Nootropics expert, reviewer: DF Seldon, MS
Efficacy rating: A
Risk/benefit rating: A
Benefits of Piracetam
Piracetam is a derivative of gamma-Aminobutyric acid. In much of Europe, it is a prescription medication. It is mainly indicated for myoclonus, sudden muscle jerks characteristic of various neurological disorders. It is prescribed off-label for dementia, depressive disorders, and vasospasms. It appears to improve microcirculation in the brain, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Piracetam is thought to improve cognition and is used by biohackers, ambitious career-focused people in places like Silicon Valley, and even students looking to get an edge in learning and self-improvement.
How does it work?
- Positive Allosteric Modulator of the AMPA receptor (a glutamate receptor implicated in learning and mood)
- Modulates ion carriers and ion channels resulting in improved excitability of neurons
- Improves blood flow in the body
- Improves microcirculation
- Improves blood flow to the brain
- Decreases platelet aggregation, reducing the damage of narrowed blood vessels
- Improves muscarinic acetylcholine function, improving memory
- Modulates NMDA glutamate receptors, improving memory
- Does not act as a sedative or stimulant
- May make cell membranes more able to let information through
- Increases oxygen consumption in the neurons
- May improve energy creation in the mitochondria
How to use instruction:
Adults take 1.6 grams to 9.6 grams per day as prescribed by a doctor. Note, this is the prescription dose for various illnesses.
When people take piracetam as a nootropic the usual doses tend to be from 1.2 to 4.8 grams, similar to the dose range for gabapentin, another GABA derivative. Biohackers take this in as much as 3 divided doses.
The Phenylpiracetam dose is about 100 mg to 600 mg.
|Piracetam Nootropic Uses|
Piracetam has no known severe, dangerous interactions, nor are severe effects known to occur in overdose.
Need to buy piracetam powder?
If you’re not looking for the prescription form and want to buy in bulk, many nootropics companies sell it. There is a rumor that companies in the US do not sell it, which we cannot verify. In any case, forms of piracetam are widely available in the US. Often it is sold in the form of phenylpiracetam. Top vendors like Nootropics Depot, Pure Nootropics, and Newmind.com boast piracetam sales. Below, we spotlight an up and coming vendor, Limitless Life Nootropics.
Limitless Life Nootropics
LLN is a company sells phenyl-piracetam for research purposes. It is not sold as a dietary supplement. This is, therefore, something you would give to a lab rat to test stress tolerance.
Request lab reports for each batch online.
Phenylpiracetam vs piracetam
The difference between phenylpiracetam and piracetam is the addition of a phenyl group. This makes phenylpiracetam considerably stronger and needing a far lesser dosage. It also creates a stimulating effect which can cause some negative side effects such as insomnia which is less likely from piracetam. Phenylpiracetam may have a higher incidence of side effects than piracetam. It has also been less studied. Therefore, even though it is very similar to piracetam, we would say the risk profile may be in the medium range, whereas risk from regular piracetam seems to be low.
Side effects of piracetam
- clinical depression
- weight gain
There are no further known piracetam side effects long term. Incidences of side effects, in general, appears to be low.
Serendipitous Side Effects
- Increased Libido
- Keeps you up to study, aka insomnia
Forms, Combinations, and Related Compounds
Piracetam, prescription capsules
Piracetam, nootropic capsules
Piracetam, nootropic powder
Phenylpiracetam, bulk powder
What to combine it with?
What other nootropics are similar?
- Pramiracetam (check back for pramiracetam reviews)
Social Media Wisdom
Phenylpiracetam dosage Reddit
This Reddit user claims to have gotten a significant, stimulant-like boost from divided doses of phenylpiracetam which totaled 700 mg in a day, slightly above the usual 600 mg cut off. Note that phenylpiracetam is more stimulating than piracetam so if you have anxiety disorders, you may not appreciate this effect. However, both forms have been shown to improve performance under stress, therefore even if anxiety is present, performance may still get a boost.
This is a common sentiment when first using a racetam. You have to experiment with dosages and also remember that it’s best for performance under stress. Also, it may take a few days to notice effects. It’s often not something that you just take and it works like a psychotropic drug.
The biggest factor in how much unknown side effects and risks come with a substance is how long has it been in use. We use the following questions to evaluate the risk.
Overall Risk: Low
Less risky than phenibut.
Riskier than GABA supplements.
