Piracetam – The First Real Smart Drug

This article is an installment in the smart drug series here on NoGym.net. It is a collaborative series with Christopher Walker and Garrett Ruhland, head of R&D at truBrain.com. 

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Here we go…the big one. Piracetam.

Touted as the first real nootropic, Piracetam is the one nootropic everyone should get familiar with when entering the cognitive enhancing space.

The sheer quantity of cognitive enhancers out there is outstanding, but potentially overwhelming, so it make sense that we begin this series by introducing you to “Grandpa Piracetam” – the oldest and most studied smart drug on the market.

Outline for Article

History → Chemical Description → Mechanism of Action → Layman’s Mechanism of Action/How to describe it to a friend → Author’s Thoughts → Where to buy


Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964 by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, who soon after came up with the term nootropic.

The development of piracetam was not accidental, it was actually intentionally developed to be a cyclic derivative of GABA, a naturally occurring inhibitory Neurotransmitter that regulates neuronal excitability. What was subsequently discovered however was that even though piracetam was developed with the intent of producing GABA-like responses in it’s users, chiefly sleep-promotion, the opposite was true.

Dr. Giurgea soon found that Piracetam promoted what he would go on to describe as the nootropic effect. This nootropic effect was highly prized and went on to make UCB Pharma incredibly successful in the European market.

Mechanism of Action

Variety of proposed mechanisms that can be alluded to from the primary nootropic article and on pharmacological sources. Chiefly works by alternating/improving cell membrane permeability, thus hypothetically resulting in improved cellular communication and repair.

Layman’s Mechanism of Action

Improves brain health by making it easier for parts of your brain to communicate…like a very powerful fish oil/omega 3

How to describe to a friend

See mechanism of action

How to take

Its effectiveness is increased by co-administration with a choline source in order to avoid headaches. CDP-Choline is an excellent choice, especially since choline bitartrate results in upset stomach.

Author’s Thoughts

By far the best choice when looking to dip your toe into the world of nootropics. The effects are subtle, yet measurable. Ideal for someone looking to take steps in improving overall cognitive health and not looking to chase a high.

Where to Buy Piracetam (Safe/reputable retailers)