What is piracetam?
Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) that is touted as a nootropic or brain enhancement supplement. Although approved for use in many European countries for cognitive impairment (dementia, Alzheimer’s) and myoclonus, it is not an approved pharmaceutical in the Untied States. The FDA has also declared it an un-allowed dietary supplement. Despite this decision by the FDA this drug continues to be readily available in the US. (Cohen PA, Zakharevich I, Gerona R. Presence of Piracetam in Cognitive Enhancement Dietary Supplements. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Nov 25. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.5507. [Epub ahead of print])
Submitted by: Michael J Hodgman, MD on behalf of the Herbs & Dietary Supplements Section