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Does Piracetam help in improving memory?

Q: I am a software professional. My job involves a lot of analytical reasoning, excellent memory and is very demanding. I have noticed I am not able to think clearly, or concentrate or remember anything for long. I forget things very soon, which is affecting my career in a negative way. I heard about a drug Piracetam, which would help my cause. I want to try it. What is the dosage and side effects of this drug? I am otherwise healthy, have normal sleep and under no medication.

A:Piracetam has no role in improving memory. In India, Piracetam is unethically and illegally being promoted by manufacturers for vague conditions like "intellectual decay," "social maladjustment," "lack of alertness," "changes of mood," "deterioration in behaviour" and "learning disabilities in children." In Britain, piracetam (Nootropil) is permitted for use in a rare disorder called cortical myoclonus. While in India, the drug is being promoted for use in very young children, in Britain its use is contraindicated for adolescents under the age of 16 years. The drug's side effects include: diarrhoea, insomnia, nervousness, depression, hyperkinesia and rash. Piracetam is not permitted to be sold in the United States.

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