In the world of nootropics, the question of how much often takes precedence over how long, and proper dosage and administration is key to obtaining the required results. Piracetam, arguably one of the most commonly used nootropics, follows the same suit. Piracetam supplement is available in the market in pill/capsule, injectable and powdered forms, with each one having its own boons and banes. The pills are usually more expensive, but are readily available and precalibrated, which makes their use convenient. However, many people prefer to use the powdered form, due to a quicker onset of action, flexible dosage, favorable pharmacokinetics and better “kick” obtained from the latter.
Many novice users are often struck by the question: How to take Piracetam? Piracetam and other members of the racetam family are notorious for their bland taste which is more prominent in the powdered form. To circumvent this, many users advise taking it with orange juice to mask the taste. The strong taste of piracetam powder can also be avoided by packaging it into capsules using a digital balance and a capsule filling machine, both of which are widely available. The preferred mode of intake is via the oral route. Sublingually taken Piracetam may result in a quicker onset of action; however, no significant difference exists between the bioavailability of the supplement taken via either route.
Due to the water-soluble nature of Piracetam, it is recommended to avoid taking food within 45 minutes of its use. Most authorities advise taking Piracetam in three divided dosages per day. Taking Piracetam before bed has been known to cause vivid dreaming, and is often used in conjunction with galantamine to induce lucid dreaming. However, anecdotal reports have also related Piracetam with insomnia if taken at night.
The recommended dosages for medical indications of Piracetam differ from those for cognitive enhancement. For example, coagulation disorders warrant a modest daily oral dose of 4.8 to 9.6 grams divided into three daily doses at 8 hours apart for most effective treatment. For cognitive enhancement, long-term users recommend a dosage of between 4 – 4.8 grams (about 1 teaspoon), as much two to three times a day. Due to short Piracetam half-life of 4-5 hours and a duration of action of approximately 30 hours, many experts advocate a regimen comprising of a loading and maintenance doses. The loading dose, often referred to as the “attack dose”, involves taking a higher than normal dose for the first few days (e.g. twice the recommended dose for the first week), and then gently tapering it off to a regular maintenance dose. This is especially suitable for novice users, who may not feel the effects of traditional dosage schedules.
Usage of Piracetam leads to an increased utilization of the body’s choline reserves, in part due to the former’s action on cholinergic neurons. This may in turn result in a deficiency of choline in susceptible individuals, leading to symptoms such as headaches and nausea. This can be avoided by stacking Piracetam with choline. Choline supplements are available in different forms such as Choline bitartrate, Alpha GPC and CDP Choline (Citicoline). The last two most often preferred due to better bioavailability, and a ratio of 1 gram of choline for every 8 grams of Piracetam is commonly recommended. Apart from choline, Piracetam is often stacked with other supplements including other members of the racetam family (e.g. Aniractem), Noopept (another nootropic), modafinil (a wakefulness promoting agent) and Huperzine A (a herbal supplement). However, the decision of which Piracetam stack to use is often subjective, and differs widely among individuals. The bottom line is: use whatever suits you best!
Piracetam is an extremely safe drug, with a LD50 of 20g/kg in mice, and high dosages are generally well tolerated. No case of suspected overdose has ever been reported in medical literature, which itself vouches for its safety. Discontinuation of Piracetam has not been known to cause withdrawal symptoms, although some may report return of the diminished cognition from the pre-supplement days. Long term Piracetam usage has been linked with neuroprotective effects against aging. Tolerance is extremely rare, and can be avoided by cycling Piracetam with other nootropics.
The Piracetam experience varies widely among individuals as well as among dosing regimens. Most users experience enhanced verbal memory, elevated mood and increased focus at recommended dosages. In contrast, others may feel nothing even at multiplied dosages. Yet others may report occurrence of adverse effects with Piracetam usage. In short, Piracetam usage may or may not yield the desired results, and the optimum effects can only be extracted via subjective research and adoption of trial and error.