A new study found that some brain and workout supplements contain prescription drug that have yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
One of the drugs that the researchers found is called picamilon (nicotinoyl-GABA), which has not been tested enough for side effects. Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, believes that picamilon may enhance the effects of sedatives.
The other drug that they found in supplements is vinpocetine (ethyl apovincaminate), and researchers say that as a side effect it may lower the blood pressure.
In Germany, as well as in other countries, both of these drugs can be prescribed by a doctor for certain conditions that affect the blood flow and brain activity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved these two drugs in the United Stated yet.
Researchers conducted a study in which they looked at 31 supplements that contained picamilon and 23 supplements that contained vinpocetine. The quantity of the drugs was not listed on the label of 54 percent of picamilon supplements, and 75 percent of vinpocetine supplements.
About 0.3 milligrams to 32 milligrams of vinpocetine were found in a daily dose of supplements. According to the researchers when the drug is prescribed on its own, the daily recommended dose is between 5 to 40 milligrams.
When looking at the picamilon supplements, the researchers found that a daily dose had approximately 2.7 milligrams to 721 milligrams of picamilon. The daily recommended dose of the prescribed drug is 200 milligrams.
According to Cohen, in 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed vinopocetine on the market, but only as an ingredient in supplements. However, since vinopocetine is a man-made drug, and it is not found in the Vica minor plant, Cohen believes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should ban the drug from being sold in supplements.
Picamilon has yet to be approved as an ingredient in supplements by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which means that it should be illegal to include it in any workout & brain supplements, Cohen said.
The researchers stated that more research should be conducted in order to conclude whether all picamilon and vinpocetine supplements that are sold in the US show similar results.
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