Prevalence of use of psychostimulant drugs for cognitive neuro-enhancement purposes among Medical students

Authors

Keywords:

Education, medical, Central nervous system stimulants, Students, medical

Abstract

Introduction: Amphetamines are psychostimulant drugs that act on the central nervous system by increasing attention and concentration. It is known that medical students, even without justifying clinical conditions and despite the risks, use these substances to enhance their cognitive skills. Objective: to determine the prevalence and characteristics of non-prescribed use of amphetamines for the purpose of cognitive neuro-enhancement by medical students in Salvador-BA. Methods: Observational analytical cross-sectional study with 301 medical students. An online questionnaire was applied to characterize the users’ profile, in addition to the main motivations and adverse effects. For data analysis, absolute and relative frequencies were used, as well as the Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test to assess associations. Results: The prevalence of the use of psychostimulants was 13.0%, of which 76.9% started during the Medical course and 94.9% reported improvement in academic performance. The majority (79.5%) obtained the drugs without a medical prescription, especially Ritalina®? (82.0%) and Venvanse®? (48.7%). The main motivations were “increase in concentration/attention” (69.2%) and “preparation for exam periods” (66.7%); while insomnia (48.7%) and palpitation (33.3%) were the main adverse effects reported. Conclusion: There is a significant prevalence of non-prescribed use of psychostimulant drugs for cognitive neuro-improvement among medical students in Salvador-BA. The start of use during the course and the motivations presented suggest a high burden of self-collection for results, which should be better investigated to mitigate the negative effects of the excessive and non-prescribed use of these drugs. 

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Published

2021-04-10

How to Cite

Barbosa, L. A. O., Castro, M. G. de ., França, N. M. de A., & Mesquita, L. F. Q. de . (2021). Prevalence of use of psychostimulant drugs for cognitive neuro-enhancement purposes among Medical students. Journal of Multiprofessional Health Research, 2(1), e02.85-e02.97. Retrieved from https://journalmhr.com/index.php/jmhr/article/view/22

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