Doctor’s Review of Picamilon: How Universal Is It?
July 25, 2018
Picamilon is one of the most popular nootropics and can be used for treating a variety of conditions, including autism, ADHD, alcohol and drug withdrawal symptoms, and others.
The review is given by the doctor-psychotherapist of the highest category with the years of practice, Candidate of Medical Sciences: Galushchak Alexander Vasilievich
Below you can find the transcript of the video
Your CosmicNootropic team
Reporter: Irina Lisitsyna
Psychiatrist: Aleksandr Galuschak M.D.
Irina Lisitsyna: What class of drug does Picamilon belong to?
Galuschak Alexandr Vasil’evich: Picamilon is a nootropic. This is a group of drugs that improve brain function, increase resistance to stress as well as physical and psychological strain.
IL: What is the main active ingredient of the drug?
AV: The active ingredient of this drug is gamma amino-acid. So essentially, this drug improves the energetic qualities of brain tissue.
IL: What other properties does the drug have? How effective is it?
AV: Considering that the makeup of the drug includes niacin derivatives, it works to improve circulation. That is, it improves blood circulation in the brain. It is unique in that it lowers the viscosity of blood. In this way, it makes it easier for blood to circulate and pass through blood vessels, in turn improving nutrient and oxygen flow. It improves brain stamina and tissue in the body as a whole.
IL: Is it fair to say Picamilon is an effective alternative to tranquilizers?
AV: Not at all, insofar as it belongs to a completely different class of drug. Tranquilizers are drugs that work to take away emotional and vegetative lability. This drug on the other hand not only produces a calming effect but improves tolerance to stress. But the main effect is that it improves the trophic function of nerve cells in the brain as well as the circulation of nutrients. In this way, it strengthens brain cells and improves the patient’s ability to cope with stress.
IL: What illnesses and conditions is Picamilon used to treat?
AV: There are a lot of indications. It can be used in neurology, pediatric neurology, in mild to severe psychiatric conditions, and in drug abuse treatment. It can be used in practically every kind of brain condition. This includes different kinds of encephalopathy, trauma, intoxication, infections, vascular diseases, atherosclerotic issues, and states of exhaustion. Then you’ve got cerebrathenic, asthenic conditions, anxious states, anxieties. So in general these nervous system disorders that affect the patient’s ability to lead a normal life.
IL: Can the drug help with vertigo and tinnitus?
AV: Vertigo and tinnitus…These are symptoms that are present in a large range of illnesses including inner ear infections, diseases of the vestibular apparatus. These symptoms can also appear in cases of encephalopathy and atherosclerosis. This drug is indicated for use as part of complex treatment for these disorders.
IL: Why do athletes take Picamilon?
AV: Athletes are professionals. They need endurance and good reflexes. They need the body and brain to perform well, and to be able to quickly react to changes in their environment. It can be used to help prepare for competitions, however, it is not doping. It simply increases activity in the body, brain, nervous system of the athlete. Therefore, doctors may prescribe them for short term preparation for competitions. These drugs aren’t prohibited and don’t pose a risk to the health of the athlete.
IL: What applications does Picamilon have in pediatric psychiatry? For example is it used to treat autism, ADHD, or delays in speech development?
AV: Yes, those things you listed are some of the major indications for prescribing this drug. The thing is, improved circulation and nutrient flow to the brain is helpful in treating delays in psycho-emotional and speech development. That is, kids who by 2 or 3 aren’t able to speak…that is, it might be Sjogren-Larsson syndrome or other disorders, including even cerebral palsy. So basically it’s used in a complex treatment along with immunotherapy and sessions with a speech pathologist. There might also be work with a personal trainer, massage therapist. So, a complex therapy aimed at improving the central nervous system function. This is the best course of treatment.
IL: In what form is Picamilon administered?
AV: Picamilon is sold in many forms, making it very convenient for practicing physicians. It is sold in tablets: for children—20 milligrams, and for adults—50. It is also offered as an injection. That is, it can be given intramuscularly intravenously and even in drops.
IL: But most often it’s prescribed and administered in tablet form. When and for what conditions is it offered as an injection?
AV: The intravenous injectable form of the drug is used in cases of asthenia, acute alcohol intoxication, and in serious circulatory problems in the brain. This is in cases when we really need for the drug to enter the circulatory system of the patient. That is, directly into the blood vessels. Sometimes we start with an intravenous drip dissolved in a saline solution. Or, it is slowly administered intravenously. Then, we move on to an intramuscular injection or tablet form.
