Last updated on August 14th, 2019 at 10:12 pm
Piracetam, also known as nootropil and Lucetam is a bitter, water-soluble nootropic drug of the racetam class. Other well-known racetams include Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Pramiracetam.
|Also Known As||Nootropil, Nootropyl Breinox, Dinagen, Lucetam, Oikamid|
|Typical dose||4800 mg|
|Main mechanism of action||Modulates glutamate and acetylcholine|
|Where to Buy||Nootropics Depot|
Piracetam’s effects vary from person to person, however, it generally increases memory capacity and improves learning ability. Reported anecdotal benefits of this drug include:
- Enhanced vision
- Enhanced mental endurance
- Enhanced musical perception
- Enhanced train of thought
- Enhanced creativity
- Reduced depression
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced brain fog
- Improved ADHD symptoms
Piracetam also seems to have anti-aging effect on the brain by reducing the levels of lipofuscin found in the brain. The buildup of lipofuscin is a common symptom of aging and alcoholism.
It possesses antithrombotic properties by inhibiting platelet aggregation and enhancing blood-cell deformability. It is therefore an effective antithrombotic agent and can be used for long-term treatment of deep-vein thrombosis.
Piracetam is not intended for everyone, in fact, bipolar patients should stay clear of this drug as it may induce a potentially dangerous condition called mania. There have been at least 2 reported cases of Piracetam-induced mania on the Internet. This drug can also have side effects in healthy individuals, some of which include:
- Brain fog
All of the above mentioned side effects, except for insomnia and mania, can be easily remedied by increasing choline intake. The best way to do this is via supplementation of an acetylcholine precursor, such as choline bitartrate or a more high quality Alpha-GPC. While Alpha-GPC has a higher bioavailability than choline bitartrate, the difference between the two is subjective.
How it works
The racetam family of drugs are not well understood, however, Piracetam, along with other nootropic drugs in the racetam family, modulate the neurotransmitters glutamate and acetylcholine which are implicated in learning and memory. Piracetam is also a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor. In other words, Piracetam increases the activity of the AMPA receptor, which could increase synaptic plasticity and can therefore enhance memory and learning processes.
Piracetam improves the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, through the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. Because of this, Piracetam may deplete acetylcholine levels in the brain which could induce some of the side effects mentioned above. However, many take Piracetam without choline and do not experience side effects, in fact unnecessary choline supplementation may result in depression.
This drug also works by improving blood flow to the brain and by enhancing cross-hemispheric communication.
Dosage and how to take Piracetam
While there is no standard dosage for Piracetam, many find 1600 mg taken 3x daily to work for them. However, some may require a higher dosage, some a lower dosage. Some even find a micro dose, or a dosage lower than 100 mg, to work better than a higher dose. It generally takes more than 2 weeks for its effects to appear and this is consistent with the studies done on humans.
Because it is water-soluble, you do not have to take it with food. If you are taking powdered Piracetam then I recommend using orange juice to mask the taste as raw Piracetam is quite bitter. If you are taking capped Piracetam then you can just simply take it with water.
It is recommended you start off by taking Piracetam alone with no choline source. If you experience headache or brain fog then you can start taking a choline source. There are many choline supplements on the market. Some of them include:
- Choline Bitartrate
- Choline Citrate
- CDP-Choline (or Citicoline)
CDP-Choline actually has some benefits of its own, including increasing focus, attention as well as energy. These effects are mediated by the increase of dopamine receptor density as well as acetylcholine receptor density in the brain.
There are many anecdotes on the Internet regarding Piracetam’s effect on depression with some experiencing positive effects while others negative effects. However, the number of Piracetam users that experience a worsening of depression is greater than that of those who experience a reduction in depression. Often times this worsening is not attributed to a choline deficiency and in some cases choline supplementation may further worsen the depressive symptoms. It appears Piracetam may worsen depression in some individuals regardless of choline supplementation.
This drug is not metabolized by the liver and passes through the body unchanged. In theory, one could recycle Piracetam from their urine, however, this is difficult to accomplish practically and is not recommended.
- Bioavailability: ~100%
- Half-Life: 4 to 5 hours
- Metabolism: None
- Excretion: Urinary
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- Xerri, C., Y. Zennou-Azougui, and JO Coq. “Neuroprotective Effects on Somatotopic Maps Resulting from Piracetam Treatment and Environmental Enrichment after Focal Cortical Injury.” ILAR Journal 44.2 (2003): 24-110. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Web. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12652006>.
- Stoll, L., T. Schubert, and W.E. Müller. “Age-related Deficits of Central Muscarinic Cholinergic Receptor Function in the Mouse: Partial Restoration by Chronic Piracetam Treatment.” Neurobiology of Aging 13.1 (1992): 39-44. ScienceDirect. Web. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/019745809290006J>.