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Piracetam is a nootropic cognitive enhancer with numerous clinically proven benefits. It’s one of the least potent yet most thoroughly researched drug in the racetam family. Consequently, piracetam is considered the safest racetam, which makes it ideal for individuals who are new to nootropics.
Alternatively spelled piracetam, piracetam is the active ingredient in several name brand drugs such as Nootropil. While research on young and healthy human subjects is limited, piracetam has demonstrated effectiveness in treating symptoms of dementia and schizophrenia in older patients. It also has shown promise for treating neurodegeneration due to stroke, head trauma and alcohol abuse. This guide covers the most up-to-date research on piracetam uses, benefits and side effects.
Benefits and Effects
There are a number of piracetam benefits; however, its primary use is as a nootropic. It is able to enhance cognition and provide neuroprotection as well as act as an analgesic.
In clinical studies, piracetam has proven to be particularly beneficial for a number of populations including:
In young and healthy adults, piracetam is able to improve short-term working memory . One study showed it is able to provide modest benefits for verbal learning as well . This same study showed that verbal learning dramatically improved for individuals who struggle with reading difficulties .
This nootropic is particularly effective at slowing the rate of age-related cognitive decline . This improvement was only seen in higher doses of 1.6g three times per day with smaller doses of 800mg three times per day failing to perform . In addition, piracetam is able to provide neuroprotective benefits as well as improve cognition after cerebral trauma [45,44].
Some stroke patients who suffered from both progressive and chronic lack of blood flow to the brain experienced improvements in memory, concentration and intellectual functioning after taking piracetam. Researchers reviewed brain imaging data obtained from stroke patients who were given 2,400mg of piracetam twice daily. MRI and PET scans revealed improved blood flow to three areas of the brain responsible for sensory processing and linguistic ability. The scans also indicated improvements in six language functions. 
Another study has since suggested that there is no language benefit for stroke patients who took 4.8g of piracetam for a period of six months, but it’s important to note that the tests researchers used didn’t involve brain imaging. 
In another clinical investigation, researchers looked at EEG data from patients who took a piracetam supplement for six weeks and noticed a shift in alpha-waves from the frontal lobes to the occipital regions of the brain. The researchers noted that the improvement likely stemmed from repairs to the thalamus-cortex circuits in patients’ brains. 
Heart Surgery Patients
In three separate studies, bypass patients who were given a 12 gram injection of piracetam before and after surgery showed less neurodegeneration than control groups.  However, similar studies on patients who’ve undergone open heart surgery revealed no cognitive benefit to taking piracetam. 
Patients With Neurodegeneration Due to Alcohol Abuse
In a study of rats undergoing alcohol withdrawal, piracetam prevents neuron loss in the hippocampus. The same rats also experienced an increase in synapses and synaptic reorganization in their brains. 
Patients With Age-Related Cognitive Decline
A meta-analysis of studies spanning three decades revealed that piracetam is effective at improving cognitive impairments in elderly patients,  In a separate study, elderly patients who were given a 400mg daily dose of piracetam for 14 days showed significant improvements in short-term memory. 
Patients With Depression
Patients diagnosed with depression self-reported improvements in mood and activity levels when given piracetam. The optimal dose was determined to be 2,400mg daily for two months.  Piracetam may also reduce depression symptoms in patients with cerebrovascular disorders.  Piracetam is more effective than oxiracetam at reducing paranoia and agitation in mental health patients. 
Piracetam can help with involuntary movements associated with schizophrenia. 
It may also help protect the glutamatergic receptors in the hippocampus of schizophrenia patients. 
Healthy individuals who took piracetam for three weeks showed an 8.6 percent increase in verbal learning skills compared to test subjects who were given a placebo. Dyslexic patients in the same study, however, demonstrated a 15 percent increase in verbal learning skills.  Children with dyslexia who took 3.3gm of piracetam daily for 36 weeks also demonstrated improvements on language related tests. 
Piracetam’s analgesic (anti-pain) properties are directly linked to its anti-inflammatory properties. Pain caused by inflammation is often perceived as much worse than it truly is (hyperalgesia), and piracetam was able to reduce this pain by up to 41% in a rat study. Piracetam also curbs toxin-related glutathione reduction in mice. 
