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From the May 18th, 1994 issue of Smart Drug News [v3n3]. Copyright (c) 1994, 1997. All rights reserved.

Smart Drug Update:

Piracetam and Altitude

by Steven Wm. Fowkes

About one year ago, we published an extensive update on piracetam [Vol. 1, No. 10]. In that article, we reported that piracetam was remarkably effective in counteracting cerebral hypoxia. Young men in their 20s and early 30s breathing air with 10.5% oxygen (45% less than normal, equivalent to 17,000 feet of altitude) were able to perform substantially better on a complex-choice reaction-time test when they took a single 2400 mg dose of piracetam. Not only was mental performance equivalent to controls breathing normal 20% oxygen, but piracetam also normalized the respiratory rates of those breathing the oxygen-deprived air. This effect was significant at both 1600 mg and 2400 mg.

These test results prompted us to speculate in Smart Drugs II that piracetam might be an effective coping strategy for vacationers who travel from sea level to above 5000 feet for a weekend of skiing, rock-climbing, backpacking, or sightseeing. Significantly, in the last several months, we've received numerous reports from our skiing subscribers affirming that result. They have spoken of increased strength and stamina, better mental focus, fewer mistakes, and decreased daytime sleepiness. One couple reported that both of them had made eight downhill runs in one day, the “best day of skiing by far” that they had ever experienced.

As the skiing season draws to a close, it is time for other sports to stand up and be counted. How about it readers? If you head for the mountains this summer for some fun and relaxation, let us know if piracetam (or any other smart drugs) influences your adjustment to altitude.