Non-FDA Approved Piracetam Found in Some Supplements Marketed for Cognitive Function

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pieter A. Cohen, MD Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville, Massachusetts Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Cohen

Pieter A. Cohen, MD
Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance
Somerville, Massachusetts
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There has been increasing interest in the use of over-the-counter supplements to help improve memory and cognitive function.  However, prior studies have suggested that these types of supplements might contain unapproved investigational drugs.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We studied dietary supplements labeled as containing piracetam.  Piracetam is a drug that has never been approved by the FDA, but is prescribed in a variety of other countries for cognitive disorders including dementia.  We found that consumers in the US could be exposed to higher-than-prescription dosages of piracetam when using “cognitive enhancement” supplements.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Consumers and physicians should be aware that supplements marketed as “cognitive enhancers” may contain prohibited drugs at higher-than prescription dosages.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: The next step is to understand if other investigational drugs are being sold as “brain boosting” supplements. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: I collaborate in research with NSF International and have received funding from Consumers Union.  I have also been sued by a supplement manufacturer, although this company’s products were not tested in the current study.

Citation:

Cohen PA, Zakharevich I, Gerona R. Presence of Piracetam in Cognitive Enhancement Dietary Supplements. JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 25, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.5507 

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Last Modified: Dec 16, 2019 @ 12:56 am 

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