If you are looking to improve your brain power through the use of completely safe nootropic supplements, Pramiracetam makes an excellent option. It is part of the “racetam” family of nootropics.
If you have never read about nootropics, you should read up on Piracetam first. Piracetam was the supplement responsible for the term “nootropic.”
Pramiracetam showed up nearly 20 years later. Like Piracetam, Pramiracetam is excellent for improving memory and learning abilities in healthy individuals.
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How Does Pramiracetam Improve Cognitive Function?
Each one of our brain’s contains on average, 100 billion brain cells. These brain cells communicate with each other by firing electrochemical signals across synapses, (or synaptic connections). The scientific term for these electrochemical signals is “neurotransmitter”.
Our brain utilizes many different types of neurotransmitters and we have a different name for each one. Dopamine for example, plays a very important role in motivation. It was nicknamed the “give me more” neurotransmitter and is why Cocaine is such an addictive drug. Serotonin, is a neurotransmitter which regulates our mood and appetite.
There are also neurotransmitters which regulate our brain’s plasticity (its ability to change) which in turn affects our memory and learning abilities.
Pramiracetam has a positive effect on the neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine (ACh). 1 ACh is closely tied to our brain’s synaptic plasticity. Plasticity refers to our brain’s ability to change the synaptic connections brain cells use for communication.
Every time you form a new memory, you need a new synaptic connection. Not many people are aware of the fact their brain’s are constantly creating, strengthening, weakening, and destroying synaptic connections.
Simply put, the more easily your brain can create and strengthen a synaptic connection, the more easily you can create and strengthen a memory. When you are studying for an exam, having a more plastic brain means you can create and rewire the connections you need to understand the memorize the material.
Because ACh is closely tied to your synaptic plasticity, and Pramiracetam improves the benefit you get from ACh, Pramiracetam enhances memory and learning.
ACh is also implicated in one’s ability to focus. Being more focused while working or studying further improves understanding and ability to memorize.
Learning Does NOT Equal Intelligence
I want to be clear, there is a big difference between “learning” and IQ or “Fluid Intelligence”. Learning refers to one’s ability to understand a new concept or idea. Fluid Intelligence, or IQ, refers to one’s ability to solve a completely novel problem through reasoning and abstraction.
Taking Pramiracetam on its own will do nothing to improve your intelligence. In fact, taking Pramiracetam and watching TV will do nothing but help you follow the plot and remember the characters’ names. But you won’t be any better at predicting the ending.
How Can I Improve My Intelligence?
To improve your intelligence, you need to engage in the correct type of mental exercise. But only engaging in the correct type of mental exercise won’t give you great results.
You need your brain’s plasticity to be at its maximum. A more plastic brain will receive greater benefits from mental exercise. You will understand the exercises better, retain more of their benefits, and be more focused.
Pramiracetam is a great way to maximize the benefits from mental exercise and assist in improving intelligence. It is also a great way to improve your memory, focus, and understanding at work or school.
Pramiracetam Does More Than Just Improve IQ
If you’re not looking to raise your IQ, Pramiracetam still has its benefits. It will keep you more focused on your studies, help you understand and remember the material you are studying. Whether you need help at work or at school, Pramiracetam is a great nootropic aid.
Research and anecdotal experiences have shown Pramiracteam to provide benefits such as improved memory and learning, improved fluid intelligence, better general cognitive functions, and heightened focus and motivation. Some studies also suggest that Pramiracetam may be neuroprotective, meaning that long term use actually improves the overall health of the brain and that it may also be an effective therapy for treating brain damage.
How Pramiracetam Works
How are these benefits of Pramiracetam actually conferred? Research has shown that one main effect of Pramiracetam is to increase the uptake of Choline in the brain. This increases the rate at which Choline is used to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a vital chemical messenger in the brain, and has an especially important role in synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is the ability of your brain to form new neurons and connections between neurons, and it is highly correlated with your working memory.
If your brain wasn’t somewhat plastic, it would not be able to form new connections between existing brain cells. This would completely prevent you from being able to form new memories.
Luckily, our brains are very plastic, and can easily make new connections (and strengthen existing ones) between cells in response to new experiences and information.
When Pramiracetam is taken it supercharges the brain’s production of acetylcholine which increases the brain’s degree of plasticity. This makes it easier for new connections to form between your neurons, and is why Pramiracetam improves your ability to learn new information and recall existing memories. This increase in synaptic plasticity can be especially helpful when playing brain training games such as those offered by Lumosity.
