Pill claims to boost energy, enhance focus
But is new wonder drug safe?
- Duration 3:53
- Date Jul 19, 2012
But is new wonder drug safe?
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-- are different these receptors in the brain that activate specific -- And you know how they say that we can only access -- percent of children.
It lets you access.
Did you see the film limitless a man discovers a top secret pill that gives him super human abilities.
And while that was just a movie now there's a real life version.
Of that wonder drug it's being called Viagra for the brain.
But is pro vigil too good to be true.
Joining me now professor of psychiatry at NYU school of medicine doctor Jonathan -- -- -- -- see you doctor the -- so this drug pro vigil.
You prescribed as a psychiatrist for what.
We use it for narcolepsy.
We use it for -- -- on label uses reason for.
Obstructive sleep disorder that it's people who have obstructive sleep apnea often get very tired next afternoon.
Tennis -- officially personally use for.
People who change shifts.
So policeman fireman when -- Have -- it has specific uses that now people aren't thinking wow what they can stimulate.
Those kind of -- folks maybe I'll just use it to feel better all day long.
And then let them that is the claim and people use it and there's a lot of off label use for that purpose people.
Feel that it makes them more alert better focused more active.
And it's very seductive because people like to feel focused -- active and good.
Well especially in American culture where we.
Like to always be going in -- and accomplishing the next goal what are your concerns about people using it in the wrong man who.
It's not that necessarily the wrong manner but the people are using it -- an untested manner.
And that is that the nobody's ever studied the long term effects of the stroke on the normal human brain.
If you have -- drug the changes the brain.
Has never -- free lunch.
And we don't know what that is and and normally the FDA to -- it you have to study it's effects and normal people and children states.
So what happened here nobody's ever studied it for long term effects.
You say is it is it fair to say that that.
Maybe one of the reasons they don't study it or pay more attention to it is because it's -- money well of.
On the what's the -- what's the financial incentive to study drug.
Where they're not advertising in there once the drug -- company was actually fine for promoting -- off label use.
And paid that fine.
But in fact they make a lot of money on my truck and -- in fact be an effective drug.
Right well prescription sales for this drug increased by 73%.
In four years.
The money went from 832.
Million in 302000.
In 2007 to over one point four million in a 2000 on the eleventh you say that the drug is addictive so that's another cancer.
Well it's it's -- seems to be mildly addictive.
But it may be in the same way that people who use drugs chronically four -- drugs of abuse such as cocaine.
They initially start out to get a -- And then after awhile I think it's the dark side they just don't feel normal without it.
So when you get testimonials.
To its efficacy.
Have people been using the drug initially.
It does seem -- -- for improved focal concentration and does seem to prove some aspects of brain functioning.
It doesn't improve other aspects of brain function within the question really becomes after awhile but if you stop the drug.
Have you in fact -- -- -- the brain.
While sounds like a lot of concerns doctor Jonathan Brody -- -- good to see this morning thanks for your insights that.