- 1 My Experience With Piracetam
- 2 63 Case Reports From Around the Web
- 3 Possible Mechanisms Behind Negative Reports:
- 4 Brain fog, drowsiness and feeling sleepy in the day
- 5 Irritability, sleep onset issues and sweating
- 6 Muscle problems and headaches
- 7 Cognitive issues with reading, spelling and verbal retrieval, etc…
- 8 Don’t Be Misled by Bad Studies
- 9 Mitigating piracetam’s negative effects
- 10 Piracetam damages the hypothalamus. Functions of the hypothalamus:
My Experience With Piracetam
I am asked often why I don’t supplement with the racetams – specifically piracetam.
Piracetam, for those who don’t know, is the most popular smart drug or nootropic. People take it to enhance their cognition.
When I experimented with piracetam, I temporarily experienced pretty bad brain fog from it and my IQ must have transiently dropped quite a bit.
I now have clues why, which I’ll explain later. I tried 2 different and reliable brands of piracetam (nootropil, cognitive nutrition), as well as aniracetam and oxiracetam.
I varied the dosages of piracetam and choline, as well as the types of choline.
The only thing that didn’t vary was the inevitable brain fog that resulted.
When I got bad results, I couldn’t understand why, since piracetam is supposedly amazing. People on forums told me I must have been doing something wrong.
This was about 3 years ago. Ever since, I have been reading many testimonials about similarly negative effects.
Most of the positive reviews I read talk about “subtle” benefits, which to me seems eerily close to what a placebo feels like.
On the other hand, some of the negative reports are pretty serious.
People describe how they used to be extremely intelligent and came crashing down after piracetam usage. Some have never recovered- not even after a long break.
My aim in this post is not to demonstrate that piracetam can’t benefit anyone or that you will certainly suffer harm by taking it, since some people can benefit from it and most people will probably experience little to no harm if it’s taken on a short term basis.
Rather, my aim is to show that piracetam isn’t this risk-free drug it’s made out to be and importantly, that if you experience negative results, you shouldn’t dismiss them outright.
It’s interesting that many users treat it like vitamin C, taking it even if they don’t notice a benefit, thinking it’s risk-free.
The fact that anyone can order it without a prescription in the US bolsters the impression of how safe it is.
Here is a picture that typifies the general assumptions about piracetam:
As far as drugs go, piracetam is not overall more dangerous than other drugs.
Heck, it’s probably safer than most in many ways, since it isn’t toxic to the liver.
But it’s still a drug and people should approach piracetam and other racetams with the same category of seriousness as other drugs with low toxicity, but with potential risks if taken long-term.
The same can be said about some “natural” products that can be legally purchased over the counter in the US like forskolin and huperzine-a, among others.
If you read the case reports, you’ll see the main side effects of piracetam are brain fog, sleepiness/drowsiness, irritability, sleep issues, depression, muscle twitching, headaches, sweating and cognitive impairment (issues with reading, spelling and verbal retrieval).
63 Case Reports From Around the Web
I decided to collate some of the negative posts from around the web about piracetam so that people understand that I’m not the only one that had negative effects. Anyone who looks at my toolkit will see I’m not afraid of popping pills, but there’s no supplement that I use that has the same number of case reports of harm. These reports are in no way comprehensive – you’ll find many more if you do some digging. I feel that any safe “nootropic” should not have so many case reports of cognitive harm. At the very least, it should follow the Hippocratic oath of primum non nocere – first do no harm. Also, we don’t know how many people had negative effects and didn’t post about it. When people say piracetam is non-toxic, this doesn’t mean that it’s safe or free of side effects, it just means that it takes a large dose to kill you. If you don’t believe these case reports, then I invite you to copy any of them and Google it and you will find it on a forum. Well, here you go:
1) Why sometimes Piracetam makes me depressed or more irritaded? Hypoglicemia? Many users here report the same negative effects.
2) Also I am not convinced that the headache from Piracetam is caused by Low choline levels because from the first time I took piracetam I got a headache from taking a few extra caps and I really doubt my choline levels were that low right when I first start.
3) I took piracetam for a few months The effects are devasteting I feel like I have cement in my head My concentration droped dramatically and, what is worst, my memory, which used to be my precious assett, has big holes My learning capacity plumbered Does anyone know how to take piracetam away from my system, some kind of antidot For now I take vitamin B6 It does diminish the negative effects a little The funny thing is that , when I drink alcohol, firstly I am now more resilient (I used to get almost drunk from a beer) and I actually think clearly I guess because of the high level of sugar induced by alcohol BTW, when I drink Coca Cola(like 2 liters -sorry, I am from Europe) I actually feel good But the damn thing is still in my head I can actually feel it I have zones on my brain which are like full of concrete Anyone knows an antidot To be very clear : I did not take piracetam for ten years now, and it is still in my head !!!!!!!PLEASE
4) I’m a very rare case, but I took piracetam for 2 week and I now have muscle convulsions randomly, at different places of my body, at random times. sometimes twice in a minute, other times twice in an hour. it only lasts for a few seconds. i only took it for 2 weeks and the side-effects have been present for the last 3-4 months. i don’t think its going away… eh
5) First of all ,i also have very negative effect from Piracetam like user on forum post like hard to talk ,read,write,driving car that for sometime Piracetam effect even drop in a week ,negative effect still remain .
6) I’ve stopped using the piracetam, and I still experience some brain fog, like someone is putting pressure on my head… Will this go away?
7) Hey. Did it ever go away for you? I’m having the same problem. I was on piracetam for 1 month and stopped it suddenly. Now I feel like I can’t do anything (driving, writing, thinking). It fucked up my brain.