This effect goes a step further than just improving memory and recall, however. Your working memory is what allows you to store and use information on a short-term basis.
Remembering a phone number long enough to be able to write it down later is an example. When solving problems being able to keep more relevant information in your working memory will allow you to make the connections needed to arrive at a solution much more easily.
Pramiracetam also is thought to help improve the permiability of brain cell membranes. This helps improve the efficiency of messaging by various neurotransmitters. This, along with it’s effect of increasing cerebral blood-flow could be responsible for it’s neuroprotective properties.
All said, Pramiracetam is a potent nootropic which provides some very real mental benefits. If you are looking for a safe way to improve your long term mental performance, but also want something with a little more punch than piracetam, then Pramiracetam is an excellent choice.
Pramiracetam Side Effects
Studies have shown that Pramiracetam is extremely safe. It is virtually impossible to overdose on, and side effects are generally mild.
The most commonly reported side effects include, headaches, insomnia, and irritability. Start at the low end of recommended doses when you first take any nootropic.
It is important to know side effects associated with any nootropic before you take it. You don’t want to experience a side effect you didn’t see coming during something important. And just because you didn’t experience a side effect the first time you take a nootropic doesn’t mean you won’t at some point down the future.
That being said below are the most common side effects associated with Pramiracetam:
- decreased appetite
How Common are Pramiracetam’s Side Effects
One study aimed at discovering how common side effects were, and how individuals responded to Pramiracetam. 1 The study was conducted on 112 healthy volunteers and 336 dementia patients. Each volunteer was given 75mg, 150mg, or 300mg per day. There was also a placebo group.
It is important to note that 17% of people given a placebo experienced negative effects. This tells us that 17% is a good “baseline” for side effects. In other words, 17% of people will imagine they are experiencing side effects even though they are not.
What I found interesting is that side effects occurred most commonly in those taking 75mg/day. In that group, 25% of people reported adverse effects.
For those in the 150mg group, only 15% of people experienced side effects, and in the 300mg group, only 17% of people experienced side effects associated with Pramiracetam.
It is possible that people were less likely to report side effects at the higher doses because they were more likely to experience positive benefits. It is also possible an unusually high number of people taking the placebo tricked themselves into thinking they experienced side effects because many suffered from primary degenerative dementia.
Anecdotal Evidence Suggests You Can Decrease Pramiracetam’s Side Effects
Many people have reported taking a Choline supplement can reduce the incidence of headaches associated with Pramiracetam use.
For those unfamiliar with how Pramiracetam works, it effects one’s Cholinergic system by improving release and functionality of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine (ACh).
Because of this mechanism of action, Pramiracetam may lower Choline levels in the brain, causing headaches. Taking a Choline supplement before you take Pramiracetam may lower your chance of getting headaches.
However, if you can take Pramiracetam without experiencing headaches, I see no reason to take Choline with it.
Long-Term Negative Effects?
Nobody has reported long-term negative effects associated with Pramiracetam use. The study mentioned above, individuals were treated for between 4 and 9 weeks. This treatment caused no drug-related changes to blood pressure, heart rate, electroencephalograms, electrocardio grams, or clinical laboratory values.
The study concluded by stating “The safety of Pramiracetam was clearly demonstrated in these studies.”
If you are concerned about adverse effects, take a week break every month or two.
Will I Build a Tolerance to Pramiracetam?
You will only build up a tolerance in the sense of “getting used to” the effects. If you take Pramiracetam every day, its effects will become your new “baseline”. Ceasing use will only cause psychological withdrawal effects.
Rest assured, no matter how long you take Pramiracetam it will still enhance memory and learning by improving your synaptic plasticity, even if you don’t notice the effects.
Recommended Pramiracetam Dose?
If you’ve taken Piracetam before, you will notice Pramiracetam has a much lower recommended dosage. I would start out taking no more than 75mg per day, and I would never exceed 1,600mg in a single day.
When taking any nootropic, the most effective dosage will vary from person to person. Not everyone’s bran chemistry is the same, and the weight of the individual can influence a doses effect.
Pramiracetam recommended dosage has an extremely high variance. The recommended dosage is between 75 – 1000mg per day. Personally, I recommend starting at a minimum of 150mg once per day. This is because studies have revealed that side effects are least likely at a 150mg dose.
In the placebo group, 17% of people reported side effects, at the 150mg per day dose, only 15% of people reported unwanted side effects. On the other hand, 25% of people reported unwanted side effects at the 75mg per day dosage.
