Brain Steroids

We know that medications for ADD or ADHD help to improve concentration in those who have ADD and ADHD.

Some people – even if they don’t have the condition, take these medications to help to improve their focus and productivity (so called: ‘brain steroids’).

Each year, the press comes out with one or two stories (usually during exam time) talking about college students taking adderall to get through exams.

I must admit that the reason that I watched an episode of ‘Desperate Housewives’, was because a patient told me that one of the mothers on the show took her kid’s ritalin (I think that was in the first season). Wired magazine did a story on using ‘brain enhancing medications’ for people who don’t even have ADD or ADHD. It is surprising to hear of how many people use these medications to help with focusing and being productive. (Many of these people are scientists and researchers!)

In the first part of the article, the authors discuss the issue.

In the second part, they share some of the medication ‘regimens’ that people are using. They are generally a combination of ADHD medications like: Concerta, Ritalin, Focalin, Adderall, as well as Modafinil (provigil). This is a concerning development – and one which can be quite dangerous.

In the past two years, the FDA has issued several warnings about ADHD medications including risks of cardiovascular concerns, psychiatric side effects- including hallucinations, agitation and suicidal ideas.

Most of the people taking these medications as performance enhancers – are taking these medications without proper medical supervision.

My suggestion: if you need a pick me up – have a large Starbucks (or even a Red Bull), but stay away from ADHD medications unless you’ve been properly diagnosed with ADHD and you are being medically monitored.

Please share your thoughts on this topic.

Since I know that the vast majority of my blog readers have ADD/ADHD or support a loved one with ADD/ADHD, please share your experiences with this topic – maybe it’s friends trying to get some of your pills!