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 also prevents 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 if you do not want the hustle of making your own capsules.
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.
How do you determine the best oxiracetam dosage to take? When I first started researching this information for myself, it was a little confusing as it seemed the amounts people were taking were all over the place. I am going to try and clear up some of the confusion with this post.
Some Important Things To Keep In Mind
- One thing to remember is that there is not one exact oxiracetam dosage that is right for everyone. You are going to have to do a little experimentation to figure out the best amount for you.
- Oxiracetam is relatively expensive when compared to other nootropics (such as piracetam), so it is extremely important for your supplement budget to determine the lowest effective dose.
- Despite being extremely safe, side effects (although rare) can occur. When they do occur, a larger than effective dose is usually to blame.
- I would recommend taking notes during your “testing” phase. Keep track of such things as: dosage, time of day, how you feel, etc.
- Another thing I would recommend is to not use other nootropics while you are trying find your optimal oxiracetam dosage. While other nootropics stack can stack very well with oxiracetam, it is best to save that experimentation for when you have a clear understanding of how oxiracetam affects you on its own.
- Have a quality choline supplement on hand. Oxiracetam (as well as other “racetams”) can cause headaches due to a depletion of acetylcholine. Your brain is used to having plenty of this important neurotransmitter, and choline does the trick since it is the precursor molecule to acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a key component in chemical synapses enabling nerve cells to make connections in the central nervous system, in which the brain is a major component. Headaches happen when nerve cells keep trying to send signals even though the amount of neurotransmitter is insufficient
- Many (it would seem most) users report that oxiracetam has a stimulant effect. Keep this in mind if you are sensitive to stimulants and/or use other stimulants.
So, What Is The Recommended Oxiracetam Dosage?
Again, see point number one above. The following information is just to give you an idea of what dosage information is out there gathered from research articles and actual user feedback and testimonials.
A great thing about oxiracetam is that it is a very safe supplement. It has been researched for decades with a variety of dosing protocols, and it has shown to be very well tolerated, even at relatively high doses. However, always start out with a lower dose and gradually increase it to see how it affects you.
Research shows a great range in the amount of oxiracetam dosage studied. Amounts as low as 200 mg per day to as high as 6000 mg per day have been studied.
It seems that a daily dose of 2400 mg has shown to have very positive feedback for the awesome benefits of oxiracetam. A lower or higher dose may be the oxiracetam dosage you need for the desired effect, so you need to take your time in testing what is the best amount for you.
Oxiracetam Half-Life and Frequency of Dosing
The half-life of oxiracetam in individuals with health renal function is eight hours. The eight-hour half-life is not absolute, as other factors can affect it, but it can help you plan the timing of your doses. That means eight hours after taking you oxiracetam dosage there is half of the amount remaining.
The highest levels of oxiracetam in your system are reached within one to three hours of ingestion. In order to maintain a consistent level of oxiracetam in your system, you should take it two to three times a day. Due to the stimulant effect of oxiracetam, a higher dose early in the morning, followed by smaller doses later in the day may be one dosing schedule to try.
One great benefit of buying oxiracetam in bulk powder form is that you can make your own capsules to your own specifications. You may want to make 400 mg capsules so you can divide your total daily dose into different amounts (1200 mg in early morning, 800 mg in the afternoon, and 400 mg in the evening).
Oxiracetam is also water soluble, so it can also be mixed in water. The taste is tolerable, so this is definitely an option. However, pre-made and pre-measured capsules make things much easier.
Oxiracetam Attack Dose?
Some recommend an “attack dose” of oxiracetam. An oxiracetam attack dose is a relatively large dose taken for a brief period of time when initially using it.
The idea is that you can build it up in your system relatively quickly and start seeing the positive effects of oxiracetam sooner. Attack doses can vary quite a bit. How much of a higher dose and for how long is a guessing game. With the relatively high cost of oxiracetam, it can also get quite expensive.
I am not a fan of the attack dose approach, particularly for beginners starting out with nootropics. Attack doses are intended for individuals who are first using oxiracetam, and in my opinion, that is not the time to experiment with relatively high doses. I advocate the “slow and steady” approach.
Yes, oxiracetam does take some time to build up in your system. However, this time varies person to person. By using the oxiracetam dosage guidelines discussed in this article, it will just take a little longer to get there.
Another way to stray from a standard dosing protocol is to take an additional oxiracetam dose prior to an event where a cognitive edge would be beneficial.
The best time to take a dose is one hour prior to the situation where it is needed. I have yet to try this myself, but user feedback indicates this can be effective. With an optimum oxiracetam dosage taken on a regular basis, this may not be necessary, but after some experience using oxiracetam you may want to give it a shot.
A Suggested Initial Oxiracetam Dosage Plan
- Find a quality source for your oxiracetam. I would recommend buying it in bulk powder form. It is cheaper and a must if you want to make your own capsules.
- Buy a quality choline supplement. A good rule of thumb is to start out with a choline dose that is about half of your oxiracetam dosage. If you have any headaches, gradually increase the choline dosage until they go away.
- Invest in a capping machine and empty capsules of your preferred size. The small investment to make your own capsules will pay for itself many times.
- Choose your preferred method of taking notes during your initial experimentation phase. Don’t skip this part! Recording your experience will help you find your optimal dosing schedule the fastest and ensure your success with oxiracetam. Remember, oxiracetam is not cheap, so it is in your best interest to find the lowest effective dose.
- Start out with a relatively low dose early in the morning and see how you feel. Do this for a few days and then increase the dose or add a second dose during the day.
- Continue to record your experience and gradually work up to your decided maximum dose spread out over two or three doses during the day.
- Experiment with oxiracetam dosage and frequency until you are satisfied with your results.
I really hope this information helps you to determine an effective oxiracetam dosage for you. Oxiracetam is an amazing nootropic and taking the time to find the optimal dose for you is worth the effort. The benefits of oxiracetam are definitely worth it!
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.