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piracetam, bacopa

Posted by nootrope , 16 April 2008 · 3,650 views

It's been a while since I updated this. I've passed the 12-week mark in my supplementation with bacopa. The double-blind human study that suggested that bacopa reduces anxiety and can improve recall only showed results after 12 weeks. The results for me are not dramatic. But I've also been on ashwagandha for 7.5 months. In this time my mood has been particularly stable (at times I've had bipolar mood disorder), and it's hard not to attribute this at least partly to either ashwagandha or bacopa, each of which may lower anxiety. In particular, I think the quality of my sleep has much improved.

I finally got around try trying piracetam, the old time standard "nootropic". After a couple of days taking 4800 mg in two 2400 mg doses, I finally added a choline source (some cheap lecithin). For the next couple of days I reduced the dosage. However, I think I'll discontinue the experiment for now. Some people report absolutely no effect from piracetam, while others say the medical literature doesn't clearly demonstrate it improves cognition. If my powers of self-observation are ok, I think it does have an effect on me, but it's a little too much on the stimulating side. It may have spurred some creativity, but I think along with that went some feeling of restlessness and anxiety: I thought too much of the creative projects I was leaving undone, while thinking of the possibilities of starting still more. My bipolar disorder makes supplements with stimulating properties risky: for example, on a traditional antidepressant I might become manic. So I'm cutting off the experiment for now, even though I don't feel I crossed a line at all into a "hyper" affect. (Ritalin and modafinil I imagine, would be much riskier for me!) I'll still keep some around for a future experiment--this time with choline handy from the start--when I'm at a point in life where I need a kick to creativity and can allay my concern of piracetam's possible stimulating nature.

I should add that I started vincopetine a week before the piracetam--only a small amount (5 mg daily). So that may have acted together with the piracetam. I should take care next time I start either of these again to try one at a time.

So I'm sticking for now with my favorite anxiety-reducing adaptogen nootropics, ashwagandha and bacopa. The gotu kola helped me fall asleep but as a diuretic it made me wake up at 3am and not for a very important phone call!

February 2020

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