impacts of Piracetam and Oxiracetam in a conceptual representation.

Oxiracetam and Piracetam are among the most popular racetam nootropics.

Many users utilize smart drugs such as Piracetam and Oxiracetam to boost their brainpower and improve their cognitive capabilities.

Piracetam generally promotes memory, attention, and brain health. It battles cognitive decline.

Whereas Oxiracetam may improve a person’s long-term and short-term memory, enhances motivation, concentration, and efficiently eliminates brain fog.

To compare Piracetam vs. Oxiracetam is a task that requires one to study and do massive research.

This article had gone through this process to give you a summary of the differences and similarities between these two racetam nootropics.

Piracetam vs. Oxiracetam Overview

Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964. It became famous as it is the earliest developed nootropic.

Its creation was initially as a calming drug for motion sickness and was later discovered to boost cognitive function.

It mainly regulates NMDA and AMPA receptors that increase glutamate’s effectiveness in the brain for memory and learning.

By enhancing the density, sensitivity, and flow of acetylcholine (ACh) receptors, it gets to increase cerebral blood flow like that of Aniracetam nootropic.

A racetam comparison to Piracetam is Oxiracetam. It was the 3rd developed nootropic in the racetam family in 1977.

Oxiracetam works in enhancing ACh production and the neurotransmitters binding sites’ density on AMPA receptors that result in stimulation without the negative side effects.

Reviews from Oxiracetam users report that they feel highly motivated, easily finish tasks, and learn new materials effortlessly without experiencing brain fog.

Some of its benefits are the same as the Pramiracetam drug that is best in boosting focus and confidence.

The same as Pramiracetam, Oxiracetam can improve verbal communication.

Students mostly use Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam, but many people also observed that Oxiracetam has better recall and mood improvement than Pramiracetam.

How Do Racetams Work?

Racetam was derived from the first of its class, which is the Piracetam. All these are composed of a pyrrolidone nucleus.

Racetam is famous as smart drug for cognitive function. Some of the top racetams are Piracetam, Oxiracetam, Aniracetam, Pramiracetam, and Phenylpiracetam.

Most of them are prescribed for neurocognitive disorders, stroke recovery, dementia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and epilepsy.

Racetam nootropics such as Aniracetam, Piracetam, and Oxiracetam pump up brain cell signals, which help concentration.

Some drugs from the racetam class are also used as concentration enhancers, stimulators, and tranquilizers.

Racetams that are known to promote dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain are Aniracetam and Phenylpiracetam. These racetams reduce fear, anxiety, and depression.

Moreover, Oxiracetam and Aniracetam improve mood.

The racetam class affects the acetylcholine levels in your brain. It is then recommended for specific racetams to be taken with a choline supplement to avoid headaches.

Piracetam and Oxiracetam Comparison

Both nootropics work on the brain’s acetylcholine system to improve cognition, but there are differences to take note of.

Specifically, users view Piracetam as the safest nootropics and the cheapest among all racetams.

It mainly improves one’s ability to learn, think, concentrate, and remember.

A study shows a short-term effect include increased mental energy that results in better awareness or sensory perception, greater motivation, and increased alertness.

Oxiracetam drug is a derivative of Piracetam thus, it is considered stronger and has more nootropic benefits such as memory, focus, attention, logic, processing speed, and reflexes.

One important thing to note is that Oxiracetam is superior to Piracetam for people with dementia and brain injuries.

In terms of acetylcholine processes, Orxiracteam, when used daily in repeated dose, increases its utilization by 31%, which is more prolonged and more potent than Piracetam.

Oxiracetam requires much smaller doses than Piracetam and more mild stimulation.

Oxiracetam is better at improving concentration and attention than Piracetam.

Mechanism of Action

Piracetam promotes synaptic plasticity and mental health. It creates new neurons, maintains growth, and strengthens its communication.

It is like Phenylpiracetam, and Aniracetam nootropics boost one’s blood flow. It can get red blood cells to produce more, making the brain metabolize faster.

Just like Aniracetam, Piracetam triggers fast memory recall. It improves learning, visual perception and boosts attention and focus. It combats cognitive decline.

This results in a person’s faster stimuli to verbal and visual factors.

Unlike Oxiracetam, doctors prescribe Piracetam to patients with heart problems.

These types of nootropics increase the brain’s neurotransmitters, which acts as the body’s messenger.