Another thing to consider is taking two 75mg doses in a single day to reach a total of 150mg. Furthermore, 17% of people who took 300mg per day experienced side effects.
If you don’t experience side effects when taking between 150-300mg per day, feel free to gradually increase your dose. Studies have observed people taking up to 1,600mg per day without experiencing any adverse effects.
For this reason, a Pramiracetam dose of approximately 500mg, taken 3 times per day is a good maximum to set.
How Should I Take My Pramiracetam Dose?
Pramiracetam can be purchased in either pill or powder form. Personally I recommend powder form for two reasons. First, it is generally cheaper to purchase any nootropic in powder form. Second, you have more flexibility when it comes to tweaking your dosage.
If you don’t anticipate tweaking your doses, and money isn’t a huge deal, then you should purchase pills simply for the convenience.
If you purchase Pramiracetam in powder form, there are two easy ways to take it. You can cap your own pills, or simply pour the powder into a drink. Pouring the powder into a drink might taste bad but it is much more convenient. However, I find that pouring a powder nootropic into a strong beverage such as orange juice or coffee does a good job at masking the taste.
If you create your own pills, you will need to purchase a pill capping machine, and make the pills yourself. Many people don’t want to go through the trouble of actually capping the pills.
Regardless of if you pour the Pramiracetam into a drink or make pills you will need either a scale or a measuring spoon. A scale will be more expensive, but may also be more accurate.
The final things you must consider with your Pramiracetam dose is when you take it and how far apart you spread the doses.
Because the half-life of Pramiracetam ranges from 4.5 to 6.5 hours, you should spread your doses apart by 6-8 hours. Personally, I re-dose when I feel the effects have mostly worn off and there I can conveniently measure out my dose.
Lastly, make sure you take Pramiracetam on a full stomach. Pramiracetam is fat soluble meaning it doesn’t dissolve well in a liquid. You are more likely to experience nausea taking Pramiracetam on an empty stomach and the dose will likely be less effective.
What Does Pramiracetam Feel Like?
Reading about what science says about Pramiracetam is great, but you also may find yourself wanting actual accounts of people’s experiences with Pramiracetam. Does it only improve cognition by a small enough amount to be statistically significant on some study, or will the benefits provided by Pramiracetam actually make a difference in your life. It is difficult to find much on people’s experiences with Pramiracetam online, however I have been able to compile firsthand accounts from a few different locations.
Keep in mind that these are all subjective reports, it may affect you completely differently than it has these people. Hopefully these reports will give you a better idea of what you can expect from using Pramiracetam.
This thread on Longecity has people reporting both positive and negative experiences:
my mind has never been clearer with pramiracetam. my brain usually gets very very cloudy and heavy in the morning but i woke up today and there was none of that. dreams were more lucid, i could remember them when i woke up, something i hadn’t been able to do for a long time. i used to be on adderall and it gave me similar effects in terms of sleep. but it made very emotionless so i stopped taking it.
I’ve tried it a number of times. First time, I became incredibly tired and had to sleep all day. Second time I just became very dull emotionally (zombie like). And all the times after that I was either zombie like, tired or had no effect. I didn’t have any nootropic or otherwise desirable effects from pram. Just because it’s been deemed “8-30 times stronger than piracetam” doesn’t mean it’s got any times more positive effects, just that in a clinical setting researchers can use 8-30 times less to get the chemical effects of it. Personally I find it to be a waste of money. Stick to ani, oxi or piracetam.
A thread on a Bodybuilding forum has some dosage advice and Pramiracetam experiences:
I dont notice so much as a “cognitive incline” like i do with modafinil, though the effects are gradual, like noticing your self gain mass day by day, you wont notice unless you have before and after pictures, so to speak.
Pramiracetam’s Bottom Line
Pramiracetam may be the most potent in the “racetam” family. If you are on the fence about trying it, I seriously recommend you do. It is safe, and if it doesn’t work for you, then you can be done with it. One great alternative to Pramiracetam is Noopept. People have reported it to be more power than Pramiracetam. It is used to improve memory, focus, and learning just like Pramiracetam. However, it is more expensive.
My advice if you haven’t heard of many nootropics is to research first. You can learn more about nootropics like Pramiracetam at What Are Nootropics.
Until you understand how the nootropics you are considering affect your brain, I wouldn’t make a purchase. Even though they are safe, it is important to know what you are doing to yourself.
There are also tons of studies available you can read. They will give you much needed insight into the nootropics, how it works, and what benefits people have received. It also can’t hurt to browse forums and read about what other people have to say.
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