1. I know it's related to the epilepsy drug Keppra (levetiracetam), and that's known for causing BAD, BAD suicidal depression. I already have major depressive disorder which gets bad at times(although I've never been suicidal), so will Piracetam cause depression too?
2. Does Piracetam do anything to help with ADHD? How about in combination with stimulants?
1. Piracetam is a nootropic (cognitive/memory enhancer) and a cyclic derivative of GABA. It can also be used to treat depression. It is believed to have few side effects and side effects are reportedly not very common. But occasionally people get symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, irritability, headache, agitation, and nervousness. I have not heard anything about it being associated with depression/suicidal ideation like levetiracetam is but it could be possible for the rare person, or perhaps cause some symptoms upon stopping it.
2. Yes, there have been some studies where it was found to have a high success rate in treating ADHD and I've heard anecdotal reports as well. As for combining it with stimulants, it is said to reduce side effects and damage from stimulants and I'm not aware of any adverse interactions; people do take it with stimulants for ADHD.
But how does adding piracetam to a stimulant additionally benefit ADHD? As in, what symptoms? I've heard it makes you smarter, but I have a very high IQ so being slow isn't my problem, but I have pretty much every ADHD symptom in the book to an extreme extent.
Originally Posted by Swimmingdancer
As for the levetiracetam causing depression...
"A lot of the side effects it does have are psychiatric. Reports from the field (a.k.a. anecdotal evidence) suggest the most common are the deep, sometimes suicidal depression. Another favorite is the Keppra rage, although this one seems to be overhyped, and the XR version may have dealt with that for many people in any event. Far less frequent, but still reported, are hallucinations - one woman I know with epilepsy had deep philosophical conversations with a ghost every night. And there’s this case report of a kid getting a bit psychotic on Keppra. Those kind of suck-especially when no one bothers to warn you that they might happen."
Yes I know levetiracetam can cause severe depression and other adverse effects, I was just saying that as far as I know piracetam is not believed to cause depression/suicidality like levetiracetam can.
As for piracetam helping with ADHD there have been some studies on using it for ADHD and which showed very promising results, (although on further investigation there was also one in which children with developmental delays were found to show no change or even got worse; but it seems the majority of people - over 60% - found it helpful).
Taking it with a stimulant may allow the person to require less of the stimulant, increase their ability to think clearly, focus, and feel motivated, improve multi-tasking, improve motor coordination, reduce neurotoxicity caused by stimulants, reduce side-effects and after-effects of stimulants, and so on. The only negative effects I've heard of from combining piracetam with stimulants are that some people said it felt like it made the stimulant stronger (which was not always viewed as a good thing if it made it too strong) and some said they felt like it may have made their tolerance to the stimulant progress faster than usual. But many others said they found it helpful. This is all just from anecdotal reports though. I'll see if I can find any studies on combining piracetam with stimulants if you like - what stimulant do you take?
Of course, you won't know how you respond personally until you try it. Like anything, there are going to be some people who see noticeable improvement, some who see no change, and some who see side effects.