Like Oxiracetam, Piracetam regulates the activities of acetylcholine that makes a person become a fast learner.

The downside is that increased acetylcholine drains choline levels, which is the same for Oxiracetam.

Oxiracetam modulates and repairs AMPA or ACh receptors that impact learning and memory.

It also regulates the brain’s neurotransmitter release and glutamate levels.

Study shows that Oxiracetam is neuroprotective as it may prevent neural deficits and improve cognitive impairment.

It can treat or slow the progression of vascular dementia and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Some claimed in the ‘80s that Oxiracetam improves verbal fluency in stroke and social functions for dementia patients. This has not been verified by modern research.

Benefits and Side Effects

The following are the summary of Piracetam’s benefits:

  • Improves concentration
  • Enhances memory and recall
  • Strengthens one’s focus
  • Better vocabulary or eloquence
  • Heightened creativity
  • Works on mood regulation
  • Empowers senses
  • Preserves brain functions
  • Combat severe brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s

It is the go-to among racetams due to its mild side effects, such as headaches, which may be easily remedied by taking choline.

It can be taken through similar supplement foods like eggs, liver, and peanuts that contain choline.

Another minor side effect of this drug is nausea and anxiety to some people.

Meanwhile, Oxiracetam is good for:

  • Neuroprotection works
  • Focus and concentration boosting
  • Memory enhancement
  • Verbal fluency
  • Learning improvement
  • Staying alert and awake
  • Fighting hangovers
  • Positive mood promotion

Oxiracetam also has stimulatory effects but is safe with minimal side-effects, unlike other stimulant drugs.

Research shows that Oxiracetam is safe to use despite a high dose and longer period of intake.

A nootropic like Piracetam or Oxiracetam is associated with headaches, as complained by most people.

Dosage and How to Take

Oxiracetam may have a dosage from 700 to 2,400 mg to be split and taken within the day.

Some users who take similar doses take their second dose of less than half of the first one on the same day.

The second one is advised to be taken by early afternoon as it could disrupt sleep cycles due to stimulant properties.

Before the intended activity or purpose of using Oxiracetam, it is best to take it an hour before.

Piracetam’s per day dosage is between 1,200 to 4,800 mg. Many claimed to get its full benefits after 2 to 3 weeks of daily use.

One user claimed that a 200 mg dose of this drug already experienced a calm mind and an enhancement in his concentration.

To best define your intake of doses and when to increase consumption, it is recommended to consult with a doctor as age, the purpose, time or duration of usage, and body weight are factors for the dosage.

It should usually be proportionate to 40 to 100 mg per kilogram of a person’s weight.

Dosages should then be divided by three and to be taken three times per day. Reviews said that most users don’t develop tolerance despite taking it for a longer time or continuous intake.

Duration of Effect

Oxiracetam’s half-life is 8 to 10 hours and stays in the body longer.

It may be more bioavailable with a range from 68 to 82%.

Piracetam’s benefits take effect right after hours of taking even the first time of use.

Its full positive effects are noted to show between two to three weeks of daily usage.


Taking Oxiracetam drugs in higher doses has no reports of adverse effects, but people on blood-thinning drugs are at higher risks if they take racetam nootropics.

These nootropic drugs may have anti-clotting effects.

In terms of overdose, Oxiracetam, and Piracetam’s symptoms include extreme irritability, faintness, headache, foggy thinking, and fatigue.

If these symptoms persist, one is advised to consult a doctor.

FDA Status and Safety

Oxiracetam, Piracetam, and many other racetam nootropics are legal and regulated in other countries.

In the United States, Oxiracetam, Piracetam, and Aniracetam are currently not FDA approved.

FDA as well classified all other racetams as unapproved drugs. These didn’t pass the requirements to be labeled as a supplement.

As FDA issued warnings for illegal production and the dangers of trading racetams, it is being sold online but is limited.


Both Oxiracetam and Piracetam are smart drugs to improve brain functions, well-being and fight cognitive decline.

Each nootropic is considered non-toxic. In terms of safety, it is considered that Piracetam to be the strongest racetam.

It is the drug, to begin with, for starters of this type of nootropic.

One important note is that Oxiracetam is more potent than Piracetam. Although with side effects, it is mild.

Dosages of both should be taken according to your purpose, age, and body weight.