Piracetam (with chemical name 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine-acetamide and trade name nootropil), more colloquially referred to as “brain supplement”, “smart drug”, and “cognitive enhancer”, is known as the parent compound of the racetam family of nootropic supplements which are a group of synthetic derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA. For whatsoever grounds, this derivative works wonders for individuals with memory loss and also improves the memory of ordinary students and high performance individuals of all ages. According to a meta-analysis on human studies, piracetam helps improve general cognition when supplemented by individuals in a state of cognitive decline, such as the kind that comes with aging as well as provides a mild boost to brain function. Piracetam is considered as one of the most popular and commonly used nootropic drugs in today’s market.[1]


The ability to enhance cognitive functions, even in healthy adults has made Piracetam most popular among the people. Though the effects of piracetam are considered less strong compared to its more modern counterparts, it still remains a very popular choice as a well-rounded nootropic supplement. Though piracetam is extraordinarily equipped to support elderly with degenerative diseases, its immense health benefits attract any healthy individual to take this nootropic supplement. The health benefits of piracetam includes –

  • Improves cognitive performance [4]
  • Improves mood [5]
  • Enhances learning, memory, brain metabolism, and capacity [6]
  • Increases attention and consciousness [7]
  • Reduces depression and anxiety [8]
  • Hinders the decline of neurons in the brain [9]
  • Benefits cortical myoclonus [10]
  • Helps people with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia and vertigo [11]
  • Helps with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [12]
  • Reduces effects of alcoholism [13]
  • Helps children with dyslexia [14]

Recent studies demonstrate its neuroprotective effect and it was used during coronary bypass surgery. Piracetam can also be effective for hindering cognitive disorders of cerebrovascular and traumatic origins; however, it is interesting that its overall effect on lowering depression and anxiety was higher than improving memory. However, among the recetam group members, phenylpiracetam is more potent than piracetam and is used for a wider range of indications.[2]

How it works

Piracetam can improve the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine via muscarinic cholinergic (ACh) receptors which are implicated in memory processes. In addition, piracetam may have an effect on NMDA glutamate receptors, which are involved with learning and memory processes. Piracetam is considered to increase cell membrane permeability. Piracetam has also been demonstrated to change the physical properties of the plasma membrane by increasing its fluidity and by protecting the cell against hypoxia. It increases red cell deformability and normalizes aggregation of hyperactive platelets. Piracetam is an agent with antithrombotic, neuroprotective and rheological properties. The interaction of this molecule with the membrane phospholipids restores membrane fluidity and could explain the efficacy of piracetam in various disorders ranging from dementia and vertigo to myoclonus and stroke.[3]
In short, piracetam works in these four main ways. It boosts cholinergic neurotransmission, which may have benefits for general cognition and working memory. Piracetam increases oxygen and glucose uptake in brain cells, which may promote feelings of alertness and mental fluidity. It protects brain cells from some forms of damage and signs of aging. It helps improve cellular membrane permeability.


The side effects of piracetam are very few and usually of short duration. People who do suffer from piracetam related side effects usually note insomnia, drowsiness, agitation, and in some cases headaches. Piracetam is a substance that can interact with other general substances (for better or worse!).


Normally, the dosage recommendations are based on the users’ body weight, age, sex, and the reason for taking Piracetam. For the piracetam dosage, 40 – 100 mg per kg of body weight is normal with 40 – 50 mg / kg as the more common measurement.
For the common piracetam user, it’s better to take dosage between the range of 1200 – 4800 mg per day. You can take 1600 mg piracetam x 3 servings per day for a total of 4800 mg. However, you are recommended not to take 400 mg per day while at starting point.
You will get more information about taking Piracetam here.