What is Oxiracetam?
Oxiracetam was the third synthetic member of the racetam family. It was derived from Piracetam with the purpose of boosting potency, and chemically they are very similar. This nootropic is Piracetam with one added hydroxyl group.
Despite being around for such a long period of time, there are still limited human studies regarding the efficacy of this drug in humans.
This has not stopped countless neurohackers from using this compound and reporting a multitude of nootropic effects, including:
- Enhanced memory formation
- Increased energy (mild stimulant)
- Preventing cognitive decline (many studies supporting this use)
- Enhanced verbal fluency
- Improved sensory perception, including sound and color
While there have not been many human studies, the combination of animal studies, human studies, and anecdotal experiences can be pieced together, giving a pretty thorough understanding of how this nootropic works and what users may experience.
Mechanisms of Action
As a member of the racetam family of nootropics, Oxiracetam too exhibits many of its cognitive effects through boosting the efficacy of acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain. ACh is known to play many roles when it comes to cognition. It is involved in learning, attention, memory, and creativity.
Studies have found that this drug potentiates the release of ACh from brain cells.
This nootropic is a positive AMPA modulator, a glutamate receptor involved in mediating central nervous system fast synaptic neurotransmission. When these receptors are positively modulated it can enhance cognition in many ways (1):
- Offsets the loss of glutamatergic synapses
- Promotes synaptic plasticity
- Boosts production of trophic factors
Increases Glutamate and D-Aspartic Acid Release
Oxiracetam is able to increase the release of glutamate and D-aspartic acid from activated neurons.
This means that this drug is capable of increasing the release of glutamate and then positively modulating receptors that it signals through, increasing the formation of memories through increasing neuronal cell metabolism.
These factors appear to increase long term potentiation in the hippocampus, which is believed to help with new memory formation.
Benefits & Positive Effects
In a study on rats induced with amnesia, it was found that supplementation with this drug led to improved retrieval of long-term memory. (3) Another animal study found that chronic use with this nootropic can lead to improvements in memory for 4 months following the cessation of the drug. (6)
One human study confirmed the ability of this drug to protect against amnesia. (8) In this study, 12 healthy volunteers were treated with between 800-2,400 mg Oxiracetam or placebo one hour before treatment with scopolamine, which causes short term amnesia. This drug was found to be effective in protecting against the memory deficits caused by this compound.
In a study on healthy, young rats it was found that daily supplementation with this nootropic led to improvements in learning. (4) This is very promising when it comes to nootropic benefits of this racetam for healthy adults.
These benefits were not found until the nootropic had been used for multiple days, leading to the likelihood that it could take five days before experiencing any memory effects. (5)
Studies have found that this drug impairs sleep, which suggests that it causes some level of stimulation. (10) One study found that this nootropic caused a nonsignificant increase in animal locomotion, suggesting that this nootropic does cause some stimulation, but much less than many other nootropics. (11)
Many users report feelings of both physical and mental energy, without the jitteriness caused by other, more extreme stimulants, such as caffeine.
Focus and Attention
Many users credit this nootropic with increased ability to concentrate, which may be partly thanks to its effects as a central nervous system stimulant and ability to boost the levels of ACh in the brain.
You will find this to be one of the more common nootropics when it comes to studying and taking exams.
Multiple human studies have found this nootropic to be beneficial for protecting against cognitive decline in both those with organic cognitive decline and with dementia.
In one study on 60 elderly patients with organic memory disorders it was found that this nootropic was more effective than Piracetam at improving memory following 12 weeks of supplementing up to 2,400 mg/day. (9)
Protects Brain Cells
One study suggests that supplementing with this drug may help to prevent brain damage if taken prior to neurotoxic exposure. (12) In one study Oxiracetam was found to improve social recognition deficits caused by a poison given to rats when given to the rats for 7 days prior to exposure.
This could help to protect brain cells from damage caused by pollution and other environmental toxins.
If you are looking for a nootropic to take long term, this is considered one of the safest. In human studies doses up to 2,400 mg/day have been found to be safe with few side effects.
Even a study on pregnant mice found that this supplement did not lead to birth defects, and led to improved performance on a variety of tasks when these mice grew older. (13) This is not sufficient evidence in safety for taking when pregnant, but it is still very promising for the safety profile of this nootropic.
