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Citicoline Guide – Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and More

Citicoline Guide

Nootropics or ‘smart drugs’ have been all the rage of late. Almost everyone, from university-going students to top-level executives, uses these drugs to enhance attention spans, boost creativity and intelligence, and increase self-motivation levels.

Citicoline does all of that and more. This synthetic version of a chemical produced in the body improves cognitive performance, reduces impulsive reactions, and alleviates symptoms of depression. It has also demonstrated the ability to help insomniacs sleep.

It isn’t only healthy individuals that could benefit from taking Citicoline. Recent research has indicated that this nootropic could also help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, slowing the spread of this condition and helping brain functions work normally.

Seems like benefits you could do with? Then you’re at the right place. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything about Citicoline, how it works, and its various benefits. Best of all, we’ll reveal the dosage at which this nootropic is most effective and least toxic.

What is Citicoline?

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Citicoline, generic name CDP-choline, is a brain chemical. It plays a crucial role in the production of phospholipids. These molecules build cell membranes, regulate digestion and various metabolic processes, and prevent the accumulation of fats in the liver.

As a supplement, citicoline has been investigated in clinical trials as a potential treatment for traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and vascular dementia. That is because its working mechanism (explained below) can make it useful in these conditions.

Several clinical studies have shown that Citicoline could improve memory. This nootropic has also exhibited the ability to enhance various other cognitive functions. These include attention span, mental alertness, reaction time, learning ability and mental clarity.

A favorable safety profile further distinguishes Citicoline from its fellow synthetic nootropics, many of which either have an unfavorable or an uninvestigated safety profile. All in all, citicoline deserves your focus if you’re searching for an effective and safe nootropic.

How does Citicoline Work?

Citicoline carries out multiple crucial functions in the brain.

It increases the production of phosphatidylcholine (PC), a chemical found naturally in all body cells. PC is involved in the production of choline (a compound that helps preserve the integrity of cells). PC is also a key element that makes up our cell membranes. [R]

Citicoline also increases the production of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Plus, this nootropic enhances brain blood flow (cerebral flow), which leads to improved reaction time and reduced brain inflammation. [R]

There are two other highly beneficial effects that citicoline induces in the brain. This nootropic stimulates the mitochondria to produce more energy in the brain and reduces the presence of free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and preventing inflammation. [R]

Citicoline Benefits

Citicoline Benefits

Citicoline arguably provides more benefits than any other synthetic nootropic. It improves memory, reaction time, and learning capacity, reduces cognitive decline, free radicals, and memory impairment, and reverses and/or treats cognitive and behavioral disturbances.

This nootropic has also demonstrated the ability to alleviate symptoms of depression, both in healthy individuals and those battling cocaine addiction. There are also multiple pieces of evidence to suggest that citicoline could reverse mild vascular cognitive impairment.

What’s more, unlike your average nootropic, the effects of Citicoline don’t start and end at the brain. Various trials have shown that this supplement can improve eyesight and treat multiple eye diseases. These include glaucoma, lazy eye disease, and optic neuropathy. 

Let’s take a look at the research-backed benefits of Citicoline:

1)   Enhances concentration and attention

Various trials have shown that citicoline improves concentration and attention.

A clinical study revealed that drinking a citicoline-caffeine-based beverage saw 60 healthy adults experience increased concentration and attention spans. That, too, within 30 minutes of drinking the beverage. [R]

Another study investigated the effects of citicoline treatment (500 mg/day for two weeks) on 20 healthy volunteers. The result was increased attention and working memory. [R]

2)   Improves working memory

Working memory refers to short-term memory that helps us perform daily tasks. Research has shown that the better your working memory, the higher your learning ability.

Multiple studies have shown that this nootropic could improve working memory in healthy adults and those with cognitive impairment. The improvement was induced by a reduction in oxidative stress, one of the biggest enemies of any memory. [R]

That said, it isn’t only working memory that citicoline could improve. A clinical trial involving older adults reported that it could enhance episodic memory too. Other studies have shown that it could also improve verbal memory and overall cognitive function. [R]

3)   May effectively treat traumatic brain injury

Citicoline supplementation is reported to be highly effective in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

It has been shown that citicoline helps patients with TBI by spurring the regeneration of brain cells and increasing brain membrane integrity. A pharmacological and clinical review of randomized clinical trials found that it could improve the neuro-cognitive state in patients with TBI.

This nootropic could also help TBI patients regain consciousness quickly, a hugely significant benefit as severe brain injury could knock you unconscious for months. [R]

4)   Alleviates symptoms of depression

Various randomized controlled trials have documented citicoline’s effects on depression.

