Piracetam, Aniracetam and Noopept Dangers and Risks (And Other Racetams)

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” 
― Richard P. Feynman

Before you read this post, realize that my bad experience and other people’s negative experiences are meant to give you pause.  Ultimately, you will have to experiment for yourself and see how Piracetam works for you.  Just be skeptical of all of the positive and negative reviews.  The risk of permanent harm of taking a low dose of piracetam a few times is extremely small, so experimenting with it is in my opinion a worthwhile risk.

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).

I’d like to say that I’ve seen similar case reports about other racetams like aniracetam and noopept, so be equally careful.

69 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.

Critics of this post argue that you can find negative reports about any drug or supplement.  While true, I search forums often and I seldom ever come across a drug or supplement I support with even a single case report of brain fog.   Brain fog is  rare for case reports, while something like nausea is pretty common.  Readers are welcome to post 3 independent case reports about a drug or supplement in my toolkit and I will take that very seriously.

Another critique is that the case reports are meaningless, because there are many studies that shows it’s safe.  My response to that is we can’t know if something is safe with animal studies and a few small trials.  It took us more then 40 years to realize cigarettes are harmful.  Also, many times drugs that have had rigorous clinical trials in humans and have been used by millions of people are later discovered to have serious risks and side effects that was previously undisclosed or unknown.   Even some of the best, safest and longest running drugs have risks and side effects that we didn’t know before.  For example, statins only recently was revealed to increase risk of diabetes (R).   There was only one small, short trial in healthy indivduals that I am aware of and this isn’t enough to affirm its safety.  Do you think Alzheimer’s or dementia patients have the capacity to realize if they have brain fog?

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.

If you try it and you feel it makes you significantly smarter, than go for it.  But do yourself a favor and don’t take it as a preventative, thinking it’s categorically good.  Listen to your body and forget about the hype and noise.

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 usedPiracetam 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
1) Tired
2) brain fog
3) reduced reading speed, and if I attempted to read at my normal pace, I would gets words jumbled up
4) tired
5) tired
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- fatigue, anhedonic, and absent minded], 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:
1.6g Piracetam
Effect: Nothing? Maybe a bit of brain fog? Was my first time ever taking it.
800mg Piracetam
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 fogsdrowsiness 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:
Piracetam 1.6G
Picamilon 150mg
ALCAR 300mg
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 ?”
Anyway…
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 [Brain Fog] ,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.

64) After this I looked to achieve the same effect from CDP choline. Although I did get exactly the same results (more energy, better hair, face color, libido, no eye-bags) as soon as I started experiencing the exact same background anxiety as on Alpha GPC so I was forced to discontinue this aswell as it significantly impaired my social abilities. From there on I set off to search for another nootropic and this is when I came across noopept. Love at first sight. Noopept made me a happier, smarter more sociable and charismatic person. I continued dosing it on its own (15mg on mornings) for around a month. While on noopept I had the motivation and zest for life that I had been looking for to carry out all the long-term projects I had planned for myself. It’s important to mention that while on noopept there were some days where I still tried phenibut and on a two seperate ocassions Inderall.

Towards the end of my love affair with noopept I started experiencing a host of several symptoms. The first symptom came up one afternoon with my girlfriend, where I experienced erectile dysfunction and in the next weeks I started to experience a host of other very alarming symptoms, including:

-Lack of circulation to my hands and feet
-Itchy back
-Digestion problems to the point of constipation
-Easy bloating
-Lack of motivation
-Impaired ability to think and speak  (brain fog)
-Pale face, bad hair, bags under eyes – generally looking much older
-Complete loss of libido, loss of feeling, and ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
-Susceptible to flu?s and infections and difficulty healing
-Loss of muscle
-Inability to do sports

This alarmed me to cease all nootropic and supplement use. given some of the symptoms initially I was convinced it was a kidney problem. But after a medical check up this theory was dismissed. I gave myself a month to see if everything would return to normalcy on it’s own – but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Some of the findings I gathered during that month:- If I would try taking noopept or piracetam (tried once) I would still feel great effects from it. But my body would shut down its ability to achieve an erection. I would lose all feeling and sensitivity down there. As if my body lost it’s ability to relax in that sense. I would also feel discomfort on my lower back where my adrenals/kidneys are located.- Any type of sports would make me too fatigued and looking tired and worn out instead of energized.- sensitive to all chemicals or supplements even coffee makes me shaky and anxious (NE effect?)- Adaptogen herbs stimulate me way too much (they give me crazy libido but right after it goes back to normal) and I?m left with a?hangover effect?

65) Ok, before I begin… Yes, I have searched all over the forums regarding my problem; however, I have yet to find any solutions.

SUMMARY: I’m getting brain fog (a side effect, I’m under the impression, that is normally due to Choline) from supplementing Piracetam regardless if I add Choline or not.

I first started taking Piracetam about 6 months ago. I originally purchased pills that had the racetam and choline mixed. I would have inconsistent results varying between headaches and brain fog. This led me to purchase bulk powders of the two so that I could experiment with exact, measured doses.

For the first couple weeks, I experimented with different doses, and I found that 3-6g of Piracetam with little to no Choline was ideal. I was having superb effects; fluid thinking and talking, sharper memory, and felt overall great.

However, after the first couple weeks, the positive side effects vanished, and I have been left with  brain fog and laggy thinking (when I consume the supplements). I’ve tried every combination of Piracetam/Choline. I’ve tried every suggestion I’ve found on the forums; Calcium, Fish or Krill Oil, B-Vitamins, ALCAR, Green Tea, etc. No matter what combination/stack I try, as soon as the Piracetam kicks in, I get some intense brain fog and laggy thinking for the duration of the time that the Piracetam is active/working.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I’m utterly stumped regarding further ideas. The initial benefits were so profound and beneficial, so I would love to figure out what the problem is.

Someone suggested taking Piracetam with Noopept. I have some ordered and on the way. I will see how that goes. The next step/suggestion I intend on experimenting with is simply switching to an alternative racetam. I had Aniracetam in mind.

Thanks,

Brian

66) Okay so this is my story. I started taking choline and piracetam about a week ago. For the first 5-6 days i experienced the most amazing positive effects (especially when combined with caffein).

I was taking the following daily doses:
250 mg choline bitrate
800 mg piracetam, 2-3 times a day (roughly every fourth hour)

The effects were as following:
Visualizing music a lot easier. Feeling the music deeper
Clearer thoughts
Awake, more energy
Mood boost
confidence boost – reduction in anxiety (hitting more “naturally” on girls, for instance)
emphatic abilities – feeling other peoples emotions a lot deeper
Nature/the sun seems more beautiful – visual enhancements
Greatly improved concentration!
Easier to recall past memories
Greatly improved verbal abilities. Communication seems a LOT more fluid, with no “pauses”, due to not recalling the words i wanted to throw into conversations.

– Overall, i felt like an improved version of myself.

For the first day, i took the piracetam without the choline. With or without, i didn’t feel much of a difference.

The only negative effects i felt from the piracetam, was maybe a “crash”. When i stopped dosing in the evening, and my last dose (four hours later) would fade away, i would feel very tired.

However, on the sixth day, i barely felt any of the piracetam effects. The effects were diminished like 90-95%. I tried taking a huge piracetam dose, like 4,8g, instead of 800mg, which felt like a weak piracetam dose, but still nothing, compared to the effects of the first 5-6 days.

I’ve also tried taking a huge choline dose, like 1g, together with 800 mg piracetam, which also seemed to boost the effect a bit, but still waay weaker than in the beginning.

Now I’m sitting here, like eight days later, and all I’m getting from the piracetam is tired brain fogging feelings, which is pissing me off. It worked like a wonder drug in the beginning, but like shit now..

Any ideas?

Side notes:
I’m eating various supplements to stay healthy: fishoil, vitamin c, vitamin d, garlic, selenium, multivitamin. Apart from that (not sure if it has any relevance), I have something along the lines of hypersensitivity/add.

Best regards.

67) I took Piracetam for 3 weeks and have been noticing withdrawal effects, such as muscle weakness, spasms, slight cognitive decline, difficulty digesting food and constipation. I thought this wasn’t supposed to have withdrawal effects, but it has. It’s been 2 weeks since I took my last dose and the effects don’t seem to be going away.

UPDATE: It’s been 3 weeks now and I’m still experiencing the same side effects. Indigestion and complete constipation. Can’t poop without miralax, and even then, I barely go. Seems like my involuntary muscles just completely stopped working. Hopefully people will see this as a warning

68) Hi there,

sorry for this post but I am really angry, I spent a lot of money already, I bought Fish Oil, Noopept, Aniracetam and choline cdp.

(1st Attempt) I started taking Noopept 20mg a day for 2 weeks, nothing happened, only a terrible headache and fog brain.

(2nd Attempt) I started taking Aniracetam + Choline Cdp every day for 15 days, again, nothing happened, but no headaches.