Only headaches have been reported frequently by neurohackers, and this could likely be fixed by adding a highly bioavailable form of choline to your stack.
Dosage: How to Take Oxiracetam
The typical dosage for this nootropic is between 800 and 1,400 mg/day split into two or three doses. Because this drug is a mild stimulant, it is best not to take within 6 hours of going to bed.
Some users report taking a megadose, also known as an attack dose, of about 2-4 times your normal dosage when needing an extra boost in learning and memory. It is best not to overdo this, and maybe try it once per week.
While there have been no studies confirming whether or not this nootropic should be taken with food, many users report more luck and fewer side effects through this method. As it is water soluble, it should still be absorbed with or without food.
If you are looking to enhance learning during a specific time of the day, it is best to take this drug one hour before that time. Studies have found peak plasma concentrations of oral Oxiracetam at one hour, with concentrations quickly declining after this period. (2) The half-life is long, at 8-10 hours, however most users do not report the duration of effects to be as long as the half-life.
This rapid increase and then decline is also why many users will take this supplement multiple times throughout the day.
It is possible but not likely to build up a tolerance to this nootropic. One way to avoid this is to cycle the drug, taking the drug for three weeks, taking one week off, and repeating.
When stacking any nootropics it is recommended to first see how one drug influences you, find the ideal dosage of that one, and then try adding in a second or third drug on top of that.
Some nootropics can have more than simply additive effects when combining. With any racetam stack, remember to add a quality choline source, such as Alpha GPC or CDP Choline.
Oxiracetam and Aniracetam Stack
Many users report positive effects when stacking these two racetam nootropics together. This stack is great for mild nootropic benefits without too much stimulation.
They both work on the glutamatergic AMPA receptors and on the cholinergic system, leading to benefits in memory, learning, concentration, energy, and protection from cognitive decline. Adding Aniracetam has the additional benefits of improved mood and anxiety.
Both of these drugs are best taken 2-3 times per day with food at a dosage of about 750 mg each per day total.
Noopept and Oxiracetam Stack
Noopept is a strong nootropic compound that has benefits as a neuroprotective agent, focus and attention booster, and is also great for enhancing memory and learning abilities. It is much stronger on its own than Oxiracetam.
As a stack they work exceptionally well for increasing energy, focus, logical thinking, memory, learning, creativity, and sociability.
Noopept is much stronger than most nootropics, so a good combo is about 12 mg of Noopept with 400 mg of Oxiracetam. You do not want to overload you cholinergic system, so start low and carefully monitor your response.
Piracetam, Aniracetam, and Oxiracetam Stack
This stack is so common that it has an acronym: PAO stack. These three older racetams all have similar but different benefits, that when combined, can create a really nice synergistic stack.
They all have different half-lives and pathways, leading to benefits that are felt throughout the day.
You will find improved memory and cognition from all of the racetams, focus intensity and duration benefits from Piracetam, anxiolytic effects from Aniracetam, and slight stimulation and logical thinking boost from the Oxiracetam.
This stack can be a bit much for beginners, but can be a good option for those who have dabbled in the racetam family of nootropics and would like to experience the best that all of these have to offer in one stack.
Dosage for this stack is about 1,600 mg Piracetam and 400 mg each of Oxiracetam and Aniracetam.
Modafinil and Oxiracetam Stack
Modafinil is a nootropic that boasts a powerful energy boost. The energy and focus that you will get from the stimulant Modafinil stacks very well with the cognitive and memory benefits of Oxiracetam.
This is an especially good combination if you really need to get something intellectually challenging done quickly. This could be studying for your final exams, or putting together a complicated presentation for work.
Dosage for this stack can start at 50 mg Modafinil once daily with 400 mg Oxiracetam twice daily.
Oxiracetam vs Aniracetam
Aniracetam is touted for its ability to increase both how well and for how long you are able to focus, memory, and energy levels. It is also known to help those with anxiety and depression, which is the biggest way that it differs from Oxiracetam.
Oxiracetam is generally considered to be slightly better when it comes to boosting memory and learning abilities, and many consider its mental stimulating abilities to be greater than with Aniracetam.