In a randomized controlled clinical trial, 50 patients with major depressive disorder experienced major improvement in their symptoms following citicoline + citalopram treatment. [R]

Another study found that citicoline treatment improved the mood of stroke patients suffering from mild-moderate anxiety or anxious-depressive syndrome. A third study also reported reduced symptoms of depression in patients with bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. [R]

5)   Can reverse cognitive impairment

Citicoline can reverse cognitive dysfunction independently and as part of combined therapy.

On its own, this nootropic has demonstrated the ability to improve cognitive impairment of the vascular origin, such as acute ischemic stroke. It has been reported that citicoline could improve attention, executive function, and temporal orientation in stroke patients. [R]

Significantly, citicoline appears to be most effective at treating cognitive impairment when administered within 24 hours of the symptom onset. As many as 25 publications have reported that citicoline-treated patients experienced increased cognitive faculties. [R]

6)   Increases brain energy

This is one of the most sought-after benefits of this nootropic.

Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is the ‘energy currency’ of your cells. ATP helps the cells conserve energy when you don’t need it (such as when the stomach is breaking down food) and release energy when it’s required (such as when you’re exercising in the gym).

The good news is that citicoline could increase the brain’s ATP production by as much as 14%. This has significant implications, given that increased ATP production has been proven to be neuroprotective. [R]

7)   May reduce meth addiction

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that gives you an intense ‘high’.

However, what comes after isn’t so rosy. When this drug wears off, individuals are left feeling fatigued, lethargic, depressed, and anxious. To overcome this feeling and prolong the high, meth users may start taking this drug every few hours, opening the door to addiction.

A clinical trial of 31 meth addicts reported that citicoline treatment reduced drug use and protected the brain. Another human study reported that this nootropic helped reduce depression in meth addicts, which is one of the major symptoms of this drug’s dependence. [R][R]

Can Citicoline help with Alzheimer’s?

At least 10 trials have shown that Citicoline may improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease experienced enhanced mental performance after being treated with this nootropic. The blood flow in their brains (cerebral blood flow) also increased, while the level of inflammatory molecules in their brains nosedived. [R][R][R]

Two more studies reported that citicoline boosted the effects of existing Alzheimer’s treatment, slowing the progression of this neurodegenerative disease in over 600 patients. The combination of both drugs resulted in higher acetylcholine synthesis than either drug given alone. [R]

Lastly, two separate studies reported that patients with a genetic predisposition to AD experienced improved cognitive performance after citicoline treatment. Equally importantly, 1,000 mg/day of this nootropic produced no adverse effects. [R]

Citicoline Results

Citicoline Results

One citicoline user with a history of depression reported ‘feeling more confident’ and ‘able to focus on what needs to be done’ after dosing citicoline.

Another person who claims to have glaucoma reported that he is ‘no longer legally blind’ after being at 1000 mg per day for about six months.

A third user claimed that he has been cycling citicoline for about 4 years. He further claimed that a 250 mg 2x daily dose has brought his memory ‘to a razor edge’.

Citicoline Dosage

How much Citicoline you should take per day depends on what you’re looking to accomplish.

Clinical trials have shown that citicoline dosages for boosting cognition and memory are different from those used to overcome drug addiction and treat chronic cerebral disorders.

In most cases, studies investigating this drug’s cognition-boosting and memory-enhancing effects used lower dosages than those examining its antidepressant effects.

Here are Citicoline dosages that produced beneficial effects in human trials:

  • For boosting cognition: 200 – 250 mg/day for 4 weeks
  • For enhancing memory: 500 to 1,000 mg/day for 4 weeks
  • For overcoming drug addiction: 2,000 to 2,500 mg/day for 6+ weeks
  • For alleviating symptoms of depression: : 2,000 to 2,500 mg/day for 6+ weeks

How to Take Citicoline?

Since it has high oral bioavailability (90%), citicoline can be taken with a glass of water.

You can take this nootropic with or without food. Unless you specifically want it, there’s no need to inject this supplement into the vein or under the skin. Its excellent bioavailability means that citicoline can easily penetrate the blood-brain barrier regardless of the mode of administration.

Where to buy Citicoline?

Pure Rawz is the best place to buy Citicoline online.

Pure Rawz provides reference materials with every product we sell. All of their products come with an independent, third-party-issued Certificate of Analysis for identification, purity, and concentration. 

Pure Rawz also offers free international shipping on all orders above $100. You can pay for your purchase through various methods, including PayPal and Bitcoin.

Citicoline Side Effects

side effects

Even at high doses, citicoline is considered a safe drug. Almost all the clinical trials on this nootropic state that it is safe and generally well-tolerated.

However, in rare cases, adverse effects may occur, including:

  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea


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Citicoline is a brain chemical that increases the production of neurotransmitters and stimulates the mitochondria to produce more energy.

Various trials have shown that Citicoline can enhance concentration and attention, increase brain energy, and reduce meth addiction.

This brain chemical can also improve working memory, alleviate symptoms of depression, and reverse symptoms of cognitive impairment.


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