Piracetam and the racetams can have a host of side effects. These side effects are often not considered to be serious however they can be highly annoying. Having knowledge about these side effects and what causes them may help you prevent them or possibly reduce the severity.
It is important to remember that while piracetam is generally very safe, it still follows a dosage pattern. The higher the dosage, the higher likelihood there will be unpleasant side effects. This same rule applies to all the racetams like aniracetam, pramiracetam, etc…
Piracetam & Headaches Causes
Piracetam headache is perhaps the most common side effect experienced with this racetam. The root cause may have several causes but there is one prominent theory. There has not been a lot scientific study into this area and most of this evidence is circumstantial as based on numerous individual user reports.
Having not enough choline in the brain is the number one theory behind piracetam headaches. Piracetam is a cholinergic compound and therefore it influences acetylcholine and receptor activity. This activity is believed to up regulate the receptors and cause a higher demand for choline and acetylcholine in certain parts of the brain.
The piracetam headache is not believed to be a serious risk however it is highly uncomfortable and most people will discontinue use. Many people find that supplementing a choline source can help to remove or reduce the headache with piracetam and racetams in general. Some of the better choline sources include alpha GPC and citicoline.
Piracetam Irritability & Depression Causes
Piracetam mood disorders are a common negative side effect commonly experienced. Different people may experience different problems with the substance. Irritability is very common. Some people find they have a shorter temper when taking piracetam. Others may experience depression as a side effect of piracetam. This is perhaps the most negative mood effect on can experience while taking racetam nootropics.
There have not been any directly related studies to nootropics and mood side effects however it is known that increasing cholinergic activity can affect other neurotransmitters. Since racetams have an effect on the cholinergic system, several other neurotransmitters relating to mood may be manipulated. Some people may experience this effect more than others and this is not considered to be dangerous.
Some of the neurotransmitters that are affected by cholinergic activity are norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. All of these neurotransmitters can play and important part in our mood. People may have these levels alerted differently than others which can explain the difference in mood side effects. These individuals can try lowering the piracetam dosage to reduce or stop these effects.
Piracetam “Brain Fog” Causes
One common side effect experienced with piracetam and similar racetams is brain fog. This brain fog has a lot of anti nootropic qualities and is the opposite desired effect. This problem is also thought to be related to a neurotransmitter imbalance. Increasing the cholinergic activity may influence other important cognitive neurotransmitters like dopamine. Dopamine like acetylcholine, also relates to memory and cognitive function.
It is unclear why some people may experience brain fog while others do not. One theory is that these people are more prone and sensitive to the effects of piracetam. There remains an important balance of cognitive neurotransmitters and strengthening one system may throw another one off kilter. Again, this remains dependant on the individual’s sensitivity and unique neurochemistry. One may try lowering the piracetam dosage to try to eliminate piracetam brain fog. If this still does not work, racetam nootropics may not be suited for the individual.