Oxiracetam — Self Control in a Pill

This Racetam is renowned as a tool for preventing cognitive decline, promoting memory and enhanced powers of logic that would make a Vulcan jealous.

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Oxiracetam and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

The Discipline Molecule

I’ve been doing Oxiracetam for about 2 years now non-continuously and it has become one of my favorite smart drugs because, for me at least, it is the discipline molecule.

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There are other Nootropics that are better for…
Energy… Like Piracetam
Creativity… Like L-Theanine
Problem Solving… Like Phenylpiracetam
Stress Management… Like Adaptogens
Focus… Like Modafinil
Oxiracetam… is the discipline drug.
When I’m on Oxiracetam, I just do one hundred percent of what I know I should be doing.

In our modern age discipline is something most people would prefer not to think about.
Discipline is not very sexy or fun but it is the ultimate ‪lifehack‬ because if you have discipline you get to have any other thing you desire.

  • If you don’t have discipline, you are going to continually fail to accomplish your goals, you are going to feel like you are bashing your head against a wall, you are always going to be starting things but rarely finishing things.
  • Lack of discipline is a really difficult problem to self-diagnose, unless you have really honest friends, that really care about you, they aren’t going to call you out for your lack of discipline.
  • If you don’t have discipline then you don’t realize the value of it, you’ll talk about working smart instead of working hard, you’ll constantly be chasing new tactics and opportunities.
  • Finally, discipline is self-perpetuating, once you have some it’s easy to get more, but it’s really hard to acquire in the first place. I was lucky to come from a martial arts background and when I was younger I worked really challenging jobs that forced me to learn discipline.

The good news is that Oxiracetam is literally and figuratively a gateway drug to discipline.

Scientific Research

Scientific studies and papers have demonstrated and documented that Oxiracetam can both be used to treat neurodegenerative conditions in the elderly or give an edge those who already have high functioning memories. You can find 50 different human studies done specifically on Oxiracetam on Pubmed in addition to hundreds more studies on the Racetam family of drugs.

Although you can find +90 studies and scientific papers specifically on Oxiracetam on Pubmed, it is sometimes criticized as a smart drug for having a shortage of human studies.

A Logic Drug

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The racetam is reported anecdotally all over the Internet to aid logic, mathematics or spatial intelligence intensive tasks. To quote an insightful review of the smart drug:

“Sometimes ideas and concepts will come to mind seemingly void of emotion, meaning it is (apparently) easier to get to the point of the matter. This is a difficult concept to articulate. I can see a potential advantage in those cases in where emotional bias might otherwise cloud one’s logical reasoning process.”

Vs Dementia

Oxiracetam is chemistry’s gift to those suffering from cognitive decline, specifically dementia.

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Dementia is a saddening age-related condition, it’s most noted for its crippling impact on day to day quality of life along with robbing those afflicted of their memories. Both forming new memories (like remembering meetings) and recalling long term memories of life experiences. The good news is that it’s preventable and treatable. Improvements in the following dimensions result from Oxiracetam…

A double-blind Italian study of 272 people suffering from Dementia conducted by the University of Torino showed that those taking Oxiracetam had significant improvements in their cognitive decline as measured by the Newcastle Memory, Information and Concentration Scale. To quote the study:

A multicentre, double-blind, between-patient study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of oxiracetam… A significantly different effect in favor of oxiracetam was observed on the quality of life scale, and confirmed by significant differences in some neuropsychological tests

Participants of a Danish study scored higher on tests for attention, logic, spatial orientation and concentration. The study was on those with varying moderate degrees of dementia or ADHD at dosages of 800–2400 Milligrams daily.

Oxiracetam is demonstrated as more effective than Piracetam according to V. Gallai et al.

A High Altitude Hack

A recent study of 60 soldiers evaluated Oxiracetam as a treatment for cognitive decline resulting from operating at higher altitudes:

Cognitive impairment is common in people travelling to high altitude. People could still suffer cognitive dysfunction at 4,000 m high altitude despite that they have lived at 1,800 m altitude for several years…

It concluded

Both Oxiracetam and [fastigial nucleus stimulation] can reduce cognitive decline post arrival at high altitude. They could be a potential pretreatment method for cognitive dysfunction resulted from high altitude.

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Mechanism of Action

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It increases spacial learning and hippocampally-mediated learning by improving protein related processes in brain membranes. This is part of Oxiracetam’s purported mechanism of action, according to a study by the Institute for Behavioural Genetics at the University of Colorado:

…performance was also improved in contextual learning as determined by the fear conditioning task. The increase in spatial learning performance was correlated to an increase in membrane-bound PKC.

