‘Memory enhancers to help you during your Boards’ — screams an advertisement in a local paper. A week before the HSC and SSC exams and doctors are plagued with calls from parents and students for pills to improve memory and deal with anxiety. But doctors are cautioning parents not to try over-the-counter pills.
“Memory tonics or tablets do not help. We don’t recommend any kind of medicine to students especially before the exams,” said Dr Gaurang Desai, Hiranandani Hospital. “Students used to take Amphetamine to reduce tension and keep calm, but such medication is not good.”
Dr Desai also adds that there are several cases where tonics are bought across the counter without prescriptions. Refusing to divulge the names of the tonics he said, “There are memory tonics available in the market but there are no study conducted to prove that they actually help to enhance memory. What one can take are vitamins and iron tablets for general health but only after consulting a doctor.”
Psychiatrist Dr Jyoti Sangle said that she gets several calls from stressed students, some of them even experiencing panic attacks. “There are some cases where medication is necessary. But then again, popping pills to stay up and put in longer hours of study is a strict no-no. For some special cases, I do prescribe small doses or anti-anxiety tablets to keep them calm,” said Sangle.