(3rd Attempt) I have been taking Noopept + Choline CDP for 1 week already, nothing happened, only fog brain, but at this time less headaches…

 So I spent more than fucking $100 already and the only thing I noticed was a better mood, but only because of the Fish Oils I am taking…So, in fact I am starting to think that these products don’t work at all…Please I need a light for this problem, I am studying for the Cambridge CAE exam and till now these products are giving me more problems. I need something that can be effective… Any suggestions? Thanks!!

Roger, Sydney/Australia

69) Not sure whether permanent, however I have had issues when combo’ing piracetam with other racetams, such as aniracetam. I end up feeling sleepy all the time when combing it with aniracetam. I noticed some brain fog when taking too much piracetam(i believe it was over 2x 800 mg at the time would cause adverse symptoms). However, my brain power was insane whe taking normal doses. It was as if I was so lucid.

I did notice that after leaving it, I did not feel as lucid as before, as if something was missing. However, I would not say that I felt permanently stupid. To me, it was more like: I felt incredibly smart with piracetam, now without it, I feel normal.

In case you wondered, I discontinued piracetam because I experienced better effects with aniracetam.

Possible Mechanisms Behind Negative Reports:

Brain fog and Fatigue

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, Insomnia 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,
  • fasting,
  • food allergies,
  • physical trauma,
  • injuries, body fat (subcutaneous adipose tissue regenerates cortisol from cortisone),
  • train commuting,
  • sex,
  • severe calorie restriction, alcoholism,
  • Hypoestrogenism and melatonin supplementation increase cortisol levels in postmenopausal women,
  • Supplements: Adrenal glandular, Licorice, Rehmannia, Lj100, RSVFoskolin,

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.

Aldosterone receptors are involved in the mediation of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam. 

Adrenalectomy, corticosteroid replacement and their importance for drug-induced memory-enhancement in mice.

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.

See: Piracetam diminishes hippocampal acetylcholine levels in rats.

Problems With Reading, Spelling and Word 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.

I would take 500-600mg of NAC and 200mg Stabilized R-Lipoic Acid to prevent oxidative stress to the hypothalamus and other parts of the brain.

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]

If you want a stronger antioxidant, go for C60.   It’s the strongest and most long lasting antioxidant I’ve ever tried.

Random: Piracetam impaired learning by parameters of procedural memory.

137 thoughts on “Piracetam, Aniracetam and Noopept Dangers and Risks (And Other Racetams)”

  1. great blog. working with computers my cognitive performance is important, and i ordered Noopept; on most sites it is promoted, but there are not enough warnings about side-effects. initially the stuff made me restless, hampered sleep, and decreased concentration; although i started reading more stuff on the internet, the
    overall effects clearly were negative in retrospect.
    But now decreased intake to 10microgam one day (i and been some days on 20/day..), and next day nothing. NB i do active work, reading prototype programming when i took the dosage (in a more restless state), next day i do reviews, planning, the important stuff. Overall this seems to work, i already have a high Iq, already use paroxetin and what is written in some postings seems correct, initially it harmed me more than i expected but now it still seems slightly useful. quitting is an option but i like the productivity boost so i’ll try it for a year or so.
    PS didn’t know NAC might try it in addition. thx for the tip.
    PS2 Kombucha also seems to have some dangers
    http://vegetarian.lovetoknow.com/Kombucha_Danger

    1. let me add that i’m above 50 yrs, so i thought a cognitive boost might help with the computer work; and i used alcohol sometimes, so the Noopept might repair some possible -slight- damage, if any;
      oh and the Noopt together with the booze is a nono, btw
      (you don’t get very drunk so there is a risk of intoxication
      and the next day you ll regret for sure).
      A young programmer with a hi Iq and a healthy lifestyle
      probably wouldn’t need any racetams; same for students,
      you can use it to read a lot, but quit before the exams
      otherwise you might get bad results; as you need
      concentration and overview for written work

  2. I wouldn’t say the positive effects of piracetam have been subtle for me. I used to suffer from very severe brainfog, essentially dementia, because of CFS/ME. Piracetam and nimodipine have been very helpful and almost restored my previous cognition with one exception: my maths skills seem to be permanently lost. I’ve tried many other nootropics and these are the only things that have clearly helped me; ALC and shizandra seem to confer very subtle benefits, which may be just placebo.

    I’ve been taking piracetam for 7.5 years, at 2 x 1,200 mg a day. The first days I felt slightly tired and irritable, but after that all side effects subsided. Piracetam has particularly helped me with cognitive fatigue (which used to affect me severely) and verbal skills, especially word recall.

    Without piracetam I wouldn’t be able to be a professional writer. Since starting it I’ve had seven books published (both fiction and non-fiction), with four more in production. I take it twice a day, but sometimes I forget the afternoon dose. If I do that too many times in a week (e.g. when traveling), I do notice, as I start losing words just like before starting to take it.

    I’ve tried taking choline or other cholinergic supplements with the piracetam, but it seems to have no effect at all, except giving me vibrant dreams.

    Many people I know with CFS/ME have taken piracetam. For most it either has worked nicely, or they haven’t noticed anything at all (people with CFS/ME are notoriously sensitive to medication). One person reacted very badly to it (I can’t remember how any more), but when she took tiny doses, just a few milligrams, it helped her considerably and she was able to finish her PhD which she hadn’t been able to work on for years because of severe illness.

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for your reply, Steve. As it happens, I’m grappling with the same issue as you re: depression! I suffer from post-traumatic stress – and quite a severe level. I have severe depression with suicidal ideation, short term memory issues (I’m 32 and it’s like I’m a forgetful old person!), anticipative anhedonia, and aversion to interacting with other members of the public – all to a level that I’m currently listed as disabled.

    This is all the more alarming given that my PRIOR state was exactly the opposite – and that I’m pretty well-educated in behavioural psychology and neurobiology! Ironic, really… but it goes to show; at the end of the day our personalities ARE ruled by our brain chemistry whether we like it or not.

    I would agree with you that if you suffer anxiety, piracetam (and Noopept, which has similar action) is NOT the thing to be taking! Remember that these drugs upregulate acetylcholine and as such, they will make any existing hyperarousal/anxiety issues much, much worse.

    In fact a possible explanation for your observed issues with piracetam may well be that you’ve upregulated a system which was already set to “extreme stress” mode; causing you to fall into full-on post-traumatic syndrome. The lethargy, memory issues/brain fog, etc. are all consistent with neurochemical changes due to prolonged stress. You may have made your own monster!

    That said, there ARE some things you can look at that may be of considerable help. I have extensive, personal experience with each, and they’ve all helped to great degrees. In fact, i was even rendered cured for a blessed but brief time… but had the extreme misfortune to suffer 4 major life stresses immediately afterwards, which threw me back from whence i’d come.

    Briefly, the things to look are are:

    1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The theory here is that in prolonged stress (also physical or chemical damage), one of the “links” in the brain is disrupted. This link is between the amygdala (your alarm center) and the prefrontal cortex (the “you” that can tell your alarm center to STFU). It seems that this link is quite delicate and destabilises easily. Once down, it is prevented from coming back “online”… its job is to shut up the amydala, and with the link “down” the amydala has unfettered ability to yell “alarm”. This creates a vicious circle of MORE stress, which ensures the circuit remains down…

    …interestingly this is why electroshock seems to be so effective (however the side effects are devastating). The seizures induced seem to “stimulate” the link into coming back online. Of course, that’s like doing surgery with a hammer… so, enter rTMS. This technique uses powerful magnetic pulses to – via the magic of physics – stimulate a very small electrical current in a precise area of the brain. The current is JUST enough to make neurons spontaneously fire. rTMS treatments daily for 4 weeks can cause the resurrection of the “offline link”:… and a subsequent cure in anxious or depressive behaviours. I’ve had this and it was indeed the thing that “cured” me. It’s not fringe science (mine was administered by the McGill University neuropsych department) and it’s very very interesting. And, in fact, it’s really pleasant! For half an hour after treatment (which is painless and relaxing) you are a Zen grand master… a profound peaceful feeling is upon you. And, oddly, a craving for coffee…

    2. Low-dose psychedelics. No, I’m not being weird here… the curative abilities of psychedelics are well-documented and have been noted since the 1960s. Specifically, low-dose psilocybin (magic mushrooms) provoke neurogenesis (neuron birth) in the hippocampus. This is significant since the hippocampus shrinks in profoundly depressed and anxious people (this is behind some of the memory issues). Short term low-dose psilocybin has been shown both in rats and humans to cause ‘fear extinguishment’, i.e. cessation of the nervous response when exposed to a trauma trigger. I can vouch for this being of considerable benefit for me right now. MDMA and LSD also have effects, although slightly different applications… LSD is known to weaken depression and addictive/compulsive behaviours, and MDMA was one of the most effective tools in psychoanalysis until it was sadly banned as a party drug. Even today MDMA is now being re-trialed for use reducing fear of death and depression in terminally ill patients. Single or intermittent use of N,N-DMT (also known as just “DMT”) is also known to be of benefit – this one, personally, completely cured fear of dying on my first go.

