Ahead of examinations, memory pills fly off chemists' shelves

With exams round the corner, memory-enhancing drugs are flying off the counters at pharmacies in the city.

With students trying every trick in the book to recollect what they have learnt , sale of memory pills, which are easily available, have increased. Though doctors say it doesn't help much and insist on hard work, students prefer to bank on these pills.

Pharmacies are selling these pills, which are also available in their ayurvedic, allopathic and homeopathic forms. According to chemists, parents and students are purchasing these medicines. They say the sale of memory-enhancing medicines go up especially during exams. February witnesses the sale spiralling by another 30 per cent. However, physicians and psychiatrist claim none of these medicines can improve memory.

Chemists say there are certain ayurvedic medicines available in the market that promise better memory power with no side effects. These are very popular among students. He said if these medicines are used for longer duration then there are chances of improving memory skills, but if taken for shorter term, then one shouldn't expect much.

Psychiatrists say that none of the medicines can improve the 'grasping power' of an individual. Dr Raveesh, head, psychiatrist department, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, said, "The memory of a child can only be improved if they follow a specific study chart and revise the subjects regularly. Instead of having a biological affect, these pills have a psychological impact on the students that the medicine can do wonders for them."

"There is a need to create awareness that no such miracle can happen within a month. Only hard work can help," he pointed out. "Everyone wants quick results. But one thing is sure -- there is no alternative to hard work. Therefore, instead of going for such an option, parents should take their child to an expert (mental health professionals like a psychologist or psychiatrist) and get the issue sorted out."

"Students who haven't prepared from the beginning will definitely feel the stress," adds Raveesh. He called upon students to follow a regularity in their routine, for instance, getting proper sleep and eating on time.

Dr Madwesh, additional chief medical superintendent, Railway Hospital, said, "Drugs will not serve the purpose. There is no major side effect though." Students should put in more effort rather than going for short-cut methods, he said.