Imagine working on a fulfilling project, your brain tingling, and creativity buzzing. Pieces of your puzzle are coming together and it’s easier to remember all the factors that you need. If it seems like a magic pill, that is exactly what many people consider piracetam, but what is the truth?
Developed in Belgium in the 1960s, piracetam is a synthetic derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA  that is considered the grandfather of the term “nootropic”. Since then, piracetam has increased in popularity due to mentions from brain health celebrities like Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey .
History of Piracetam
Piracetam is one of the most researched popular smart drugs. Evidence suggests piracetam improves memory in elderly populations best , but there is ample support for non-elderly adults as well .
One major study of verbal learning showed healthy individuals improve memory by 8.6% when using piracetam alone . The drug is often combined with a choline source to provide synergistic effects and reduce the potential for side effects, such as headaches .
Given the length of study and folklore around piracetam, it is usually one of the first nootropic compounds that users find. While piracetam can be a powerful cognitive enhancer, it is one of the weaker within the racetam family.
In the past decade piracetam has received the most notoriety and popularity amongst nootropic, brain hacking, and quantified self movements. Due to the popularity amongst many key players in the field recently, one might conclude that piracetam is one of the latest and greatest substances to improve cognition and memory.
Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964 by Romanian scientist Corneliu E Giurgea among others. Created by the UCB Pharma company in Belgium, piracetam was tested in European countries during the 1970s and was the first “nootropic” as we know it today .
Luckily, the history of piracetam is long, which means there have been dozens of studies across the globe to validate and verify results. When choosing if you want to buy piracetam or not, having a long research history can provide more assurance of efficacy and safety.
Also Known As
Pyracetam, Pyrrolidone acetamide, 2-Oxo-1-pyrrolidine, Memotopril, Fezam (with cinnarizine), UCB6215, Nootropil
More than ever, we live in a culture where features and comforts are right at our fingertips. Want delicious pizza? Have it delivered to your door. Want to experience another country? Hop on a cheap flight. If you’re interested in piracetam, I’m sure you’re wondering “what are the piracetam benefits?”
Piracetam is perhaps best well known for being a memory enhancer. For any research claim, the best type of study is a “meta-analysis”, which is a scientific look at many different studies and their claims. One piracetam analysis looked at 19 different double-blind studies and noted a significant benefit in memory with this nootropic . However, another study made it clear that this memory improvement takes time to create: after 7 days there was no change, but 14 days showed a significant enhancement with piracetam .
This is the most touted and likely benefit of piracetam. Most people purchase piracetam for this reason.
In brain enhancement circles, memory and “cognition” are considered different things. While neither you nor I need to know the details of this distinction, the evidence suggests piracetam can improve cognitive function particularly in those who have ailments or degeneration . In the research, this typically refers to elderly who are suffering from degenerative diseases or Alzheimer’s disease, but ample evidence suggests it can support healthy adults (though to a lesser extent).
Keep in mind, just because the main area of research focuses on unhealthy, elderly adults, does not mean that it cannot help you with your situation. It just means that piracetam is extraordinarily equipped to support elderly with degenerative diseases.
As the human brain ages, it starts to decline. Just like an old car starts to sputter and stall, the aged brain will start to develop ailments that impact memory, hand-eye coordination, among a host of other things. Piracetam can help elderly (and non-elderly) to prevent the decline of neurons in the brain .
The key to remember is that this benefit is about prevention, which means you take the nootropic before it becomes too late. While racetams can help reverse neurological decline (see: oxiracetam), it is best to work with prevention as the first line of defense.
Imagine walking outside and finding the colors brighter, more vibrant, and alive. While under-researched, there is some evidence to suggest that piracetam can improve sensory perception by increasing acetylcholine activity .
Anecdotal reports suggest piracetam can be an effective tool for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression, but the clinical research is slim. One study had self-reported reductions in depression with unhealthy patients .
If you are suffering from clinical depression, we do not suggest relying on piracetam to solve these mood disorders. However, if you suffer from generalized or social anxiety, anecdotal reports are positive.
How Does Piracetam Work?
As we know from any nootropic compound, whether it “works” (and how it does so) is highly dependent on personal brain chemistry. Piracetam is no different and works for many people in one way and others in another.
