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Piracetam (nootropic, psychostimulant)

Know the basics|Know the precautions & warnings|Know the side effects|Know the interactions|Understand the dosage

Piracetam acts on the brain and nervous system and is thought to protect it against a shortness of oxygen. It enhances memory and cognitive function.

piracetam

Know the basics

What is piracetam used for?

  • Cognitive disorders
  • Myoclonus
  • Dyslexia
  • Vertigo
  • Alzheimer disease

How should I take piracetam?

As an oral tablet, swallow it whole and drink a glass of water or juice. It tastes bitter to some people. Take it with or without meals. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve it in water.

For IV administration, have it injected by a licensed healthcare professional. Do not self-inject.

How do I store piracetam?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using piracetam?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions, especially:
    • Heart conditions
    • Kidney disease
    • Blood or bleeding disorders
    • Cerebral hemorrhage
    • Huntington’s chorea
    • Plans to undergo surgery

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category N according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What side effects can occur from piracetam?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty balancing, vertigo
  • Mood changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • GI discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with piracetam?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Thyroid medications (T3 and T4)
  • Anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin, heparin)
  • Antiplatelets (e.g. aspirin, enoxaparin)
  • Fat emulsion (e.g. fish oil)
  • NSAIDs
  • Multivitamins

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with piracetam?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with piracetam?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Heart conditions
  • Kidney disease
  • Blood or bleeding disorders
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Huntington’s chorea
  • Plans to undergo surgery

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Adjunct in cortical myoclonus

Oral route: 7.2 g daily in 2-3 divided doses, increased by 4.8 g/day every 3-4 days, Max: 24 g daily in 2-3 divided doses.

IV route: Initially, 7.2 g daily in 2-3 divided doses; may increase by 4.8 g every 3-4 days. Max: 24 g daily.

As a cognitive enhancer in cerebrocortical insufficiency

Oral route: 2.4 g daily, given in 2-3 divided doses. Up to 4.8 g daily may be used in severe cases.

IV route: 2.4 g daily in 2-3 divided doses. For severe cases: Up to 4.8 g daily or higher.

What is the dose for a child?

There is no established pediatric dose. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is piracetam available?

Piracetam is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, film-coated: 800 mg, 1200 mg
  • Capsule: 400 mg
  • Solution for infusion: 12 g/60 ml
  • Solution for injection: 1 g/5mL, 3 mg/15 mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Piracetam https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/piracetam?mtype=generic Accessed June 16, 2021

NOOTROPIL Piracetam https://gskpro.com/content/dam/global/hcpportal/en_SG/products/PDF/nootropil/nootropil_pi_ncds03si_approved_06jul17.pdf Accessed June 16, 2021

Piracetam for dementia or cognitive impairment
https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001011/full Accessed June 16, 2021

Piracetam https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Piracetam Accessed June 16, 2021

Piracetam. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed June 16, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jun 16
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