Piracetam — The Smart Drug

What +600 human studies are saying about the enigmatic Nootropic

Jonathan Roseland
21 min readNov 19, 2022
Watch: Piracetam Decoded 🔬 What +600 human studies are saying about the enigmatic smart drug…

Two questions I get a lot from people who are new to Biohacking and haven’t yet tried smart drugs are…

Which smart drug supplements actually work and have science behind them?
Which Nootropic should I get started with?

My answer to both questions is the same: Piracetam

Although a few insights from my own extensive experience are included, this article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Piracetam and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of the Biohacking community.

Scientific Research

It has a significant body of scientific evidence behind it, over 600 human studies and academic papers are published about Piracetam on Pubmed.

Piracetam is the Godfather of the Racetam family of synthetically created smart drugs, they come from laboratories and don’t appear in the natural world. There are two important reasons why I spend so much time researching, writing about, and personally consuming Racetams:

  1. Significant body of research — The Racetams have been used in many clinical trials, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, and meta-analysis papers. Research is ongoing as well, at any given time multiple major universities or institutions around the world are studying the Racetams, in the past five years alone over 100 new peer-reviewed studies or scientific papers were produced.
  2. Iteration and public demand — The Racetams are evolving, with new derivatives of Piracetam being developed and experimented with, like Noopept and Sunifiram. This development is being driven by consumer demand from both the Biohacker community, voracious novelty junkies eager to try new smart drugs, and by those dealing with cognitive decline, who need them to combat aging and maintain their dignity.

Memory Enhancer

A significant objective of Biohacking is maintaining, training, and upgrading memory. Which our capacity to live productive, happy lives completely depends upon. In this aim, I believe the commercial popularity of Piracetam, demonstrates that it is likely a worthwhile tool.

That’s kind of some funnily worded, indecisive language to use, isn’t it? As one pours over the studies and papers published about this smart drug, it’s clear that scientific research is mainly done for sick people trying to get well, not healthy people trying to get an unfair competitive advantage to kick ass in life. The ROI for the universities and scientific institutions is in treating aging diseases, not increasing productivity and as a result, the published literature is littered with inconclusive statements about Piracetam’s dubious value to healthy people.
However, a number of anecdotal experiences speak in grand terms to Piracetam’s capacity as a transformative upgrade tool for the memories of otherwise healthy, young people. It has an uncanny, yet frequently reported effect of bringing back once-forgotten memories, both good and bad. One Biohacker reported:

“I as well find Piracetam gives me access to more of my memory. One of it’s wonderful effects. Great for writing a paper or doing any sort of creating and for just a general feeling of intellectual enhancement. Imagine more of your memory stores into conscious awareness! That is an amazing thing! If it brings bad memories up, just gives one a chance to work-through some stuff that is in the background of the mind and effecting one in some way, which is a good, enriching, rewarding process to go through”

Another self-experimenter agreed:

“I have also had a FLOOD of memories reintroduced to my consciousness since taking piracetam. The memories are good, neutral, and bad. It a very strange, but interesting experience. I recently had a flood of memories and emotions of a childhood daycare experience.”

On the darker side of the spectrum, a PTSD sufferer reported:

“…when I take piracetam all the bad memories seem to find there way back into my head especially a night right before I go to sleep. Its tough to deal with, but the benefits are so good that not taking piracetam is a hard thing to do.”

Getting back into the published research data…

A noteworthy meta-analysis was published in 2002 which dives deep into the data of 19 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, totaling over 1400 human participants. To quote the abstract:

…the results of this analysis provide compelling evidence for the global efficacy of piracetam in a diverse group of older subjects with cognitive impairment.

A placebo-controlled, human study of dyslexics and non-dyslexics stated

…It was found, using a double-blind cross-over technique, that dyslexics significantly increased their verbal learning by 15.0%…

The evidence that Piracetam enhances the memory capacity of the young and healthy is not as strong, however, a double-blind study of 16 humans found that a dosage of 1200 milligrams daily, produced a statistically significant increase in working memory and verbal learning after 2 weeks in healthy college students. Its memory-increasing effects are attributed to improving the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

There’s already so much written online about Piracetam, so I’ll highlight a few interesting findings from recent studies.

Improvement of Mitochondrial Function

According to a 2013 University of Frankfurt paper, Piracetam is something of a Mitochondria hack.