There is no commonly held scientific explanation for why piracetam improves brain function, cognition, and memory, but there are several theories. The most prominent theory is that piracetam helps to enhance neuronal function by improving membrane fluidity. The downstream effect of this is increased mitochondrial function , which helps general brain function.
Additionally, piracetam can increase blood flow to the brain, which is responsible for more oxygenation . This shows (at least with elderly) improvements for memory formation, preventing against Alzheimer’s disease.
If all of this “mechanism of action” discussion is too difficult to understand, we understand, but it is worth it to know how piracetam might improve your brain health before you buy.
What is Nootropil?
While it may seem like a detour, it is important to note that nootropil is the same thing as piracetam. This is one of the reasons we so often see nootropil and piracetam interchanged in different content about the subject. Understanding the other terms of piracetam is important especially if readers have an interest in researching the compound.
Many of the chemical compounds have Russian (or other language) names because they were developed in the former Soviet Union. While it is commonly known as piracetam, nootropil is the exact same substance and there is virtually no difference. If you find a product that has nootropil on the packaging, it is probably because the product came from a former Soviet-bloc country. There is no cause for alarm as your nootropil will work in the same way as piracetam assuming you have received a safe and trustworthy source.
Congratulations on making it all the way to the “side effects” section. Learning about the side effects of piracetam can help you to better protect yourself from harm so you can be mindful about your usage.
Luckily, the adverse effects of piracetam are rare and usually of short duration . People who do suffer from piracetam related side effects usually note insomnia, drowsiness, agitation, and in some cases headaches.
These headaches, while confined to anecdotal reports online, are often referred to as “racetam headaches” because of the common effects of this class. People who suffer from headaches often opt for a choline supplement in order to mitigate these side effects and improve memory.
As with most consumable drugs, piracetam toxicity was researched in a laboratory setting on rats. The LD50 (amount required to kill 50% of a research population) for piracetam is 8-10 grams per kilogram of bodyweight  (544 grams for a 150 lb. person), which is extremely high. In all human studies, doses of 8 grams per day were met with no adverse effects .
These general data points may not pertain to your individual brain chemistry so make sure to be mindful of the changes that you feel and experience.
Even though piracetam side effects are relatively minor and infrequent, it is a substance that can interact with others (for better or worse!). Here are a few of the drugs that piracetam interacts with:
Using piracetam causes a decrease of acetylcholine , but a choline supplement will provide more acetylcholine to replace what is lacking. Most studies suggest the combination of choline and piracetam are effective ways to boost piracetam’s memory enhancement potential. While it seems this is true moreso for those with cognitive impairment , it still supports healthy adults.
In this case, the drug interaction with choline is predominantly considered good or beneficial. If you are going to use a choline source with piracetam, we recommend alpha GPC or citicoline as they are the most efficient sources.
Depending on your current relationship to alcohol, interactions can be good or bad. For those with alcohol-related trauma (such as overuse, addiction etc), piracetam can increase “synaptic reorganization” which helps to reduce memory and neurological loss after abuse.
However, while there are no studies to this effect, consuming alcohol and piracetam can be detrimental for your health according to anecdotal reports. Be very careful when consuming high quantities in general, but especially with drugs like piracetam.
The same holds true for other recreational drugs, such as MDMA and LSD, where there are no studies to clearly delineate the effects. Anecdotal reports are mixed, but it is not worth trying if you’d like to remain free from side effects.
From a scientific perspective, dosage recommendations are not cut and dry. Typically, as is the case with piracetam, there are recommendations based on body weight. For the piracetam dosage, 40 – 100 mg per kg of body weight is normal with 40 – 50 mg / kg as the more common measurement.
For the common piracetam user, it’s best to dose between 1200 – 4800 mg per day. One recommended starting point is as follows:
1600 mg piracetam x 3 servings per day for a total of 4800 mg.
The piracetam dosage that is most useful will depend on the individual. Piracetam studies show a high inter-individual variability, which means the drug’s efficacy depends on the biochemistry of each individual.
IMPORTANT: These are the standard recommendations. Read below for some interesting insights to consider before buying piracetam or consuming it.
