Piracetam is a great example of a smart drug. It is a unique nootropic linked to a variety of health benefits. However, like other nootropics, the research on Piracetam is very limited, which means we don’t really know how exactly it works, the possible short and long-term effects of taking it, and the potential risks involved. Some people are already using it, though. We also have a few animal and vitro studies that have provided some data on the possible benefits of the drug.
Some countries in Europe are also using Piracetam to reverse some of the effects of dementia, Alzheimer’s, vertigo, dyslexia, and brain injury. In the US, Piracetam is mostly available as a dietary supplement.
How Does Piracetam Work?
The exact working mechanism of Piracetam is still not 100% understood. Clinical data suggest that the drug improves cellular membrane fluidity to boost the performance of brain cells.
Piracetam has been linked to the following health benefits:
1. Improves Brain Functions
This is the most popular benefit of Piracetam. Animal studies show that the drug can boost brain functions in several ways. First, data shows that Piracetam resolves the issue of brain cell membrane stiffness. Stiff cell membranes negatively affect the performance of the cells. When the brain cells don’t function well, various brain functions are also affected. Piracetam increases the fluidity of these cell membranes, thereby improving the performance of the cells and the brain.
Other trials show that Piracetam also improves blood flow in the brain. This ensures that the brain cells are nourished with oxygen and nutrients at all times. Nourished brain cells function optimally.
Most of the studies explaining the effects of Piracetam on the brain were done on animals. We do have a few human trials, though, and they all showed very promising results. For instance, one study looked at the effect of Piracetam on the brain functions of people who had undergone coronary bypass surgery (known for causing brain impairment). The researchers observed that the subjects taking Piracetam had better mental performance than the placebo.
2. Prevents Myoclonic Seizures
Involuntary muscle spasms make undertaking daily activities almost impossible. Studies show that Piracetam can relieve the symptoms of this condition. Some trials also report that it can improve symptoms of the seizure disorder called epilepsy when used alongside other anti-seizure drugs. It’s still unclear how impactful Piracetam is, particularly when used alongside other drugs, which is the case when dealing with myoclonic seizures and epilepsy.
3. Reduces Symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are characterized by poor cognitive functions that worsen over time. The patients start with minor forgetfulness, losing track of time, and other mild symptoms before they get worse, and they start losing memory, getting lost, etc. In the end, the patients lose their independence and are forced to rely on other people, even for basic activities like dressing and using the restroom.
Since Piracetam improves brain functions, scientists believe that it can also slow down or reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. In Vitro studies also show that Piracetam can protect people against Alzheimer’s and dementia by fighting the damage induced by the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptide.
Additional research is necessary to understand the impact of Piracetam on people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
4. Improves Symptoms of Dyslexia
This is a learning disorder where the patients cannot read or spell. Trials report that Piracetam can improve reading skills and learning in people with Dyslexia. Many of the studies investigating Piracetam’s effect on people with Dyslexia used young subjects aged 7 to 13 years. It’s unclear whether Piracetam can improve the learning ability of adults.
5. Reduces Vertigo or Dizziness
Piracetam injections can reduce dizziness in people with vertigo. Oral consumption of the drug may also reduce the frequency of vertigo spells in chronic vertigo patients.
6. Reduces Inflammation
Piracetam can reduce inflammation by providing antioxidant protection, which safeguards your cells and tissues against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It also improves your body’s natural antioxidant protection by boosting glutathione.
Other reported benefits of Piracetam are:
- Pain relief
- Reduces breath-holding attack spells
- Improves symptoms of tardive dyskinesia
Side Effects of Piracetam
Piracetam is generally safe, with many people using it without reporting any side effects. However, a few people may experience some adverse reactions due to sensitivity, consumption of the drug in high doses, and other issues.
Some of the possible issues are headaches, anxiety, dizziness, tiredness, depression, paranoia, diarrhea, increased agitation, nervousness, sleep changes, and drowsiness.
Piracetam may have other long-term effects that remain unknown due to the limited human trials.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid using Piracetam.
Piracetam might interact with other medications, including blood thinners such as warfarin. Make sure to consult a physician before using this drug if you are already taking other medications.
There is no standard or scientifically set dosage of this drug, so many people rely on anecdotal evidence to determine how many grams to take. With that said, the dosage usually varies depending on the reason for taking the drug. For instance, to improve memory and overall cognitive functions, most people use between 1.2 and 4.8 grams per day. People taking Piracetam for medical purposes, e.g., treating symptoms of dyslexia, myoclonic seizures, and mental disorders, use higher dosages, going up to 24 grams per day.
It’s advisable to consult a licensed physician before using Piracetam.
Piracetam is a very promising drug that is already being used in many parts of the world. You can find it under other brand names such as Lucetam, Nootropil, Dinagen, Myocalm, or Qropi. In the US, the drug is not illegal, but it hasn’t been approved by the FDA. You will also need a prescription to use this drug in some countries, including Australia. You should do your due diligence and check the regulations on Piracetam in your area before buying it. You should also be very cautious about the dosages you are taking.