8) I have used piracetam 5 g/day for two days now and what I feel is the following:
- slight nausea, brain fog, lower scores in lumosity (brain) games, slight pressure in frontal lobe, maybe
9) I started by taking an 800mg dose 3 times a day for the first 3 days and nothing happened. I pushed it up to 1600mg 3 times a day and I got the worst headache of my life accompanied by brain fog and nausea.
10) when you first start Piracetam you will get brain fog and have trouble reading, I noticed this as well as I recently started taking it again. When it does kick in the fog and problems reading go away, but the benefits are very subtle, maybe even subconscious.
11) I did not experienced any problems as previously, but I did have problems with speech. When talking I forget words and mumbled.
12) I have been I piracetam for a few weeks. My head feels tight, sort of like a precurser to a headache, but it doesn’t really hurt.. I can see how it may cause a migrane in some people though.
13) I was going tos tart of small but decided to take an attack dose. It seems to make me really tired and irritable.
14) How to repair brain damaged by Piracetam use ?
15) Sorry i can’t writting much ,but before i very succesfull in life ,pretty genious when i’m on Caffeine ,after a while Caffeine give me a lot of motivation to find something else stronger to boost my concentration + creativity ,becuase of may of books i buy lay around and i unable to fully read it all , (sorry for grammar )
I search from internet and found Longecity ,i try a lot of noot shinch then ,my life has change after first dose of Piracetam ,i feel something really wrong ,my brain seem shinked ,no hippocampus volume anymore ,i can’t talk or read ,no func , thinking ,lost most everything ,just need to try lay down and do nothing . Anyway ,a lot of user suggest take with Choline ,um let a try ,but symptom get worse ,i try many thing becuase of i read a lot testimonial how Piracetam be great ,but symptom get more worse ,stop Piracetam not help at all ,still difretnt person .
16) Very very interesting post. Any ideas on why I get extremely irritable from Piracetam (dose dependant). I can feel the irritibility with as low a dose as 400mg and is horrible at 3.2g. It also gets worse the more days in a row that I take piracetam. I’ve tried all types of choline (as well as no choline).
17) For me it worked great until I added Choline, than I got severe brain fog and I had to stop piracetam.
18) Piracetam initially had no visible effect besides giving me one hell of a headache if I forgot my choline source.
19) If Piracetam is so effective, why isn’t it more popular with the general public? Is Piracetam limited to a cult following? Why isn’t the military using it for pilots and special operations soldiers? There are news stories about the popularity of Provigil, but nothing about Piracetam. I also haven’t read any articles from mainstream doctors who recommend it as a supplement for healthy adults. There also hasn’t been any updated information on nootropics for the general public since “Smart Drugs II” was published in 1993.
From my 10+ years of personal experience, I have found that many times Piracetam made me sleepy, and/or I got a severe brain fog. I have tried it at dosages from 800mg up to 4,800mg “attack” dosage per day, both with and without choline (either Alpha-GPC, Citicoline, or Phosphdylcholine in dosages from 300mg – 1000mg per day). I have also taken it with Hydregine (up to 4.5mg per day), and I have also tried Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Pramiricetam with similar results. I have also tried different brands of Piracetam from Nootropil to Primaforce. I also don’t use any recreational drugs, other than a glass of beer or wine a few nights a week, I get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, and I have no psychological conditions(i.e. bi-polar, depression, etc). I have a job where I need to maintain alertness and clear thinking 8-10 hours a day, so I can’t afford self induced brain fog.
I have always taken nootropics on faith, thinking that they were somehow helping me, even if I didn’t notice any effects. I’m now starting to think that in order for a nootropic to be called effective, you should be able to notice a positive result within a reasonably short period of time (none of this “you need to try it for 6 months before you notice a result”). I am also starting to believe that in order to be called an effective, a nootropic like Piracetam should never make you feel worse. I was sitting there one day in a Piracetam induced fog, thinking to myself that I paid money for this result.
20) Piracetam is neuro toxic to me ,feel more stupid than previous year .
21) My own view would be, piracetam makes depressed days worse but upbeat days better.
22) I was taking Piracetam 1,000 mg twice / day for a month (Prima Force), then I stopped taking it 5 days ago, and I now feel like I am zapped of creativity, and I also feel really dumb. I am making basic spelling errors, and I am having trouble formulating thoughts, and feel like I’m really straining to think. My thoughts were fluid before i started taking it. Is this normal? Is this something i should be concerned of?
23) I take piracetam in cycles of a few months at about 10 grams per day, and notice feeling considerably slower following the cessation of use. It’s difficult to directly attribute the dullness to the stoppage of piracetam, but I certainly do feel a lot ‘duller’ when I am not using it– moreso than before I even began using piracetam in the first place. Kinda disconcerting.
24) I was taking Piracetam until a routine blood test showed I had higher than normal HCT (Hemocrit) and Hemoglobin levels. HCT is a percentage of the concentration of red blood cells vs. plasma in the blood and a high level could be an indicator for Polycythemia. Turns out, Piracetam has been shown to stimulate erythropoiesis (production of red blood cells) in rats.(a) None of the research I had done previously had shown any relationship between erythropoiesis and Piracetam, so I didn’t immediately make a connection. The risks of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, or ESAs are many. Studies show that patients with breast or advanced cervical cancers who receive erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy died sooner or have more rapid tumor growth than similar patients who don’t receive the anemia drugs. They have also been shown to have increased heart risks and could cause harm to those with kidney disease. Bottom line? Check with your doctor before using this as a supplement! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8203283
25) I had been taking Piracetam with CDP Choline for about a week when I started to notice some kidney pain which got more severe over time. Also my urine started smelling bad enough to where someone made a comment in a public restroom. I initially thought the pain was caused by a sports injury I got while playing football but the injury eventually subsided and the pain persisted. I did not take any piracetam today and I have noticed that it is slowly starting to feel better. Any reason why this may be happening or way I can remedy this?