Recommended vs. Large Piracetam Dosage
Many people within the nootropics community consider piracetam to be a memory enhancing drug that has weak effects and thus requires much higher doses. The effects of racetams are not usually stimulatory or “felt” in any way and some people mistake the subtlety for lack of efficacy.
Some people then utilize a much higher piracetam dosage to get the cognitive effects of the drug. Sometimes this can lead to side effects, such as headaches, nausea, and gastrointestinal distress. Other times it is more effective at improving memory formation and learning.
Scientific literature also takes a more liberal approach to the dosage of piracetam. Despite most recommendations having 4800 mg as the high end of the range, one study on Alzheimer’s disease used 8 grams of piracetam per day for a year .
Another study showed that a dosage comparison of 2400 mg vs. 4800 mg per day showed the higher dose was more effective. However, this is in persons with cognitive decline that have an average age of 73.2 years . The same effects may not be seen for healthy young adults.
Solubility and Bioavailability
When taking piracetam, there is no need to take it with a fat source. Piracetam is water-soluble and doesn’t need to be taken with food or fat of any kind. Piracetam is also relatively bioavailable, which means it is well-absorbed and utilized by the body. It takes longer than other racetams, such as aniracetam, but has a longer half-life as well .
Piracetam Dosage – What's Wrong With Your Info
There are reasons for many doses and recommendations within the nootropics community. Although many people may fight us on this topic, we are firm believers that the true piracetam dosage is higher than even the highest recommended value.
As we mentioned above (as it is conventional wisdom), the standard dosage of piracetam is 1600 – 4800 mg per day. The problem with this dosage is how far it often is from the doses that scientists have used in academic research.
A quick look at the majority of studies shows doses that go all the way to 9600 mg per day. In fact, many of the piracetam evidence is using 5600 – 9600 mg per day. That range seems above average and we do not recommend anyone start with that, but it is interesting given how people view piracetam commonly.
Much of the information regarding piracetam is that it simply “doesn't work” or that there is no sensation or feeling associated with the drug at all. This may be true for many people no matter the dosage, but perhaps it is also due to the relatively low dosage that has circulated the blogosphere.
How to Take Higher Doses of Piracetam Safely
Obviously we're not recommending going out and “mega-dosing” piracetam. Instead, we want readers to take a bigger-picture approach. Alex Shulgin, a famous scientist and biochemist, created a particular method for taking any kind of substance. First, start with a micro-dose to rule out any kind of allergens. A fraction (maybe 1/4 – 1/10) of the dose will help with that process.
Afterwards, take half of a dose. With piracetam that might be 3600 mg, but the point is to see how your body responds to half a normal dose. Then take a full dose and incrementally move yourself up to the 5 – 10 gram range if you are curious in seeing the effects.
Luckily, most of the side effects of piracetam are at higher dose ranges and pretty minimal compared with other more powerful drugs.
A “nootropic stack” refers to a combination of nootropics that improves various cognitive function in a synergistic way. Often, nootropic stacks are combinations of ingredients that can activate certain parts of the brain together in a more beneficial way.
Piracetam has a number of nootropic stacks, but only one of them has been verified in a traditional research setting. There is lots of evidence that piracetam can aid in mitochondrial health, which is why it is a favorable pairing with any mitochondrial support product (like creatine etc).
Piracetam and Choline
This is the only researched combination and much of the research has been done in animals and elderly. Piracetam increases acetylcholine uptake and utilization in the hippocampus, which depletes the brain’s stores and requires supplementation . This is where the choline, a precursor for the brain chemical acetylcholine, can come in handy. As mentioned before, go with efficient choline sources like alpha GPC and CDP choline (citicoline).
Choline – An Essential Nutrient
Choline is an important nutrient which is actually produced in our bodies, specifically by the liver. Unfortunately, our livers generally only produce a very small amount of choline. That results in people often not getting enough choline on a regular basis.
Choline benefits our central nervous systems by acting as a precursor to Acetylcholine, which is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our brains. It handles the communication between neurons and deals with synaptic plasticity. Once the levels of Acetylcholine are maxed out, people can significantly improve their neural activity and the transmission of signals in their cerebrums.
