Oxiracetam: What You Need to Know About This Powerful Nootropic
What Exactly Is Oxiracetam?
Oxiracetam is a nootropic and a member of the “racetam” family. Nootropics (also called “smart drugs”) are drugs or supplements that improve mental processes such as memory, cognitive ability, focus and intelligence. The most widely used racetams besides oxiracetam are: piracetam, aniracetam, pramiracetam and Noopept.
Oxiracetam is different from piracetam by only a single hydroxyl group (see illustration below). Don’t worry, I am not going to go into great deal into the chemistry involved, but that minor difference makes oxiracetam more potent than piracetam.
Why Would You Want To Use Oxiracetam?
It is well established that oxiracetam is an effective nootropic, so enhancement of mental processes is its primary benefit.
Positive effects commonly cited for oxiracetam are:
- memory improvement
- enhanced focus and concentration
- an increase in sensory perception
- improved learning ability
- neuroprotective properties
Another effect of oxiracetam is its stimulant effect. This may be a consideration in choosing this racetam over others, as its stimulant properties may be desired.
The user reviews I have read online are overwhelmingly positive. Finding a reputable source and determining your optimal dosage is key to your results, but it seems for many, oxiracetam is their favorite nootropic.
Below is a YouTube video from a user who provides a thorough and satisfactory review.
How Oxiracetam Works
From my reading on oxiracetam, it seems there is no generally accepted method for precisely how it works its magic. However, there has been much research to suggest its mechanism of action.
In a nutshell, there is evidence it works like other racetams by affecting levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals your body produces to enable transmission of signals from a neuron (nerve cell) to a target cell.
For those of you who want to learn more about how nootropics work, I encourage you to read the many research articles available on the complex topic. There are several links to some great resources at the Reference page if you want to read more about research results and clinical findings. These publications were a great resource to me in my search for information about oxiractam and other nootropics. Be warned though. . . you might want to pour yourself a strong cup of coffee.
The Choline Connection
It is important to discuss choline at this point. One of the neurotransmitters affected is acetylcholine, and choline is the precursor of acetylcholine. All racetams can cause acetylcholine to be depleted, so for them to work best, a choline supplement should be taken with them. Supplementation with choline can also prevent the side effect of a headache reported by some users. Choline can be obtained through food sources such as, eggs, chicken, liver, cod, and milk, but to get the most out of oxiracetam and avoid potential headaches, supplementation with a quality choline supplement is recommended. The great thing about choline supplements is that they are also considered nootropics themselves.
How To Use Oxiracetam
When you first start to supplement with oxiracetam, it is important to determine your optimal dosage. Doses referenced for oxiracetam range from 800 mg to 2400 mg spread out in two or three doses throughout the day due to its short half-life (about eight hours). As with any supplement, start on the low side and work your way up if necessary. This is particularly important considering the stimulant effect reported by most users. It is also a relatively pricey supplement, so keeping the effective dose as low as needed will be great for your budget.
Oxiracetam is water soluble, so it is easy to prepare by mixing your dose in water or other liquid. Most report the taste is tolerable vs the other unpleasant-tasting racetams. While oxiracetam can be taken by just mixing it in water, I prefer capsules. Capsules are easily transported and they provide a way to get a consistent dose.
By far, the most affordable way to take oxiracetam is to buy it in powder form and make your own capsules. To be honest, it is a little time consuming at first, but with practice, you will become much faster. It can also be pretty messy, but again, that will get better with practice. You will need to make an initial investment of a capping machine and scale, but they will more than pay for themselves pretty quickly. You will also need to buy empty capsules to fill, but they are not that expensive. A gram scale is necessary to make sure you know what the actual dose is in your capsules. There may be some minor differences between capsules, but the capping device and scale will ensure you have overall consistency. Another advantage of capping your own supplements, is you can tailor the dose per capsule to whatever you want. Buying pre-made capsules is more expensive, but more convenient.
Potential Medical Uses for Oxiracetam
There has been some academic research (see end of article for references) with oxiracetam that indicates it may have some clinical medical uses. To me, the fact that oxiracetem, as well as many other nootropics, have been the focus of such research, validates that they are not snake oil.
Research with oxiracetam has focused on how it can be involved in the treatment of degenerative dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related cognitive deficiency, ADHD, organic solvent (paint thinner, model glue, etc) abuse, and brain injury following concussion.
Is Oxiracetam Safe? Are There Any Side Effects Or Drug Interactions?
Numerous studies suggest oxiracetam is an extremely safe, non-toxic and non-addictive supplement to consume at doses up to 2.4 grams/day even for long periods of time.
A side effect reported by some users is a headache (“racetam headache”). This negative side effect can easily be avoided by taking a dose of a quality choline supplement with your dose of oxiracetem. As discussed above, it is highly recommended to take a choline supplement (Alpha GPC, centrophenoxine, choline bitartrate, citicoline to name a few) with oxiracetam, so this side effect is hardly an issue. Keep in mind that some choline is obtained through our diet, so supplement with a relatively low dose and only increase it if headaches occur.
There have been the rare report of side effects such as anxiety, irritability and insomnia, but these seem to be uncommon and very short lasting. Keep in mind that oxiracetam has a stimulant effect, so it could be at higher doses that a few individuals may be more sensitive and have negative side effects.
The only drug interaction I have read about is with carbamazepine. It is an anticonvulsant drug used to treat many disorders including bipolar disorder and epilepsy. If you take carbamazepine (or any similar drugs), it would be wise to discuss possible oxiracetam supplementation with your physician.
Oxiracetam is a nootropic where its great benefits seem to clearly outweigh the small chance of experiencing a minor side effect.
Should I Stack Oxiracetam With Other Nootropics or Supplements?
Based on user feedback, combining oxiracetam with other nootropics or supplements can be very effective. However, if you are new to nootropics, it is recommended that you thoroughly see how you respond to one before combining it with other nootropics. Oxiracetam is a fantastic nootropic to start with, and the only recommended supplement to stack with it is a quality choline source.
Is Oxiracetam For You?
The positive reviews for oxiracetam clearly demonstrate that it is an effective supplement with regards to enhancing cognitive processes: increasing learning and sensory perception, memory enhancement, and greater attention span and focus.
It is also evident that it has a stimulant effect for most users. For some the stimulant effect is a wonderful thing and a primary reason they take it. For others, the stimulant effect is just too much or not wanted and is not worth the positive effects.
An important thing to remember is that oxiracetam, as well as other nootropics, can result in very different experiences among users. The best way to gauge your own experience is to obtain a quality product from a reputable seller and try it for yourself. Taking notes regarding your dosage and experience will aid you in adjusting your dosage to find what has the best results for you.
For many, oxiracetam is a nootropic taken every day with many positive benefits that has minimal, if any, side effects.
An online retailer I recommend to buy quality oxiracetam from in bulk powder form is Peak Nootropics. All of their nootropics are pharmaceutical grade and assayed at no less than 99% purity They even provide a certificate of analysis you can download. It seems they are often out of stock, so if oxiracetam is available you may want to get enough to last you awhile.