Phenylpiracetam may carry greater risk than piracetam. It is more stimulating, has more side effects, and fewer studies have been done on it.
|This is suitable for low risk, medium risk, and high-risk biohacker.|
|How long have humans used this substance?||Piracetam appears to have been first used for epilepsy in the 1950s.|
|Did animals Co-evolve with the substance?||No, but it is derived from gamma-Aminobutyric acid, present in the brain and gut.|
|Did humans co-evolve with the substance?||No. See above.|
|How synthetic is it? How much has it been altered from a natural substance?||Piracetam
We would say it’s at a medium level of synthetics, pending consultation with a pharmacological chemist.
|How long as it been on the market?||Nearly 70 years. Side effects should be well known.|
|What do post-clinical reports say?||No severe side effects appear to have been reported over decades of long-term medical use.|
|Is it used medically?||Yes, it is a medication for myoclonus.|
|Are side effects severe?||No, see the side effects section.|
|Is it easy to overdose?||No. Overall there appear to be no significant piracetam dangers.|
Pros and Cons
Can help you study
May improve physical endurance
|Can cause agitation
Can cause insomnia
Phenylpiracetam has not been as well-studied as piracetam
Phenylpiracetam side effects are not well known
Piracetam ambiguous legal status in the US may make it difficult to get a standardized, regulated product
You may have to get bitcoins to buy it cheaply
Q: Do I take the same dose of phenylpiracetam as I would piracetam?
A: No. Doses for phenylpiracetam are significantly lower, generally by about half. You would not want to exceed a dose of 600 mg for phenylpiracetam. For piracetam, you can take from 1.2 to 4.8 grams.
Q: I have powder. How do I weigh it?
A: You need to get a scale that can weigh in milligrams. Also, see if your vendor will provide scoops for which they can give you an estimate of how much powder fills a scoop. Once you find that out, you can dose using the scoop, or you can put your powder into capsules which can be purchased very cheaply online.
Q: Which one is better, phenylpiracetam or piracetam?
A: They are equivalent. Piracetam is generally safer due to being better studied and on the market longer. Phenylpiracetam is more potent and more stimulant-like but comes with unknown risks.
Q: Will it make me high?
Piracetam is one of the first products people come across when looking for something to boost their mental function. They pair it with choline to get a boost in mental clarity. Often, they move on due to not getting enough positive effects or noticeable effects. Piracetam is not something that is very noticeable, like modafinil. It helps you perform better under stress, so if you’re not under stress, you may not notice benefits. However, if you have brain fog or other assaults to the brain or are recovering from a stroke, then benefits will be more apparent. Therefore, in general, a healthy, young mind, not under much stress may not notice much from this product. This might be something that would best be taken if you are participating in sports or losing sleep due to studying for finals.
Compared to modafinil, piracetam does not have as noticeable an effect. No effect may be noticed in a healthy person who is not under stress. But under conditions of stress, it will preserve and protect brain function in ways modafinil cannot. Therefore, this is a good nootropic to take during times of physical and mental stress. If you are working out hard, they have to study hard and perform on the job, piracetam will protect and preserve your brain function. You will have a clarity of thought which you would otherwise lose to fatigue. Also, unlike modafinil, piracetam is not overstimulating so it can possibly be used by people with anxiety disorders while modafinil may cause panic attacks in susceptible persons. Phenylpiracetam is also more likely to cause panic in a susceptible person but still functions as something of an adaptogen, making you stronger under stress. So, instead of giving you a boost, piracetam will instead preserve your brain function against assaults from stress. If your brain is already functioning well and there is no stress, you may not notice an effect, but you will be able to go out there and perhaps take on a little more since you now have the ability to perform better under stress. You might be able to make a bit more gains in the gym without losing your ability to focus on fatigue and soreness.
If you use alcohol, piracetam may help you recover from the damage alcohol does to the brain. Aniracetam, a cousin to piracetam may be most potent in this regard, but piracetam will also protect the brain from alcoholic damage. You may recover sooner from a drinking session and you may get less drunk if you use piracetam beforehand. If you have brain fog of unknown cause also, piracetam may help give you a new clarity of thought. This mild boost in performance adds up to extra productivity and income very quickly. You end up losing less time to fatigue and lack of motivation. It literally adds hours to your day.
- 1 Benefits of Piracetam
- 2 Prescription form
- 3 Vendor Spotlight:
- 4 Phenylpiracetam vs piracetam
- 5 Side effects of piracetam
- 6 Serendipitous Side Effects
- 7 Forms, Combinations, and Related Compounds
- 8 Social Media Wisdom
- 9 Risk Analysis
- 10 Pros and Cons
- 11 Q&A
- 12 Conclusion