• Piracetam is a nootropic drug which enhances the cognitive function of the brain, an act of thinking, perceiving and understanding.
• It is used widely in Asia and Europe.
• In the United States, it is not approved by FDA but in U.K it is used in treating myoclonus.
Piracetam is used to treat cortical myoclonus, a movement disorder that causes short and uncontrollable twitching or jerky movements of arms and legs.
Piracetam is often prescribed to improve cognition and memory and slow brain aging. It has been used to improve the neurological conditions of Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, dementia and dyslexia (learning disorder).
Piracetam is not recommended in:
• Allergic to the piracetam drug
• Children below 16 years of age
• People with the history of bleeding in brain (cerebral hemorrhage) or at a risk of bleeding
• Severe kidney and liver disease
• Pregnancy and lactation
• Huntington’s chorea, a progressive brain disease that causes movement disorders, emotional problems and loss of thinking ability.
a) For treating as a cognitive enhancer in cerebrocortical insufficiency:
• The usual adult dose is 2.4 g taken in two or three divided doses.
• The maximum adult dose is 4.8 g daily.
• The recommended adult dose is 1-2 g three times daily through intravenous or intramuscular administration.
b) For treating myoclonus:
• The starting dose is 7.2 g daily in two or three divided doses which may be increased if needed.
• The maximum dose should not exceed 20g daily.
• Piracetam comes as a tablet or syrup or injection. The tablets and the oral solution should be taken with sufficient quantity of water or soft drink to mask the bitter taste of piracetam.
• It can be taken with or without food but taken with food helps to minimize gastrointestinal disturbances.
• The injection can be given by either intramuscular or intravenous route of administration.
• Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels should be monitored regularly in patients with kidney impairment.
• Liver enzymes and related parameters must be monitored to assess the liver function during the treatment with piracetam.
• Caution is required in treating patients with severe heart disease, the elderly or people with bleeding problems or who have recently undergone surgery.
• Piracetam may cause drowsiness and the user should not carry out skilled tasks such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
• Abrupt withdrawal of the medication should be avoided.
• Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
• Central Nervous System: Headache, drowsiness, nervousness, agitation, anxiety, and insomnia (inability to sleep), confusion, and hallucination
• Skin: Allergic skin reactions such as skin rashes, itching or hives
• Others: Increased body movements, weight gain, and general weakness
• Avoid excess dose.
• In case of overdose, the nearest emergency medical center should be contacted.
• Piracetam may increase the prothrombin time in patients who are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin. It may increase the risk of bleeding with other drugs with a similar effect on the blood.
• Anticonvulsant effects of anti-seizure drugs are reduced when taken together with piracetam.
• Piracetam could alter the effects of thyroid hormones, antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants and psychotropic drugs.
• Avoid piracetam with alcohol intake.
• Store in a cool, dry place away from excess heat and moisture.
• Keep the medicines out of reach of children.
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