26) I just got in piracetam yesterday. Tried 3x 800mg yesterday with good effect (I didn’t try to do any work, but felt lifting of brain fog as with adderall.)
I woke up after a full night’s sleep with the worst brain fog of my life. Tried 800mg this morning, brain fog intensified. Took lecithin, brain fog intensified. Took another 800mg piracetam ~4hr after first dose, brain fog even worse. Now at 8 hours since the first dose I can finally concentrate enough to read again. Has anyone experienced these effects so early on, and gone on to have good effects later? Is Piracetam just not likely to work for me? I’ve got noopept coming in later this week, maybe that will go better.
27) Piracetam didnt work for me, I felt like it made me dumber. Definitely messed with my sleep.
28) Personally, piracetam gives me brain fog, with or without choline. I definitely feel something, but it’s not very good.
29) What dosages have you tried? I find that 400mg-800mg work best most days, then some days I’ll have to bump to 3.2g, just for that one day, then the 400-800mg doses work good again. If I do another 3.2g that same day (or even the next day), it results in brain fog.
30) Interesting article, piracetam didnt work for me either and I have written similar revievs as in the article online. Some people truly wont understand what you mean and tell you to take more or something like that. It could very well be that it does nothing at all in most people and the effects are imagined or even real depending on your brain chemistry but I would avoid speculating about the intelligence levels of these people.
31) I kind of agree with the author in some ways. Anecdotally, I’m clearer-headed on days I forget to take my racetam dose (PAO stack).
32) the first few days/week i feel sharper, more on the ball.. then i feel completely retarded indefinitely until i stop taking it
33) Negative Effects: Brain Fog. There’s like something radiating or a mild pressure inside my head. I also can’t seem to think better, I’m hoping it’s just my brain or my stack is not properly balanced and need to find my magic ratio. Foggy or Blurred Eyes. This is a bit worrying. After I take this stack, I kinda notice there’s like a thin film cover in some parts of my vision and it’s not mote. I hope if won’t affect my eyesight, though if things don’t improve with your help guys or if I can’t find a good ratio between the supplements I’m giving up on this. Mild Stomach Pains? I think this is just from negative thinking because Piracetam is still a new supplement for me. Every thing seems fine though. Still taking a crap everyday and nothing weird about urine. (I read that Piracetam can cause bloody diarrhea and some nasty other stuff.)
34) I have been using piracetam on and off since april this year, and every time i have gotten brain fog and felt really retarded in the end. So i bought choline (cdp-choline and alpha-gpc) and stacked it, did this the entire summer, it was better but i still became as bright as a cow in the end, i remember once when i was going to mix some EAA in a bottle, i had to think really hard before i did it because i didnt know what to begin with, i knew what i was going to do, but i didnt know where to start. And when i was going on a trip abroad i had to pack my stuff of course, and again i didnt know where to begin or when i was done. So i figured i should try another source of choline and bought some DMAE and choline citrate, i still get cloudy, and i really cant afford to be “retarded” now when im studying biology.
So every time i see someone saying that piracetam makes them “more focused” and so on, i think to my self “what can i do to achieve that?” but now i have no clue, i have tried different dosages of the choline supps and piracetam, but it doesnt seem to help.
I usually take 4ml of piracetam in the morning with 1-2 cdp choline and/or 1-2 alpha-gpc, 1ml of choline citrat, .5ml of dmae, and 1ml bacopa and .5ml ashwagandha.
1ml is approx. 700mg. I must add that when i begain taking piracetam in july, after a brake for about four weeks, i became stimulated and creative, just like i got when i tried it the first time, but eventually it faded away, so i do know what piracetam can bring, but i cant keep the effect, it always disappears.
35) I started off by using Piracetam 800-1200mg thrice daily, Alpha GPC 250mg AM, ALCAR 500 mg twice daily I had an increased focus, but sometimes i noticed a mild brain fog. Then i used: Piracetam 800 -1200 mg thrice daily, Alpha GPC 250 mg AM, CDP choline 250 mg twice daily,ALCAR 250 mg twice daily and i noticed decreased motivation and depression.
36) So I ordered some piracetam a while back from bioscience neutracueticals, I got the package on monday, and began taking it on Tuesday.
It doesn’t work, and not only does it not work, it actually gives me brain fog, and makes me tired. I ordered CDP choline and sulbutiamine (wasted about $168)
I’ve varied the doses, taken it without choline, taking 4.6 grams, taken .8 mgs, taken it with fish oil, and every single time, the same brain fog, the same effect.
Now, i’m not trying to sound like a douchebag, but I’m a relatively smart kid naturally. I read all the bs anecdotes on here, and even some of the published studies, and decided to give it a try. I don’t know if it just has an opposite effect on healthy individuals whom have brains already functioning pretty well, or what, but this stuff just absolutely sucked for me.
Just wanted to share my experience with anyone else who notices this and keeps trying in hopes of some kind of cognitive edge.
Things I felt
2) brain fog
3) reduced reading speed, and if I attempted to read at my normal pace, I would gets words jumbled up
6) brain fog
I’m sure that MAYBE (presuming it is not a placebo effect) it works for some people, but if you feel these within the first week of taking it, after titrating doses and doing everything else people recommend, I recommend just throwing it out and calling it a day.
