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Unexpected benefits of piracetam - helps with muscle aches, improves physical function

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Scarecrow, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    N.B. This post may be of particular interest to you if you get 24 / 7 / 52 muscle aches despite the first bit being about memory. This is going to be a long one so I'll break it up.

    I read one of @Hip's posts a couple of years ago in which he mentioned piracetam and it caught my attention.

    I have pretty severe cognitive problems at my worst. Some - like brain fog - come and go but others are permanent, if variable, in their intensity. The one I hate most is impaired memory.

    Provided I'm not brain fogged I don't have major short-term memory issues. So I can think and problem solve effectively within my energy limits.

    Before ME, I had a first class long-term memory. I usually only had to read something once to absorb it and I rarely bothered to read it again unless I wanted to clarify understanding. So, for example, you'd have been far more likely to catch me rereading sections of a physics chapter than biology. Since ME and especially since I became acutely worse, which coincided with a period of amnesia lasting about 10 days, my capacity to learn has been greatly affected. Part of this is definitely due to difficulty reading but mostly it seems to be with how the brain consolidates information long-term. So if I read something, my recall would be pretty reasonable to start with but then it declines rapidly. Previously I could almost visualise the text weeks after I had read it, now it's as if the text starts to fade in front of my eyes almost as soon as I've stopped reading.

    So when I learned about piracetam, which is said to be a memory enhancer, it seemed worth a go.

    Unfortunately, it hasn't helped me in the way I hoped it would but it has been a gift in other ways; some are seemingly trivial but actually quite life enhancing.

    Visually, it has been wonderful. Colours pop, clarity is better, detail and texture jump out, the world appears to be less flat. It seems strange, but I became much more aware that we live in 3 dimensions. I used to think 3-D films were really exaggerated because I didn't perceive the world to be anything like that. Now I get it.

    The first evening I took piracetam, I was reading PR (what else) and I kept becoming so engrossed by some of the avatars that I could barely read. I thought to myself "I have to go to the art gallery this weekend". I have almost no interest in art!

    In a similar vein, other senses have been enhanced; taste, and hearing. I still can't understand a thing if two people are talking at the same the same time but I have much better appreciation of music. The different instruments stand out rather than just being a pleasant blend.

    The other effect of piracetam is that I no longer struggle so much thinking of the right word, which so often happened, especially when talking. Language is so much more fluid and I feel less under pressure and less worried that that my brain will freeze mid thought. It still happens but not nearly so often. Some people refer to the social lubricant effect that piracetam has and I think part of the reason is that you can become more articulate and therefore more at ease. It's like alcohol except that the confidence comes from increased ability rather than worse ability but with lowered inhibition. So it has the happy effect of not turning you into a blithering idiot.

    tbc
     
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  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @Scarecrow
    Your results with piracetam are very interesting, and if you search online, you will probably find similar reports from others, regarding all the mental faculties you found this drug/supplement has enhanced.


    The efficacy of piracetam can be quite variable from one person to the next though. Some people report amazing effects from piracetam, but others find that piracetam makes no difference to them at all.

    But it's definitely worth trying piracetam, because the benefits are significant when you get them. Also, there is no tolerance or addiction with piracetam, so it will keep on working in the same way, even years down the line.


    The effects of piracetam can be improved by taking 500 mg of choline bitartrate with it, which helps support the acetylcholine neurotransmitter system that piracetam works on. Choline bitartrate can also prevent the occurrence of headaches that some people experience with piracetam and other racetam drugs.

    It is worth trying some of the other racetam drugs as well, such as aniracetam. I find aniracetam works in a similar way to piracetam.

    I got great results in terms of combating brain fog from the smart drug noopept, when I took 50 mg intranasally each day (noopept is taken in low milligram doses). Strictly speaking, noopept not actually from the racetam class of drugs, but is often grouped with the racetams because noopept is derived from piracetam.

    A list of all the racetam smart drugs/supplements is found here.


    Note: there is be a big difference in price between pharmacies selling piracetam as a drug (expensive) and companies selling piracetam as a bulk powder supplement (much cheaper).

    Some of these cheap bulk powder sellers of piracetam are:

    Piracetam - 1000g bulk powder
    Nootropics - Piracetam Page
    Pure Piracetam Powder in Bulk
    Piracetam - 200 Grams, ≥99%
    Piracetam Powder
     
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  3. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    I first tried piracetam in January 2013.

    After a long mostly stable period of remission, but not complete recovery, I had relapsed early in 2011, to the extent that I was still able to work with difficulty but my social life, which was never embarrassingly busy, was totally hammered. Since April of that year, I developed a permanent muscle ache in the front of my thighs, occasionally also in my arms. The ache in my thighs never let up for a single second for the best part of two years.

