Piracetam is one of the oldest nootropics substances out there and serves as the basis for the definition of a nootropic drug. Piracetam was first discovered and synthesized in 1964 by a Romanian chemist named Corneliu E. Giurgea, who actually coined the term nootropic. Piracetam has sort of served as the prototypical nootropic and has been studied quite extensively. There are mixed opinions on this drug for its effectiveness and it tends to be hit or miss for people, and this likely depends on the individuals own unique neurochemistry.
Like many other racetams, Piracetam effects the acetylcholine system1 www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320581906858, which is implicated in regulating memory, learning, and attention. For this reason, it is recommended to take a choline precursor supplement so that your ACh levels do not get depleted when using Piracetam2patents.google.com/patent/US20090176740A1/en
Piracetam has been shown to improve short and long-term memory retrieval18https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3522510, improve short-term memory and attention19https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12806565, improve spatial working memory20https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9533177, and significant enhance memory retention when combined with citicoline21https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2392950.
Piracetam increases neuronal excitation via increased glutaminergic signaling, specifically at the AMPA receptor7www.researchgate.net/publication/7315745_Piracetam–an_old_drug_with_novel_properties8pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jm901905j9link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10578-007-0084-3. It is also a neuroprotective agent7www.researchgate.net/publication/7315745_Piracetam–an_old_drug_with_novel_properties10link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10517-016-3241-5, and prevents against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity10link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10517-016-3241-511link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03033327, which is among its most promising features.
Piracetam increases cell membrane fluidity, oxygen consumption, cerebral blood flow12www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/887693013www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10338102, and alpha/beta EEG activity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus14www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0361923011000773. The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are higher-ordered regions of the brain responsible for executive function15www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23020641, and the consolidation of short term memory into long term memory16science.sciencemag.org/content/304/5672/839, respectively.
In my opinion, Piracetam is one of the most fascinating nootropic drugs out there. Its effects are highly cerebral and interesting. Piracetam facilitates the communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain which makes it quite a unique experience.
In my own experiences, Piracetam seems to markedly improve my cognition, causing some sort of holistic, expansive creativity and openness. If you have never tried a racetam or any nootropic before, it’s a great one to start out with. It’s cheap, available, safe, and quite well-researched. It seems to work wonders for some people and is worth trying out, especially if you’ve never used a nootropic substance.
Where to Purchase Piracetam
Piracetam may be purchased at Nootropics Depot.
I recommend Nootropics Depot because they have been around for a long time and have maintained a solid reputation. They have excellent quality control metrics: they do in-house testing as well as independent 3rd-party testing, and they have certificates of analysis available for all of their products.
In general, “less is more”, is a good rule of thumb when determining optimal doses for a substance, but Piracetam seems to be an exception; numerous studies have shown that higher doses are the most effective.
The half-life of the drug is about 5-6 hours, and the ideal dosage should be 4.8 grams taken once or twice daily3www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/105558764www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/81779255www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/76809956www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8457235.
Higher doses can be taken if a 4.8g dose seems ineffective, up to 24g can be taken in one day, split between two 12g doses2www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9527146. Many dosages are incorrect from other websites and vendors due to an improper understanding of the drug, and often recommends doses that are far too small. That said, it’s never a bad idea to start out with smaller doses and work your way up if needed.
Side effects include dizziness, nausea, or insomnia, but are fairly rare17link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00002512-199101010-00004. Piracetam has a slightly bitter taste, and many people opt to take it in capsule form. It does not need to be taken with meals and is best absorbed on an empty stomach.
Since piracetam tends to deplete levels of acetylcholine in the brain, it is advisable stack it with nootropics that provide acetylcholine. Regardless of which substance you decide to use, stick with the same recommended doses when using this stack.
Ex: if using alpha-gpc, start with the recommended dose of 300mg even if you take it with piracetam.