There is a very special category of drugs, kindly referred to as “Smart Drugs,” called Nootropics. These types of drugs have, through a number of different means, are able to enhance memory, recall, cognitive and concentration on tasks at hand, particularly in people who suffer from conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and varied instances of brain trauma, either through injury or disease. Research has determined that the bulk of nootropics are non-toxic, are beneficial, and carry few if any side effects that anyone need be concerned with, when taken in correct doses. In fairness, however, while research into these drugs has been consistent since the 1960s, there are still some aspects of nootropics that remain a mystery to experts. For example nootropics, like many drugs, does not affect every single person in the exact same ways with the same doses of the same substance. However, the majority of research is positive and promising. Two of the most common nootropics are Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam; understanding how they are similar and different requires a closer comparison.


Again nootropics are a category of drugs called Smart Drugs and the bulk of nootropics fall into the shared family of the racetams. Racetams are identified by the fact that they all possess pyrrolidone nucleus and most are considered as nootropics, while others are considered stimulants. “Racetams, like oxiracetam, piracetam, aniracetam and pramiracetam, are cerebral homeostatic normalizers, neuroprotectants, cerebral metabolic enhancers and brain integrative agents”. This is what makes them a valued inclusion in the therapies to treat brain injuries and conditions associated with memory-diminishing conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. Both Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam fall under the umbrella of racetams and nootropics both have been effective in, sometimes in differing ways.


Pramiracetam was patented in the late 1970s in Belgium. This is a lipid-soluble racetam and nootropic. Pramiracetam due to its high-affinity choline uptake or HACU encourages the production and release of acetylcholine to the brain, specifically, the Hippocampus. This is why it is beneficial in stoking and maintaining the memory recall. Pramiracetam is considered to be quite potent in comparison to many of the other nootropics; in fact, it is sometimes 10 to 30 times more potent in some cases. The average prescribed dose of Pramiracetam is approximately 1200 mg per day, which is broken into 2 or 3 equal doses , which is considerably lower than most of the racetam nootropics (Frank, 2014). Oxiracetam qualifies as nootropic, but it is, also, used as a stimulant in certain circumstances. Overall users of Oxiracetam, add a higher normal dosage, has a longer effect that it nootropic cousins, sometimes 3 hours or more.

Of course, while these drugs do have much in common there are some distinct differences. By and large, Oxiracetam is remarked to be beneficial for longer periods of time and seems to aid most in focus while learning and memory capacity. Pramiracetam, on the other hand seems to be most beneficial in areas of recall and maintaining of memory. The two go about this is different ways they are both incredibly beneficial. However, for the budget conscious patient it should made clear that Pramiracetam is far more expensive than any of its chemical cousins. Regardless, of which you choose or are prescribed there are fortunately, very, limited side effects. Pramiracetam can potentially lead to headaches and insomnia, however Oxiracetam has some of the lower number of side effects, even those like insomnia and headaches are unlikely.

Overall, Pramiracetam is the stronger of the two and its effects are far more extreme and immediate, at least in the reports of increased “brain activity” and “boost” the experts call it. However, if one is not seeking an extreme increase and Pramiracetam may not be the most advantageous for extended uses over a long period of time. Oxiracetam, however, is less likely to cause on to become tolerate of its effects and may carry less risk than Pramiracetam.


While Oxiracetam has not been remarked as causing negative side effects in any patients, however the same cannot be the said of Pramiracetam. Aside from the minor potential side effects, like headache, as mentioned previously, there is one other element to be considered. Some research is showing the Pramiracetam can have negative effects on the developing brains of human beings. Some studies done have seen that individuals that engaged in the use of Pramiracetam during brain development seemed to experience a reverse and adverse effect. The studies determined that it actually diminished any innate concentration, memory abilities and mental acuity and coordination. That said it is beneficial to speak to a professional or your own doctor before taking any drug, whether for medicinal or supplemental use, on a regular basis. While, both, Pramiracetam and Oxiracetam are, by and large, safe and pose little threat to any users health, it is still beneficial to get proper advice.


First and foremost these drugs are most beneficial as treatments for conditions like Alzheimer’s and amnesia, as well as, other side effects of traumatic brain injuries. However, the idea of a pill that encourages greater mental dexterity, creates a more focused mind, and can contribute to improved intellect could be enticing to any average person. High school overachievers, stressed-out college students, and even professionals pressured by deadlines may be attracted to drugs like Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam, and there label as Smart Drugs. However, again, one should always be cautious when taking an outside substance, whatever it may be. The bulk of tests show that there are no serious threats from taking these oxiracetam or pramiracetam, however the bulk of the studies were focused on appropriate doses and the abuse of that doses could always, potentially, lead to unforeseen side effects. All the same the research into these nootropics is proving to encourage a brighter day for dementia, Alzheimer’s and other sufferers of traumatic brain injuries. That, in and of itself, makes further research worthwhile.

Smart Drugs for Thought (2015). Oxiracetam vs Pramiracetam: Dosage, Side Effects and Benefits