    3. Ibogaine. This is a psychedelic but a very unusual and interesting one. It has a number of effects on a number of receptors, with stunning and profound results. One of its uses is in drug addiction, where it is up to 20x more effective than traditional detox programs,. The OTHER use – which is intertwined with the anti-addictive effects – is in non-psychotic depressive disorders.

    Its multi-pronged action simultaneously resets opiate receptor tolerance; floods the brain with dopamine, leading to re-regulation of disturbed dopaminergic effects such as anhedonia; has profound NMDA inhibitory effect (which is a whole new area of anti-depressive research right now, and also allows you to “re-process” traumatic memories); is a stimulant (cures brain fog and lethargy); is an SSRI (cures depressive behaviours); and last but not least, it upregulates production of BDNF. BDNF is a growth factor which causes neurons to “re-sprout and repair”… think a bare tree growing new leaves. Further, taking the full “flood dose” of 25mg/kg gives you a fascinating 20 hour trip in which you have unparalleled access to all your memories (thanks, NMDA inhibition) and can literally re-visit and gain insight into any part of your life. This has been called “2 years of intensive therapy in 1 day”.

    Ibogaine can be dosed as the hallucinogenic “flood dose”, but that requires medical preparation, a minder, and is quite rough as a trip – expect nausea and ataxia. However it’s rewarding enough that many people do it once a year just for the incredible insight into one’s self that it brings.

    However the way I tend to use it is the “microdose”. This is a 50mg dose per day, in a 7 days on, 3 days off pattern. The dose is not psychedelic at this point. You don’t notice it affecting you at all, but it IS there doing its work.. and by Week 2 you will definitely notice significant improvements in many aspects . If you’re interested in learning more, I wrote an entire treatise and protocol manual on this and can share it with you.

    4. Ketamine – scientists at Yale University released some amazing data on this in 2012. Its mechanism of action is simply as a short-acting (30-45 minute) but intense NMDA inhibitor. Its effect is immediate – complete cessation of depressive and suicidal traits. And this, in people who had tried and failed to respond to conventional SSRIs! Further, one very small dose produces these effects for up to SEVEN DAYS. Part of this is that it, too, induces BDNF (Google Image search “ketamine bdnf” for a really cool image as to how this made rat axons grow back).

    5. The methylation cycle. This is also a huge area of research, and has to do with B-vitamins. It turns out that almost half of Caucasian people are partially or severely unable to produce enzymes that assist in “methylating” things. Specifically, folate is unable to be methylated to the active form 5-MHTF, and/or homocysteine cannot be converted to methionine. These errors occur via silencing of genes, specifically MFTHR and BHMT. The net effect is that over 600 different metabolic processes are affected, especially those relating to DNA synthesis, epigenetic methylation, and manufacture of dopamine, seratonin and SAMe.

    This is a little tricker to fix as you have to know your genetics. You can’t just pop a single pill – because if (like me) you have issues on MTHFR, MAO-A and BHMT, taking folic acid will lead to an excess of unmethylated folate; taking just 5-MHTF will lead to depletion of B12; taking just B12 will lead to a buildup of homocysteine, etc. You need to address ALL the weak points in the cycle. In my case this means supplementing with 5-MHTF (methylfolate), P-5-P (B6), methyl-B12, SAMe, riboflavin (B2), benfotiamine (B1), DL-phenylalanine, and trimethylglycine. Fortunately all these are pretty damn cheap.

    Failure to address ALL of these at once will cause knock-on issues that will, generally, make you feel like complete shit. But the good news is that since I’ve started this last month, my condition has been slowly but steadily improving. It turns out that many cases of treatment-resistant depression, memory issues, mood instability, and PTSD are caused or heavily influenced by methylation cycle faults. It’s definitely worth a try. To find out what genes may be at fault, get a $99 genome scan from 23andMe (good for many reasons!) and then download the raw data and feed it into GeneticGenie or Promethease.

    6. I cannot stress enough that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBS) and/or practising “mindfulness” is as critical as any drug. You MUST pay attention to this. The effects are both psychological and biological. Any and all treatment programs are not complete without this. And indeed I’ve found doing this was the key to finally starting to unwind it all…

    That’s my basic braindump on this subject :) I hope it helps.

    I’ll say it again, though: DO NOT TAKE RACETAMS IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS OR SUFFER FROM DIAGNOSED OR UNDIAGNOSED NERVOUS OR MENTAL ILLNESS. I would suggest that the problems people here are noticing (erectile issues, memory issues, anxiety issues) are actually just worsening of existing illness. All of those symptoms are hallmarks of depressive and nervous conditions.

    This worsening would have been caused by the hyperarousal state induced by upregulated acetylcholine… which in turn was triggered by use or overuse of racetams. This would also neatly explain why symptoms fail to improve when the racetam is stopped – mental illnesses rarely fix themselves once triggered, for reasons I’ve begun to cover above.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Oh, and by the way: that feeling of “pressure” in the frontal lobe? Especially on the left side (usually – it may be right, depending on your condition, but is rarely symmetrical)? It’s also described as a feeling of “emptiness” or “deadness”.

      That’s your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Remember how, in my post above, I talked about the “link” between this and the amygdala being broken? Right. That results in changed – usually lowered – activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Typically the left DLPFC is implicated in depressive and nervous disorders, and the right DLPFC is implicated in impulse control, addictive behaviors and the ability to lie.

      (Interestingly, the military is investigating using slow pulse TMS to temporarily suppress the right DLPFC, to impair the ability of interrogation subjects to lie).

      All the textbooks say that you can’t feel your own brain (which is true; there are no sensory nerves). However, as anyone who’s had pre-migraine prodrome can tell you, you most definitely CAN notice changes in your brain patterns, and even localise them. Feelings can range from “aura” to “impendingness” to “pressure” or “emptiness” – it appears the way your brain interprets it can vary.

      But the effect is clear. I have personally noted a profound “emptiness/pressure” on my left DLPFC in the worst part of my PTSD. This disappeared after treatment with rTMS, which is in line with what one would expect. I always wondered if it was just a psychosomatic feeling – since I knew about the DLPFC already – but I’ve seen enough case reports of this to feel that it is a real phenomenon.

      Again, this would be more evidence towards the conclusion that you were already suffering from an anxiety, depressive or stress-related disorder, and that you might have inadvertently made it worse by taking cholinergics such as piracetam.

      For what it’s worth, I’ve noted many people with anxiety disorders tend to seek out nootropics, cigarettes, caffeine, amphetamines, etc… all substances that are felt to make the brain “work better”. I think this is conscious or unconscious self-medication for the symptoms of existing disorder. And with amphetamines, caffeine and cigarettes, the disorders are always worsened by chronic use. It is no accident that, like piracetam, all these drugs are cholinergics…

      So statistically, one would then expect a larger proportion than normal of complaints that a cholingeric nootropic drug “caused” issues. In reality, the issue was already pre-existing – and attempts at self-medicating the symptoms led to a worsening of the actual root problem.

      That’s a pretty sound theory:

      a) we have a clear, established neurochemical cause;
      b) the theory explains the inconsistency of results seen (some love racetams, some say it ruined them);
      c) the theory explains why it’s possible to have a larger proportion of complaints with these than would be normal with non-cholinergics
      d) the theory matches the above point to known results of other cholinergics on anxiety and mood disorders;
      e) the theory completely explains the diverse array of symptoms claimed, and also why symptoms did not resolve after cessation of the drug.

      … anyone want to write a PhD on this? :)

    2. Thanks for the thorough reply,
      1. I’ve never done rTMS. However, I do tDCS every day and I believe it helpes a bit. I don’t have an objective proof that it does though, purely anecdotal. Montages are tricky. Discovering the areas too.

      2. I”ve wanted to try LSD for some time, but it’s not easy to put my hands on it.

      3. Never heard of the stuff. While I don’t struggle with addiction, both my parents are smokers, so that may do for them.

      4.I’ve messed with NMDA receptors before, and got burnt. However they certainly do hold potential. My issue is primarily anxiety, not so much depression. Even when I do get depressed, I know how to fight back – socialize, jog, B vitamins, Rhodiola etc. Anxiety – this is the hell on Earth, this thing is a lot worse than death.

      5.This idea about methylation is incredible interesting. I remember hearing a renowned professor, who used to work with convicts about the troubles undermethylation could cause

      6. I do meditate, and I went to CBT therapist. Mindfulness might be the one of my best discoveries so far. I didn’t like my visits to the psychologists though. They were trying to convince me, that I had a childhood traumatic event or something, when the real reasons for my troubles were purely biochemical.
      But I couldn’t argue with them, this is the time in my life in which I felt totally hopeless, I was circling the drain, I’ll never forget that.

  4. So you cherry-picked some studies, and managed to find 67 case reports on the Internet (from people who, from their writing, mostly seem to have existing intellectual or psychological issues and/or were taking unknown quantities in combination with unknown quantities of OTHER supplements).

