This month I will finally begin experimenting with Piracetam again.
I first began using it around 2009 and have used it for months at a time with very little issue. (I had Primaforce piracetam before the FDA sent them a letter!) 1 Instead of trying to dredge the memory banks for my experience, I’m going to see if I can discover anything else new about it and whether I should include nootropics in my day to day regimen again.
In this post I will briefly explain what this drug is, what it does and how it works, and why it might suck for some people (its disadvantages). On top of that I will explain my proposed experimental regimen for the following weeks.
The Granddaddy of Nootropics
Piracetam is known as the “granddaddy” of nootropics.
This is because it is the first nootropic drug, synthesized by Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB, led by Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1964. 2 In fact, Giurgea coined the term “nootropic!” Its primary application was to help people with cognitive degeneration, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Many studies for these applications have been undertaken with generally favorable results. 3
Later, several other similar substances were synthesized and discovered, known altogether as “racetams.” However, among them, piracetam is the best known and best researched. Coupled with its decades of safety and use I may very well consider it to be one of the best nootropics for beginners.
Piracetam is the first, best-researched and most well known of the nootropic drugs. For people who want to experiment with cognitive enhancement but want something tried and true, piracetam is the way to go.
Because it’s been around for so long, there are plenty of experience reports for piracetam on Erowid.org 4 and elsewhere on the web. Reading these actually first piqued my interest in smart drugs all those years ago, and made me wonder if cognitive enhancement with drugs was indeed possible.
The Disadvantages of Piracetam
Despite being the best known and having the best track record, piracetam is not without its faults.
For one, it requires a much higher dose than a similar and stronger nootropic, such as noopept.
A standard dose may range into the grams! Noopept by comparison should be only within the tens of milligrams, and absorption is reportedly improved with sublingual (under the tongue) dosing of the powder itself. I wouldn’t attempt sublingual with piracetam because of the required dose size and the unpleasant taste.
Did I mention the unpleasant taste? It tastes something like synthetic grapefruit rind. However, it’s not so unpleasant that I wouldn’t take the straight powder. Buying in bulk is fairly inexpensive, but if you are sensitive to tastes, you should consider putting your powder into capsules yourself or buying the capsules.
There are some reported side effects such as irritability, tiredness and possible brain fog, which can reportedly be mitigated with a source of choline. This is possibly because the drug improves acetylcholinergic neurotransmission. At the same time it is acknowledged that the exact mechanism of action of this drug is not fully understood at this point in time. 5
The Pill Scout Piracetam Experiment
For the following week, I will take a 750 mg dose of piracetam once per day. Yes, I am aware this is below the dose I mentioned in “your piracetam dosage is wrong.” I will not take any cholinergics (Alpha GPC) unless I see a need to in order to counteract any potential side effects.
If all goes well and I do not feel any pressing or urgent need to abort the experiment (brain fog and/or irritable mood not remedied by cholinergic), I will increase the dosage to twice per day and 750 mg or more (toward the target recommended dose of 4.8 grams), and if needed, take any cholinergics to balance out any side effects.
The goal of this initial test will be to determine the subjective effects of piracetam against the background of my current supplement regimen without any other change. Later, I will attempt some cognitive tests against the baseline I used for the CILTEP experiment last year. I will go the extra mile and use some blinding for this experiment.
(For the uninitiated, a blinded experiment means I will not know whether I am taking the real deal or a placebo. I will enlist a willing and competent third party. Any needed cholinergic will be taken alongside the dose.)
If all goes as planned, we should have some interesting and revealing results about this smart drug and whether it actually benefits me or not.
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