In previous studies we were able to show that piracetam enhanced ATP production, mitochondrial membrane potential as well as neurite outgrowth in cell and animal models for aging and [Alzheimer’s disease]. To investigate further the effects of piracetam on mitochondrial function, especially mitochondrial fission and fusion events, we decided to assess mitochondrial morphology…

Mitochondrial Nootropic

Head Strong by Dave Asprey makes the case that optimizing your Mitochondria is the ultimate performance-enhancing Biohack because your Mitochondria are the fundamental energy generation mechanism that underlies everything else. From the book:

Four different well-constructed studies show that piracetam improves mitochondrial function. In fact, I believe this may be one of its important mechanisms of action, one that is overlooked in most of its descriptions. This is one of the safest pharmaceuticals on the market, and it makes your brain and your mitochondria work better. (p. 288)

This entire book was written on higher doses of those two substances [Piracetam and Phenylpiracetam] (as well as every other supplement in the book!). (p. 288)

Stroke Recovery

A 2014 University of Münster study stated, in regards to cognitive recovery following ischemic stroke:

A secondary prevention with piracetam leads to a significantly better recovery of [event-related potentials] latencies…

Cognitive Enhancer

An extensive Italian review of Piracetam stated:

Cognition enhancers are drugs able to facilitate attentional abilities and acquisition, storage and retrieval of information… Among other classes of drugs, piracetam-like cognition enhancers (nootropics) have never reached general acceptance, in spite of their excellent tolerability and safety.

Verbal Fluency

One of the most noticeable side effects of enhanced cognition is verbal fluencyyou will become a bit more dangerous with your words, you may find yourself talking your way into and out of more trouble than you do usually.

It’s commonly reported that while on Piracetam…

  • I don’t have to reach for my words, they just flow
  • I don’t end up running out of things to say
  • My vocabulary improves
  • I’m less afraid to speak in social settings or in front of people

This probably explains why it’s so popular in lifestyle niches where success depends highly upon one’s verbal abilities:

  • Salespeople
  • Motivational speakers
  • Podcasters or internet personalities
  • Nightclub promoters
  • Pickup artists

Vs Cognitive Decline

A German study of 78 elderly subjects stated:

The effect of piracetam therapy with different dosages was studied in a double blind trial against placebo on its effect in psychoorganic syndrome of old age… showed statistically significant differences between piracetam therapy at a dosage of 3 X 1600 mg per day and placebo…

A comprehensive Belgian paper stated:

A meta-analysis has been performed including nineteen double blind, placebo controlled studies with piracetam in patients suffering from dementia or cognitive impairment… the results of this analysis provide compelling evidence for the global efficacy of piracetam in a diverse group of older subjects with cognitive impairment.

A 2002 meta-analysis showed numerous therapeutic benefits to elderly people dealing with geriatric cognitive disorders and Dementia. A 1988 study also found that it had a measurable anti-aging effect on the brain of aged rats. Piracetam also has an inhibiting effect on brain damage resulting from alcoholism and hypoxia.

Vs Alzheimer’s

To quote the abstract of a double-blind, placebo-controlled French study:

Thirty [human] subjects completed the 1-year study… our results support the hypothesis that long-term administration of high doses of piracetam might slow the progression of cognitive deterioration in patients with [Alzheimer’s Disease].

Mechanism of Action

The research supports that Piracetam’s primary mechanisms are:

  • Increasing blood flow and oxygen consumption in parts of the brain.
  • Enhancement of glucose consumption in the brain.
  • Maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential.

There are some other mechanisms proposed in human and animal studies, like an Ampakinic effect noted by an Italian study. An extensive Italian review of Piracetam noted:

…piracetam-like compounds suffer from the lack of a common, generally accepted, mechanism of action; a condition which has precluded, so far, a wide acceptance of these drugs as useful medicines.

It improves the communication between the different hemispheres of the brain in addition to boosting the activity of the corpus callosum (the lower part of the brain that facilitates interhemispheric communication between the right and left sides).

What does it feel like…

Pleasantly intense focus, but at the same time an energizing sensation of optimism about the work ahead of one’s self and the challenges presenting themselves.

I would dare call it a more tranquilizing alternative to Ritalin and Adderall, I’ve used these popular ADHD drugs for nearly a decade and I’m intimately familiar with the “cracked out” yet productive headspace they put me in. Piracetam produces a similar result as far as productivity and focus, but it lacks that standing-at-the-edge-of-a-cliff feeling or subtle paranoia that has been a companion of mine for so long thanks to the amphetamine-driven mechanisms of action of popular pharmaceuticals.

Vs Modafinil?

I find Modafinil and Piracetam to create a pretty similar productive and focused mindset, although Piracetam imbues some more body energy due to increased blood flow.