    This is a big ZERO for credibility, sir. I can find 67 case reports on the Internet from people who believe they saw Jesus appear to them in a cheese sandwich. It means nothing.

    The human brain has a known, strong bias towards finding patterns where there are none; I see it all the time in my work. People will blame X for causing their symptom – even though none of them did controlled tests.

    The problem with people taking nootropics and supplements is especially bad, and twofold: first, that they tend to do this to correct self-perceived or real deficits; and second, that they almost NEVER try one thing at a time. This is an enormous pitfall when drawing any conclusions from self-medicators.

    Further, “brain fog” and “headache” are two of the most commonly reported side effects for ANY drug. It’s widely considered to be “background noise” and meaningless unless the prevalence is very high. And I shouldn’t have to tell you that 67 out of the millions that take piracetam is not in any way “high”.

    Piracetam’s action on acetylcholine and related neurochemical pathways WILL exacerbate various kinds of mental disorders, especially bipolar and schizophrenic disorders. This is not debatable. However it will not cause the disorder – it must already exist. Judging from the “morgellons-ish” style of reportage I read above, with the dropped words and spelling errors commonly seen in those disorders, I feel it’s highly likely that most of these reports are from people with underlying mental health issues. Note that most people with bipolar and schizoaffective disorders are especially prone to incorrect pattern-finding, and that they are often unaware that they are “ill” – to them, even the most bizarre conclusions are very very evident and clear. This is due to failure of executive function.

    Given all this, your assertion is interesting but your evidence falls flat. Piracetam has been studied for over 40 years and is overwhelmingly found to be benign in proper doses in healthy people. Please find more convincing evidence if you wish to contest this very established science.

    1. I invite you to post 5 case reports of brain fog with a supplement in my toolkit. If you do I will be very surprised (there are a few that cause brain fog but I doubt you’ll even find reports on them). Make sure you find the words brain fog.

      I look at case reports on forums all of the time and piracetam takes the cake for brain fog case reports.

  5. So much fearmongering. At low quantities it doesn’t really harm at all and as with any supplement, the benefits /should/ be relatively subtle. I’ve been taking 200 to 400 mg over a period of weeks, and it has easily bolstered my overall cognition. Of course, I’m not a superhero, I just can program and remember better, and those things add up; but I have never experienced anything like the brain fog indicated.

    I would say it is just an unfortunate interaction with a preexisting condition with certain individuals. As for it bolstering intelligence only in average individuals, I have consistently killed every IQ test and reached full scores on the GRE and the SAT BEFORE any supplementation.

    1. A general principal: the smarter you are the less likely/strongly any smart drug or supplement will increase intelligence.

      1. I think you are right. I have an exceptionally high IQ and I find that non of these nootropics do anything for me. I’ll keep looking for something to give me an edge but I have had no luck so far. I will be trying transcranial direct current stimulation next.

        1. Markus – if you already have exceptionally high IQ, why do you seek more – to the point that you’re willing to undergo the risks of TMS?

          I should not have to remind you that those in the field of TMS research (e.g. the fine researchers here at McGill) are very, very wary about using TMS or rTMS for anything but very specific symptoms of severe illness – and even so, to be admissible you must have tried and failed at least 3 kinds of medication.

          TMS and rTMS is a very powerful tool where the long term effects are little understood. Even in the short term, it can REALLY screw you up badly if you apply the wrong stimulation to the wrong area. You can easily not stimulate but suppress memory or cognitive function – and even create impulse and anxiety disorders.

          I would suggest your burning drive to achieve ultimate superiority (despite admitting already being of high IQ) is in fact a pathological behavior – a manifestation of perfectionism, perhaps based on (hidden) poor self esteem. This is very often the case for individuals who recklessly aim for self improvement (physical or otherwise) and I think you should ponder on this.

          1. I’ve been doing tDCS for a while now on the dorsolateral PFC @ 2mA for 20 mins daily with not much results so far. Maybe I should try the angular gyrus and do math?

    1. The answer to that of course is “it depends what happened to it”.

      You can’t just blindly throw things at a problem and expect it to work. You need to know exactly what’s going on.

      Mostly a damaged brain – where “damage” is based on neuroreceptor downregulation – will fix itself within weeks once the drug causing the downregulation is removed.

      Issues such as axon damage or neural damage due to apoptosis will also tend to fix itself – albeit more slowly. In these cases things such as curcumin, ibogaine, low-dose ketamine, and other stimulators of glial growth factors and BNDF will accelerate the process.

      Actual cell death is quite hard to achieve short of physical damage, though there are drugs for this purpose (used for example to selectively kill dopaminic cells in the substantia nigra, inducing Parkinsonism in rats for testing purposes). Believe me you would know if this is the case, and it’s certainly not with piracetam. Even with physical damage many areas of the brain will attempt to rewire and “make up” for the lost cells via more neural connections etc. this takes time but it is for example why stroke sufferers regain some or all function over time.

      Epigenetic expression is another vector but this is also not likely to be the case here.

      Given that any alleged “damage” due to piracetam is not overtly detectable for the vast majority of users, the lack of correlating physical evidence over decades of research, and the lack of a credible means via which it can cause damage selectively – there is no answer. Certainly given the noted lack of toxicity as well as lack of overt loss of cells (no structural changes in scans), the only two possibilities are epigenetic action (unlikely) and acetylcholine receptor downregulation (which would correct itself over time). Oxidative stress is a term often bandied about but in general once a stressor is removed you would note improvement in function, certainly over months or years. This is why the claims of “long lasting” effects are a bit suspicious – we don’t even see that with most methamphetamine addicts and there is no doubt that piracetam isn’t even in the same ballpark as that.

      1. Thanks for taking the effort to respond with a reasonable answer. What you say makes sense. The cause may have actually been huge oxidative stress resulting from severe anxiety. I’ve been taking zoloft at 25mg/d (which is half the minimal effective dose) with great results so far. Anxiety disappered, OCD was reduced dramatically, the so called by me “thought doubt” is gone as well. Stopping Noopept probably helped as well. Anxiety was at the root of all other problems I guess.
        Any idea on how to fix anxiety without an antidepressant? Sam-e looks promissing. Keep in mind I’ve tried a million supplements + exercise + meditation + breathing techniques and what not, Zoloft (besides Xanax – no good) is the only thing that made a real difference, even at such low dosage.
        I’m thinking about getting myself C60 fullerene lately, any experiences?

        Best,
        Steve

  6. I beleive after taking piracetam it damaged my sexual functions, i cant get wood anymore, its been like 9 months, i need viagra and other drugs to achieve it, im 26 and before taking piracetam was a race horse, urologists tell me my levels are normal, i was examined for damage they said my genitals are ok, im so sad i feel like suicide. I couldent have sex with 5 girls because of this and lost all those relationships, i feel like ending this. if anyone can please help me or has been through this let me know, because no one seems to be there. I am about to spend the last of my savings on another urologist but im pretty sure they are just going to say take the viagra because another doctor said theres a 95 percent change that we will never know what has caused this or whats the cause.

  7. I suffered from muscle twitches for years, due to a number of possible causes (exposure to MSG, stress, caffeine, working out, etc).

  8. Well, you took 66 bad experiences from people but what about positive effects maybe thousands of them are getting?
    I also get brain fog and the opposite effects from a nootropic like Aniracetam or Noopept, but i think it’s caused by my leaky gut and already existing brain fog. I think nootropics and racetams amplify our mood, so if we’re depressed and with leaky gut, there’s no way they can work.

  9. Definitely appreciate your account, theories, and aggregation of negative anecdotal evidence in the form of 60+ comments from disparate sources. Definitely helpful to folks looking for a balanced view of piracetam that opposes the hype.

    However, I think it’s important for your readers to recognize the sensationalist writing style you’re utilizing. Although effective in influencing/persuading through fear, in reality a majority/all of your examples are from sources akin to message forums and bro-science theories/conclusions. You are pretty technical and somewhat thorough in framing your argument against use. Definitely helpful in the context of all the positive hype to use piracetam.

    To be more balanced on your blog, how about citing and commenting on all scientific publications on racetams, noopept, etc. There are several dozen if not nearly a hundred on pubmed, etc. My impression after reading many of these over the years is overly positive and profoundly lacking in negative side effects.

    My problem with you though is as I read your comments and replies to others below, I just can’t shake the thought that you have a bit of an agenda…

    You mention you’re writing a book on this stuff, that you have a toolkit… And… You’re overly promoting Pregnolone, Pregnolone, Pregnolone, … When you’re book is published, I will most likely pick it up just to affirm my piracetam fueled theories on your motives.

    1. The book probably won’t even mention piracetam.

      My motive: I bought into the hype and got burned. If it works for you and the you feel the science is compelling, go for it. This piece is a counterweight to all the gushing information on it.

      There has been no half-decent clinical trials on healthy people, so the evidence for it being useful for enhancement is weak to non-existent (you’d need to test healthy people for it).

      My point is that there are risks involved and it shouldn’t be treated like vitamin C. I and a significant group of people have been unfortunate to experience similar negative effects from it.