However, if your liver does not produce enough choline, your Acetylcholine levels will be too low. What does that mean? Basically, your nerve cells won’t be able to handle something like a piracetam choline stack.
That’s why many people usually turn to choline supplements. While it is possible to get the choline you need from food sources (predominantly eggs and fish), this diet is not always efficient. That’s because many people nowadays are choline-deficient, mostly because of the stress in their lives and the lack of regular exercise patterns.
There are many options on the market when it comes to Acetylcholine supplements, so you will be able to take your pick. Choline bitartrate supplements are the most common choices, but they are by no means the best:
- Choline supplements may improve your focus
- Choline supplements might balance your mood and improve cognitive health
- Choline supplements may improve memory
- Choline supplements can be efficiently used as Acetylcholine precursors
- High doses have been known to cause diarrhea
- These supplements are not as efficient as their more expensive counterparts, namely Citicoline and Alpha GPC
- These supplements feature a low bioavailability
In general, we recommend avoiding choline bitartrate in favor of a citicoline or alpha GPC option.
Piracetam Choline Stacking – Does It Work?
Now that you know what both of these supplements are and what they can do, it’s time to move on to the stacking aspect. We feel it’s necessary to say beforehand that this is not something somebody came up with overnight.
The idea of a piracetam choline stack emerged way back in 1981, when scientists performed a study with a mix of piracetam and choline on aging rats . The results showed that there was a significant improvement in terms of piracetam and choline working synergistically. Obviously, that means that the overall benefits of taking them together far outweigh the advantages of taking these supplements separately.
Here are the main reasons why you should take a piracetam choline stack:
- Your mental clarity is significantly increased
- Taking choline can sometimes alleviate headaches caused by piracetam
- You will notice memory improvements 
- Your sensory perception will receive a boost thanks to piracetam and Acetylcholine interactions 
- You will see cognitive function improvements
Now, before deciding to take such a stack, you need to understand how to do it. If you don’t mix piracetam choline stacks the right way, you risk doing more harm than good.
You need to let piracetam build up in your brain over a period of at least two weeks. The users who reported the best results were taking between 4.8-9.5 g/dose and administering two to three doses/day. If you use piracetam powder, you should stick to 2-5 g/day.
Once you see how you react to the piracetam supplements, you can try taking choline as well. Be careful to get the ratio right.
Normally, if you are taking a weaker form of choline supplements (like bitartrate, for instance), you should try a ratio of 1 mg choline/6 mg piracetam. However, you can give a ratio of 1 mg choline/every mg of piracetam a shot.
But if you’re using more powerful choline supplements (like Alpha GPC, for instance), you should only stick to a ratio ranging from 1 mg choline/4 mg piracetam to 1 mg choline/10 mg piracetam.
Remember you need to find the piracetam choline dose that works for you, so start out small and work your way up from there.
- References (Click to Expand)
Piracetam and Other Racetams
While piracetam is the most well-researched and studied, it is not the most potent. Aniracetam is more potent because it enters the bloodstream in higher quantities for a shorter duration . Anecdotal reports show that combining aniracetam, oxiracetam, or other potent variations with the piracetam option can be effective.
There are other racetams like phenylpiracetam, coluracetam, and fasoracetam, which are all more highly stimulating. This could be a good combination for people who want to focus primarily on their learning ability and have some stimulation, but without traditional stimulants. Consider that some of these require cycling (as they can develop a tolerance issue otherwise). Noopept is not a racetam, but for some reason is clumped together. It is considered 1000 times more potent than piracetam so this too may be an option.
Piracetam and Huperzine A
There is no laboratory evidence to support the combination of piracetam and huperzine A, but this herbal extract of Huperzia serrata can prove helpful. Huperzine A inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine , which means it acts to maintain the brain chemical even when using piracetam.
Piracetam and Unique Stacks
The most common method of using piracetam is alongside other popular nootropic compounds. Piracetam seems to be a “gateway drug” into the nootropics community and alongside this substance are many unique nootropic blends. Qualia is a unique blend that is highly stimulatory so piracetam in a lower dose may be effective. For other more natural blends like alpha brain, OptiMind, or Mind Lab Pro, it is possible to take the normal dosage.