First created by Belgian scientists in 1964, Piracetam is the original smart drug.

Vs Depression

This nootropic has also been shown to have a positive effect in addressing depression, anxiety, epilepsy, dyslexia, post-stroke aphasia, along with Schizophrenia, dementia, myoclonus, and cognitive decline following heart and brain surgery.

A 2010 study stated that it was better at treating depression than enhancing memory:

…It was also effective in the treatment of cognitive disorders of cerebrovascular and traumatic origins; however, its overall effect on lowering depression and anxiety was higher than improving memory.

A senior member on Drugs-Form.com noted in regards to its antidepressant effect:

“I definitely did notice that piracetam provided a mood stabilizing effect, and that I would be unusually upbeat despite stress. Negative emotions still occur, but it seems like long lasting bad moods aren’t as common”


The bad news about Piracetam is that it can be hard to get the good stuff; regulation has scared a lot of suppliers away from offering it, and you want to avoid Chinese-sourced Piracetam as it’s often tainted with toxic manufacturing byproducts. A preferred Limitless Mindset vendor, Swiss Chems, is now offering capsuled Piracetam, in a potent 800-milligram dose.

You should demand a clean certificate of analysis for any Piracetam that you order or consume, and Chinese COAs are often faked — look for COAs from accredited American or European labs.

Nootropil is the brand of pure pharmaceutical Piracetam trusted by elite self-experimenters and anti-aging researchers. You can get it reliably from RUPharma in Russia, it’s highly recommended that you order with cryptocurrency — they ship discretely to a number of countries.

Powdered Piracetam is offered by NewMind.com, BioNootropics.com, and NootropicSource.com.

Downloadable Piracetam?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical — a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the supplement that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory — which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device…

Infocueticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you’re skeptical of Infopathy that’s understandable, it’s a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I’d urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction…

Access Piracetam Infoceutical

Drug Names

Piracetam is sold under a variety of names worldwide: Nootropyl, Nootropil, Lucetam, Oikamid, Geratam, Biotropil, Breinox, Dinagen, and Noostan.

Piracetam Non-Responders?

Some will try Piracetam, get a nice productivity buzz for a few hours that’s comparable to a cup or two of coffee but when they try to push the dosage up they get headaches, brain fog, or run into a tolerance curve quickly. The good news is that for the majority of people who try Piracetam, it has a significant, almost immediately noticeable effect on productivity, focus, and memory, indeed this is the reason it is the most popular smart drug.

The reason for this inconsistency is complex, Piracetam, while frequently sold as a supplement, is a drug with a range of very complex interactions in our neurobiology. The Piracetam rabbit hole goes very deep, yet unfortunately, most people who take it just barely poke their heads in it. To maximize its effect there needs to be several high-quality cofactors present in your biology. Piracetam, a choline source, and ALCAR are a favorite of holistic biohackers but there’s a specific protocol that should be followed…


Start taking Piracetam on its own at a conservative dosage of 800 milligrams once or twice daily and begin pushing the dosage up to 3–4 grams total daily or the point that you either start getting Piracetam headaches or it starts to lose its effect.


Then add a Choline source, at a 1:4 ratio (1 gram Alpha GPC : 4 grams Piracetam). This will potentiate the Piracetam and get rid of the headaches, you could even experiment with pushing the dosage up. If you can’t afford supplemental Choline, an excellent (and cheap) dietary source of Choline is egg yolks. Since you are probably taking Racetams at higher dosages, you are going to need to eat 4–8 eggs a day to get sufficient Choline, which is kind of a lot of eggs. Eggs are perfectly healthy for you but I prefer Alpha GPC because it’s also a cognitive enhancer.


Then add ALCAR at a dosage starting at 500 milligrams daily and push the ALCAR dosage up by 100 milligrams daily, some biohackers take up to 1 gram of ALCAR daily in this three-part stack. Remember how we said that Piracetam has these interactions with very complex neurobiological systems? One such example is the ACh system; our neuroplasticity mechanisms to learn and develop personally along with the peripheral nervous system throughout our bodies depend profoundly on this system. Since Piracetam dials up and puts increased demands on the ACh system without ALCAR supplementation eventually you will face diminishing cognitive enhancement from Piracetam. Some will start Piracetam and for 2–3 months they get awesome results from it, yet eventually, it loses its effect for them — they need ALCAR.
A 2013 Brazilian study investigated how Piracetam and ALCAR positively affect membrane permeability:

These results shed new light into… the mechanisms underlying the protection against [membrane permeability transition] and cell death by the compounds l-carnitine and piracetam.”