Notable mechanisms include:

  • Similar to Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, is an Ampakine that modulates the AMPA Receptor and promotes long term potentiation (LTP) according to a paper published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
  • Long term potentiation, is the foundation of memory, it’s the process of signal enhancement on a microscopic level between neurons. We rely on it for personal development, learning new skill sets, and much more.
  • It increases the neurotransmitters endogenous glutamate and D-Aspartic Acid which enable better signaling between hippocampal brain cells, according to an Italian study. To quote another Italian study:

Taken collectively, these results support the view that nootropic drugs act as positive modulators of AMPA-sensitive glutamate receptors in neurons.

Gaba Analogue

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It’s also a GABA analog, GABA is an important neurotransmitter to the function of the central nervous system, it regulates excitability in our nervous systems. Which has positive implications for Neurodegenerative disorders according to a 2010 Polish study, to quote the study:

To resolve this problem, GABA analogues are being designed. Over recent years, there has been increasing interest in the synthesis and pharmacological effect of new GABA derivatives, which can be considered as potent drugs in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

Acetylcholine Signaling

Oxiracetam has a positive effect on acetylcholine signaling but does not increase the baseline of acetylcholine.

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Acetylcholine or ACh, is a chief neurotransmitter of the mind and body, it’s a communicator between our muscles and brains.

It is used by the central nervous system (CNS), autonomic nervous system (ANS), peripheral nervous system (PNS), and the sole neurotransmitter used in the somatic nervous system’s motor division. According to a study published in Clinical Neuropharmacology, the presence of Oxiracetam increases the utilization of acetylcholine by up to 31%.

Sleep Latency

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Based upon EEG readings done by a University of Paris study, Oxiracetam does not hurt the quality of sleep but it does cause sleep latency. So it may take you longer to fall asleep if you take the smart drug later in the day. No effects of lucid dreaming are reported in scientific sources.

Vs Monoxide Poisoning

A 2019 Chinese trial injecting Oxiracetam noted a curative effect in the treatment of delayed encephalopathy after acutecarbon monoxide poisoning.


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Anecdotally, it enhances the experience of music… To quote a review on Longecity:

“I must agree that Oxiracetam enhances sound like nothing else. Those waves can almost be tasted on the tongue, inside the brain… more real than real…”

I can confirm this, even just a little bit of Oxiracetam makes music sound cooler, especially bass-heavy electronica.


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Capsuled Oxiracetam

Like other Racetams, it is created synthetically in a lab. It differs chemically from Piracetam because of a single hydroxyl. Oxiracetam is available in two formats

  • Powdered, the most cost-effective form. You just drop a couple of hundred milligrams of the white powder under your tongue and wash it down with a beverage (I like black tea).
  • Capsuled, while a bit more expensive, the most convenient form is vegan-friendly capsules which contain usually 500 milligrams. Unlike some Nootropics, I could not tell much difference between the effect taking it powdered vs capsuled.
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The important thing with selecting a source to get Oxiracetam from is to make sure there is a certificate of analysis or spectroscopy report that verifies that it’s above 97% pure and thus Pharmaceutical grade.

Taste and Aesthetics

Good news, it doesn’t taste as bad as the other Racetams, it’s reported frequently as being somewhat sweet.

The Red Pill Formula for Cognitive Capital

Pharmaceutical grade Oxiracetam is an ingredient in Caballo, the red pill formula for cognitive capital.

Professor Jerry Muller, the author of The Mind and the Market, articulated it best:

“…a period of growing equality of access to education and increasing stratification of marketplace rewards, both of which have increased the importance of human capital. One element of human capital is cognitive ability: quickness of mind, the ability to infer and apply patterns drawn from experience, and the ability to deal with mental complexity. Another is character and social skills: self-discipline, persistence, responsibility. And a third is actual knowledge. All of these are becoming increasingly crucial for success in the post-industrial marketplace.” (March 2013, Foreign Affairs)

The extinction of jobs comprised of rote, repetitive and unsophisticated tasks is a dire inevitability thanks to the aggressive innovation that our economy fundamentally relies on. In the past, those of low or average intelligence were practically guaranteed an unremarkable life of labor in a factory or a field, fast forward to the very near future and nothing is guaranteed. The only hope is to stay well ahead of the curve of automation. It’s time to invest in your own cognitive capital.



Since it promotes Acetylcholine but is not a building block of the important neurotransmitter, it’s a great idea to take with an Acetylcholine precursor like Alpha GPC or a Choline supplement.

Side Effects

Like the other Racetams Oxiracetam is a high return, very low-risk tool for a Limitless Mind. The most common complaint with Racetams is a headache if you do too much.

There are some anecdotal reports of irritation while dosed on it, the theory on this is that it is because the greater clarity makes one more aware of negative emotions.

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Originally published at www.limitlessmindset.com.

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸

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