Today we’re uncovering the truth about another nootropic touted to increase cognitive function. In this Oxiracetam review, we’ll discuss this particular cognitive enhancer’s uses, mechanisms, and benefits – all through a thorough breakdown of the available scientific research.
Can Oxiracetam improve your memory? Boost your focus? Increase your thinking power? How about your attention and word power?
These are the questions we’ll be trying to answer.
Read on to find out just how Oxiracetam works, and what it could do for you.
What is Oxiracetam?
Oxiracetam is a member of the Racetam family, a group of synthetic drugs originally developed as an alternative treatment for cognitive impairment and memory loss . It is a derivative of Piracetam, which has a similar mechanism of action but is less potent in its effect .
Oxiracetam was developed in the 1970s. It was the third Racetam nootropic to come into supply, and was created by slightly altering the structure of Piracetam (the addition of a Hydroxyl group being the main alteration made).
Because evidence supporting Oxiracetam’s potent utility as a memory and learning enhancer continues to emerge, it has grown very popular among nootropics enthusiasts since the 1970s.
Combined with the fact that it acts as an acute stimulant, an increasing number of people are turning to Oxiracetam as a viable way to enhance performance. It is prominent among the gaming community, and is often taken by students as a study supplement.
How Does Oxiracetam Work?
Oxiracetam works similarly to other Racetam nootropics by altering chemical activity in the brain:
By regulating and increasing the density of AMPA-receptors in the brain, Oxiracetam allows for better neurotransmission through the synapses. This allows for increased production of noradrenaline and heightened cognitive activity in general .
Oxiracetam improves the signalling communication of neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain (the part responsible for memory regulation). It does this through causing an increase in the production of D-aspartic acid and by stimulating phospholipid metabolism [4, 5].
Oxiracetam affects the cholinergic system directly, enhancing the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain . Acetylcholine is the chief neurotransmitter involved with nerve impulses. Its action directly affects cognitive ability.
Oxiracetam positively impacts NMDA receptors when they malfunction. NMDA receptors work together with AMPA receptors to allow for the action of glutamate, another neurotransmitter responsible for the regulation of learning and memory processes .
Because Oxiracetam is an ampakine, it acts as an acute stimulant that mirrors the positive effects of other stimulants. Ampakines are a class of stimulants that interact with glutamatergic AMPA receptors . In contrast to other common stimulants (caffeine, amphetamines, and Ritalin), Oxiracetam use does not seem to result in any negative side effects such as restlessness and anxiety . .
The benefits of Oxiracetam as a nootropic are numerous and well-documented. It works in the brain to enhance cognition in a number of ways, all of which we’ll run through in this Oxiracetam review:
Oxiracetam is perhaps best known for its memory boosting properties. Its potent effect on memory is also one of its most thoroughly-researched mechanisms.
In a human study done on patients suffering from memory deficits and intellectual dysfunction, Oxiracetam supplementation resulted in significant improvements of short term memory after just four weeks .
In another human trial, this one involving elderly dementia patients, Oxiracetam use over twelve weeks resulted in increased vigilance and improvements in spontaneous memory . A similar study on dementia sufferers with secondary cognitive deficiencies showed Oxiracetam to have a therapeutic effect .
While plenty of evidence showing memory improvement with Oxiracetam supplementation in human studies has been found, there have been no studies performed involving participants with typical cognitive ability. However, there is plenty in the way of both anecdotal evidence and the findings of animal studies to support Oxiracetam’s beneficial effect on the memory of healthy persons.
In one animal study, the memory-enhancing effects of a single dose of Oxiracetam were detectable four months after ingestion, and shown to influence the formation of long term memory in healthy mice .
Oxiracetam is popular among students, particularly during exam-time, for its reportedly potent memory-boosting effects .
Protective Effect on the Brain
Research involving animals suggests that Oxiracetam can have a protective effect against damage caused by neurotoxins and various cognitive diseases.
In one study, rats were first given Oxiracetam, then exposed to neurotoxins in order to simulate the brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s. The group primed with the Oxiracetam resisted the neurotoxic effects and scored better on the social recognition tests than the unprotected group .
In one study, Oxiracetam was shown to increase blood flow in the brain, while reducing damage to white matter and blocking the activation of harmful cells. Treatment of rats with Oxiracetam also had a protective effect against Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) dysfunction. The BBB maintains the stability of the brain tissue and protects against ischemic stroke .
Increased Word Power and Learning Ability
The results of some neuropsychological tests suggest that Oxiracetam can positively influence verbal fluency and learning, the ability to use and recall words effectively. In a study on dementia patients, Oxiracetam supplementation resulted in significant improvements in the “short story test”, as well as several other neuropsychological tests .
Another study on dementia patients showed an improvement in memory, attention, orientation, and concentration in those supplementing with Oxiracetam long-term. These findings collectively suggest an improvement of overall learning ability . Animal studies further support these findings .
As mentioned earlier in our Oxiracetam review, students often turn to cognitive enhancing nootropics for their positive impact on focus and attention. Oxiracetam is widely reported as resulting in heightened concentration for extended periods of time. Many users find they do not lose focus while supplementing with Oxiracetam compared to without . Its properties as a stimulant may further these effects.
