American Medical Association discouraging use of "smart drug" - FOX Carolina 21

American Medical Association discouraging use of "smart drug"

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Several varieties and pills and supplements pictured (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Several varieties and pills and supplements pictured (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

With distractions like cell phones and other technology, the desire to stay focused is high. Ben Sand is one of those people and decided to take a nootrophic, the so called "smart drug".

"It's just a simple way to kind of, get the alertness I'm looking for," said Ben Sand. Sand said he wanted the product to help focus at work, and said he doesn't get the negative side effects of caffeine. "For me it's sort of like coffee but a bit smoother."

Nootrobox, the product sand purchased includes b vitamins and caffeine, as well as other ingredients you may have never heard of like, Bacopa Monnieri and, Rodiala Rosea, which are herbs. They're available online, and need no prescription. 

"It may have a positive effect, you know... we just don't know. The problem with these drugs is that they've just not been well studied, there's no medical literature behind it," said Dr. Jason Blasenak. 

Jason Blasenak is a physician at Emergency MD in Greenville. He said there's no information out there proving the drugs effectiveness. "That's the problem in the medical community with recommending these drugs or having people take these drugs, we also don't know what the side effect profile is," he said.

The American Medical Association issued a warning about nootropics and discouraging the use of them, this statement was in their release:

While prescription stimulants carry real risks, they do not make people smarter. The available evidence suggests the cognitive effects of prescription stimulants appear to be highly variable among individuals, are dose-dependent, and limited or modest at best in healthy individuals.

"There's a lot of people eating different forms of nootropics, and that ranges anywhere from pharmacudicals to supplements, to illegal substances, all over the spectrum," said Michael Brandt.

Brandt is the co-founder of Nootrobox, and he defends the product, saying there's others like it on the market. The AMA agrees, and said there are over 100 substances advertised online to have the ability to improve cognitive performance, but says their safety and effectiveness has not been looked into.

Dr. Blasenak said the biggest concern is the unknown, and what the drug may be doing to your body.

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