      1. I really appreciate this article, I had a bad experience with noopept although, full disclosure, i accidentally took 300mg instead of 30. Either way, I’m done with racetams.

  10. Just wondering if you have this opinion of all racetams (oxi,ani,prami,phenyl} and noopept or this is exclusively to Piracetam? I just bought some Noopept and aniracetam and your article spooked me very much.

  11. Hey Awesome article! I’m relatively new to bio hacking, I’ve been on and off modafinil for two years with great success. I’ve recently purchased a couple months supply of the Trubrain and natural stack (ciltep) stacks. I’m going to experience the effects for myself but I was wondering if you had any input of these specific mixtures. I’ve learned as much as I could about the respective sources and both seem solid. I’m a third year engineering student so any gains or losses should be notice quickly. I’ll be sure to take note and report back.

    1. Thanks! I think trubrain is a terrible stack. It’ll take a post to explain why and I don’t plan on writing such a post unless there’s a lot of interest. I’m not a fan of ciltep, either – not for most people at least.

      1. Both come with guarantees, within the first 30 days I am able to get a full refund. After considering your post, I will go into the trial period focused on negative impacts. Modafinil is my only point of reference. I found that aside from a few quarks modafinil was amazing, it was great from day one, very functional; however, it didn’t seem like something I’d want to be taking for the next few decades. My hope is one or a combination of the mentioned stacks will feel more sustainable. Anyways, I’ll comment on my experience when I have more to say. If you ever get around to a quick post on trubrain or natrual stacks ciltep I’d definitely enjoy reading it.

    2. Quick update: I’m about 10 days in. Nothing bad to report, I’ve gotta say the stacks together make me feel pretty awesome, very alert. I do notice tired spells that can come and go but they are brief and could be a combination of waiting to long between meal and my body getting use to the stacks.

      All in all I really like both stacks together

  12. Would not an adenosine reuptake inhibitor like leonurine produce the same anxiolytic effects while also up-regulating BDNF to increase neuron growth, plasticity and neurogenesis? Just a thought

      1. Leonurine is a naturally occurring compound found in several plants of the leonuris family, some are used for intoxication most notably leonotis nepetifolia while motherwort is used as a treatment for menstrual difficulties. It can be extracted effectively through use of a double solvent extraction process utilizing cold water as well as alcohol. Additionally there has been some recent research conducted in China examining its effects in reducing the size and volume of tissue damaged during ischemic stroke with potential to aid concussion recovery.

    1. I can’t help but facepalm at all these posts: “ooh piracetam is bad huh? Cool I’ll just switch to this OTHER fad thing which has no real longterm safety data! That’s GOTTA be safer, right?”

      I’m beginning to see why you all want to think better… -.-

  13. Selfhacked, what do you think it is that causes the muscle fasciculations? Can this be cured?

    I too, took piracetam for a few weeks months ago. I get random muscle fasciculations as well, but I didn’t make the connection to piracetam. They did improve quite a bit when I cut gluten out of my diet.

    1. Your muscle fasciculations are called cortical myoclonus. It’s a piracetam induced change in the way your cortex utilizes ACh.
      I’m living with it for 9 months now, this is not getting anywhere, get used to it.

    2. The answer to that would lie in some basic reading about acetylcholine and cholinergic receptors (nicotinic and muscarinic).

      Both these receptors control many things in the sympathetic nervous system. Notably, nicotinic receptor stimulation activates skeletal muscle. Curare (dart poison used in hunting by Amazonians) is a paralytic poison which blocks cholinergic receptors.

      If you’re increasing choline levels or otherwise activating the acetylcholine receptors… You get ONE guess what that does. Right? SKELETAL MUSCLE ACTIVATION. Shakes, tension and, yes, formation of myofascial knots due to prolonged tension and overload on skeletal muscle. This is why two signs of choline overload are stiff neck (due to muscle tension) and headaches (ditto).

      Yes, by the same token, CNS is stimulated by acetylcholine and your brain “works” better. On the other hand, reduce available acetylcholine and your brain goes fuzzy. Anticholinergics such as Benadryl are sold as powerful sleeping pills for a REASON. Other more powerful anticholinergics like scopolamine and atropine can easily kill you like this (atropine is the poison in the plant called “deadly nightshade”).

      This is NOT rocket science guys, this is very very basic cause-and-effect.

      And so: muscle tremors and tension can be expected. It’s a side effect of what you’re doing! This is why megadosing nootropics can be very uncomfortable. But in general it’s not neurotoxic. Even lethal doses of atropine will not damage your cells – you’ll be fine (once you get off life support).

      Honestly guys – what drives you to take a drug without doing the least research on how it works?! Holy crap.

  14. From what I’ve read here the pro/con effects are very similar to when I started taking amphetamine to study–worked like a charm for about a month and then everything started rapidly declining. I don’t partake of anything anymore (other than coffee and cigarettes) and I’m still not as bright as I used to be be. Thought I would look into nootropics as study is starting up again… No thanks.

  15. I have taken Geratam (Czech piracetam pharmaceutical) for about a year. I can relate to much that you say, however, I find it highly speculative and not thought through well.

    You seem to be entirely ignoring that most people (and maybe yourself) are ordering ‘mystery powders’ off ebay and the internet, which are likely imported in larger quantities from unknown locations in China and other dubious places. I have started with Geratam for a few month, so I already knew the effects well, and then tried a few of those cheaper bulk powders on ebay. The result was frightening: I would get slight/moderate headaches sometimes from all of them, I would feel unwell sometimes, the positive effects I knew from Geratam were largely reduced and I could not even really identify it as the same drug.

    The reason and reality is that probably all of those powders are impure and not fit for human consumption. They are manufactured on the basis that any negative mental and long-term health impacts need to be legally proven to have occurred, for the vendor to be commercially or legally affected. And those vendors pop in and out on ebay like tourists, barely selling 2-5 years. I hope you can see what that business logic does to the quality of the product. I have read FDA supplement requirements and German import restrictions (live in Germany) and those do not protect you from critical harm to your mental health or body long-term by poor supplement quality in any way.

    So keep that in mind in each and every user reports you read about any medication or supplement. Those people have no real drug experiences, take whatever crap from the internet and then figure they get headaches, ‘holes in their head’ and whatnot side-effect because of choline deficit or whatever weird logic they adhere to.

    Having that said, *real* piracetam has had certain cognitive advantages to me. But more in a matter of getting my brain into some kind of repair modus, which is how it actually helped me and why I took it for so long. I found it rather tunes you down cognitively, than immediately improving anything. Also, it made me understand things differently, more universally. I have (had) adrenal gland pain from too much stress and piracetam would reduce the amount of stress needed to get through life, hence I got more productive. I do not really comprehend all of its (positive) effects though and won’t write a long list here.

    Anyway, the repair thing got less with time and it also affected me personality-wise in a way I don’t entirely approve of. I also believe that this relates to a better synchronization between the brain hemispheres, which was poor to begin with. But I also believe it made sense in terms of intelligence, to have both not much synchronized, in order to have abnormally complicated long abstract thoughts and achieving a non-sustainable maximum cognitive output you won’t really need in any profession or everyday situation .. but merely to gain a better grasp and understanding of the world and its inner workings. Something I would rather want to have than being socially or professionally more efficient.

    So, to sum that up, what can be said: User reports and ebay supplements are highly unreliable. Piracetam itself can do something for you in terms of cognitive abilities and issues, .. but the question is if you want it. Keep good introspective, get off and on the drug to see the changes it does and did, be intelligent and reasonable about drug use. It is neither like heroin nor is it like coffee. The logic that you can pop some pill forever that just makes you better, smarter and stronger without any thoughts and considerations to it is fucking bullshit to begin with.

    1. I tried the best brands, including nootropyl and cognitive nutrition. I find it unlikely that my symptoms were the same for bost brands and are identical to people who have tried many other brands. SORRY, BUT THE BRAND ARGUMENT IS COMPLETE BUNK, IMO. Don’t know if you’re a vendor, but it sure sounds like it.

      1. And it’s exactly Nootropyl and Lucetam ( both pharma grade, both in tablet form, both non-chinese) that gave me brain damage. Argument is invalid.

        1. Thanks Steve for confirming. I’ve see people get negative effects from all brands. This is just a bad argument. Period.

          1. I didn’t get negative results. I had my life changed for the worse PERMANENTLY!
            The two things that alleviate the condition temporarily are Centrophenoxine and a high dose alcohol.
            After living with it for 8 months now, I am starting to think that it permanently altered NMDA response/increased NMDA sites:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8234409

            OR altered my GABAergic system in some way.
            OR perhabs excitotoxicity (unlikely)?
            Recovery is not in sight.
            Piracetam is no vit. C as they try to put it in the mainstream.

            Best,
            Steve

          2. Not really. I’m planning to try:
            – glutamine – to get proper activation of the new NMDA receptors.
            – memantine
            – noopept (paradoxally, I think that a different racetam might alleviate the condition)
            – Alpha GPC – in attempt to restore the balance.

