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Piracetam: How to recover from its ill effects

piracetam nootropic side-effects brain fog depression drowsiness irritability headache twitch hypothalamus

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#1 Seganfredo

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:19 AM

I started this thread to join ideas on when/how to use Piracetam, when to avoid it, and to spread awereness about the need to be careful with it. So, if it's not your cup o'tea and you're in love with the substance, I totally understand - but please understand it's good practice to spread awareness so people can take educated decisions, and respect it. Also, on a more positive note and even more important, this thread is about gathering info on how to (quickly) recover oneself from any undesirable effects it may cause (revert and heal any possible hypothalamic oxidative stress and dysregulation). This is certainly precious information to many that can't be easily found, currently.


While it needs to be asserted that many people do enjoy benefits from Piracetam, many others don't get any response from it. Now, it turns out it can also have very serious and predictable side effects that aren't that uncommon at all.

Piracetam *IS* potentially harmful - tenfold what people wrongly assume it to be basing themselves on studies of very dubious quality and low scientific rigor.


Commonly reported undesirable effects include:

  1. Brain fog - from severe to light ¹, ², ³;
  2. Depression ¹, ²;
  3. Tiredness - from severe to light ¹, ², ³
  4. Anhedonia  ¹, ³
  5. Apathy / lack of motivation ¹, ²
  6. Drowsiness - from severe to mild ¹, ², ³
  7. Insomnia ¹, ²
  8. Irritatability/tension - from severe to mild ¹, ², ³
  9. Headaches - severe ¹ mild/light ¹, ², ³
  10. Lowered IQ/cognitive decline (long/short-term memory, slow/faulty thought formulation, absent mindedness, etc) - all, from severe to light ¹, ², ³


Less commonly reported undesirable effects include:

  1. Muscle twitches/convulsions (eyes, hands, feet) - severe ¹, - mild/light ¹, ², ³
  2. Distortion on the perception of time (minutes seem hours, days seem hours, a week seems a couple of days) ¹, ²
  3. Lowered verbal fluency/eloquence (spelling mistakes, difficulty retrieving simple words) ¹, ², ³
  4. Foggy/Blurred vision/ strange ocular sensations of tightness; ¹, ²
  5. Poor circulation to body extremities ¹
  6. Sweating palms ¹
  7. Digestive problems/constipation ²
  8. Erectile dysfunction ¹, ² rare ³
  9. Muscle weakness ²

Other reported undesirable effects include:

  1. High HCT (Hemocrit) and Hemoglobin levels ¹
  2. Foul smelling urine ¹
  3. Elder appearance (bags under eyes, bad hair, pale face) ²
  4. Extremely low body temperature (shivering uncrontrollably, blue nails) ¹
  5. Feeling of terror ¹
  6. Bloated stomach ¹, ²
  7. Loss of muscle ²
  8. Inability to practice sports ²
  9. Lowered defense


¹ Reported as a short-lived symptom - effect disappeared once Piracetam was discontinued, one got used to it, changed doses, etc.

² Reported as a somewhat persistent symptom - remaining after a while even whitout the drug.

³ Reported as a seemingly chronic and/or a more serious symptom.




If you're interested to see some of the self-reports, check this extensive blog entry http://selfhacked.co...with-piracetam/
I personally got many of those side effects, but won't go into my own personal situation as I've posted about it in another thread already ( www.longecity.org/forum/topic/79337-piracetam-effects/ ). Onwards.




The Probable Cause


Joseph Cohen - member of this forum and owner of the aforementioned blog - has a theory that Piracetam causes oxidative stress in the hypothalamus (by changing serotonin and dopamine levels, it seems).

That would, in turn, lead to hypothalamic damage and dysregulation which is the probable cause of many (most?) symptoms listed above.


He says [added bold],


"Due to the abundant reports of brain fog, I would also add 500mg of NAC, just in case piracetam is causing oxidative stress in the brain"


[original bold]

The two symptoms of brain fog and drowsiness were consistent with my theory that piracetam causes oxidative stress in the hypothalamus.


After some research, I found a few studies that confirmed my suspicions:

MDA[a marker for oxidative stress]…. increased in cortex and hippocampus and in cortex, hypothalamus and striatum by the higher dose of vinpocetine or piracetam, respectively along with decreased TAC (total antioxidant capacity)….at their high concentration, these drugs exhibit pro-oxidant properties and increase free radical production or act as a free radical….[Ref.]



He also adds that some "people are sleep deprived, stressed and engage in many other behaviors that increase oxidative stress of the hypothalamus", which leads to a worsened effect. Also, many "have a hypothalamus that isn’t working optimally".


According to the post, people with very healthy hypnothalami are less likely to notice these effects - which does not necessarily mean all is well. Still, while this type of hypothalamic damage doesn't necessarily disappear in a day, it usually does end up healing. Long term issues are well explained by the equally long term dysregulation caused in susceptible people who do many other things that compound the damage. Also, the sleep, irritability and sweat issues reported are probably caused by excessive cortisol release exacerbated by stress and/or overusage of stimulants.




Now, if anyone has any useful information or comment about this, especially about reverting possible damages to the brain caused by Piracetam and fine tuning the hypothalamus back into great shape, please do speak up.

Edited by Seganfredo, 21 July 2015 - 10:42 AM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: piracetam, nootropic, side-effects, brain fog, depression, drowsiness, irritability, headache, twitch, hypothalamus

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