37) hi, I’ve been using piracetam for one month now. Always 800mg in the mourning and 800mg in the afternoon. Since last week I’ve added 600mg of choline citrate in the mourning. However since than, I started getting brain fog sometimes. Brain fog is some very very light feeling of pressure on your head and also a weird feeling of not being able to concentrate well, no clarity. Also, a bit sensitive to light.
So monday I took my last dose. Now we are wednesday and I’m still experiencing the brain fog… It scares me..
I also drank alcohol with the piracetam in the weekends, but not very very much.. (like 8 beers every saturday or so)
What should I do?
38) I started taking Piracetam back in November last year for various mental issues I was facing; including chronic fatigue (unrefreshing sleep), ADHD (Inattentive type) or ‘brain fog’, mild depression, and Aspergers Syndrome (maybe). Let me tell you that for the 7 months I was consuming Piracetam, it changed my life and all of these symptoms I suffered from were truly eliminated.
I was able to hold engaging and confident conversations effortlessly (where previously impossible), multitask unbelievably, my concentration, creativity, and short-term memory was AMAZING, and my energy and confidence was virtually limitless.
This all lasted the best part of 7 months and I was taking 2.4grams/3 or 4 times a day. I was supplementing with CDP-choline for the first few months to counteract my initial headaches, but stopped after I read (and realised) that I didn’t need it.
I can’t begin to explain how absolutely happy it made me feel to be neurotypical (or perhaps just a delusional hypomanic loon) for the first time in my life; I used to cry tears of joy in realising I had finally found something that could actually allow me to function in society and feel like a normal person.
And believe me when I say that I have tried nearly every supplement under the sun (everything from 5-HTP to apple cider vinegar and tyrosine), and NOTHING came even close to working like Piracetam did, or for as long.
In short, during these past 7 months I felt like Charlie from the book Flowers For Algernon…
But, sadly, what goes up must come down… About two months ago Piracetam’s magical abilities stopped working (even though I was maintaining my normal doses) and all the horrible symptoms came roaring back – the depression, absent mindedness, brain fog, and the lethargy…
I used to only need 6 hours sleep a night, swallow 2.4 grams of Piracetam in the morning and be full of so much energy and life.
Now I’m sleeping up to 12 hours and I feel like crap – I’m so drained, anhedonic, and absent minded… even though I’m maintaining doses. Hell, if anything, Piracetam seems to have the opposite effect nowadays – it makes me more tired and unfocused when I actually do dose.
It scares the living shit out of me because I can’t go to a doctor and talk to them about this because (at least the 4 or so GPs I’ve spoken to) have no idea what the hell the word nootropic even means, let alone the unbelievable changes that acetylcholine has had on my brain.
39) Going through the same thing as the OP right now[#38], almost exactly, except the positive effects of Pira only lasted 2 months or so for me. I have tried upping the dose, lowering it, with/without cdp-choline (high and low amounts), I have tried taking a break from it and starting again – nothing, it’s like the ‘magic’ has just gone completely, like when people say the magic of MDMA has gone after taking it for so many times.
40) From a retailer: “If I take too much, with or without a choline source, I get a bit tired, or tense, or foggy - especially if I’m not well rested and well fed when I go higher into my “personal” dosing range.”
41) First off, a little intro to myself. I am 28 years old, 160 lb, very little body fat and quite lean (very high metabolism). I am an IT professional (infrastructure guy). I am slightly sedintary due to the nature of my job, but I do play sports on the weekend and exercise once or twice a week. My goal here is to improve my memory and focus, and reduce depression which I’ve struggled with for years. I am also a recovering addict.
So I started taking Piractem on March 14. I purchased a 500 gram tub from an online source (SNS) from Amazon. I started with an attack does 3x2g for the first couple of days, noticing remarkable or not magical improvements in memory, focus, concentrations, and especially verbal skills. The same day I began taking it, verbal communication was much more fluid, I felt intensely focused on tasks at work, and could recall memories from earlier in the day without hesitation (all of these things I usually struggle with). I also tried cannabis in conjunction (Sativa) and noticed some amazing results. Only downside is that I was lacking sleep for the first few nights and become quite an insomniac, probably as a result of a million ideas and alanytical thoughts zooming across my brain. Also note I did not stack Piracetam with a choline source as I have not suffered from any of the dreaded headaches encountered by choline imbalance.
For about the first 5 days the effects remained as I stated earlier. I also began supplementing with 300mg of Alpha GPC on day 3 just to make sure my choline levels were not becoming depleted.
After day 5, I suddenly noticed I become very irritable when I woke up. I was so annoyed by my pet rabbit thumping around in his cage that I shouted and cursed at him with fiery. When I got to work, I noticed my brain was in a “fog“, in that their was little depth to my thoughts, and my verbal fluidity which I had been enjoying was suddenly missing (I began stumbling over words and hesitating when thinking of a word to use). I also felt rather apothetic and lethargic, and acctually fell asleep at my desk after lunch for about 30 min. Regardless, I continued with my regime of Piracetam (2g x 3 per day) and 300mg of A-GPC for this past week. This pattern of tiredness and irritability and depression has continued for several days with no improvements. The positive effects that I was feeling the week before have subsided completely, and I am left with these negative side-effects.
I am not sure if this is my brain becoming burned out on the Piractem, or mayb e a chemical imbalance that I have overlooked. I know for sure that I am a positive responder to racetams, but unfrotunately it has been short-lived at this point.
Any suggestions or input would be very much appreciate. How do I get back to where I was when I started my regimen?
