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Seen At 11: Drug Provigil Called ‘Viagra For The Brain’

Users Swear By It, But FDA Has Limited Its Approval To Sleep Disorders Only
Provigil tablets. (Photo: MedHelp.org)

Provigil tablets. (Photo: MedHelp.org)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Need more energy? Want to improve your memory? Maybe achieve greater success at work? Now there’s a pill that may be able to do all this and more.

But is it too good to be true?

Dave Asprey said he packs 48 hours’ worth of activities into one day. He has two jobs and a family. He’s an avid investor, and even has time to write his own blog.

So what’s his secret?

“This is the sort of thing that makes you perform at levels you didn’t know you were capable of,” Asprey said.

His secret comes in the form of a little pill called “Provigil.” It’s not only powerful — it does something so amazing — it’s nicknamed “Viagra for the brain.” Asprey said it’s changed his life.

“You have a laser-like focus you didn’t have before. You’re opening your mind that says I’m capable of this amazing level of focus. I just turned 40 a couple days ago and honestly my brain works better now than it did when it was 20 and that’s profound for me. My brain is better at 40 than it was at 20,” Asprey said.

Provigil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004, to treat sleep disorders including narcolepsy, sleep apnea and sleep problems caused by shift work, CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois reported.

“They’re primary function is to wake you up, make you more alert and functional throughout the daytime,” sleep specialist Dr. Ron Popper said.

But now, more and more people are popping Provigil, not for sleep disorders but for increased energy and improved memory, which some said helps give a leg up on the competition — and with little to no side effects.

“I am really convinced that when people take this for a while they get used to operating on higher level of performance and even without the drug they still maintain the ability to focus at a level they couldn’t before,” Asprey said.

“They’re nervous system stimulants, without affecting the entire central nervous system like speed or Ritalin or drugs of that caliber, so we get less side effects, less addictive potential with these drugs,” Dr. Popper said.

If you look online it’s easy to find the drug with or without a prescription, but that has doctors sounding an alarm.

“This is just like the abuse of any other medication. This is not what the drug was intended for,” Dr. Popper said.

But many are asking why not, if people say the pill helps them be more productive?

“Until the studies are done to show the long-term effectiveness and long-term side effects it should be used according to the FDA guidelines,” Dr. Popper said.

FDA guidelines require this drug be prescribed by a doctor for sleep disorders only.

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