    A few days after starting the piracetam, I noticed the ache starting to fade to the extent that it had entirely disappeared within the next few days. I was thrilled, obviously! As you do, when things stop or start, you wonder what accounts for the difference and it was so close to happening after the piracetam that I stopped taking it......... reluctantly. Sure enough a few days later the aches returned. So I went back on the piracetam and the ache went away again. I won't labour the point but there are several times I've started and stopped and the effect has always been reproducible. What I have noticed is the lag between stopping and starting and the ache coming and going. Also when I have taken piracetam for months, it weeks going onto months before the ache returns and I can't help thinking that the lag effect is very significant.

    I'll just mention briefly that quality of sleep also improved, to the extent that I stopped taking methylB12 as regularly, which had been a life saver for me when I discovered it's sleep enhancing effect.

    Now here's the last benefit of the piracetam before my words of caution. After several weeks, my muscles started to feel more powerful and less fatigable, to the extent that I took myself out on a trial jog. The distance was one block of about 1km, at a guess. I thought I'd take it easy but honestly, I had more spring in my step than I'd ever had since the age of 15. That includes the entire period of remission where I was able to exercise regularly as long as I didn't overdo it. I was limited in what I could do but I rarely had that sore throat which is one of my PEM warning signs.

    After my trial jog, there were two reasons why at that time I didn't continue exercising - I had a lot going on after the death of one of my brothers and from time to time I get a pain in my chest, rarely now but more so then. Obviously because of my ME, my doctor wouldn't want to encourage my false Illness beliefs by so much as showing me a stethoscope. So I erred on the side of caution.

    Now we come to the downer in my tale. From about July or August 2013 I was coming under increased pressure at work because of a new manager. I pushed and pushed myself until I got to the point that I was at a standstill. I declined badly, physically and cognitively. I found myself one morning not able to remember how to attach a file to an email and trying not to panic about it - I'm the go to girl when anybody wants help with MS Office.

    In fear of it, I stopped taking the piracetam. That was late November 2013 and I didn't touch it again until August 2014. I used to take 8g each day over 3 doses but I now only take 2.4g in the morning purely with a view to keeping the aches at bay and it works. I also take choline more regularly. I had the choline on hand when I was taking a larger dose of piracetam but I rarely used it because I didn't have headaches and I didn't notice any enhancement from it.

    I'm planning on upping my dose again over the next few months with a view to start jogging short distances in the summer. I'd also like to get back to what I felt was a more suitable dose for cognitive function.

    In hindsight I don't believe that piracetam was responsible for my crash. It might have been not taking choline or it might have been not taking mB12 which I clearly have a requirement for, or it might have been pressure at work. It might also have been Samento, which I was taking in the autumn of that year.

    Any way, if you have ever used piracetam and have also noticed a reduction or cessation of aches - or any unexpected effect for that matter - it would be interesting to hear from you.


    Piracetam is generally considered to be very safe but if you are thinking of taking it, please do your homework first. It's prescription only in the UK (I can't speak for elsewhere) but you can import it for personal use. If you are taking any other medication, it would be wise to consult with your doctor. I don't take other medication but I did tell my doctor about the piracetam so that she could note it if she wanted to.
     
  4. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    Thanks, Hip.

    I didn't make this clear but it's my second post (we posted almost at the same time) that describes the unexpected effects. Have you ever heard anyone report anything similar?
     
  5. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    This one's already on my to do list.
     
  6. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    I changed the thread title to be less ambiguous.
     
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I certainly have not come across reports or studies about muscle pain reduction and physical performance improvements from piracetam.

    Piracetam has been shown to improve mitochondrial function, 1 so perhaps that might account for the benefits you found.
     
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  8. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    I had wondered about its potential effect on mitochondrial function. If it has that effect in the brain (not sure how accepted this is as a mechanism of action), why not elsewhere?
     
  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Yes that's what I am assuming. The study linked to above says:
    So my guess is that piracetam will improve mitochondrial membrane properties in all mitochondria throughout the body.
     
  10. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    Me, too, but I have no knowledge of biochemistry so was just fumbling around in the dark. Something about ion channels and lipid membrane permeability?

    Edit: that's why the lag effect affect struck me as so interesting.
     
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think I read that for this mitochondrial membrane improving effect you need higher doses of piracetam, around 5 grams daily; the piracetam dose I take just for cognitive enhancement is 1200 mg daily.

    Though it might not be the mitochondrial membrane effect that is behind your muscle and exercise improvements; it could be something else, such as the hypothesized effect on ion channels.

    Just came across this comprehensive article on the effects of piracetam: Piracetam - Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects | Examine.com


    I tend not to take piracetam now, though, because although piracetam greatly improves my brain fog, and dramatically sharpens my mental concentration and focus, piracetam I find significantly worsens my anhedonia and blunted affect (emotional flatness) symptoms (which I have in addition to ME/CFS), and I try to avoid at all costs worsening these symptoms, because they are really awful symptoms.

    Noopept does not improve my brain fog as much as piracetam, but also it does not worsen the anhedonia and blunted affect, so now I will take noopept rather than piracetam.
     
