Oxiracetam is a true cognitive enhancer that affects a wide range of cognitive processes, improving everything from attention span to memory, learning capacity, concentration/focus, sensory perception, and even technical/logical thinking. It also acts as a stimulant, increasing mental energy, alertness, and motivation. Studies show that it is safe and effective in long-term therapy, and there is even clinical evidence that it may even promote and preserve brain health.
Developed in the 1970s, oxiracetam is a synthetic derivative of piracetam, the original nootropic “smart drug.” Though its mechanism of action is similar to that of other racetam class supplements, oxiracetam is about 5 times more potent than piracetam. Its stimulant properties, which are similar to those of phenylpiracetam, are frequently described by users as both mild and smooth, without the feeling of agitation common to other stimulants.
Though it is best known for its ability to improve memory, learning ability, and other cognitive functions while enhancing alertness and energy in healthy individuals, oxiracetam has been extensively studied as a potential treatment for memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. The studies showed potential for therapeutic use, and there is even clinical evidence that oxiracetam can help restore memory, but it has not been explicitly approved for any specific use by the USFDA. Oxiracetam is currently unregulated in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.
Benefits and Effects
Oxiracetam is one of the most popular nootropics, well known and highly regarded for its outstanding cognitive enhancement properties and mild stimulant capability. It has also been proven to be safe and well tolerated even at high dosages, and its moderate cost, ready availability and “stackability” make it a must-have for many nootropic users. Some of oxiracetam’s benefits include the following:
- Improved Memory
Oxiracetam has been shown to improve memory in general, enhancing both memory formation and retention and exerting a significantly positive effect on the speed of recall. Users have noted that this function is particularly useful when taking exams or studying math or logic-intensive subjects, though it can be a substantial aid in the study and retention of conceptual and creative subjects as well.
- Logical/Technical Thinking Enhancement
While the overwhelming majority of users cite overall learning and memory improvements as major benefits of oxiracetam, a significant percentage of users also report that they experience dramatic improvements in logical and technical thinking ability. Some users also report that oxiracetam improves their analytical and reasoning skills
- Learning Enhancement
Virtually all oxiracetam users agree that the supplement makes learning faster and easier, and animal studies have shown this to be true. This effect may be due in part to the greater ease and speed of both memory formation and recall that the supplement creates, but it is also believed to be attributable to an easier and more fluid “thought flow” that most oxiracetam users experience.
- Concentration and Focus
Oxiracetam is well known for improving users’ overall concentration and focus, making it easier to “stick to” a subject for longer periods without waning interest or attentiveness. Though many racetam class supplements have this capability to some extent, oxiracetam’s particular potency in this area makes it a student favorite, especially at exam time.
- Sensory Perception
Many users report that they experience definite improvements in sensory perception when taking oxiracetam, with sounds seeming deeper and more complex and visual perceptions being more colorful with greater contrast. This phenomenon may be due at least in part to increased left brain function when taking oxiracetam.
- Increased Physical and Mental Energy
Oxiracetam acts as a mild central nervous system stimulant, increasing both physical and mental energy without the nervous or jittery feelings that amphetamines and other CNS stimulants may create. Most users consider this aspect to be among the supplement’s most beneficial effects, particularly when studying or preparing for exams.
How it Works
While its exact mechanisms of action are not completely understood, oxiracetam’s actions are similar to those of other racetam-class supplements, which enhance cognitive function by stimulating specific neurotransmitter receptor sites and directly modulating the production and release of certain brain chemicals.
Oxiracetam affects both the cholinergic and glutamatergic systems and directly modulates the release of their respective neurotransmitters acetylcholine and glutamate. Both are crucial to memory, learning, and overall cognitive function. This action is similar to that of other racetams, including piracetam, but oxiracetam’s effect is more potent and long-lasting.
It has also been shown to enhance neuronal communication, particularly in the hippocampus, by affecting lipid metabolism and stimulating the release of D-Aspartic acid. Both of these actions have the effect of improving neural signaling.
Oxiracetam is known to act as a mild central nervous system stimulant. This effect may be attributable in part to the fact that it is an ampakine, a compound that interacts with the glutamatergic AMPA receptors. Ampakines are classed as stimulants but appear to lack many of the classic adverse side effects, such as sleeplessness and feelings of nervousness, that are strongly associated with other stimulants such as amphetamine, caffeine, and methylphenidate (Ritalin).
Oxiracetam is a water soluble compound that is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, reaching peak levels within 1-3 hours of ingestion. It has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier within an hour of ingestion, and it has a relatively long half-life of 8-10 hours.
