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Piracetam is a first-generation synthetic nootropic. It is a derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) used for decades for the treatment and prevention of various age-related cognitive decline, learning disabilities, and seizures. It is now used for the treatment and improvement of various cognitive performances, alcoholism, dementia, and stroke.

Piracetam helps improve uncontrollable jerking or twitching of the muscles, especially in the legs and arms due to problems in the nervous system. Piracetam is used in combination with other medications in treating cognitive skills. It is approved in many European countries for the treatment of aging-related conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and cortical myoclonus.

What condition does Piracetam treat?

Piracetam is a drug intended to improve mental performance due to:

  • Cortical myoclonus: Is a brief uncontrollable jerking and twitching of a muscle or a group of muscles due to sudden muscle contraction. The sudden contraction of muscles originates from the abnormal electrical activity in the brain. 
  • Aphasia: Is a type of disorder that results from damages to the brain responsible for comprehension and language. People with aphasia are unable to formulate language, comprehend, and write.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: AD is a progressive disease that causes symptoms like dementia, a continuous decline in thinking, social, and behavioral skills.

Other health conditions include:

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon: It is a type of medical condition that affects the blood flow in the fingers and less frequent to the toes, knees, ears, nose, and nipples. In Raynaud’s phenomenon, spasm of arteries causes episodes of reduced blood flow causing symptoms like numbness, pain, and discoloration on the affected area.
  • Deep vein thrombosis: A blood clot forms in a vein deep in the body.
  • Stroke: Stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain.
  • Tardive dyskinesia: It is a type of disorder that results in an involuntary repetitive body movement like:
    •  Sticking out the tongue
    •  Grimacing
    • Smacking of the lips
  • Vertigo: Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off-balance.

How does Piracetam work?

Piracetam is a popular synthetic derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA, a chemical that helps slow down the activity of the nervous system. As a nootropics agent, Piracetam can enhance learning, memory, and boost cognitive functions.

The way this medicine work is not well understood. However, experts believe that it works by improving the brain’s supply of oxygen or by altering the brain’s supply of neurochemicals such as the neurotransmitter, hormones, and enzymes. Below are some benefits of Piracetam:

  • It can boost brain function: It is not clear how this medicine can increase the brain’s supply of oxygen and glucose particularly in people with mental impairment. Piracetam also makes the cell membranes more fluid.
  • Protection against myoclonic seizures: This medicine may reduce myoclonic seizure symptoms that can impair the ability to eat, wash, move, and write.
  • Reduce the symptoms of dyslexia: Dyslexia is a type of learning ability. People who are dyslexic find it harder to read, learn, and spell.  Piracetam aids learning and comprehension among those with dyslexia.
  • Reduce inflammation and pain: The antioxidant properties of Piracetam can reduce swelling and pain associated with inflammation.
  • Reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease such as dementia: This medication can help improve the mental performance of people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and brain impairment.

What is the dosage of Piracetam?

The recommended doses for Piracetam are as follows:

  • Seizure disorder: Take 9.6 grams to 24 grams of Piracetam daily for up to 18 months.
  • Movement disorders: Take 2.4 grams daily for 4 weeks
  • Improve blood flow to the heart during and after surgery: Take 12 grams for up to 6 weeks. Start taking on the 6th day after the surgery.
  • Vertigo: Take 800 mg three times a day for 8 weeks
  • Mental disorders: Take 2.4 grams to 4.8 grams daily
  • Dyslexia: Take up to 3.3 grams daily

How to take Piracetam?

  • Piracetam comes in a tablet form of different strengths. The recommended dose is between 2.4 grams to 4.8 grams. Take it exactly as you are told. Do not take more or less than what is recommended or for longer than the required duration of treatment.
  • If you forget to take your dose, skip it and continue with the regular dosing as usual.
  • It is relatively safe for most people. However, if you have other medical disorders, consult with your doctor the soonest time possible.

What are the precautions in taking Piracetam?

  • Although it is a popular derivative of GABA, Piracetam will not work the same as the natural GABA.
  • Use this medication with care among patients with:
    • Decreased kidney and liver functions
    • Who is due to have surgery including dental procedures
    • History of stroke due to bleeding in the brain
    • Who are at risk of bleeding, blood clotting
    • Peptic ulcers
    • Elderly people
    • Blood dyscrasias
  • Do not use this in patients with:
    • Huntington’s chorea
    • Severely decreased kidney and liver functions
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Children who are 16 years and below
  • You must inform your doctor what medicines you are taking including herbal medicines, vitamin supplements, and those bought without prescriptions.
  • Do not take Piracetam if you are allergic to it or any ingredients in it.
  • Avoid abrupt withdrawal of the drug. Doing so may only worsen your condition.
  • Piracetam may trigger several unwanted side effects like:
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Headache
    • Diarrhea
    • Anxiety
    • Dry mouth
    • Dizziness
    • Weight gain
  • In case of allergic reactions, stop using Piracetam right away and seek medical help right away.

Costs of Generic Piracetam vs. Nootropil

Piracetamis an inexpensive drug for the treatment and prevention of various age-related cognitive declines and for improvement of cognitive performance among patients with dementia, seizures, movement, and mental disorders. It is cheaper than the branded counterpart Nootropil.  The generic Piracetam 800 mg cost $0.71 per unit price or $64 for 90 tablets. While the brand name Nootropil 800 mg cost $1.17 per unit price or 105.3 for 90 tablets.

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