42) I’ve noticed some negative effects lately, some of which I’ve encountered before:
First of all, there’s a state of sleepiness, that doesn’t seem to be correlated with the amount of sleep that I get. For instance, I got 8 hours sleep last night and still feel as if I should be taking a nap. If I’m stimulated or have something interesting to do I snap out of it quickly but otherwise it creeps back on me. There are confounding factors (like reduced caffeine intake), but I still feel it’s at least partially induced by piracetam.
Secondly, I loose track of time sometimes … I get lost in my thoughts and time passes by without me noticing. I “wake up” hours later and realize I’ve done nothing useful. Is this effect (maybe combined with sleepiness) what people here call “brain fog”?
I’ve also notice tightness in the muscles surrounding the eyes, especially an hour or two after administration, when the effects peak. This isn’t really bad but it does make your eyes look more “alive”, as if you are watching everything with great interest and concentration.
43) Here’s what I’ve tried taking:
Effect: Nothing? Maybe a bit of brain fog? Was my first time ever taking it.
I think I experienced what people call “brain fog.” Took it and then I ended up napping for a bit. Felt extremely lethargic and ineffective. I took Choline Bitrartrate before hand.
44) Gave up on Piracetam after intermitently getting great results but more Brain fogs, drowsiness than the great results… Tried lowering/increasing dosage, different types of choline sources, (CDPCHOLINE actually made it worse)…
45) I recently started experiencing more insomnia than normal,and lessening of sleep for just one week has turned the positive effects of Piracetam into brainfog.
46) Now, after a year of piracetam supplementation at 2400mg twice a day (morning & evening), getting off for 6 months and getting on again,
I discovered that it causes a familiar slowness and brain fog to a certain lower degree, WITH OR WITHOUT choline (tried CDP choline, alpha GPC and ALCAR).
These days I often find myself in the basement / fridge, having no longer a clue what I’m looking for + I was at a quiz recently and had to think WAY too hard.
I’m pretty much done with piracetam because of these findings.
I did like the positive effects of piracetam a lot, but there’s definitely something going on with brain fog / short term memory as well.
It’s as if my brain sometimes gets “lost”.
47) My piracetam arrived just a short while ago, so I took 600mg at midday friday, 1200mg half an hour later. Saturday I took 1200 mg at about 2pm. I took no dose at sunday due to concern about side effects.
The effects I noticed in chronological order where that: friday evening my orgasm was weaker than usual, less cum. I had an unusually wonderful dream that night. Morning after, same thing weak almost dry orgasm.
Later in the evening I noticed that a muscle was contracting wildly, something in my wrist was jerking rapidly. After about half a minute it disappeared. The it came back and disappeared a few times.
That night, same sexual problem. Dreams were normal.
Next (sunday) morning same problem.
Had some intermittent twitching in the afternoon, but sexual function was restored in the evening.
48) This morning I took my first dose of piracetam and CDP choline (1.2g and 300mg). I have taken piracetam on one previous occasion, with a fairly good response. I have no history of mental illness and I don’t take any drugs or medication.
Shortly after mixing the two substances in a glass of water and drinking them, I experienced a feeling of pure terror. This episode lasted for almost 2 hours during which I could barely communicate or think. I had gone for a walk after taking the piracetam and it took most of my willpower to remain composed.
I do not exagerate when I say that this has been one of the worst experiences of my life. It’s now been an hour since the feeling subsided and I’m left feeling drained with mild brain fog (which is subsiding steadily).
49) I am trying to continue using Piracetam but i find it always gives me brain fog, even minute quantities of Piracetam with mega doses of Alpha GPC and/or Lecithin. I believe it is the fact that i stacked it with so many things that i no longer get the pure effects (i’m uncertain if this is psychological or biological) i got in the beginning nor any of the results everyone else is preaching
Previous Stacks alongside Piracetam:
DMAE (after that it all went downhill leading me to theorize that DMAE has anticholinergic properties like believed or does when taken on and off too many times)
ACh precursors (went from regular Choline bitarate to A-GPC to Lecitihin)
Aniracetam (made things much worse)
Hydergine [which is the only good combination with Piracetam (nootropic wise) there is IMO]
Alongside herbal regiments (from stimulants to clarity enhancers)
I thought i needed to attack dose once more and when i did so i got such a massive headache the likes which i have never felt before in my life lol
I now find it intensifying OCD type behavors, resulting in Brain fog no matter how much ACh i take with it.
It works perfectly during its half life point though over production of Alpha waves (measured by neurofeedback EEG). I have tried getting off of it for a period of a week and returned to it today (with a dosage below 200 mg) to see if anything happened, subsequant brain fog (though combined with rhodiola rosea), my theory that it reduces serotonin levels might be inaccurate as it seems to intensify serotonin (which for all i know would lower serotonin levels as a balance mechanism).
50) Just got piracetam today. I only took 400mg, but I felt very sleepy after an hour or so. It lasted for about 3-5 hours.
51) I have experienced this aswell, not always exactly sleepy but often a bit tranquil and a sensation familiar to when you recently recieve a lot of new impressions. A kind of fatigue.
52) I was hoping I could get some help classifying some symptoms, and possibly solving them.
I’ve been having trouble speaking recently, whether its on the phone, or in public. I don’t know if its anxiety or brain fog, but I’ll have difficulty actually saying the words, while knowing what I may want to say. I don’t stutter per say, but I just have trouble speaking properly.
This is new, and I’m in my late 20s. It’s been happening now for a month or two.
What I’m taking:
Fish Oil 900mg
Is it possible anything in my small stack is causing this? Any thoughts on a resolution?