Piracetam and Natural Nootropics
Many choose to use piracetam as the only synthetic drug because it is highly studied for decades. For those who are skeptical about synthetics other than piracetam, natural nootropics can go alongside this well. Things like tongkat ali, bacopa monnieri, or adaptogens like rhodiola rosea and ashwagandha are all powerful and helpful without the higher risk of side effects.
The popularity of piracetam is great within the world. According to Google search trends, there are over 22,200 people searching every month, which means there vendors interested in making a lot of money.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of piracetam for sale is not of good quality or, at the very least, there are a lot of risks in buying it. If you would like to buy piracetam as a consumer, you can do so legally, but there are a few things to consider for your own safety.
For one, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the sale of piracetam as a drug in medical contexts or as a “supplement”. That means, vendors are forced to meet the needs of the public without all the scrutiny to maintain the best operations.
Before you buy piracetam, it is imperative you search for third-party (or in house) testing in order to see the assay and heavy metals. The assay will tell you what percentage of the powder is a particular ingredient. The heavy metals will detect any kind of substance that could be potentially harmful to your health. You want to see these indicators before you make a purchase.
Just because a vendor has a great looking website does not mean that they are safe.
Why Buy Piracetam From Certain Vendors
Within the world of nootropics, there are a few popular drugs that have not yet hit the mainstream or the governmental bodies haven’t made decisions on their legality. Piracetam is a synthetic nootropic that is growing quite popular, but (at least in the United States), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t decided to regulate it just yet.
Thus , when you buy piracetam, it is important to have the right vendor so that you have the best results. It isn’t as simple as finding a retailer online and then buying from them. Sometimes it requires you take a few more safety precautions.
Third Party Testing and Verification
Due to the relatively grey area of piracetam, it is up to the vendors to provide safety precautions and maintain standards. To do this, many of them (including our recommended vendors) utilize HPLC analysis, perform assay testing, and heavy metals overview. This enables you (the customer) to see the validity of the drug they are selling for yourself before buying.
Most of these products are synthesized in China and nobody knows how strict they are with regulations. This is why a third party or in-house verification makes such a big difference.
Other Ways to Buy Piracetam
If you do not trust our methodology for purchasing piracetam, you may also look at online communities and see their philosophy and recommendations. There are communities, such as Reddit and Longecity, where thousands of people are discussing where to buy piracetam and similar questions.
Piracetam Powder vs. Piracetam Tablets
First, it’s important to understand there isn’t really much difference between the two in terms of efficiency. Whether you are buying piracetam tablets or powder, you are getting the same boost in mental power and agility.
Now, one reason why some people prefer tablets over powder is because of the convenience aspect. After all, you just have to take the tablet and you are done with it. You don’t have to prepare a drink so that you can ingest the piracetam powder in liquid form, which can be difficult to do when not at home or at the office.
Also, keep in mind that piracetam has a very strong, bitter taste, so be sure to dissolve the powder with juice or something strong that can mask the taste.
However, what many users don’t realize is that piracetam tablets are much more expensive than their powder counterparts. You should expect piracetam capsules to take you anywhere up to 50 cents per gram, a price that will easily become too steep for many people
On the other hand, piracetam powder is much more cost-efficient, only costing around 10 cents per gram.
Plus, with the money you end up saving, you can actually make a smart investment. You could even use the money to get a capping machine and gelatine capsule shells. This way, that will allow you to effectively make your own piracetam tablets in the long run.
Here are some other things to take into consideration:
- This supplement is water-soluble, so you should always take it on an empty stomach. Don’t forget what we said about the bitter taste, though. Make sure to drink it with juice (preferably orange juice), not just plain water.
- Remember to not rely just on the scoop that comes with the powder. The density varies a lot, so always use a milligram scale as well.
- You can take an attack dose to kickstart the levels of piracetam since the supplement is safe. However, make sure you don’t do this longer than a few consecutive days.
- References (Click to Expand)
Piracetam Reviews to Rely On
Piracetam reviews on nootropics communities, such as Reddit and Longecity, vary widely depending on the individual. Although most piracetam reviews are positive or neutral about the drug, individuals’ perceptions cast a more sobering light on the drug itself.