While both of these nootropics work to increase the effects of glutamate and ACh, only Aniracetam works to increase serotonin and dopamine activity, which is why it has mood enhancing effects.
Oxiracetam vs Pramiracetam
If you are looking for the strongest racetam when it comes to learning and memory, then Pramiracetam is the nootropic for you. It is known to work for up to 8 hours, far longer than Oxiracetam. It is one of the nootropics that many believe works best on its own thanks to how strong it is.
Pramiracetam increases the blood flow to your brain, leading to the ability to do more and experience less mental fatigue. It is a good option if you are constantly busy and looking for something that is strong enough to keep you going.
For some the effects of this nootropic are a bit too strong. Oxiracetam can help to provide more subtle increases in energy, memory, focus, and learning.
Oxiracetam vs Piracetam
Piracetam exerts many of its benefits through an increase in both ACh and glutamate levels. It is known to help boost motivation, focus, sensory perception, and energy.
When comparing these two nootropics, Oxiracetam has a bigger impact on learning as well as stimulation - Piracetam is not a stimulant. (7)
While both of these nootropics increase the effects of ACh and Glutamate, Piracetam also increases blood flow to the brain, which is thought to be why it offers more protection when it comes to preventing lipofuscin accumulation in the brain.
Oxiracetam vs Noopept
When comparing these two nootropics, noopept is generally best for improving fluid intelligence, while Oxiracetam is better for logical reasoning tasks such as studying for an engineering exam.
Noopept is also known to help improve mood and anxiety, while Oxiracetam does not have these types of effects. Oxiracetam is more stimulating than Noopept.
Both of these are great when it comes to overall brain health and boosting cognitive function and work in similar ways through increasing the effects of glutamate and ACh.
Oxiracetam vs Phenylpiracetam
When it comes to these two nootropics, Phenylpiracetam is particularly useful when it comes to acting as a stimulant and focus-booster for both physical and mental purposes. It is so effective at this that it is banned by the Olympic committee.
Phenylpiracetam is the most powerful if you are looking for a short-term boost in energy and cognition, while Oxiracetam is better for long-term use to enhance memory and provide moderate stimulation. Phenylpiracetam has more of an effect on anxiety and depression than Oxiracetam.
While both nootropics work to impact GABA and ACh, Phenylpiracetam also influences serotonin and dopamine.
Where to Buy Oxiracetam
This nootropic is sold in both powder and tablet form. It is best to purchase it from a trusted vendor who does third party testing of supplements, such as Nootropics Depot and Pure Nootropics. In the US you can purchase from these vendors with complete comfort of legality.
In Canada this nootropic is not allowed to be sold by stores as either a drug or a supplement, however it is not classified as a controlled substance. What this means is that you will have to import it from international suppliers if you want to use it. It is currently legal for users to import small amounts of this nootropic for personal use.
In the UK it is a bit trickier still. Thanks to the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016, it is likely illegal for retailers to sell racetam nootropics, however possession of these substances remains legal.
- AMPA receptor modulators as cognitive enhancers https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15018832
- Determination of oxiracetam in human plasma by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorimetric detection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8450015
- Oxiracetam prevents to MK-801 induced amnesia for the elevated plus-maze in mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11099768
- Relationship between arousal and cognition-enhancing effects of oxiracetam https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8146219
- Delayed emergence of effects of memory-enhancing drugs: implications for the dynamics of long-term memory https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8134347
- The GABAB receptor agonist CGP 36,742 and the nootropic oxiracetam facilitate the formation of long-term memory https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8762175
- The memory enhancing effects of the piracetam-like nootropics are dependent on experimental parameters https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2736062
- Effects of acute doses of oxiracetam in the scopolamine model of human amnesia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7870912
- The effect of oxiracetam (ISF 2522) in patients with organic brain syndrome https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ddr.430020506
- Relationships between arousal and cognition-enhancing effects of oxiracetam https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8146219
- Avoidance facilitation by nootropics https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2616794
- Oxiracetam pre- but not post-treatment prevented social recognition deficits produced with trimethyltin in rats https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15922047
- Enhancement of radial maze performances in CD1 mice after prenatal exposure to oxiracetam https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3406157