I don’t understand how or why this is happening, especially when I never had these issues before. *****Me: Yes, it’s the piracetam in your stack. None of the other supps cause these issues.*****
53) So I decided to start on my quest for mental glory. I kept reading how Piracetam is so safe that people should probably change the word “safe” itself to “piracetam”. Lol imagine this:
” – Hey man do you think that belt is piracetam ?”
I’ve been taking it for three days now.
Day One: 1200 mg and three whole eggs
Day Two 1200 mg and three whole eggs
Day Three 2x2400mg and 2x 250/250mg Choline/InositolAt the end of Day Three I almost got a panic attack. I’m not sure why – mostly due to stomach uneasiness and weird mouth feeling. The roof (palate) was numb and somewhat rugged. I managed to calm myself down, no panic attack. And got to sleep. Pupils were constricted I think.
Now most people will tell you how piracetam makes your sleep a wonder. You get up all refreshed and everything, willing to conquer new heights etc. etc.
Well guess what. I slept for over 12 hours and when I got up I felt even more tired than the night before, the palate still tingling, and somewhat nauseated. Mildly depressed and rather irritable. I hated it. Actually as I’m writing this I still feel nauseated a little bit.
What do you think is that all about ? This is just the start of my nootropic quest, I was looking forward to much much tougher stacks and now I crumbled at the very basic one. Don’t know what to do.
54) Since being diagnosed with ADHD I have recently started taking Concerta, 54 mg a day.
I haven’t felt any cognitive improvement in these two weeks that I’ve been on the drug, rather the contrary. I’m studying physics and I no longer understand stuff that used to be simple for me. Is this a common reaction to Concerta? is it dose dependant?
I’m also taking piracetam, choline bitatrate, ala, alcar, tyrosine but I can’t imagine this effect to be caused by any of those substances since I have been using them for a long time without any adverse effects.
I have an exam tomorrow and I’m starting to panic. *****It’s the piracetam, buddy*****
55) Yesterday I took 4.8 grams of piracetam 3 times a day with the last dose at around 8 p.m. I’m almost positive that piracetam caused it and i’ve read somewhere that it has an effect on norpinepherine so it makes sense.
Today I felt pretty anxious/shitty, but the effects of piracetam were still there, but with much more brain fog. IMO I don’t think piracetam is worth it if i can’t sleep, but there must be a way to take it so that I can still sleep!
56) I just got 100 caplets of Nootropil 1200mg from overseas.
This morning I took my first dose of 2 caplets ( 2400mg), and felt sleepy.
Is it normal for the first dose ?
( I’ve been taking a very sedating antidepressant Avanza 90mg, Klonopin 2mg, for the past 4 yrs at nite…….and I got tolerance to their effects……sometimes they even don’t sedate me anymore..)
Strangely, as I know, Nootropil is more of a stimulant type, unlike Avanza or Klonopin. But why does it give me a sleepy feeling……is it called as the term ” Brain fog” ?
Maybe I should take a form of Choline with it. ( usually I buy Lecithin granules.)
Is there anyone experiencing this effect for the first time without Choline ? ( Is it called ” Brain fog” ?)
57) Been taking 1 pill 3 times a day. It makes me calmer and slower – I feel like I`m 50 not 29. But otherwise, no other effects. Dissapointed.
58) I had such a crap sleep. I usually sleep like a dead man, but last night I coudln`t fall asleep, then I woke up few times.
59) Same experience ,even i have stop Piracetam more than a month still have that exp ,i in very serious situation don’t know how to do next ,no any sup can help me .
60) I’ve started taking piracetam capsules, 800mg once a day with 2 x 300mg alpha gpc yet i all day i get a slight headache, last night i even had to take 500mg paracetamol to sleep.
I’ve heard that 800mg is simply not enough piracetam to take but if i’m getting bad headaches now i fear what will happen, the pain i will have in my head if i take more a day.
As i said i took one 300mg alpha gpc 30 mins after the morning piracetam dose and one before going to sleep. I always have two eggs for breakfast and drink a glass of milk during the day.
Yesterday was the first time i began this schedule but i have tried before and had a bit if brain fog.
The day was generally good, i felt confident and very alert, everything was very colourful too. I “crashed” at around 2pm and had brain fog, i took another coffee (the first one being my morning coffee) and BAM back in business.
Thanks for all the help. I’ve had no headaches since, however today has been awful in it’s own way.
I’ve only taken 800mg piracetam and no choline supplementation. Eggs for breakfast and 2 coffees with milk.
I’ve felt a lot of brain fog, irritability and been sweating a lot from the palms of my hands.
Really feel as though I cannot go through with this even till the end of the week. Might try reducing my piracetam intake tomorrow depending how I feel when I wake up.
No depression but slight anxiety. Fluidity of speech is still good and i’m able to read for lengths of time but i’m getting distracted by thoughts of how it isn’t working too often.
I felt last night very emotionless for a couple of hours too.
61) The major downside is that after about 2 – 3 days (taking 1440mg 3x/day), my memory retrieval goes way down to the point that i forget simple things (feels like dementia), its like my brain processing speed just takes a nose dive. I also become very aloof like I am not even there with this like blank stare on my face, just really really spaced out I guess. The thing is that even dmae (although it enhances my concentration) will space me out as well, just not as bad as piracetam. I do not notice any physical symptoms, but I will get a pretty bad headache if I take it with ashwagandha. I’ve tried taking it with choline citrate and also tried taking it with bulknutrition’s alpha-gpc 50% mix. I have tried taking the piracetam and choline along without taking other supplements to try and pin-point the problem, but to no avail. I’m totally lost on this.
