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Research Letter
November 25, 2019

Presence of Piracetam in Cognitive Enhancement Dietary Supplements

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Somerville, Massachusetts
  • 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Clinical Toxicology and Environmental Biomonitoring Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • 4Now at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado, Denver, Aurora, Colorado
JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 25, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.5507

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned that cognitive enhancement supplements “may be ineffective, unsafe, and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.”1 Brain enhancement supplements or “nootropics” have become increasingly popular, with US sales exceeding $640 million in 2015 alone. Despite their popularity, the risks of these products are poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed dietary supplements for the presence of the nootropic drug piracetam.

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    1 Comment for this article
    Patient-friendly resource?
    Catherine Davis, PhD, Clin. Health Psychol | Georgia Prevention Institute, Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University
    Thank you for this important report. Can you suggest a patient-friendly factsheet or other resource that will help convince supplement-enthusiasts to be more cautious in their selection of supplements? Supplement advertising can be much more appealing than medical advice, so a degree of charm is needed.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
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