Piracetam benefit and side effects for mental enhancement by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
January 20 2016

Piracetam, a derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), has a variety of physiological effects that may result, at least in part, from the restoration of cell membrane fluidity. At a neuronal level, piracetam modulates neurotransmission in a range of transmitter systems (including cholinergic and glutamatergic), has neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties, and improves neuroplasticity. At a vascular level, it appears to reduce erythrocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium, hinder vasospasm, and facilitate microcirculation. Piracetam is sold under a wide variety of brand names around the world, in Europe it is sold as Nootropil and Lucetam
   In rodent studies, the piracetam like nootropics are capable of achieving reversal of amnesia induced by, e.g., scopolamine, electroconvulsive shock and hypoxia.

In the United States, it is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for any medical use and it is not permitted to be sold as a dietary supplement.

Medical and mental enhancement uses
Piracetam is used in cognitive disorders and dementia, vertigo, cortical myoclonus, dyslexia, and sickle cell anemia. Piracetam has neuroprotective and antithrombotic effects which may help to reduce death and disability in people with acute stroke, however there is still no proof that it is effective for this purpose.

Many people use piracetam as a nootropic supplement or mind booster.

Additional nootropic articles and information
Aniracetam nootropic beenfit
Oxiracetam nootropic research

Is Pyrrinol superior or better than piracetam?
   I have not seen comparison studies to know and I have not tried either one yet.

Piracetam and Cognition, mental effects
Piracetam prevents cognitive decline in coronary artery bypass: a randomized trial versus placebo.
Ann Thorac Surg. 2006. Department of Neurology, University of Targu-Mures, Targu Mures, Romania.
 Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) can be associated with postoperative cognitive impairment and ischemic stroke. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of piracetam to treat the cognitive impairment after CABG in an investigator-initiated, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Patients undergoing CABG (n = 98) were randomized to placebo or piracetam. Study drugs were administered intravenously (150 mg/kg daily; 300 mg/kg on the day of surgery) from the day before surgery to 6 days after surgery, then orally (12 g/day) up to 6 weeks after surgery. Six weeks after CABG, cognition was significantly improved in patients treated with piracetam.

Exp Ther Med. Feb 2014 Feb. Effect of piracetam on the cognitive performance of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery: A meta-analysis. Cognitive impairments are observed in numerous patients following coronary bypass surgery, and piracetam are nootropic compounds that modulate cerebral functions by directly enhancing cognitive processes. The present meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the protective effect of piracetam on the cognitive performance of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery. The relevant studies were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE, PubMed and the Cochrane Library up to June 2013 and the pertinent bibliographies from the retrieved studies were reviewed. Results indicated that piracetam may have been effective in improving the short-term cognitive performance of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery.

Q. Does your research group have more information about Picamilon and Piracetam? Do you think they will enhance cognition?
   A. It appears that piracetam does have a role to play in cognition.

Q. Do you have any opinion on piracetam? Are you planning to do more reviews of other nootropics any time soon?
   A. I have focused mostly on natural herbs and nutrients as mind enhancers, and not as much on piracetam or other nootropics. I personally have not taken a piracetam pill.

I was wondering what Dr. Sahelian's opinions on Pyritinol and Piracetam are, if he has any. In the case of Pyritinol, in particular I was wondering his opinion on whether or not it should be seen as an "as needed" sort of item or if long term use is generally safe with it.
    I prefer to take these brain boosters on an as needed basis as opposed to regularly. Long term side effects of daily use are not fully understood.

I am 33 years old and looking for cognitive support. I had Glandular Fever last and haven't worked for a year. I feel like, I have lost interest, not very motivated, don't think as fast and memory not as good as it it use to be. I think its a combination of having glandular fever and being at home. But I feel better after taking herbs glands are back to normal, don't feel fatigued and tired all the time. I have experiemented with nootropics and find these 3 help with what I lack at the moment. I would like to know if I can take these 3 daily are they safe? Centrophenoxine 250 mg, Oxiracetam 800mg and Huperzine A 50mcg?
   Long term safety of either alone has not yet been established, let alone taking them together. One option is to use the lowest effective dosage and to try to occasionally to take breaks or substitute other brain enhancers.

I cherish the extreme relief effect that I feel piracetam brings to my nervous system.