Oxiracetam is extremely well-tolerated, and no serious side effects have been reported, even when taken at high dosages. Nonetheless, it’s important for users to bear in mind that it’s a very potent supplement that should be used responsibly.
Recommendations for daily dosage vary considerably, ranging from 800 to as much as 2400 mg or more per day, ingested at intervals and taken in two to three doses. Though studies using higher cumulative daily doses have shown no adverse effects, it is always wise to begin with the lowest possible effective dosage and gradually increase as needed.
For most people, a daily dosage of 800 to 1200 mg split into two or three 400 mg doses would be considered both safe and effective. Oxiracetam is water soluble and mixes readily, so it can be taken in either capsule or powder form as well as taken with or without food.
While some users advocate the initial use of an “attack dose,” a high dosage designed to quickly build to maximal effects when starting to use a racetam-class nootropic, this is an approach that should be considered with caution. While high doses can potentially deliver maximum effects in minimum time, they also significantly increase the possibility of unwanted side effects such as headaches. For a supplement like oxiracetam, which is known for its mild but noticeable stimulant properties, very high initial dosages are even more likely to result in unwanted and unpleasant side effects.
Oxiracetam works exceptionally well as a cognitive enhancer and mild central nervous system stimulant, both on its own and in combination with other supplements.
It’s important to remember that when racetams are stacked their effects may be multiplied rather than simply increased additively, so it’s best to have a good idea of how each supplement individually affects you before using them in combination.
Here are some example oxiracetam stacks for some stack ideas.
Oxiracetam and Choline Stack
It’s important to maintain sufficient choline in the system when taking oxiracetam or any racetam-class nootropic, so it’s a good idea to include a good choline source in your daily regimen. Doing so will not only help maximize the effect of oxiracetam, but it will also go a long way toward eliminating headaches, which are the most commonly reported side effect.
Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam Stack
Oxiracetam stacks particularly well with other racetams. When stacked with pramiracetam, it can enhance and extend the powerful cognitive enhancement effects of both supplements and the mild CNS stimulation it provides can improve feelings of alertness and mental energy.
Oxiracetam and Aniracetam Stack
When stacked with aniracetam, which like oxiracetam is an ampakine, the powerful cognitive enhancement and mild stimulant properties of both supplements work very well together, with the distinct mood-elevating and anxiety-lessening effects of aniracetam creating an effect that users describe as mellow and pleasant.
An example oxiracetam and aniracetam stack may look like this.
One of the most interesting aspects of oxiracetam is its lack of documented serious side effects. Even when taken in high dosages it has been shown to be safe and non-toxic, and when taken responsibly it has an exceptionally low rate of side effects.
The most commonly reported unpleasant side effect of oxiracetam, and indeed of all racetam-class supplements, is a headache. Headaches are usually related to either high dosage or choline depletion, therefore, adding a good choline source to your regimen or reducing the amount of oxiracetam ingested can often eliminate the problem.
Users taking particularly high doses of oxiracetam have also reported temporary indigestion and gastric distress that was alleviated by reducing dosage.
Because it does have mild stimulant properties, oxiracetam could potentially interfere with normal sleep cycles if taken too late in the day. Side effects of insomnia and nervousness, while rare, have occasionally been reported. These effects can be successfully ameliorated by taking oxiracetam earlier in the day or adding aniracetam which has anti-anxiety properties.
Where to Buy
Oxiracetam can be purchased online via vendors that specialize in nootropics.
We recommend that you buy oxiracetam from AbsorbYourHealth.com, a popular source of nootropics due to their competitive pricing and high-quality products that are all tested for purity by 3rd party laboratories.
Oxiracetam is one of the most popular nootropics, considered by many users to be a must-have for use on its own or in combination with other supplements. It’s an excellent choice for students, researchers, writers, or anyone that needs sustained mental energy for processing information over extended periods of time.
Its benefits include powerful enhancements across the full spectrum of cognitive processes; it makes learning faster and easier, improves memory formation and retention, increases focus, attentiveness, and concentration, and is believed to enhance logical and technical thought processes.
Most users report that it also has significant positive effects on sensory perception, making music and other sounds more deep and complex and adding sharp contrast and definition to visual stimulation.
Because oxiracetam also works as a mild central nervous system stimulant, it increases alertness, motivation, and mental and physical energy but does so without the nervousness, jittery feelings, sleeplessness, and other adverse side effects that are associated with CNS stimulants. This effect, in combination with its powerful cognitive enhancing properties, make oxiracetam an attractive choice for studying or mentally taxing activities that extend over sustained periods.
Oxiracetam is known to be safe and non-toxic even at high dosages, associated with virtually no serious side effects. It works well on its own and in combination with other supplements and is considered by many to be a worthy component of any nootropic stack.
Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.