Consensus: Positive / Neutral
It is very rare to find people explaining their reviews of piracetam with any kind of hard data. Even though there are tools like NooTracker and Dual-N-Back to help people track cognitive performance, only a small percentage participate. The vast majority of individuals do not spend enough time focused on tracking and thus do not have any tangible evidence either positive or negative.
The piracetam reviews that do exist online are primarily related to the stimulatory or anxiolytic effects of the drug. Some people notice a distinct difference and relay that (even if they cannot fully describe it). For example, here is one Redditor explaining his subjective experience:
“I noticed very soon after taking the Piracetam that my brain was working a hell lot better. I only ate eggs alot for choline. The piracetam was working so I didn’t feel the need to buy choline sources.”  – drmassien
Piracetam Reviews You Can Trust
Another thing to keep in mind when you look at piracetam reviews is that many videos or blog posts you read will have a biased in favor of the drug so that they can sell it to you. Nootropedia has a philosophy of providing truthful information as an unbiased resource. Thus, we recommend you utilize resources such as Longecity and Reddit to look for reviews of piracetam.
The anecdotal evidence from these reviewers is worth taking with a grain of salt (as it is a subjective experience, not scientific evidence). However, it can help you to get more authentic reviews from unbiased sources than other means.
- References (Click to Expand)
As you can tell from the above piracetam reviews, there are plenty of people with opinions on the subject. While not all piracetam reviews are worth viewing, it is important to understand how things affect a larger sample size of the population with whom you can actually speak.
In a scientific or research study, many of the people using the drug are sequestered and you'll never be able to see any of the data. When anecdotal accounts and piracetam reviews go live on forums like Reddit and Longecity, it becomes much easier to see the various nuances and solutions that the community comes up with.
It would be wrong to think piracetam reviews are the cornerstone of any decision to take the nootropic drug, but it is important to consider them nonetheless. They hold valuable information that may not be available in other texts. Taken in aggregate (as a whole), the piracetam reviews will give you a basic understanding of how the drug is used for cognitive enhancement purposes as opposed to repairing damage in elderly patients who have illness like Alzheimer's and senile dementia.
Nootropedia Disclaimer: While we support psychedelic science and support usage of entheogens like ayahuasca (DMT) and psilocybin, it is recommended to avoid using other substances such as piracetam alongside them. We do not recommend using them together.
Selected Community Experiences
Here are a few selected community experiences (portraying all sides of piracetam usage) that, while anecdotal and often confounded, might prove valuable for your research:
“I’ve been taking piracetam and noopept for roughly 1 week now and have noticed a significant increase in my ability to relate to others. I am regularly initiating conversations with people i would formerly avoid and feel extremely comfortable in situations i used to feel awkward in.” – TheChildishOne
“I noticed very soon after taking the Piracetam that my brain was working a hell lot better. I only ate eggs alot for choline. The piracetam was working so I didn't feel the need to buy choline sources.” – drmassien
“Whilst under the effects your brain creates new connections at a faster rate. You will still retain those new connections but just not gain them as quickly again. To put it into a real world example; you could use it to become really good at math and when you stop taking it you would still retain those skills so long as you kept them topped up with practice. You would not then be able to go on and learn the german language at the same rate or be much better at learning it as before as the skillset is different and is (generally) handled by different parts of the brain.” – aggiez10
Author’s Thoughts on Piracetam
I’ve seen a high variation in efficacy across my self experiments, friends, and the general nootropic community. I judge it is highly dependent on personal brain chemistry to a greater extent than some other compounds (such as caffeine). My personal experience has been positive, especially when seeing connections and putting mental pieces together during jiu-jitsu of all things.
One thing I’ve noticed is that most people do not take a high enough dosage. If you use piracetam, it isn’t going to be as strong as some of the other racetams so taking a hefty dose is in order. 3600 – 4800 mg of piracetam is not unheard of and it’s important to give the drug weeks to work. It has a significant “build-up” effect in my experience.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Contributor
- References (Click to Expand)
- Other Scientific Resources (Click to Expand)