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  12. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    So, that would fit with the 8g I was taking.

    I will definitely give this a go in the not too distant future.

    Thanks
     
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  13. Battery Muncher

    Battery Muncher Senior Member

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    Fascinating post.

    I'd love to give this a go. If you live in the UK, is it possible to get piracetam/aniracetam/noopept without:

    a) a prescription

    b) ordering it off the internet (which is problematic for me, at least for the next 6 months or so)?
     
  14. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    Hi, @Battery Muncher

    There's a theoretical possible possibility that you could get a doctor to prescribe piracetam. It's prescribed for myoclonus but is available off-label for other conditions. If you're game to suffer the rolled eyes etc and your GP is of the persuadable sort, you could give it a go.

    When I discovered the benefits and told my GP, I asked for a private referral to a psychiatrist. She talked me into going to a private GP who specialised in 'fatigue' instead and I stupidly agreed. He suggested that fluoxetine may help. Hey ho.

    I'm not saying the psychiatrist idea would have worked out well for me but if you want to consult someone about taking drugs that affect the brain, who else are you going to talk to? My experience suggests that you'd be doing well if you can find a doctor to take you seriously about this but don't let me stop you trying.

    That unfortunately does leave the internet. You can import piracetam without prescription for your own use (2 or 3 months supply) but as I said in my second post, please do your homework about safety, eg how it might affect any other medical conditions you might have etc. For example, piracetam is said to enhance aspirin to prevent clotting and to effect vascular flow, so there are certain conditions where piracetam would not be advisable for that reason.

    Warnings over.

    I'm not hard core about nootropics, so I don't go for the cheapest option. The cheapest way is to buy powder and then cap them yourself. You can buy machines for this purpose - read the reviews, you'll want something that is easy to use. You will almost certainly not be able to tolerate the powder form of piracetam by adding it to a liquid such as orange juice because it is said to taste foul. Making up your own capsules is pretty much essential if you're going for piracetam but I don't know about aniracetam or noopept.

    Before going to the expense of buying a machine I'd try tablets first. This is who I order from:

    Piracetam
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
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  15. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    @Battery Muncher. Sorry for the detailed response when really the short answer to your question was 'no'.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Very interesting posts! Glad to hear you're improving @Scarecrow. I'm just gonna tag @zzz because I think he'd find this intriguing.
     
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  17. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    Thanks.

    I don't want to promote this as a miracle cure or anything close to that, just something that could help some people with quality of life.

    Based on an n=1 trial (hugely scientific,then) I am 100% certain that piracetam is responsible for the disappearance of the muscle aches I had.

    I am less certain but still confident about the improved physical strength and stamina. My physical base level is definitely improved but I haven't challenged it yet. And I will be very careful when I do. I'm no GET proponent. I think that the most important lesson ME teaches you is to respect your boundaries. At the level of function I've been at over the past few years, I've found that I can push at them now and again but if I do it constantly, I'll pay for it. I'm very aware that so many people don't even get to push a little without suffering the consequences.

    Any improvement I've ever had from ME is during periods where I have left space and allowed the boundaries to recede from me rather than me pushing at them.

    Unfortunately, I'm now in a bit of a crash due to reasons outwith my control and am currently signed off work - some advertisement, eh? I'm working on those reasons, so hopefully I'll get back on track soon.

    What piracetam definitely does not do is help with flares / crashes. I have no sense, even from the improvements I've had, that it deals directly with the underlying causes of this disease, whatever they are. I was literally out of breath earlier this week just getting dressed to see my GP. I had intended walking to the appointment (<10 mins)but I felt so weak I ended up driving.

    I think that physical impairment is somewhere downstream in the disease process (at least in my experience). I'm staged onset; cognitive impairment immediately followed IBS. During the next few years, I was caving and climbing mountains! But there was a clear continuous disease process that did lead eventually to significant physical impairment, not helped by a stupidly ill advised, self-induced programme of symptom denial.

    Piracetam does not help with the muscular pain of PEM (and you know that I don't mean DOMS) and it doesn't help with the muscles aches I had with a mystery infection towards the end of last year. So clearly, there is something specific about the low grade perma-ache I had in my thigh muscles. It isn't an immune related symptom, I don't think. Lactic acid levels usually get the blame and I'm very open to that. I was tested for blood lactate levels during exercise when I was in my long period of stability and they were high. It again makes me consider a possible mitochondrial link to the effect.
     
  18. Battery Muncher

    Battery Muncher Senior Member

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    Not at all! This was really helpful, and I've found all your posts very interesting. Thanks for your thoughtful response!
     
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  19. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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  20. Johnny

    Johnny

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    I am someone that has been using Piracetam off and on for about a year. I ordered it for clearer thinking and then found out it improved circulation, too. That's something I have trouble with since I work at a desk job. Doing that, teamed with exercise has really helped me. I get mine here.

    Piracetam

    I like it that they lab test it for purity, also.
     
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