            Phenibut works well when it comes to relaxation, but it doesnt help with the condition. I am puzzled.
            All of these are shots in the dark. Wish me well.

            Best,
            Steve

    2. ich denke auch, dass es einen Unterschied macht, ob man das Bulk-Powder, und was es nicht alles in USA gibt, bestellt – oder wirklich gute Pharmaqualität; selbstverständlich passt Du nicht ins Muster des threads

  16. 800 mg of Oxiracetam and 500 mg of Centrophenoxine (a choline source) have me feeling very awake – my reading comprehension has improved noticeably. And, I have tried a lot of supplements in my time, including modafinil.

    I read this blog several months ago and you convinced me to start eating lentils. I now eat about half a cup of green lentils with mushrooms as a meat substitute and fresh spinach every day for lunch.

    Great blog. You’re a smart guy. But, everyone has different body chemistry, too. Everyone’s experience is different based off where they get their source from as well as other factors going on in their life, when they took it ,what they took it with, etc. Within our own experiences, with the same supplements, we even get different results.

      1. Yes – I couldn’t possibly ascertain the effects without doing so. I generally only take oxi before an intense study session – or when I need to be dialed in. I know where you’re going with this – centro is a great supplement by itself. In fact, I don’t really need the oxi – I’ve just had such great study sessions with it, that I don’t feel I should stop.

        If I felt brain fog – I would stop immediately.

        Keep up the great work on this blog. You should definitely add ads. You could potentially make a lot of money. Then you could write more – as you say.

  17. Hi , I have been taking piracetam for nearly 7 month with a dosage of 1200 mg /day for 4 months and 2400 mg/day for the last 3 months. Here are my observations.

    1. I could experience relaxed state of mind.
    2. Yes, i do experience slight headache sometimes
    3. Memory increased to some extent
    4. I could experience weight gain.
    5. First I also felt that my reading speed is reduced, I will read the paragraph 2 times to understand but it was in my first month after that reading speed become normal, now it is fast.
    6. I am not sure whether my IQ has been increased, but I am sure it has not decreased. I am a person with average IQ.
    7. I am a software programmer and I feel that my creativity has increased.
    8. After reading pill scout message I tried taking 4.8 grams per dosage for a week, yes I felt that my performance was good but my weight got increased fast during that week, I felt more hunger, eating more I feared that taking such high quantity may cause some other problem and reduced again to my usual dosage.

    I feel that the effect differs from person to person and i am in plan to continue with it. I will frequently write my observations so that it may be useful to someone.

    Thanks
    Senthil

    1. “I feel that the effect differs from person to person and i am in plan to continue with it. I will frequently write my observations so that it may be useful to someone.”
      I agree

  18. I would just like to say thanks to “Selfhacked”…I just received 500mg Piracetam and a few other smart drugs. Its all new to me and I thought I would try them. Now I don’t think I will. I figure my mind is worth too much to play with it, and risk any damage. I have been taking ALCAR, multivitamin and B complex, along with Q10 and I must say that after a few months with just those supplements I have had great success with energy levels and memory improvement. I’ll just stick with those for now, along with eating healthy and exercise… I would like to put a plug in for Q10 which I have found to be quite an amazing supplement…
    Thanks for your input guy’s…

  19. How safe is Pregnonolone and what’s maximum dose you can take? Does it cause cancer? I am taking 5mg sublingual Pregnolone. Is the 5m sublingual more potent than 100mg regular Pregnolone capsules? That being said Pregnenolone is the only thing that works for me for the piracetam induced brain fog and memory problems. I don’t know how long it will last but I feel like getting better and effects seem permanent. Physically I had muscle weakness, zero motivation, no endorphin rush or feeling good from cardio/exercise and depression. Are these symptoms of oxidative stress? My dental health has only gotten worse since this started. I I have tried Glutamic acid, Glutamine, Coffee, Adderall, ALCAR, L-Tyrosine, Choline Bitartate (no effect at all), CDP Choline (helped kind of but too expensive), Buspar, Lexapro. I am going to see a Endocrinologist soon. Thank you for the information

    1. I’m glad to hear my recommendation worked for you. Fixing piracetam induced damage isn’t something that you’ll find in a physicians desk reference, if you know what I mean. It’s pretty safe at 5mg. It’s the dosage I take daily.

  20. Selfhacked, a discussion provoking article you have written here! Excellent job!

    However, even though 64 hits on the Internet is a significant thing, but how does it compare to the peer-reviewed studies listed, say, in the wiki page? Are all of them flawed?

    I would also appreciate if somebody without a history of depression etc. posted a diary of piracetam effects.

    Cheers,
    ffc

    1. There are no quality peer reviewed, placebo controlled trials in young and healthy adults. The one study that is out there is useless. If you can show me studies on healthy people I’d appreciate it.

  21. how long did you take it for self hacked, because a study says this, No effects were observed after 7 days but after 14 days verbal learning had significantly increased.

  22. I havnt had any issues with piracetam although I only take it in short spurts in an attack dosage. My stack is pretty basic, piracetam, choline, omega 3, B-complex works well for me. Remember too the body builds up a tolerance to drugs after a while and things wont be as affective as when first taken and you might even develop adverse effects. Best I found for brain health is just plain ol good diet and exercise and use a good stack that works for you every other week or so, not every day.

  23. I havé been taking daily doses of Piracetam for 18 months now at a level of 3x1200mg per day.
    I started following a spell of Tinitus which has subsided since.My first 6 months were very positive ,the next 6 were good ,but the last 6 months have shown a marked slow down in energy levels and a terrible desire to sleep long hours .i am emotionally detached, creative and hard working in bursts,but loath to put it down to Piracetam for the moment. I take a bit of Ginko every day but do not touch anything else.
    I am 68,and have a full active working life.
    I feel however that I may reduce my consumption of Piracetam after having read your blog to see what occurs.
    I live in Belgium where Piracetam was born ,and is used in a wide variety of conditions by GP’s and geriatric practitioners, ( and has been for 30 years) .However it remains a confidential drug ,even though it is sold over the counter ,just like aspirin .
    My own experience is of enjoying the loss of alcohol impact ( I drink wine at lunch and dinner 1-2 glasses of wine every day), but the most evident downside is a marked tendency to spelling errors in mails which has occurred since around 12 months .
    I am in good health and have always had a very good and varied diet.
    My parents died at 90 plus ,and I have no mental or congenitive disorders to speak of which affect me.
    I am probably atypical of most of the writers on this blog ,but I will keep you informed of my auto-observations ,as I will reduce my consumption slowly and observe .

  24. What were those substances that are better than piracetam with less dramatic drawbacks? I’m looking for something that’ll give me energy and mental energy that supposedly piracetam gives you. Also does anyone know if sublingual b12 actually works for energy?

      1. Aight is that the best for mental energy and clarity? I know you have a lot of experience in substances so whats the best substance or things for me to do that you recommend?

    1. Wow, thanks for your feedback.

      People think that because piracetam is so called “non-toxic”, it means it’s safe. That is a fallacy. Something could be non toxic and still dangerous.

      1. I took it for exactly 3 months before crashing HARD. Taking piracetam is easily the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life. It’s worth mentioning that I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression before that, so maybe I was messed up to begin with.
        The racetam made it ALOT worse. I do feel better now, but I still haven’t recovered. One thing that cleared my head was Centrophenoxine, which leads me to believe that my cholingergic/gabaergic system is out of whack. I consider investing in Alpha-GPC, which gets pricey though. I am alone in this hole and nobody knows how to help me.
        Any ideas would be appreciated.

        Best,
        Steve

          1. I tried it in the 50-300 mg range many times and it either did nothing for me, or it made me VERY depressed and moody. Very bad for me.
            Any other ideas are VERY welcome from you.

  25. So omega 3 can be taking every day as part of the basics, but what about super foods that help the brain I assume they don’t need to be cycled such as caco, wheat grass, chroella, sprillia, barley grass, if all the posions are gone then my brain will work at full natural power, iam on noopept and arimactam, am also deslexic, or just lazy lol , I think you are right about the smarter with out the drugs, maby my natural intel is first class and the drugs make it second class some how in a werid kind of way, I geuss the body prefers the earths own made subtances better harmony in the body and mind

  26. What about an indirect smart herb such as an adapogen which effects tend to increase over time, how could that make you dummer if it can basicly strengthen the body and mind over time, what if I take herbs to help me sleep at night, sleep is vital for the brain I realy need them, valerian exc could herbs used to help normal functioning, by the way iam not a evil person for the most part and I just want to get as smart as I can so that I could ulitimately help the world and others as bestr as I can and not spell like that guy from flowers for Algernon,

    1. I’ve experimented with all adaptogens. I’ve found they hamper performance when used for intense study. Every adaptogen works a bit differently, but they need to be used properly. It took me approixmately 4 years to really understand how to use adaptogens.

