Piracetam was invented in 1950’s and is considered as the world’s first nootropic. However despite the good name it has built for itself studies and many user reports suggest it is more of a smart drug than a true nootropic.
In some countries it is a prescription drug and is thus a regulated substance. This means it is illegal to buy it without a prescription.
Despite the hype around piracetam, it has low nootropic properties except on people with cognitive impairment or age related cognitive decline. On those people piracetams positive qualities are indisputable.
As a nootropic – or more correctly piracetam is a smart drug – it improves memory and mood, increases concentration and even helps with social anxiety. Users also note it increases verbal fluency but that might be a side effect of decreased social anxiety.
Often users report that they become very social and charismatic but some say that with time they become arrogant. Sense of general fear and the fear of social consequences seems to be so diminished that it becomes problematic. Nevertheless most users with such experiences agree that despite that they were still able to achieve much more than without piracetam.
However for most that great benefit of piracetam is short lived as it stops having any effect on users after a few months of using it.
Besides the above mentioned effects piracetam has also been found to significantly increase blood flow in parts of the brain as well as oxygen consumption. It also improves the function of the acetylcholine which is one of the reasons why it improves memory.
Another interesting effect is that it is a blood thinner – it prevents blood clotting – about as effective as aspirin. You might be a bit cautious with it because of this property as it can have undesired consequences if your blood vessels have thin walls or if you are about to have a surgery (even tooth drilling counts).
Side effects of piracetam
Piracetam is not toxic to liver and is generally considered to be a very safe compound. When adverse effects are reported usually only symptoms of general excitability are listed:
On occasion other side effects are reported:
- Weight gain
- Clinical depression
- Increased libido
However, recently several users voiced their issues after using piracetam. They report damage to their short term memory and their ability to concentrate. It is hypothesized that this occurs due to increased oxidative stress on the hypothalamus but the theory is untested. Some users who have suffered these side effects eventually regained their cognitive abilities (after quitting piracetam) while others reported still having issues even after one year of no longer using it.
One theory states that this occurs because the user experienced a significant neurotransmitter imbalance. Usually lack of dopamine and acetylcholine is presumed to be the cause. Based on this some suggest that adverse side effects can be avoided by correctly stacking piracetam with other compounds.
Lastly it should also be mentioned that although piracetam has no stimulant-like effects it does increase cortisol release. While this might be desired as it gives a feeling of more energy it can be detrimental for people with adrenal fatigue.
Dosing piracetam and tolerance buildup
The long term side effects of piracetam mentioned above happened after prolonged use (in all reports we have found). So it is advisable to use it only for short periods with longer intermittent pauses.
The standard piracetam dose for adults is between 1,200-4,800mg a day. The largest effective dose is 1,600mg, taken three times a day for a total of 4,800mg. However some individuals feel best effects at doses as low as 100 mg 3 times per day. So try first with small doses and gradually increase them if needed.
It is probable that piracetam can cause hypothalamic dysregulation in people. As we mentioned above the likely culprit of this are the oxidative stress on hypothalamus, lack of dopamine and lack of acetylcholine.
With this piracetam slowly or abruptly loses effect on users. While it is possible that properly stacking piracetam would prevent this from happening you are still advised to use it only for short periods.
Due to the abundant reports of brain fog as well as the potential for the above mentioned long term side effects it might be wise to stack piracetam with a choline source like citicoline or alpha GPC and a dopamine promoting compound like NALT. This should help with most of the above stated side effects except the ones associated with the gastrointestinal tract. To reduce the chance of the letter side effects just use lower doses of piracetam.
In recent years it has been made and sold in various countries under many different brand names. Below we listed the most common piracetam brands together with their country of origin:
- Biotropil – Europe and Brazil
- Breinox – Venezuela and Ecuador
- Geratam – EU and Brazil
- Lucetam – EU and Brazil
- Neurobasal in Colombia
- Nocetan – Latin America
- Noostan – Argentina
- Nootropil – Mexico, United States, EU, Brazil, Hong Kong and India
- Oikamid – EU and Brazil
- Smart – EU and Brazil
- Stimulan – Egypt
When you are buying piracetam keep in mind that it is not really a cheap nootropic thus some suppliers might try to sell you pixie dust or a poorly purified substance. To avoid this buy piracetam only from trustable vendors.
Trying this racetam to get the effect of feeling godlike might be a worthwhile idea, but before you buy piracetam check that you will buy it legally as in some countries it is a prescription drug.
Considering the possibility of the long term side effects aniracetam might be a better choice as it has similar effects, it is potentially safer (we found no long term side effect reports) and is accessible (unregulated) in more countries.