Reader Q&A – Adrafinil or Piracetam, young people using nootropics, Kratom overdose

This post is another reader mailbag, but it’s bigger and better than before. I’ve been answering questions when I can via e-mail and Twitter, and thought these topics might be interesting enough to cover here.


What’s the difference between adrafinil and piracetam?

Reader Gin writes:

I’m new to all of this and was wondering if there is a real difference between adrafinil and piracetam, can I take them together or would I be taking two different versions of the same?

Hi Gin,

Thanks for writing. Yes, they are different substances. Adrafinil is a eugeroic (promotes wakefulness without stimulating)1 while piracetam is a nootropic with cholinergic and mild ampakine properties.2 They cover different neurotransmitters so there would be little if any redundancy or overlap.

So yes, in theory, you could take them together if you wanted to experiment for yourself. On the other hand, if you took piracetam with aniracetam or something like that (basically any other racetam) you might be wasting it. [Ed – I said this because I haven’t come across any benefits for myself or from others combining two or more racetams]

Keep in mind that I have never taken both together at the same time and I have not experimented very much with adrafinil. A lot of people seem to like it because it’s less expensive compared to prescription modafinil or armodafinil, and easier to get in many places (no seizures by your country’s customs officials). Make sure you look up the health risks associated with it if you intend on trying adrafinil. [See my post on adrafinil]

Piracetam does not seem to have as much side effects if at all. In the time I’ve taken it, I’ve never encountered anything wrong with it other than a little irritability that might come from diminished acetylcholine levels which you can fix with a source like ALCAR, Alpha-GPC or CDP Choline (all of which can cross the blood-brain barrier to raise acetylcholine), but some people do fine without it. We’re all a little different so your needs may be different.

Should Young People use Nootropics?

I was asked this on Twitter by @CLHall3

My responses:

The character limit on twitter is tough for me. For further elaboration: I stated that there isn’t any negative effect of nootropic drugs like piracetam per se, but the positive effects seem to be greatest for people suffering from anything that can negatively affect cognitive health.

In people who are already healthy, the beneficial effects seem to be diminished. Piracetam does however seem to have a protective effect on cognitive health and may be of interest to people who are concerned about longevity.3

I have not as of this post conducted any experiments to determine if piracetam has any significant effect on my own cognition (it’s honestly been a long time since I’ve used piracetam) but the next time I can fit it into my nootropic budget, I’ll be sure to take a whack at it.

The “certain supplements” I had in mind in my final tweet include the following:

What’s the worst experience you’ve had with a supplement?

I asked this question to my subscribers on Twitter. One of my Twitter pals had this to say about Kratom:

To further explain what happened, he linked his experience that he detailed here on the GLL Forum (they use “burning” and “aroma” because kratom is not intended for human consumption according to the Happy Hippo website).

This does not mean kratom is horrible, but rather I take his experience to mean: be mindful of dosage and always start small. Know and respect your substances if you want them to respect you.

I’ve only written about my first experience with kratom here. I plan to try more in the future when I fit it into my supplement budget. I found the experience to be enjoyable.

Final words

If you have any questions or anything interesting to share related to supplements, feel free to write, leave a comment below, or hit me up on Twitter. I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge.

Pill Scout is a nutrition enthusiast who strives to find the best substances to enhance the everyday experience.

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  1. – Adrafinil 

  2. – Piracetam 

  3. – Piracetam