  27. do you use any smart drugs on a regular basis anymore, would they realy dumb down a person whos already smart, would all the rasatams and noopept have bad effect on iq just like Piracetam, should you just stick to non drug brain boosters as drugs have a direct effect on the body where as herb for example would work within the bodys own natural limits,? natural wins?sleep diet exercise, non drug supplements, superfoods.

    1. I don’t use smart drugs any more. I use “smart supplements” sparingly. Every supplement has a narrow window for when it should be used. Knowing when and how to use them is crucially important or else they can make you dumber. This is especially true for drugs. I can’t recommend what the best approach for you is without knowing lots of background info.

      1. when you say sparingly and window of op, is that to say u shouldn’t take any natural sup for to long so cycle?, I didn’t know natural stuff can make you dummer as well interesting my spelling is like flowers for Algernon

        1. Not that natural stuff can make you “dumber” per se, but for example, most natural supps aren’t conducive to studying intensely for an exam or for increasing what I would term aggregate intelligence. There’s usually one aspect of cognition that goes up and something else that goes down. This is for young and healthy people, however….

  28. I ended up here after reading this article from a few days ago on the BBC:
    “Would you take smart drugs to perform better at work?”
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20131212-smart-drugs-at-work-good-idea/all

    This is fascinating. These are the *exact* symptoms I experienced while taking Adderall, minus muscle twitches.

    What has really stuck with me is experiencing what you talk about in the last two sentences.

    “I smell a conspiracy. I’m rational, intelligent, and my brain is my important asset. I attempted to use Piracetam and experienced *headaches*, muscle twitches, *brain fog* (mental tiredness), *decreased organizational abilities*, *anti-social tendencies*, *confusion*, *short term memory deficits*, and an *increase demand for glucose*, among other after effects. However, while on the nootropic I did experience *inhibited my fear* therefore allowing me to *sound intelligent* while *making mistakes on the actual content* I attempted to express. *Spelling errors* were common (dyslexia-like symptoms) and *emotional detachment*.”

    Did you sleep less when you were taking it? I certainly have with Adderall, even later when trying to get sleep with Ambien.

    Now I’m just hoping the dopamine production ability of my brain isn’t going to be affected long term.

    Huge mistake for me. I started and sold two internet companies before taking any medications or supplements. Now I am struggling as my brain “resets” (hopefully).

    1. I don’t think the effects are lasting. Time is the best healer. I’ve caused so much damage to my brain by wreckless experiments and food sensitivities, yet I’ve been able to recover to a very large degree. I also started out cognitively disadvantaged by a lack of education (I became functionally literate at the age of 19) Actually, my thinking is better now than ever as a result of accumulating knowledge from my readings and experimentation. It’s my goal to spare others from the experimentation that I went through. Anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much.

  29. Hi

    I’m 35 and consider myself a quite intelligent person (135-140 in iq tests, not that it says much but anyway…), the kind to get best results out of minimum effort. However, I have always suffered from what I’d say is a mild ADD. Difficulty to read through long texts, easily distracted/daydreamer, not able to focus easily, as if something’s “jamming the frequency” of sorts, terrible and very selective memory, etc. Anyway, so for a long time I contemplated finding a way to improve on these matters as they are had always been affecting my performance in school, college and work…

    So I initially started looking for solutions like Ritalin, Aderall, etc but quickly dismissed them as from what I read up they act more like anabolics and less than enhancers, plus they need prescription. Then I found out about nootropics and the whole bio-hacking sub-culture that didn’t even know exists! i read up a few days about the various substances and decided to give aniracetam a chance, as I can find it by proper pharmaceutical manufacturer in local pharmacies and they sell it without prescription (I bought a pack of Referan, pills of 750mg each).

    I popped the first pill about 3 hours ago, just after lunch… but sadly I didn’t notice any positive response at all. Just some mild drowsiness and a mild sense of constriction at the rear of my head. Nothing major or worrisome, but still a far cry from what I’ve been reading left and right about aniracetam… (at least no brain fog! :P) All the while I did some further research about proper dosage and stumbled here. I must say your site and the various testimonials has given me a good scare…

    now I’m torn… the pack I got has got doses for a month (60 pills: 2 pills/day of 750mg each). Should I keep popping 2 pills / day just to see where it leads? or give up? Your testimonials here are mostly about piracetam, but I gather aniracetam isn’t drastically different in dangers… I certainly have no desire to risk permanently my cognitive performance, which I value a lot, but would like to get an improvement on the areas I described above. So any ideas would be welcome!

    1. I’d suggest you stay away from all racetams. You experimented with it and it didn’t work. Move on to other experiments.

      1. Hi

        yep, I’m giving it up after today. Been taking it for 4 days, didn’t notice any particular difference, other than a hotness in my head, possibly from raised BP or something.

        I don’t know if I should try my luck with other chemicals like Noopept or Modafinil, or maybe give the Bulletproof guy’s stuff a chance (Alpha Brain or whatever he calls it), or just give up with the whole chemical improvement. I really wish to be able to have more focus and better memory, but how should I go about it?

        Thanks for responding btw.

        1. PQQ, LLLT and Kombucha are my top 3 enhancers. Forget noopept. Moda works for some, but more people then not have side effects. I will be starting to write a book soon on the best ways to improve performance.

          1. i have no idea what is PQQ and LLLT, will look into it here. Tried the Kombucha tea last year, I brewed a couple of successful batches. Didn’t see any immediate effect, but I know this needs its time, to build tolerance etc. However, lack of time and a couple of botched batches put me off and didn’t bother to continue with it… plus my wife was freaking out with that huge fungus kept in a jar in the kitchen hahahaha

  30. I have had occasions of worse brain fog and discomfort with piracetam, though they’ve always been within the first few hours of taking it. Low dose seems to work a lot better for me, at least at first. (I had a period of months in the past where I was taking grams a day, (with choline) but maybe my tolerance built up a bit first) Generally I feel a tad uncomfortable and irritable for the first few hours, but then it calms down and I feel a significant benefit. 20-50 hours after ingestion is when I feel a good benefit… it’s somewhat subtle yet very significant for me at times. This might seem placebo, but so many times over the years I’ve somewhat forgotten I took piracetam, wondered why I was – intense dreams, or talking very fluidly for example – then remembering “ohh I took piracetam”

    1. I do think it’s possible it helped you. Notice that i said most people would do better without. I wouldn’t recommend it for people with bf simply because there are so many other options that work much better and don’t have the risks

    2. Piracetam (1600mg-3200mg/day)has worked in my life as a sort of creativity drug. I have seen what I believe to be positive effects of piracetam in the dream and imagination domains of my life. I find that many of the more complex problems in my life get worked out in dreams, and I am certain these dreams occur more often when I’ve taken piracetam within a day or two of the dream. Sadly, I haven’t kept logs of piracetam use and when the dreams occur; perhaps I should. The other area of my life in which I see results is in mundane and practical imaginative functions. When I imagine interacting with others I feel a stronger “presence” in the imagined interaction if I have recently taken piracetam. I tend to feel that the imagined interaction is a more accurate representation of how things would play out than I do when not taking it. I’d say that in this specific area that piracetam increases my confidence, which carries over into the real-life interaction.

      Heck, for all I know, piracetam’s relationship to my imaginative functioning is spurious, misattributed, or a placebo effect (which is still an effect). Many people think of smart drugs as a means of clarifying or speeding up thoughts, accomplishing more in a shorter time, or any number of superhuman things that piracetam can’t do. Among those with these types of expectations, most would be very disappointed in piracetam. One thing is certain: piracetam is not an amphetamine.

      Reading of other side effects people have experienced is somewhat troubling. I have had no ill effects from piracetam that I am aware of, but will be wary of any unwanted developments in my cognitive state as I continue my relationship with the drug.

      1. Interesting. It doesn’t seem in your case the benefits would outweigh the long term risks, IMO. I would experiment with other substances if I were you. Look at my toolkit for direction. I will soon start writing a book about how to increase intelligence, performance, health and well being, which will incorporate hundreds of “hacks”

  31. Just writing to thank you for posting your detailed account of your experience with piracetam / aniracetam / oxiracetam. It’s not for everyone.

  32. Very interesting article. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms you mentioned can be caused by any nber of things. I had almost the exact same symptoms before they found out about my mercury poisoning several years ago. I don’t know much about piracetam since I haven’t taken it yet but I do wonder if perhaps the negative effects could secondary to piracetam. Its worth considering that it could be caused by mobilization of toxins already present, increased susceptibility to toxins, or maybe a tainted batch (acute poisoning). Many common items like silver fillings (50% by weight mercury) can get overlooked as toxic sources and most people limit their perspective to direct causal links when a lot of problems end up being interactions between primary triggering events and secondary states which are usually hidden.

  33. Great article! So many positive and negwtive repots thst I am torn between whether or not to try piracitem or not. My reason for wanting to try piracitem is because or the last few years I have suffered from severe brain fog and memory loss, however with enough effort I have have been able to excel in all of my classes.

    I am entering Engineering next fall, and before I do I will have have to determine whether or not I’ll roll the dice.

