Piracetam (for Myoclonus)

According to Wikipedia:
Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA. It is one of the racetams. Though largely ignored in the United States, piracetam is commonly prescribed in Europe for a variety of conditions. However, in some places, due to its non-toxic nature and its general health benefits it is seen more as a food supplement than as a drug.

Piracetam has only shown to be effective at controlling Myoclonus (myoclonic jerks). It does not appear to offer any benefits for controlling other types of seizures.


Piracetam given as add-on therapy seems to be an effective, sustained, and well-tolerated treatment of myoclonus. In patients with progressive myoclonus epilepsy, the efficacy of the drug increased during the first 12 months of treatment and then stabilized. ... The median improvement of the adjusted sum score improved by a median of 16.6% (range, 1.2%-22.3%) at the first month of treatment, 21.7% (range, 13%-24.1%) at the sixth month, 37.6% (range, 14%-58.3%) at the 12th month, and at 31.3% (range, 13.4%-46.3%) at the 18th month.

This report shows that 50% improvement is at the upper limit of the range for this particular study. I was able to find other case studies (like this one [.PDF file]) which report 100% control of myoclonic jerks. However, I wasn't able to find a study with a large enough sample to derive a meaningful score for the chart on percentages of patients hitting 50% or 90% improvement.

Potential Adverse Events

High doses of piracetam were well tolerated and adverse effects were rare, mild, and transitory. They occurred early during treatment and did not require discontinuing the medication. Piracetam treatment was also well tolerated in larger series of patients with Alzheimer disease, although lower doses were generally used.17 The most common adverse effect was gastrointestinal discomfort, occurring in about one third of the patients.6 This is probably explained by the mild osmotic effect that piracetam may cause when high doses are reached quickly. When giving 3.6 g at the beginning and increasing the dose gradually, none of the patients developed diarrhea.

There appear to be no serious risks or consequences to taking Piracetam. I scored it a 10 for the chart.


A quick survey of internet drug retailers shows that the cost of Piracetam is on par with most vitamins and supplements. I scored it a 9 for the chart.


Piracetam supplementation needs to be adopted as a permanent routine for long-term benefits. It requires continuous active participation


Seizure control could start occurring within days to weeks of starting the supplementation. In studies, the best seizure control occurs at around 6 months.

Special Notes

Piracetam is not approved by the FDA for sale in the USA.

This page last modified September 9, 2019.

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