62) After writing this post I emailed Vince, a writer I respect and who claims on his blog to take piracetam. Vince: “I read your interesting blog entry. Actually, after supplementing with piracetam for several years, I stopped taking it about six months ago when my supply ran out. Subjectively, consistent with what you are reporting,either there has been no effect or my mind has probably been clearer and productivity enhanced since I stopped taking it. When I started taking piracetam over a dozen years ago I was fairly naïve and accepted the studies supporting its use at face value. from my current perspective, such as looking at the study you mentioned in your blog entry, I quite agree that the research case supporting the use of piracetam may be very weak.I have yet to update my treatise eliminating piracetam from my suggested regimen.
63) After half a year, piracetam lost its edge, and when I did take it I felt irritated without a plus side.
Possible Mechanisms Behind Negative Reports:
Brain fog, drowsiness and feeling sleepy in the day
Brain fog seems like the most common side effect.
Brain fog is something that I’ve dealt with since I was an adolescent. Understanding its causes and cures have been a particular area of interest for me.
I have cured my own brain fog and helped others deal with theirs.
As I came to appreciate the role that oxidative stress in the hypothalamus plays in causing brain fog, it got me thinking that piracetam perhaps accomplished just that, since brain fog is a common theme in people who take piracetam.
Here’s what I wrote in a previous version of this post before I found these studies:
“Due to the abundant reports of brain fog, I would also add 500mg of NAC, just in case piracetam is causing oxidative stress in the brain in some way which we don’t understand yet (there’s likely more information that we don’t know about piracetam than information that we do).
Though I haven’t seen any studies on piracetam causing oxidative stress in the brain, the brain fog that I felt from piracetam was similar to the brain fog that I get from other things that result from oxidative stress.”
The hypothalamus is an extremely important part of the brain and body.
The hypothalamus controls fatigue, sleep, and circadian rhythms, among many other functions.
The two symptoms of brain fog and drowsiness were consistent with my theory that piracetam causes oxidative stress in the hypothalamus.
After some research, I found a few studies that confirmed my suspicions:
MDA[a marker for oxidative stress]…. increased in cortex and hippocampus and in cortex, hypothalamus and striatum by the higher dose of vinpocetine or piracetam, respectively along with decreased TAC (total antioxidant capacity)….at their high concentration, these drugs exhibit pro-oxidant properties and increase free radical production or act as a free radical….[Ref.]
The high dosage that this study refers to is 300mg/kg.
For somebody who weighs an average weight of 68kg, this would be equivalent to 20.4g, but when converted to an equivalent human dosage, it would be 3.25g.
This is a fairly common dosage that people take in a single day.
My personal experience indicates that the oxidative stress is dose dependent (in that any dose will cause OS), since I only needed to have 800mg to get brain fog.
Keep in mind that people aren’t healthy rats, though.
In contrast, people are sleep deprived, stressed and engage in many other behaviors that increase oxidative stress of the hypothalamus.
Many if not most people in my estimation have a hypothalamus that isn’t working optimally.
This would explain why people get brain fog even when taking less than the human equivalent dosage given to rats.
These interacting factors add up and potentially even synergize to cause brain fog and drowsiness by way of hypothalamic damage and dysregulation.
People who are very healthy are less likely to notice these effects, but this doesn’t imply that nothing is happening under the hood.
In people like me, with an already damaged hypothalamus, the negative effects are noticeable more quickly and acutely (upon a dosage of just 800mg).
This type of damage to the hypothalamus doesn’t necessarily go away in a day, but usually does.
In other susceptible people who do many other things that compound the damage to the hypothalamus, long term dysregulation can occur, which explains reports regarding people who are having long term issues.
Disrupt your circadian rhythm for one day (causes OS) and nothing happens; do it every day and you are at increased risk for every chronic disease.
Oxidative stress to the hypothalamus and dysregulation matches perfectly with the description of symptoms described by a piracetam retailer and neuroscientist:
“If I take too much, with or without a choline source, I get a bit tired, or tense, or foggy - especially if I’m not well rested and well fed when I go higher into my ‘personal’ dosing range.”
Besides OS, piracetam seems to interact with the hypothalamus in other ways.
For example, I found this study that showed it decreased serotonin in the hypothalamus (and in the striatum and brain stem) and increased dopamine turnover.
Hypothalamic function is responsive to—and regulated by—levels of all three classical monoamine neurotransmitters – noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.
Decreased serotonin in the hypothalamus decreases its activation, perhaps additionally explaining the drowsiness.
The effects can get complex because they can be different with dosing and individual variation.
All we can really say is that it’s likely interacting with the hypothalamus by changing serotonin and dopamine, and it’s possible that these changes could account for the drowsiness and hypothalamic dysregulation in people.
There’s obviously still a lot of question marks here.
Irritability, sleep onset issues and sweating
Irritability, sleep onset issues and sweating are also common side effects.
Some of piracetam’s effects are mediated by aldosterone/mineralcorticoid receptors.
These receptors are activated by aldosterone and cortisol. Increased activation of this receptor explains the common side effects of irritability and sleep issues from piracetam.
These issues are experienced by people with stress and/or overusage of stimulants, which results in excessive cortisol release and therefore excessive mineralcorticoid receptor activation. So piracetam may be just simply additive in this regard.
