Oxiracetam 101: What is it, Side Effects & Benefits

Updated May 11, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 8 minutes)

Oxiracetam is a popular Nootropic used for its cognitive enhancement benefits as well as high safety profile.

If you've been in the Nootropic-space for quite some time you'll be familiar with the popular Nootropic called; Oxiracetam.

What is Oxiracetam exactly, what does it do in the brain and what are the exact benefits and side effects? In this article I'll take a closer look at these questions.

.... So without further ado, let's just jump straight to it, shall we?

What is Oxiracetam?

Oxiracetam is part of the racetam family, a now known nootropic which was originally used to treat memory loss and cognitive decline commonly associated with aging.

Although, one of the big things about Oxiracetam (just like plenty of other nootropics which are available) is that there is a lack of good clinical studies; a lot of its known effects have come from general public use, so some of these benefits may not in fact be true.

This is always a shame, but that's what you’ll typically find with any compound part of the racetam family, but don’t be discouraged, this could be a nootropic that completely turns things around for you when it comes to workflow.

There is still evidence online throughout the nootropic community that suggests it to be a fairly safe compound to use if you’re looking for cognitive benefits.

Which we’re going to talk all about today.

FUN FACT: Oxiracetam is currently sold as a dietary supplement throughout the US and actually has no specific medical uses currently.

What does Oxiracetam do to the brain?

As stated above, there is a lack of evidence to support some of the things which many people claim Oxiracetam to do; so we’d like you to take everything we say here with a pinch of salt and not to fully trust in what we know.

Though this is the case with most racetams and if you’re an avid user of cognitive boosting nootropics, you’d probably know this already.

Improves your memory

According to a few studies, daily treatment of Oxiracetam at around 400-2,400 mg’s can improve the user's cognitive function and in some cases, users even found that they had much better verbal memory.

Users also experienced an increase in intellectualness, although this was from people who had oderate’ dementia, so the same effects may not be apparent in healthy humans.

But who knows, maybe you will feel much smarter whilst daily dosing.

One other interesting thing which has been reported from users is that they found that they had improved sleep whilst they took the compound, and some even found that they had a reduced level of anxiety.

Both are great side benefits of a substance that you would primarily be taking for its cognitive benefits - making it a great choice if you suffer from these things too.

Two studies in rats also showed that they had an improvement in long term memory, so another potentially great benefit that could go a long way if you’re looking to get the most out of a study session or a long shift at work.

Improve focus and attention

People using Oxiracetam have reported that they have seen some benefits in their alertness and attention, explaining that they have seen an improvement in reaction time alongside this too.

Reported to also increase alertness whilst also decreasing anxiety (as discussed previously), users have found some cognitive function improvements too, meaning that this racetam is certainly one to keep in mind if you’re looking for a ick-me-up’ throughout the day.

Improved blood flow to the brain

Some early findings suggest that oxiracetam helps to reduce damage to neurons and white matter, which further helped to restore blood flow and block the activation of cells which would usually be associated with scaring the brain.

This increase in blood flow also had some more cognitive benefits related to spatial learning and improved memory.

One thing to remember about Oxiracetam

All in all, oxiracetam sounds like it provides some great benefits, but remember - more research needs to be done before you outright trust these findings for yourself.

Though this is a common theme with all racetams, so in most cases you’ll just have to see for yourself just how good this nootropic actually is.

Doing so safely of course.

Potential benefits and side effects

Here I'm going to give you a summary of the potential benefits (potential being the keyword here, for reasons I’ve already discussed) so that you know what you could expect when taking this racetam in the future.

Whether you intend to use it to boost your brainpower for the purpose of studying or you’ve got a long work project that needs to be finished up next week, a nootropic like this can seriously help.

As discussed, here is what oxiracetam as improved in some users:

  • Alertness
  • Memory
  • Verbal memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Intellectual function
  • Sleep
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Spatial learning

All of these things are desirable for anyone looking to level-up their workflow, but surely there must be some side effects right?

Well yes, of course, just like any compound there are side effects that can come from dosing.

These side effects have been experienced for one reason or another, whether the nootropic itself just didn't agree with the person (as it can do sometimes) or because the person did too much of it.

And the other reason could be, that it just has some side effects, like any sort of chemical you take, that just happen as a result of using it.

Nothing is perfect.

Anyway, enough chatter, let’s talk about some of the side effects which have been experienced.

Here are the current known side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Overexcitability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Constipation or Diarrhea

Some of these side effects are typical to what you will find with any nootropic on the market, but again, due to limited research on Oxiracetam, it is unclear as to whether or not these things have arisen from long term use, short term use, or overdosing.

What's the best dosage for better cognition?

From studies and other people's experience online, it is unclear what the perfect dosage amount actually is, since users have been dosing ANYWHERE FROM 400 TO 2,400MG OF OXIRACETAM to help feel its benefits.

