Oxiracetam is a nootropic substance, or a substance that enhances brain functioning. It is a member of the racetam family, which appear to function in the brain by activating a critical receptor involved in many different aspects of cognitive functioning, the glutamate receptor. This activation presumably occurs via the ability of racetams to modulate the actions of two key neurotransmitters, glutamate and acetylcholine, although the exact mechanism is still poorly understood.
During recent years, there has been a growing public interest as well as increased research efforts regarding nootropic substances. This is probably because an increased percentage of the general population is reaching an advanced age, and improving brain function is a key interest for this segment of the population. Younger people who feel the need to perform well on tests and succeed at school may also seek out such aids.
The key effect of oxiracetam is an improved memory. This appears to involve a better memory capacity as well as faster recall. Other effects of this substance are reportedly clearer thinking and improved focus. Anecdotal reports also include increased alertness and a generally improved mood.
Oxiracetam does not appear to have some of the unpleasant side effects associated with other substances that affect neurotransmitter levels, such as jitteriness and anxiety. Normal doses might cause insomnia in some people, and very high doses have been associated with stomach upset. Although some studies showed that there are no known side effects associated with long-term use of oxiracetam, more studies need to be performed to ensure the safety of prolonged use.
A drawback of this substance is that it appears to improve brain function in the short term only. This suggests that it will probably not prove to be a long-term solution for cognitive enhancement. Despite this disappointing drawback, however, oxiracetam does appear to be a relatively safe short-term solution for isolated situations that require better focus or memory. These types of situations might involve an important exam, a short and intense language immersion course, or an important speech or presentation.
Oxiracetam can be purchased via the Internet from a variety of manufacturers. It may be sold as a single supplement or may be combined in a cognitive enhancing formula with other racetams, such as pramiracetam or aniracetam, or with other nootropic substances. The actual oxiracetam content and quality appear to vary among manufacturers, so people interested in trying this supplement should research which product has the highest rated cognitive effects. These supplements also vary widely in price, although oxiracetam tends to be a relatively expensive supplement.