New pill described as Viagra for the brain

9:28 AM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Viagra for the brain; a pill that can make people smarter, more focused and energetic. Sales have skyrocketed for the drug made by a Chester County company that's now generic.

In this fast-paced world, what if a pill could make you see things differently, even make you more successful.

It's the premise of the Bradley Cooper movie "Limitless."

"Honestly they must have tried Provigil when they were preparing that movie," said Dave Asprey, who says the movie is not far from his own reality, holding two high-powered jobs. He starts his day with a pill.

"This is the sort of thing that lets you perform at levels you didn't know you were capable of," said Dave.

The pill is Provigil. Some call it a smart drug. It's even been nicknamed "Viagra for the brain."

"You have a laser like focus that you didn't have before," said Dave.

Provigil is FDA approved for excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy, sleep apnea and shift work. But it can be prescribed off label for people who are tired and want more energy and increased brain function.

It's a stimulant that doesn't affect the entire central nervous system, like Ritalin or speed and other drugs of that caliber.

"So we get less side effects, less addictive potential," said Dr. Ron Popper, a sleep specialist.

Dave says he's had no side effects, and he thinks a lot of people could benefit from the smart drug.

"I am really convinced that when people take this for a while they get used to operating at a higher level performance, and even without the drug they still maintain some ability to focus at a level they couldn't before," said Dave.

Doctors say Provigil is not a substitute for sleep, and there are potential side effects, everything from headaches to back pain even a rare life threatening rash.

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