Over the course of a +15 page discussion, a diverse group of Biohackers has reached an interesting conclusion about Piracetam non-response. A Swiss study, Aldosterone receptors are involved in the mediation of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam, stated:

The blockade of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam resulting from adrenalectomy can be abolished by substitution with either corticosterone or aldosterone.

Another Swiss study delved deeper…

The fact that elevated steroid levels suppress the memory-enhancing effects of entirely different substances could indicate that these substances have a common site of action. In the light of new observations showing increased cortisol concentrations in Alzheimer patients, this steroid dependency of the effects of memory enhancers might explain why only a limited number of these patients respond to therapy with nootropics or cholinomimetics.

Aldosterone is a compound intimately involved with adrenal function, so Piracetam non-response is tied to adrenal dysfunction, a challenge faced by so many people in our high-stress, high-stimulus world.
The crowdsourced data on this is that as much as 88.88% of the Piracetam non-responders failed a simple flashlight-mirror-pupil dilation test, indicating low levels of the hormone aldos­te­rone.
In our diets, Aldosterone comes via Potassium, so beating Piracetam non-response could be as simple as supplementing Potassium or increasing consumption of dietary sources: Avocados, Bananas, Kale, Mushrooms, Salmon, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, or White Kidney Beans.

Following this process, over approximately 3–4 weeks, you’ll optimize your stack for your individual brain chemistry. I hope you will implement the Piracetam Protocol and won’t waste any more Piracetam and more importantly your time!

The cost of this stack is…

$40 Piracetam
$20 Alpha GPC
From $12 Potassium
Total: $92 for a 1–3 month supply


One of the reasons Piracetam is so popular is that it’s a pretty consistent experience, you can take it seven days a week and you won’t run into a tolerance curve, as long as you aren’t doing it at extreme dosages.

Post-Piracetam Intelligence Deficit?

Researching this Piracetam I perused hundreds of users’ reports and came across a statistically significant number of anecdotal reports of people who used Piracetam for a while and experienced some transformational benefits to their…

  • Verbal intelligence
  • Long term memory
  • Working memory
  • Mood and mental health
  • Energy and motivation

…BUT when they discontinued there was an unmistakable cognitive deficit, below what their baseline was BEFORE using Piracetam, this is clearly not desirable. 10% — 15% of anecdotal reports mention this Post-Piracetam Intelligence Deficit, so it occurs in a minority of users. I have a couple of explanations for this…

  • In many of the cases, people reporting this used Piracetam at excessive dosages for extended periods without breaks or cycling.
    No Choline, ALCAR, or Potassium. Piracetam does exhaust your ACh system over time, which is why in the Piracetam Protocol I recommend supplementing these three cofactors to nourish the delicate ACh system that Piracetam stimulates.
  • Histories of drug abuse and psychological instability seem to be correlated to those who report a deficiency of intelligence when they go off their Piracetam.
  • Poor self-knowledge or lack of mindfulness is probably somewhat to blame for some of these cases. People go on Piracetam and for several weeks or months feel much better and are more productive, then they go off it and their new normal subjectively feels worse than their old normal because of the new heights of brainpower they reached thanks to the smart drug.
  • There are a few edge cases where it sounds like the Biohackers used Piracetam responsibly and yet still experienced Post-Piracetam Intelligence Deficit.

So you might be asking…

So if I’ve NEVER used Piracetam before then I probably should NOT use it because it might leave me stupider than I was when I eventually have to go off it?

The vast majority of Piracetam users find that it’s a quintessential smart drug that improves productivity in the short term and their memory in the long term.

In my case, I’ve gone on and off Piracetam numerous times over the years. I can say confidently that my smart drug usage has improved my baseline intelligence in every domain, even when I’m off smart drugs. Most Biohackers that I talk to report something similar.
The majority of the respondents to these two surveys reported…
Survey on the Nootropica Facebook group
Survey on the Longecity forum

I’m smarter than I was before I used Racetams. Racetams have permanently changed my mind for the better!

What I suggest is that you use Piracetam responsibly and that you channel some of that extra brainpower it imbues into other activities that exercise your mind like…

These things will improve your mind alongside the Piracetam and will more than make up for any perceived or actual Post-Piracetam Intelligence Deficit. If you assume that Piracetam is a done-for-you-wonder drug for personal development and you use it alone, in extreme dosages, you may end up complaining about an intelligence deficit like some of these people online.

Addiction or Dependence?

