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AMA Adopts New Policy Discouraging Non-Medical Usage of Nootropics

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Responding to the safety concerns generated by a growing use of nootropics, physicians at the 2016 AMA Annual Meeting adopted new policy discouraging the nonmedical use of these prescription drugs for cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals.

Nootropics—the so-called “smart drugs”—include a variety of prescription drugs, supplements and other substances that claim to improve cognitive functions of healthy individuals, particularly executive function, memory, learning or intelligence.

Prescription drugs that are FDA-approved to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy are commonly associated with off-label use by students and others seeking to boost memory, learning or other aspects of cognition. Such use is associated with a variety of adverse mental health conditions and patterns of substance misuse.

“As temptation grows to use prescription drugs for a competitive advantage at work and school, the nonmedical use of these drugs should be discouraged given potential for substance misuse and other adverse consequences,” said AMA Board Member Maya A. Babu, MD, in a news release. “The AMA believes physicians can support this goal by not prescribing any drug for the purpose of cognitive enhancement in otherwise healthy individuals.”

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Source: American Medical Association