Is piracetam safe?
Does piracetam cause headaches?

What is Piracetam?

Piracetam 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] Piracetam supplements are more colloquially referred to as “brain supplements”, “smart drugs”, and “cognitive enhancers”.
In spite of being the most well-known and studied of all the so-called smart drugs, Piracetam still lacks recognition outside of the scientific community and current Nootropics users. So anyone who has never tried it or who has not had a chance to view the academic literature of Piracetam, might think of its dangers and safety about taking Piracetam. That’s why, the questions arise – “Is piracetam safe?” and, “Does piracetam cause headaches?” Let’s see what actually piracetam does.

Is piracetam safe?

Piracetam is an enormously non-toxic and safe substance which is believed to offer far more benefits for the brain than risk of any harm.[8] It is termed as one of the least toxic pharmacologically active compounds ever discovered and has a lower LD 50 toxicity score than table salt or caffeine. Many people take nootropics without paying any attention to the dosage because they have little understanding of how the drug works. Piracetam is considered safe because of the standard dosage recommendation. Administering extremely high doses like 8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (500 grams for 150 pound person) do not cause any adverse effects. This is a dose over 100x what is recommended without any negative effects.
Adverse effects are rare and of short duration limited to anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness and agitation. It may be safe for up to 18 months in humans at doses of 3.2g daily with one year-long study in ambulatory patients with Alzheimer’s using 8g daily reporting no side effects.[2][3]
Piracetam doesn’t cause any dangerous side effects; rather it may prevent them and improve the health of your brain.[6] Actually, piracetam changes your brain chemistry in such a way that increases activity in certain key areas. It is not known whether Piracetam enhances the effects of other drugs such as alcohol, Adderall, Ritalin, or Modafinil. As such, it should be avoided in conjunction with large doses of these substances. However, Piracetam by itself is considered safe and exceptionally non-toxic.[4]
Piracetam has been used for years as either an over-the-counter or a prescription drug in many countries around the world but in the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Piracetam as a drug to prevent or treat any conditions.[7] The FDA does not approve Piracetam because it is most commonly taken by non-impaired individuals to improve cognitive performance and it does not fall under the FDA’s guidelines of what qualifies as a drug.

Does piracetam cause headaches?

Yes, a very small percentage of Racetams users may experience unpleasant headaches. The headaches caused by Piracetam may last several hours after the initial intake or sometimes it can be very short-lived. Using Piracetam may also intensify migraines and headaches caused by some other stimuli. So, what causes this adverse side effect to occur and what can you do to prevent it from happening to you?
Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam together with Piracetam stimulate the Acetylcholine receptors in the brain. Acetylcholine is possibly the most significant Neurotransmitter responsible for many brain related functions as well as it is responsible for functions in relation to learning, concentration and reasoning. This acetylcholine is produced from our food at containing choline, but in so many cases, humans do not get sufficient amounts from just food alone. Evidence suggests that taking enough choline with Piracetam, may cause headaches to subside and or be prevented.[5] This is for the reason that Piracetam demands a high level of choline to be present in your brain when supplemented, without it, your brain will give you a headache.
In that situation, you may need more choline in your diet. Though choline is available in a number of common foods such as red meat, chicken, eggs, dairy, and peanuts, the amount of choline and the availability of that choline is usually low. As a result, you may need to use a choline supplement to increase the level. You are suggested to try stacking a small amount of any Choline supplement with your Piracetam powder. And 3 of the highest-quality Choline sources include Alpha GPC, Centrophenoxine, and Citicoline. You are also recommended to start your stack with the smallest suggested dosage of one of these Acetylcholine boosting supplements and then increase the dose until your headaches have ceased.

Final considerations

Piracetam is not a common drug to supplement in the USA, chances are your health care professional may not know everything about it and tell you to stop using it — as it is the safest thing for them to recommend. You can consider taking different ‘supplements’ like Noopept or Pramiracetam as alternative nootropics with similar results.