Drugs that make you feel smarter are becoming all the rage.
Our search for solutions in pill bottles has led one in four British residents to take what are commonly called “nootropics,” drugs that sharpen brain functions. As to whether they work or not, have you seen what’s happening in Great Britain lately?
Modafinil and Nuvigil are the two most common prescribed medications. They are used to treat narcolepsy, a disorder that causes daytime sleepiness and are said to improve concentration and focus. Those properties are leading college students and CEO’s to look for an edge with these kind of medications, and an aging population concerned about losing cognitive functions is probably feeding the frenzy.
Baylor College of Medicine professor and sleep specialist Dr. Ritwick Agrawal says these are prescription medications and should not be taken except under the care of a qualified physician. He says the idea isn’t new.
“Several decades ago, cocaine came out when we didn’t know it was an addictive substance, and that’s exactly what people would do: they’d add cocaine to products and people would feel better and much more alert,” he says. Those were the days when things went better with Coca Cola.
Dr. Agrawal says if you want to be really alert, your best investment is in a good night's sleep.