Oxiracetam: A Review of the Dosages, Side Effects, and Benefits

oxiracetam molecule
Oxiracetam Molecule

Oxiracetam is a member of the racetam family of nootropics. It’s the “older cousin” of the popular nootropic piracetam, and features a slightly tweaked molecular structure (an added hydroxyl group, hence the name).

Studies have indicated that Oxiracetam can reduce cognitive decline, while comparative studies on mice have shown it to be more potent than piracetam in several areas [1]. The HZI Data Bank Classification System describes it as a “vigilance enhancing compound with some effects on memory” [2]. Like it’s racetam cousins, Oxiracetam is an AMPA modulator -- a class of compound that is researched for its cognition enhancing effects [3].

Oxiracetam powder is a relatively inexpensive supplement that is effective at lower doses than piracetam. Discussions of the nootropic tend to describe it as having a “stimulating effect,” making it also a potentially useful nootropic for social situations.

Benefits of Oxiracetam

Reported benefits of supplementation with oxiracetam powder are far-ranging, but not all of them are necessarily backed up with clinical data. Here’s some of the compound’s scientifically supported benefits:

  • Slows or prevents memory degradation and loss [4]
  • Enhances uptake and preservation of new information [1]
  • Boosted verbal fluency [5]
  • Psychostimulatory effects (raised mental arousal) [6]

Anecdotal reports also claim that oxiracetam can improve social fluidity, enhance mind/body connection and awareness, and reduce the severity of hangovers, though none of these are clinically supported.

Oxiracetam powder is most effective in daily doses of 750-1500 mg, which can be broken into two or three doses (the effects last approximately 4-6 hours). Additionally, oxiracetam powder is characterized by a faintly sweet taste, making it one of the most palatable nootropics.

How Oxiracetam Works

Exhausted from studying? Try oxiracetam to improve your information uptake. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Oxiracetam’s most touted and empirically supported benefit is its ability to improve long-term memory formation. It achieves this effect in a number of ways. First, it increases the amount of glutamate and D-aspartic acid released by the brain when it signals hippocampal cells.

The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for long-term memory, and glutamate and D-aspartic acid are two cellular compounds metabolized by it. Glutamate specifically mediates long-term memory formation, and oxiracetam, as an AMPA modulator, also enhances the signalling of glutamate [4]. Basically, it gives the hippocampus more raw material to work with. Long term memories are in theory formed just a bit faster and more fully.

Taking a recommended dose of oxiracetam powder will also slightly potentiate acetylcholine release. This is a key neurotransmittor for learning and short-term memory formation. Lastly, it stimulates Protein Kinase C, or PKC, an intracellular intermediate of memory formation that helps the brain to form memories better [4].

Outside of memory formation, dosing with an oxiracetam powder will minimize scopalamine-induced amnesia [4]. Its effects on the cholinergic system also tie into this. In trials with rats, oxiracetam outperformed piracetam-dosed and control groups at boosting cholinergic function.

Oxiracetam-dosed rats had 31%-higher-than-control cholinergic activity, and the effects remained after 3 hours, while piracetam’s did not.[7] The study also involved dosing the rats with cholinergic-agonists usually linked to memory loss: oxiracetam blocked or reduced their effects.

Oxiracetam’s psychostimulatory effects are less well understood, though it’s believed to be related to its effect on the cholinergic system. If the brain is more actively taking in information and forming memories, a slight subjective increase in alertness makes sense.

Oxiracetam’s Side Effects

Like most racetams, Oxiracetam has little-to-no documented side effects. It’s extremely well-tolerated even at high doses and prolonged use doesn’t seem to manifest any adverse effects [5]. However, like all nootropics, it’s not a fully researched compound. Personal discretion should be used when supplementing with oxiracetam powder; everybody’s brain chemistry is unique!

One potential thing to watch out for: thanks to its stimulatory effects, oxiracetam has been noted to increase the amount of time it take to fall asleep, though the quality of sleep itself is unaffected. Also, individuals should look into interactions with other medications or compounds before taking oxiracetam.

Read our Oxiracetam Reviews.

Oxiracetam Dosage

For best results, take 750mg once daily on an empty stomach with a choline source.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1860490
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3594458
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15018832
  4. http://examine.com/supplements/Oxiracetam/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2521069
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8146219
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3594455X


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Scientific studies cited are not conclusive and have limitations, due to of their closed environment nature. Referenced studies will not necessarily determine your experience with a supplement, since there are many unaccounted variables, which fall outside the scope of the studies.

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