Acoustic Trauma Patients
If administered right away, piracetam can help prevent hearing loss in patients who suffer from acoustic trauma. In a study, 65 percent of soldiers with acute acoustic trauma who were given a combination of piracetam and prednisone immediately after the traumatic event experienced no long-term hearing loss. About 23 percent of such soldiers who were treated within 24 hours of the event also preserved their hearing. 
Taking piracetam has been shown to continually improve epilepsy symptoms in one, six and 12 month intervals. 
Pediatric Patients With Breath-Holding Spells
Low doses of piracetam can reduce occurrences of breath-holding spells in children between the ages of 5 months and 5 years old. 
Piracetam has demonstrated antithrombotic properties in rodents and humans. 
How It Works
Piracetam is the prototype for all racetam derivatives – synthetic compounds that all share a pyrrolidone nucleus. Piracetam is a derivative of GABA but oddly cannot affect GABA receptors [13,25]. While its mechanism of action is largely unknown, piracetam does modulate AMPA receptors and improves the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine Both of which are linked to memory processing [49,48].
Piracetam presumably boosts cognition by increasing glucose and oxygen consumption in all regions of the brain. The benefits tend to be more pronounced in individuals with cognitive impairments. 
Piracetam decreases acetylcholine levels and increase high-affinity choline uptake in the hippocampus.  It also protects brain cells from age-related damage while improving cellular membrane permeability. 
The recommended daily piracetam dosage for adults is between 1,200-4,800mg. Three doses of 1,600mg per day tends to produce the best benefits. For children, the recommended dose is 40-100mg per kilogram of body weight.  Piracetam has proven to be non-toxic in doses up to 12g daily over an eight week period. 
It should be noted that while piracetam has no established toxicity, 1.6g three times a day is the largest effective piracetam dosage proven in scientific studies.
Mixing piracetam powder with liquid is perhaps the most popular way to take the supplement as Piracetam is water-soluble, but you can also find piracetam capsules and piracetam 800mg tablets. When deciding how much piracetam to take the first time, keep in mind that the effects won’t be noticeable immediately. Review the studies for specific conditions for guidance on how much piracetam to take for optimal results.
Piracetam side effects are fortunately rare and temporary. The most commonly documented complaints are agitation, anxiety, drowsiness and insomnia.  Piracetam also inhibits overall steroid synthesis. 
Because of piracetam’s mechanism of action, patients who have had their adrenal glands removed will not benefit from taking the supplement.  Unfortunately, piracetam can actually worsen cocaine addiction. 
Due to the supplement’s anti-clotting properties, patients who take blood thinning drugs should avoid piracetam. Patients who experience headaches, fatigue or foggy cognition after taking piracetam should also discontinue the supplement.
This product is safe and non-toxic. As is the case with many racetams, piracetam can cause headaches. This is because it decreases acetylcholine levels within the brain . Choline supplements are able to attenuate this side effect. In animal studies, combining choline with piracetam resulted in improved memory and cognition [40,42].
Thanks to its low toxicity, piracetam pairs great with other nootropic stacks. Racetams like piracetam are often taken with cholinergic compounds, which share interrelated mechanisms. 
Taking piracetam and choline together appears to increase the memory and cognitive effects of both drugs especially in elderly patients with slight cognitive impairments.  Piracetam may also be taken with other racetam nootropics like aniracetam and oxiracetam.
Buy Piracetam with a Choline Source
There are numerous choline supplements available on the market. Alpha GPC and CDP Choline are two popular options for stacking with piracetam. This is because these choline sources are excellent nootropics in their own right. Choline Bitartrate is a weaker choline source in comparison. However, it is the most economical choice of the three.
What other nootropics does piracetam pair well with?
- Choline Bitartrate
Can I take piracetam consistently or should I cycle it?
It is common for tolerance to build up after taking one particular nootropic on a consistent basis. To avoid this issue, take this product in cycles. Cycles can be done between nootropics or taking a break from all nootropics.
What should piracetam taste like?
Piracetam powder is extremely bitter. To find out how to mask the taste of these products, check out this article.
How long does it take to work?
Individuals often feel the sensory benefits of piracetam within one hour. These effects typically last up to eight hours. Take piracetam for two weeks to one month to experience maximum benefits.