I’ve cycled on and off Piracetam about multiple times in the past decade, it’s one of the least addictive things I’ve ever consumed. However, when you go off it there is a noticeable dip as you return to your cognitive baseline, similar to if you always drink coffee in the mornings, and then one morning you don’t drink coffee. I combat this dip with brain training, exercise, meditation, Nicotine, and coffee.


Biohacker Review: The Original Nootropic — Highly Recommend

Anyone who’s spent much time researching Nootropics has likely come across the godfather of smart drugs, Piracetam.

I personally need to do about 4 capsules (3400 Milligrams) to get that ‘Limitless’ feeling; where you feel very focused, intent on completing the task at hand, and slightly wired up.

I’ve heard reports that piracetam sometimes gets you a little too “wired up” and can even cause anxiety. I personally like that wired up feeling where I am plowing through tasks. I did however notice a few times when I was fired up getting a little frustrated with people around me who were slower than me. I can imagine that if you were taking Piracetam in high dosages daily and had a roommate or domestic partner who was NOT it might over time cause some social tension.

Make sure you are taking piracetam with a beverage or small snack. One time I was taking a couple of capsules on an empty stomach, I was super focused on what I was doing so I didn’t want to take a break to grab a glass of water or a snack from the kitchen. I could feel a mighty burp arising, when it came out I actually coughed out a white cloud of Piracetam in my home office.

There have been some scientific papers linking piracetam as being effective in helping people who are dealing with alcoholism. On the flip side though it increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain which means that hypothetically you will get drunk faster if you are taking Piracetam at the same time. A few weeks ago I was having margaritas with friends at the 4 Seasons, I did piracetam while having a few margaritas and was quickly in no state to drive home. So my experience would seem to confirm this hypothesis. Which ironically also makes piracetam something of a party favor.

It’s cheaper than some other nootropics cocktails out there which produce the same or less mindpower results. For the productivity and focus buzz, it gives you it’s certainly more economical than visiting a coffee shop daily or an energy drink habit.

Brain training on Piracetam

The taste of the powder is pretty bad. A friend remarked that it tastes like Cocaine mixed with dried paint, but it’s surprisingly consumable as far as smart drugs go. It dissolves uniformly in water in a matter of seconds, then you can just skull it. It’s a suspicious-looking white powder that you really would want to keep out of sight of TSA agents, border guards, or highway patrol officers.

Recommended Daily


Choline or Alpha GPC, are the classic Racetam cofactors, The Longecity.org crowdsourced recommended Piracetam-Choline ratio is 4:1

Vinpocetine is suggested by a 2013 Russian study of brain ischemia patients.

Rhodiola — A number of self-experimenters report that it has a synergistic effect on memory and cognition with Piracetam.

Potassium, a Swiss study suggests that Potassium will potentiate the effects of the Racetams. Which is easy to test because of how easy it is to up the Potassium in one’s diet by eating a little more spinach or white beans. I got into an interesting discussion about this on Longecity.

L-Carnitine, a 2013 Brazilian study investigated how Piracetam and L-CARNITINE positively affect membrane permeability:

These results shed new light into… the mechanisms underlying the protection against [membrane permeability transition] and cell death by the compounds l-carnitine and piracetam.

Side Effects

The abstracts of the large-scale studies done on Piracetam, consistently mention its excellent tolerability and lack of negative side effects. For example, a Belgian 12-week clinical trial of over 900 human subjects were administered 24 grams daily, it found no adverse effects of Piracetam or toxicity.

It has no LD50, the measure of a given substance that you need to give a rat to kill it, you don’t need to give a rat much caffeine or amphetamines before it will drop dead due to the toxicity of these substances. In the case of Piracetam, the toxicity is so low they were able to pump the stomachs of the rats full and they didn’t die.

The most common side effects are headaches, which in the vast majority of cases can be addressed by

  • Lowering the Piracetam dosage
  • Increasing your ACh precursor intake — Racetams can cause headaches when taken in high dosages since they deplete the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, this is fixed by increasing choline intake.
  • Addressing the Aldosterone potentiation issue explained above

Other reported side effects are increased libido, and hypersexuality — doesn’t sound that bad to me!

Conflicts: Alcohol, Piracetam is one smart drug that you don’t want to drink on. It increases blood flow to the brain, so you can expect to get drunk a whole lot easier. I once had four stiff margaritas on a date, while dosed on over four grams of Piracetam, I got drunk and made an ass of myself — sorry Kendra!

Originally published on LimitlessMindset.com. I’m not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I’m a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinking. You should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset — spend over $150 and you’ll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.



Jonathan Roseland

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