      1. I’ve had awful problems with brain fog because of chronic orthostatic intolerance (dysautonomia) and other neurological issues. Of drug solutions, piracetam is the one that has helped me, and has helped me a great deal at times. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has helped prevent and/or repair some of the brain damage that I have accumulated over the years. IMO anyone with brain fog should TRY IT and see how it makes YOU feel.

  34. Very interesting post. You stated in your post that you have since then gone of piracetam and I would like to ask you a couple of questions in relation to this:

    1. What have you since then done to recover?

    2. Have you stopped any other supplementation? I would expect that you have a ”stack” of different supplements that you take, so was piracetam just cut and you continued to take everything else? (Omega-3, vitamin D etc).

    Really great post, I will keep an eye on your blog and come back for more.
    Sincerely.

  35. I’ve always wanted to try out Piracetam for cognitive purposes and I finally managed to find myself a tub of it during my stay in the US. I’ve taken just a couple of doses /4grams each/ and so far I’ve experienced some anxiolytic effects, I feel much more comfortable being in a social environment and communicating with people is way easier and even pleasant to me. However, yesterday I had a mixture of spelling errors which kinda made an impression to me. Will increase the dosage to a solid 5 grams every day or eod divided into two dosages of 2.5 grams each until I finish the bottle. I also train 3-5 times a week, mostly weightlifting and cardio exercises, my diet consists of eggs /choline source/, beans, cottage cheese, yoghurt, oats, fruits and veggies. On a side note, I’m really keen on supplements – I take liver/prostate support due to being on TRT to life, antioxidants, aromatase inhibitors, bunch of other stuff as well

    P. S. I congratulate you for creating a blog like this one, its very informational and constructive. I found it while researching Piracetam and I will definitely bookmark it for future reading. Greetings!

  36. I smell a conspiracy. I’m rational, intelligent, and my brain is my important asset. I attempted to use Piracetam and experienced headaches, muscle twitches, brain fog (mental tiredness), decreased organizational abilities, anti-social tendencies, confusion, short term memory deficits, and an increase demand for glucose, among other after effects. However, while on the nootropic I did experience inhibited my fear therefore allowing me to sound intelligent while making mistakes on the actual content I attempted to express. Spelling errors were common (dyslexia-like symptoms) and emotional detachment.

  37. Several people on reddit interpreted what I said to mean that highly intelligent people can’t possibly benefit from piracetam.
    Here’s my response:
    I never said anywhere in the article that smart or brilliant people can’t get smarter from taking piracetam. All I said was that highly intelligent people have more to lose than gain. The brain works well when it has the right balance. Highly intelligent people usually have a good balance in most parameters, which means that these people are more likely to tip the balance and worsen their cognition. For example, studies done with amphetamines, cholinesterase inhibitors and I believe dopaminergics that people on the low end increased certain parameters of cognition and people on the high end decreased in those same parameters. So most highly intelligent people probably have a somewhat well functioning cholinergic system. Taking more cholinergics at a certain point will make them perform worse. To a lower functioning person, cholinergics will be more beneficial and the dose response curves are different. This doesn’t mean that no highly intelligent people can benefit from cholinergics. Many can. Every body is intelligent in different ways and even highly intelligent people can use a boost to their cholinergic system sometimes. In addition, usually there’s a drawback to every substance, so even if some drug benefits cognition in one way it can worsen it in another. It’s very hard to detect small changes in one area or another. Again, my point is that people on the high end have more to lose than gain and people on the low end have more to gain. THEREFORE, I AM NOT SAYING THAT I AM BRILLIANT AND ANYONE WHO BENEFITS FROM PIRACETAM IS STUPID.

    1. No scientific evidence doesn’t mean there’s support against it. Either way, I specifically didn’t mention adrenal fatigue anywhere in the article for that reason. Even if there’s no such thing as adrenal fatigue, there is an accepted diagnosis of idiopathic adrenal insufficiency, where the body is incapable of producing enough aldosterone and other hormones produced by the HPA axis. If the theory is correct, piracetam may worsen the condition in susceptible people. I don’t say that it doesn’t benefit anyone. I just don’t see any legitimate scientific support for its benefits in the younger healthy adult population. So no scientific support that it’s beneficial and anecdotes that go both ways. My argument is that there are better methods for enhancement than piracetam and if someone wants to experiment with it then they should be aware of the potential drawbacks and pay close attention to their body. If people notice clear benefits then it’s something that they can have in their toolkit. My concern is that piracetam is viewed as the flagship nootropic and people take it even if they don’t notice anything from it because they figure it probably is making them smarter and they just don’t realize it. When I had negative effects from it I kept on thinking how could this be that everyone is raving about it and it’s making me really stupid…
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_insufficiency

  38. Took just one box of piracetam, like 8 months ago. At first didn’t felt nothing so no reason to continue. After 6 months started to have fasciculations on my left arm, then on the following month, random muscle twitches on the whole body. And I still have them, random times, everyday. And there’s a sort of increased brain weight sensation on my forehead, hugely annoying. I’m really worried that this wont go away :|

  39. I take piracetam but only 2g before study sessions, I do not take any choline because it is in the diet. My diet is optimal in terms of nutrtion, 4-5 servings of herrings per week, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cheese, my exercise includes 40 minutes of running 3-4 days a week. I can’t find any sympathy with your symptoms.

  40. Piracetam has done wonders for me. I’ve never noticed the negative effects reported here. I take it in addition to other things, and live with a healthy, low-carb, high-fat diet with much intermittent fasting and I believe this puts my mind in a chronic optimal state. I avoid neurotoxins like monosodium glutamate and simple carbohydrates that cause me fatigue during the day.

    As for studies, yes, they’re very mixed. There’s so much contradictory information and positive and negative reports on piracetam use that it’s hard to recommend it to anyone who hasn’t found the benefit of it for themselves. Not to mention the dubious nature of certain sellers online.

    The individuals who give many of the negative reports seem to live less than optimally, and take strange dosages.

    For me, I take the 4.8g dosage just when I need an extra kick to my stack for the day. I did a write-up on it here:
    http://www.pillscout.com/2013/06/17/your-piracetam-dosage-is-wrong/

    Subjectively this dosage is the most powerful for me, and has the most noticeable effects. Combined with caffeine it seems to be great for focused work. With theanine and less caffeine it seems to facilitate learning.

    Beta waves are good for concentrated, higher thinking but aren’t meant for sustained bouts of thought. Alpha is optimal for intuitive and creative thinking, formulating new ideas and learning as they bridge the gap between lobes.

    I’m curious about the adrenal strain purportedly caused by piracetam which you mention here. Is this a verified effect?

    Anyway, I look forward to your future post about mitigating piracetam’s potential negative effects, I want to see if your recommendations are congruent with what I’ve been doing all along.

    1. Verified? No. But a plausible theory with some science behind it, as well as my observations and personal experiences. I know what adrenal stressors feel like and I’d put money down that it’s an adrenal stressor. This doesn’t mean that because it stresses the adrenals it shouldn’t be used by anyone. Caffeine stresses the adrenals and yet coffee is a great productivity enhancer for many, though caffeine doesn’t put me or anyone I know in a fog. It’s stressing the adrenals in some other way than caffeine and induces a fog right away for people who are sensitive and in the long term it seems the majority of people get it.. Overall, though, there seems to be much better options out there for cognitive enhancement than piracetam. It should be very low on the totem pole of enhancers, IMO.

      Aldosterone receptors are involved in the mediation of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2149831
      Adrenalectomy, corticosteroid replacement and their importance for drug-induced memory-enhancement in mice.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1314083

      Best,
      Selfhacked

      1. Hi,

        Thanks so much for taking time to put this all together. I just went on a web surfing spree for the past 3 hours researching this stuff. I’m thankful that i came across your blog.

        Question: what are the better options out there for cognitive enhancements?

        Thanks!

        1. Anything I talk about is way more effective. Take for example PQQ, LLLT, Gynostemma, Kombucha, Tea and many others…. I’m in the process of placing ads around the site that only show things that I am taking and at the most cost effective price I can find them at on amazon. So look around. I do make a tiny percentage on it, but research and writing takes time…and the more I can support myself the more research and writing I can do.

          Best,
          Joe

  41. Piracetam has no effect on my intelligence or perception. I did experience some brain fog the first time I took it. The benefit for me is that it almost completely eliminates anticipatory anxiety ahead of meetings, parties and so on, which is a big deal to someone with deep-seated and hardwired social anxiety. I now take 1,6 grams of Nootropil ahead of social events. It helps me relax before the event starts, makes me more sociable during the event, and eliminates the crash of exhaustion I used to experience about two hours into any intense social interaction.
    It also makes me talk easier. For me, Piracetam/Nootropil is a fine anxiolytic, but I assume that puts me in a tiny minority.

    1. Piracetam works well as an anxiolytic, but people who are anxious are also much more likely to have adrenal problems. This means you’re taxing a system that’s already not working optimally. Pregnenelone may help.

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