“Piracetam is the granddaddy Nootropic and while other racetams have come a long with higher potency I still like to add them to a base of piracetam. As such I use piracetam as a filler often with other nootropics when I encapsulate them. This subsequently allows me to keep a baseline level of piracetam in my system which I feel potentiates a lot of the other nootropics to a degree since many of the ‘racetams’ work in different ways. I’ve found powder city’s piracetam to be of the same texture and quality as other brands and they have great prices.”_ Mike
“I always thought all Piracetam was created equal. But not true, apparently. Powder City’s Piracetam is the best. When working or studying, I add it to my coffee or tea for a real mental boost. It is consistently the best, most potent Piracetam I’ve used (and I think I’ve tried them all). Also good for workouts, keeps me sharp and focused, never frazzled. This will be my third order from this company and I like all their products. Thanks!”_ Skyp
“No complaints. This has been an amazing experience. I feel so much more connected to my life and surroundings now, if that makes any sense. This fog has been lifted and I feel like I can actually do everything I need and want to do without such tremendous amounts effort. This product will not make you a genius, or give you endless amounts of energy. It won’t make you astonishingly motivated and hardworking. You are not going to become superhuman. However, I do believe that piracetam can help you focus, and not just focus as in concentration. You become able to see smaller details as well as the big picture. There’s an abundance of beauty in it all. Everything just seems more complex and richer across all five senses. The two specific effects I’ve noticed the most on this were color depth (more intense and diverse, distinct colors) and an increased ability to mimic sounds or people’s voices I hear. It’s been fairly amusing to anyone who hears me do it. Overall quality product, mixes well into drinks (which has been very convenient for taking doses to go), the shipping was fast, and I have had no issues.”_ E
“A friend recommended we try Piracetam, and though at first I didn’t want to try it as a powder, I’m now delighted I did. This is an excellent product, and it’s so easy to use the powder. Since it’s water-soluble, it is simple to just add it to water or juice, in the amount I choose. Yes, it’s a little bitter, but the taste is tolerable and quickly washes away with water or any other beverage. We’re using a low daily dose (800 mg, once per day) which is very effective. The only suggestion I have for others is to limit use to 3-4 days, then take a few days off. Otherwise you may find, as we have, that you are considerably less patient with others (and perhaps also yourself). After taking this plus Oxiracetam for almost three weeks straight with only two separate days off, I found I was getting pretty cranky and needed to take more days off. We’re now on a Mon-Thurs on schedule, with Fri-Sun off, and so far it’s working nicely. PowderCity has been awesome, too. Their site is very informative and easy to use, they ship quickly, and they provide lots of updates on when my order has been received, shipped, and delivered. I feel very spoiled now and wouldn’t want to order elsewhere (which is exactly the point, right?). :)”_ Tiffany R.
“I was excited to receive piracetam in bulk. I have experienced consistent ability to think more succinctly and my memory has increased ….at midlife time on this earth. I assure that I am taking choline in some source with the supplement, which also works excellent. A challenge was breaking all the clumps up in the bag prior to measuring out and making capsules. There must have been moisture in the bag. However, overcome-able. Thank you for these pure supplements. I appreciate indeed.”_ Emily L.
“Purchased this to potentiate the Alpha GPC I take and possibly replace the recently banned Picamilon for a vasodilator. It gives me a ton of energy, is a remarkable mood booster and also enhances my creative faculties. I’m a musicians and the music just flows when your taking this stuff and I’m much more motivated. I only take a gram as it seems like I’m sensitive to it and any more is too stimulating. At a gram it seems like the perfect dose for me and I have really enjoyed taking it.”_ Ryan P.
“I’ve been taking Piracetam on and off for more than a year now. I usually take it for a month or so and then go off for a while, just to be safe, but there’s no side-effects or any lingering feelings when I stop. I’ve tried a lot of different nootropics, even some of the more dramatic ones, and can safely say nothing works as consistently and brilliantly as Piracetam. It doesn’t make you sleepy, and it doesn’t keep you awake. It doesn’t make you jittery or easily distracted or give you tunnel vision. I would describe it as making things “sharper”. I’m able to react intellectually when I need to, when otherwise I’d have no choice but to react emotionally. It’s amazing for stressful jobs and has gotten me through many scary interviews and presentations. It’s also brilliant for creative work and allows me to focus my energies and organize myself in ways that seemed impossible before. Your mileage may vary, but I can vouch for Powder City and the quality of their Piracetam. I strongly recommend 4.8 grams every 8 hours, as suggested elsewhere – taking too much is actually the same as taking too little.”_ Jeremy W.