Review of Piracetam – The Godfather of Nootropics

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Piracetam is one of the original nootropic drugs, first developed in 1964. It is the progenitor of racetam compounds, a family of nootropics known primarily for enhancing memory.

When supplemented, this nootropic has two important benefits on the brain. The first effect comes  the modulation of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which heavily involved in cognitive function.2] This has been backed up in EEG studies, where piracetam supplementation was shown to greatly increase brain wave activity.3

This can benefit cognition by improving neuronal communication, especially between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This often results in more abstract thought, and can be useful for creativity and divergent thinking. Additionally, suppementation was shown to increase  brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for higher-ordered thinking.

Piracetam appears to also increase the brains demand for  acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter primarily known for its ability to enhance learning and This effect seems to occur primarily in the hippocampus, the region of the brain that regulates information processing and memory consolidation.

Piracetam benefits both memory retention and recall, which includes working memory, short-term, and long-term memory.5 These memory-enhancements are further improved when piracetam is stacked with cdp-choline.7


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Piracetam Side Effects

Interestingly, piracetam is remarkably safe, in fact is it less toxic than vitamin C on the body. As such, it is a very popular nootropic due to its relative safety and lack of major side effects.


Piracetam Dosage

While there is no standard dose, the smallest starting dose is considered to be 800mg. Due to the relative safety of this nootropic compound, up to 24g a day can be taken without additional risk of side effects. It’s best to experiment yourself and find the best dose.

It is common for people to stack piracetam with a choline supplement such as alpha-gpc or cdp-choline, since piracetam greatly increases choline usage in the brain.






1. “Piracetam Material Safety Sheet

2. Piracetam Defines a New Binding Site for Allosteric Modulators of α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic Acid (AMPA) Receptors

3. Effects of nootropics on the EEG in conscious rats and their modification by glutamatergic inhibitors

4. Piracetam diminishes hippocampal acetylcholine levels in rats

5. The effect of piracetam on short- and long-term verbal retrieval in dyslexic boys

6. Effects of piracetam on the performance of rats in a delayed match-to-position task

7. Effects of citicholine and of the combination citicholine + piracetam on the memory (experiments on mice)



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