So ultimately, I can not answer this for certain - but at least we have some sort of range when it comes to understanding dosage amounts - though if you were to take this yourself, it would have to be down to your own research if you wanted to figure out the best possible dosage.

Even if I had a better idea of the amounts needed to take in order to feel its brain-boosting benefits, it may even be a little different to use as these sorts of things affect people in different ways.

What I am saying is, no I don't yet know the sweet spot when it comes to dosage amounts for cognitive improvement, though I do know it to be anywhere from 400 to 2,400mg.

So do with that information what you will.

Oxiracetam vs Aniracetam - what's the difference?

Both Oxiracetam and Aniracetam are used by individuals who are looking for memory and focus boosting properties to help support brain function and increase their mental clarity so that they are able to feel much more alert and focused when it comes to working on a project.

As their name indicates, the compounds are both a part of the racetam family and are strictly similar to the first racetam, Piracetam - though they are both slightly more potent..

One of the key differences and a sort of TDLR is that Aniracetam is viewed as a mood enhancement compound, helping to reduce stress and help with social anxiety.

Whereas Oxiracetam is considered to be for enhancing focus and promoting mental acuity.

Though with that being said, they can be both used for the purpose of helping you to become much more alert, their methods of action are just a little different.

More about Aniracetam

Although I’ve just given you a simple comparison of the two compounds, I want to talk a little more about Aniracetam on its own, since I’ve already covered Oxiracetam heavily in this article, it's important to know why they would even be compared to each other in the first place.

Beyond them being part of the racetam family.

Benefits of Aniracetam

As mentioned, some of the benefits that aniracetam can bring about are slightly different to what users will find when dosing oxiracetam, and here they are:

Aniracetam helps to improve:

  • Mental energy
  • Concentration
  • Clarity of thought
  • Auditory Perception
  • Visual perception
  • Reduces nervousness
  • Improved focus
  • Reduced fatigue

Also, it's worth mentioning whilst other racetams are much better at giving you focus, like Pramiracetam or Phenylpiracetam, users prefer this compound due to the mood-lifting effects it has on them.

As it induces the feeling of calm and balanced mental activity, it can help with general clarity and will improve workflow since you just feel much better about doing whatever it is you’re doing.

Allowing you to build a positive relationship when it comes to doing oring’ work.

So, which is in fact better: Oxiracetam or Aniracetam?

As I’ve outlined in the last couple of headings, both of these racetams have their benefits, so just like anything in life - especially nootropics - it all comes down to preference and what you’re looking to get out of taking any compound.

If you’re looking for a mood enhancer that can make you feel much calmer, thus making you feel much more focused on the task at hand - then Aniracetam is the one for you.

If you’re looking for an actual positive mental boost when it comes to improving focus and cognitive ability then we would suggest that you look into sourcing Oxiracetam.

One last thing: as I’ve outlined all throughout this piece, Oxiracetam has limited research, and that goes for Aniracetam too - as with almost all racetams.

So a lot of the benefits listed have limited research-based backing, again, do with that information what you will.

Can you stack Oxiracetam with other nootropics?

Yes, oxiracetam can be stacked with other compounds so that you can get further benefits from dosing, there are quite a few stacks but as usual, it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Oxiracetam and Aniracetam Stack

I’ve just talked about both of these compounds, in comparison to each other, but people actually stack them as they neatly complement each other which can be appealing for anyone looking to boost their cognitive ability and improve their mood.

The benefits of this stack is to help improve your mood whilst also helping you to improve cognitive function; meaning that you can focus on your work and feel happy whilst doing so.

And when you leave your desk to go for a break, your surroundings will be much more appealing due to this improvement in mood.

Oxiracetam and Modafinil Stack

If you’re in serious need of a long study session because you’ve got a test coming up, or you’ve got a long-overdue project that desperately needs finishing for work, then the Oxiracetam and Modafinil stack will be the one for you.

Since modafinil is a wakefulness agent and helps to promote alertness; along with other cognitive functions - it makes it a great stack with Oxiracetam as they both compliment each other (since they do a similar thing) and combining them will help further enhance their benefits.

Pros and Cons: What I like and dislike

You’ll be sick of me repeating myself on this bit, but the fact of the matter is that there is just limited research on Oxiracetam, so much so I cannot confidently recommend it to you despite what some of its users have found.

Although, if you’re someone who isn't desperate when it comes to finding a nootropic for brain-boosting, and you’re a more asual’ user and are just looking to find something new in the nootropic world that might actually have some awesome benefits, then for those of you, we would recommend it.

But if you’re in desperate need of improved focus and cognitive function this very second, there are plenty more nootropics out there that have much more accurate research than can almost guarantee its benefits.

Though with that being said, if more research was done and it was in fact true that Oxiracetam could benefit you in ways like:

  • Alertness
  • Memory
  • Verbal memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Intellectual function
  • Sleep
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Spatial learning

Then I see no reason as to why this could not be one of the best nootropics on the market, especially if stacked with something like modafinil or Aniracetam to offer you further benefits.