The following can increase cortisol levels:
- psychological stress,
- intense prolonged exercise,
- sleep deprivation,
- stimulants(caffeine, etc..),
- excess sodium,
- food allergies,
- physical trauma,
- injuries, body fat (subcutaneous adipose tissue regenerates cortisol from cortisone),
- train commuting,
- severe calorie restriction, alcoholism,
- Hypoestrogenism and melatonin supplementation increase cortisol levels in postmenopausal women,
- Supplements: Adrenal glandular, Licorice, Rehmannia, Lj100, RSV, Foskolin,
Adapted from studies on piracetam:
Aldosterone receptors are involved in the mediation of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam…. Adrenalectomy blocks the memory-improving effect of piracetam-like compounds in mice…… blockade of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam by adrenalectomy were overcome by replacement with either 3 micrograms/ml corticosterone or 30 ng/ml aldosterone given in the drinking fluid.
Muscle problems and headaches
Some people report permanent muscle twitching, even after they ceased piracetam.
Piracetam interacts with the body’s cholinergic system. In some regions of the brain (and probably body) it decreases acetylcholine.
Most people usually have less than optimal levels of this all-important neurotransmitter.
Decreasing it even more can not only decrease intelligence, but also cause muscle spasms and headaches, which is why people also supplement with choline.
I suspect that the people getting headaches and muscle spasms weren’t taking enough choline or if they were then they were taking too much.
Acetylcholine also interacts with sweat glands, possibly also explaining this side effect.
Hypothalamic dysregulation can also explain increased sweating.
Cognitive issues with reading, spelling and verbal retrieval, etc…
It’s ironic, but there are many reports that describe spelling and reading issues.
I found this on a forum once and I found it interesting, although I must say that I haven’t been able to find the study done on physicists.
What I take away from this is as follows: coordination between brain region’s isn’t necessarily great and possibly explains some cognitive deficits related to reading, spelling and verbal retrieval.
“Here is one that you won’t hear on most forums: Reduce your usage of piracetam/oxiracetam/etc.
The racetams increase coordination between different brain areas, thereby increasing a brain wave pattern called “alpha waves”. Sounds good doesn’t it???
What most people don’t understand is that the brain does its best work (most complex processing of information) when in a “beta wave” state.
In contrast to the “beta” name, beta waves are actually of higher frequency than alpha waves.
This means that there is less coordination between large sections of brain tissue.
This is actually a good thing and I will explain why: Each brain area can be seen as a small parallel processor which is specific for a certain type of information.
A small chunk of brain area from the occipital lobe of your brain processes only one aspect of visual information, and nothing else.
Now, the racetams force larger brain areas to process info that they were never intended to process. This means that instead of an area of 5 mm cubic processing the equation “5+5=?”, you would then have an area of 10 mm cubic processing this same task.
As you can gather from this, it would be much better to have 2000 small parallel processors working on separate chunks of info and have a really good system in place to combine the information from the separate processors, then to use very large brain areas to process very simple concepts.
In a study, physicists were given piracetam before attempting difficult physics problems; it was found to actually decrease their ability to process complex information (I don’t have the reference for this off-hand, but you can look it up on pubmed if you are interested).
The alpha waves associated with piracetam are associated with repetitive and moreso automatic tasks. They are really good for concentration if you are doing regular 9-5 jobs, but for intense study sessions, exams and complex material, I would keep their use to a minimum.
This is my first post in this forum but I am very knowledgeable in this particular area (schooling in neuroscience).”
Don’t Be Misled by Bad Studies
I see the following study cited often about piracetam:
Nootropyl (Piracetam) a drug reported to facilitate learning in animals was tested for its effect on man by administering it to normal volunteers. The subjects were given 3×4 capsules at 400 mg per day, in a double blind study. Each subject learned series of words presented as stimuli upon a memory drum. No effects were observed after 7 days but after 14 days verbal learning had significantly increased.
This study is terrible. And it’s sad to say that this is the only trial measuring the effects in healthy adults. Reasons why I don’t like this study:
1) Tiny trial.
2) Obviously, data mining was taking place. There was no significant effect the first week and they continued the study just until the effect became significant at the second week and then stopped it. Seriously???
3) Were these people of average intelligence? Probably. This doesn’t show what would happen if people who were already verbally advanced took it.
4) Hasn’t been replicated.
5) We don’t know the effect size. My guess is it’s clinically irrelevant.
6) This isn’t a long term trial.
7) We don’t know how many aspects of intelligence were tested. If they tested many domains of intelligence then it’s not good news because only one measure showed significance and all of the rest didn’t. If they only tested one aspect of intelligence then it’s bad news because while verbal intelligence may have increased, 20 other measures of intelligence could’ve declined.
8) Most studies have false conclusions:
There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. ref.
Mitigating piracetam’s negative effects
If you decide to take because you feel the potential benefits will outweigh the potential risks, then as long as you understand it’s not risk-free I respect that.
To mitigate piracetam’s impacts, you should take 10mg Pregnenolone, which is important for brain fog.
Keep in mind that pregnenolone and rhodiola can enhance cognition for many people.
Therefore, test piracetam’s effects independently before introducing these, so that you don’t mistakenly believe it’s the piracetam that is making you smarter.
Below are studies regarding NAC and lipoic acid’s ability to counteract oxidative stress in the hypothalamus:
“OP caused significant increase in oxidative stress in hypothalamus and epididymal sperm, disturbed hormonal levels in serum…….. LA protected against oxidative stress through promoting the levels of glutathione and glutathione-S-transferase in hypothalamus and sperm.” [Ref]
“An increase in TBARS levels was found in hippocampus, cerebellum and hypothalamus in the Cd-group and NAC abolished this effect……..” [Ref]
Piracetam damages the hypothalamus. Functions of the hypothalamus: