Know the basics
What is piracetam used for?
Piracetam acts on the brain and nervous system and is thought to protect it against a shortness of oxygen. Piracetam is used in combination with other medicines to treat myoclonus. Piracetam also is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of memory disorders or intellectual disturbances in the absence of the diagnosis of dementia.
How should I take piracetam?
Always take piracetam exactly as your doctor has told you.
- Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water.
- Do not break or chew the tablets as piracetam has a very bitter taste.
- If you find it difficult to swallow the tablets tell your doctor as soon as possible as they can prescribe piracetam in the form of a solution.
How do I store piracetam?
Piracetam is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store piracetam in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of piracetam that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush piracetam down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using piracetam?
- Avoid abrupt withdrawal;
- Impaired renal function;
- Cardiac disorders;
- Haemostatic disorders;
- Patients who have recently undergone major surgery;
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using piracetam during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking piracetam. Piracetam is pregnancy risk category N, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk;
- B=No risk in some studies;
- C=There may be some risk;
- D=Positive evidence of risk;
For unknown pregnancy risk category:
There isn’t enough information about the safety of using piracetam during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this.
Know the side effects
What side effects can occur from piracetam?
You may notice the following side effects:
- An allergic reaction and experience difficulty breathing, swelling, fever;
- Spontaneous bleeding caused by defects in your blood clotting mechanism;
- Worse fits;
- Hallucinations, difficulty balancing, and unsteadiness when standing,
- Anxiety and agitation, confusion, restlessness, nervousness;
- Weight increase,
- Stomach pain;
- Feeling or being sick, headache, swelling of the skin, particularly around the face, skin rash and itching.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with piracetam?
Piracetam may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with piracetam?
Piracetam may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with piracetam?
Piracetam may interact with your health condition, such as:
- You think your kidneys may not be working perfectly.
- You have ever had any kind of bleeding problem.
- You suffer from Huntington‘s Disease.
This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using piracetam.
What is the dose of piracetam for an adult?
Adjunct in cortical myoclonus
Oral route: 7.2 g daily in 2-3 divided doses, increased by 4.8 g/day every 3-4 days, max dose: 20 g daily.
As a cognitive enhancer in cerebrocortical insufficiency
Oral route: 2.4 g daily, given in 2-3 divided doses. Up to 4.8 g daily may be used in severe cases.
What is the dose of piracetam for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is piracetam available?
Piracetam is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablets 800 mg;
- Capsule 400 mg;
- Infusion solution 12 g/60 ml.
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services (115) or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of piracetam, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
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