Summary

Oxiracetam is a potent and popular nootropic that has been shown to boost a broad range of cognitive processes,[1] from memory and attention span to learning capacity, concentration/focus, and even verbal fluency.[2]

It also acts as a mild stimulant that may increase mental energy, alertness, and motivation.[3]

Developed in the 1970s, oxiracetam is a synthetic derivative of piracetam, the original nootropic “smart drug.” Though its chemical structure and mechanisms of action are similar to those of piracetam, oxiracetam is somewhat more potent.[4]

Its stimulant properties, which are similar to those of phenylpiracetam, are powerful enough to promote alert wakefulness without significantly interfering with normal sleep patterns.[5]

Oxiracetam has been studied as a potential treatment for memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. Clinical trials involving aged patients with cognitive decline indicate oxiracetam may be useful in dementia treatment, and there is even clinical evidence that it can help restore memory.[6] Research suggests that oxiracetam is safe and effective in long-term therapy,[7] and may promote and preserve brain health.[8]

Though there is no documented research on oxiracetam’s effect on young, healthy human subjects, it is a popular nootropic believed by many to enhance memory, learning ability, and overall cognition regardless of age or cognitive condition.

Oxiracetam 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 offers a broad range of nootropic benefits, including the following:

Improved Memory

Oxiracetam’s potential as a memory booster is one of its best known and most studied properties. Both animal studies[9][10] and clinical trials on adults with age-related cognitive decline[11][12] indicate that oxiracetam can improve memory in general, enhancing both memory formation and retention and exerting a significantly positive effect on the speed of recall.[13]

There are no studies on how oxiracetam affects users with normal cognitive ability, but anecdotal evidence indicates that it acts as a powerful memory boosting nootropic, particularly useful to students taking exams[14][15] or studying math or logic-intensive subjects.[16]

Animal studies on healthy rodents appear to support these reports.[17]

Learning Enhancement

Both animal studies[18][19] and research involving dementia patients[20] indicate that oxiracetam can improve learning ability. This effect may be due in part to the greater ease and speed of both memory formation and recall that the supplement creates.

Concentration and Focus

Oxiracetam is anecdotally known for improving users’ overall concentration and focus, making it easier to “stick to” a subject for long periods of time without waning interest or attentiveness.[21] Though many racetam class supplements have this capability to some extent, oxiracetam’s combination of cognitive enhancement and mild stimulant properties make it favorite with students and others who need both focus and energy.

Enhanced Verbal Fluency

In studies on elderly subjects with primary or multi-infarct dementia, oxiracetam supplementation was shown to stem symptoms of cognitive decline with a particularly marked positive effect on verbal fluency and verbal learning.[22][23]

Neuroprotectant

Research suggests that oxiracetam may have a significant neuroprotective effect that could potentially block the brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In animal studies, brain trauma typical of neurological disorders was modeled by introducing neurotoxins known to impair memory formation. The studies indicated that animals given pre-treatment with oxiracetam were resistant to neurotoxicity.[24]

In further testing, oxiracetam was also found to alleviate blood-brain barrier dysfunction and protect against ischemic stroke in rats.[25]

Mild Stimulant That Promotes Arousal and Inhibits Sleep

Oxiracetam is a cholinergic, or substance which releases or responds to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and as such acts as a mild psychostimulant; in animal testing, it was shown to promote arousal and inhibit sleep.[26]

Studies also indicate that it may promote wakeful alertness by enhancing blood flow to and within the brain, improving energy metabolism.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29]

It has also been shown to enhance neuronal communication in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that regulates emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system, by affecting lipid metabolism and stimulating the release of D-aspartic acid.[30][31] Both of these actions have the effect of improving neural signaling, which is closely associated with enhanced memory, cognition, and motivation.

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,[32] 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).[33]

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.[34]

Dosage

Dosage recommendations for oxiracetam, based on human studies, range from 1200 to 2400 mg per day, split in two or three doses.[35][36][37]

Though studies using higher cumulative daily doses have shown no adverse effects,[38] it is always wise to begin with the lowest possible effective dosage and gradually increase as needed.

For maximum nootropic effects, oxiracetam should be taken one hour before a learning activity, and research suggests that it may be beneficial to take oxiracetam regularly for at least five days before peak performance is established.[39]

Attempting to bypass the benefits of regular usage by taking an initial high dose of oxiracetam is an approach that should be considered with caution. While the concept behind high initial doses is to deliver maximum effects in minimum time, there is no documented evidence that a single high dose will provide maximum benefits. High doses also significantly increase the possibility of unwanted side effects such as headaches.

Oxiracetam is water soluble and mixes readily, so it can be taken in either capsule or powder form, with or without food.

Stacking

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 individual effects may be magnified.

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.

1x-2x per day

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.

1x-2x per day

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.

1x-2x per day

Side Effects

Oxiracetam is generally well tolerated, and no serious side effects have been reported, even when taken at high dosages.[40][41]

The most commonly reported unpleasant side effect of oxiracetam is headache, which is true of all racetam class nootropics. Racetam related headaches are usually associated with either high dosage or choline depletion, so adding a good choline source to your regimen or reducing the amount of oxiracetam ingested can often eliminate the problem.[42]

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.[43] These effects can generally be avoided by taking oxiracetam earlier in the day or reducing dosage.

Where to Buy

Oxiracetam can be purchased online via vendors that specialize in nootropics.

We recommend that you buy oxiracetam from PureNootropics.net, a popular source of nootropics due to their competitive pricing and high-quality products that are all tested for purity by 3rd party laboratories.

Closing Thoughts

Oxiracetam is a powerful synthetic nootropic with a proven track record of cognitive enhancement backed by decades of research. Clinical trials indicate that it can enhance memory formation and retention,[44] increase learning ability,[45] and improve verbal fluency;[46] it is also a mild stimulant that has been shown to increase alertness,[47] and it has neuroprotective properties that can help keep the brain healthy.[48]

Oxiracetam is known to be safe and non-toxic even at high doses, and it is associated with virtually no serious side effects.[49] 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.

Though there are no documented studies on oxiracetam’s effects on young, healthy subjects, it is a popular nootropic with a strong following among students and others seeking sustained mental energy for processing information over extended periods of time. If you’re looking for a safe, reliable nootropic to give your energy, motivation, and general cognition a boost, oxiracetam may be one to try.

References   [ + ]

Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.