Interestingly enough, the effect of Oxiracetam on focus and concentration levels in healthy persons is largely anecdotal. The effect of Oxiracetam on the focus and attention of cognitively impaired subjects is well-researched, as evidenced in studies showing improvements in attentional activities .
How To Take Oxiracetam
The recommended dosage for Oxiracetam is between 1,000 and 2,400 mg / day [21, 22]. It can be taken in one dose, or broken up throughout the day (800 mg x 3 etc.). Some studies start with a low dosage to test tolerance and increase it gradually, which is a strategy we recommend for anyone inexperienced with cognitive nootropics.
It has not yet been established whether Oxiracetam is better taken with or without food. Anecdotal evidence suggests taking it on an empty stomach may increase absorption, though there is a risk of this causing nausea. A small meal may be best as a compromise.
Oxiracetam comes in both powder and premade capsule form. The powder can be quitebitter, so we recommend mixing it with a flavoured drink.
Oxiracetam is categorized as a dietary supplement in the US. It is widely available, though it has not been approved by the FDA for any medical use. In some parts of Europe it is used as a prescription medication, as well as being available over the counter.
Oxiracetam Side Effects
Side effects from Oxiracetam use are rare. Ingestion of up to 2,500 mg per day for a year has been shown to result in no notable adverse effects in a multitude of studies. Potential side effects when use is extended beyond one year are unknown.
When side effects do occur, they are generally mild but can include headache, nausea, upset stomach, and dizziness. The most common side effect is headache, which is likely caused by a depletion in choline stores . Taking Oxiracetam with a choline source such as CDP-choline may prevent this problem.
Because of its properties as a stimulant, Oxiracetam may cause insomnia and restlessness. Many of these potential issues can be easily avoided by taking Oxiracetam with a small meal, and avoiding dosage too late in the day.
While Oxiracetam is effective when taken alone, it can also be stacked with other supplements to maximise benefits. Due care and research must be taken when combining Oxiracetam with any other substance in order to avoid adverse effects.
When done correctly, stacking Oxiracetam can enhance benefits from both sides:
Oxiracetam and CDP choline – CDP choline is used to increase production of choline, a precursor of acetylcholine. Because Oxiracetam acts to increase acetylcholine levels in the brain, and can have a minor depletive effect on choline, taking it alongside CDP choline (or another choline source) may be a wise choice to maximise effects. This combination may also prevent the headaches sometimes associated with Oxiracetam use.
Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam – If mental energy and general alertness is your main desired result, taking Oxiracetam alongside Pramiracetam can increase the intensity of cognitive enhancement from both supplements. Due care should be taken not to dose excessively when combining members of the Racetam family. A half-dose of each is advisable.
Oxiracetam and Aniracetam – Because both of these nootropics are ampakines, combining them can result in a more potent stimulant effect. In addition, the mood-enhancing and anxiety-reducing effects of Aniracetam can help to prevent restlessness while focus is improved.
My Experience With Oxiracetam
I’ve tried Oxiracetam on and off in the past. Dosing at different levels, I found that 800 mg (taken as two 400 mg doses) seems to be the sweet-spot for me. Any more and I get a bit jittery, any less and I miss out on all the benefits!
During exam season in particular, I noticed my short term memory improved pretty drastically while taking Oxiracetam at these doses. I was able to cram large quantities of information over a few days and recall it pretty clearly when it came to exam time.
I remember there being a pretty sustained effect on my energy and concentration levels in general (great, now I’m having flashbacks of being chained to my desk for months on end). Exam season trauma aside, I’m not sure I would have coped half as well as I did if I hadn’t experimented and found the dose that worked so well for me.
As for all the other reported effects, I can’t say. For most of that year I was too busy filling my head with as much information as possible. I wasn’t thinking about too much else. But at least when it came to the things I was thinking about, I was thinking about them clearly!
Where to Buy Oxiracetam
It’s easy to pick up Oxiracetam online or in supplement stores, just be careful to purchase only from a reputable source. There are two places we recommend in particular:
Firstly, the good people at www.hrsupplements.com, who offer free US shipping (smaller orders excluded), and do some great discounts when you buy in bulk.
They offer Oxiracetam in capsule form (120s for $19.99) or as a powder (30g for $15.29, 60g for $28.49). They also do an awesome Oxiracetam and Choline Complex stack for a bargain price of $34.99
Second, we have https://www.purenootropics.net/, who provide free domestic shipping and a 30 day money-back guarantee. What’s more, all their products go through some seriously strict quality testing so you know you’re getting the good stuff.
They offer Oxiracetam in capsule form (30s for $16.99, 60s for $29.99) or as a powder (30g for $16.45, 60g for $37.45).
All finished. We hope you’ve enjoyed our Oxiracetam review, and that you take what you’ve learned into consideration when making your next nootropic purchase.
With a heap of cognitive benefits to be enjoyed and few reported side effects, Oxiracetam might be one to add to your arsenal of cognitive enhancers. Here’s a secret for nothing: it’s particularly handy around exam time!