IL: So Picamilon can be taken intravenously or intramuscularly.
AV: Yes, taking into account the type of symptoms and their severity, the physician can choose which form is best.
IL: Is the muscular injection painful?
AV: Well, the dose isn’t very large. It’s like one to two milliliters. Most patients don’t feel much pain.
IL: And how is Picamilon taken intramuscularly? Is it just a standard needle? Just a standard injection?
AV: Yes, it’s a standard injection.
IL: How many times a day is it taken?
AV: It’s taken once or twice a day depending on the symptoms present, the body mass of the patient, and the doctor’s discretion.
IL: And how long is the typical course of treatment?
AV: It’s usually injected for 10-15 days. So in the beginning it can be taken intravenously in a drip or slow injection. It’s then further taken as an intramuscular injection, adding up to a total of 15-20 days. It can then be administered in tablet form.
IL: How are the tablets taken?
AV: Considering the tablets can contain different doses—for children it’s 20 milligrams and for adults 50—-the doctor can easily control the dose. As a rule, it’s taken 3 times a day in doses of 1 to 2 tablets. So if it’s a teenager or young person, let’s say 20 years old, then it should be 40 milligrams. If it’s a large adult, sometimes we might prescribe 2 to tablets at 100 milligrams three times a day. That is, as much is required to achieve an effect.
IL: Should it be taken before or after eating?
AV: As a rule, it should be taken after eating. However, again, there aren’t any indications that it interferes with the digestive system. Just to make sure there aren’t any complications, though, it’s best to take it after eating, and with a glass of water 30 minutes after taking it.
IL: Can it be taken at night?
AV: Yes, it doesn’t interfere with sleep. This drug doesn’t directly increase energy, so it’s okay to take it in the evening.
IL: After how long does it take effect and how long does the therapeutic effect last?
AV: This drug is interesting because its stimulating, calming, therapeutic effect starts working on the first day of treatment. The effect begins gently and the patient feels a gradual improvement over the course of 3 days. Let’s suppose I prescribe the drug and a patient comes in for treatment. That very day I can expect to see an improvement in their demeanor, more activity, and reduced anxiety. Their anxieties and former worries begin to fade.
IL: How long can the drug be taken continuously?
AV: The length of treatment can vary: anywhere from one and a half months to 3. The length of treatment and dose might vary, but the main goal is to alleviate the symptoms with both medication and psychotherapy.
IL: How long should the patient wait between courses?
AV: It’s recommended that breaks last between 5-6 months.
IL: From what age can children be prescribed Picamilon?
AV: Children older than 3-5 years old can take it when we strongly feel the symptoms associated with some kind of developmental delay, psychological delay, or speech delay necesitate it. This might include withdrawal or signs of autism or cerebral palsy. In cases like this, where a child experiences anxiety or social disadaption, we might prescribe it in small doses.
IL: In what doses?
AV: The drug should be administered in a single tablet twice a day in the morning and afternoon. The dose for children is 20 milligrams.
IL: Can you abruptly stop taking Picamilon?
AV: It is strongly advised that any course of treatment should be gradually reduced to the lowest effective dose before stopping.
IL: Are there any side effects of this drug?
AV: Side effects are quite rare. This drug, insofar as it’s administered even to children, has been proven in practice to have very few side effects. Sometimes patients experience vertigo, headaches, and nausea—but these symptoms occur when reducing the dose or stopping treatment.
IL: Is lethargy a side effect or Picamilon?
AV: No, this hasn’t been observed.
IL: Does the drug raise or lower blood pressure? Does it have an effect?
AV: Inasmuch as it improves circulation in the brain and affects arterial pressure, it’s been observed that it may help lower blood pressure a bit lowering the risk of hypertension.
IL: Are overdoses of Picamilon rare?
AV: Overdose is very rare, but it does affect vascular tone and the central nervous system. It can cause headaches, nausea, and sometimes insomnia and anxiety. These are states caused by stimulating the nervous system.
IL: Can the patient build a tolerance to the drug?
AV: The patient can’t build a tolerance to the drug and it doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms.
IL: Is there anyone who shouldn’t take Picamilon? Can it be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
AV: The drug is not recommended for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. Nor is it recommended for children under the age of three. It should not be taken by individuals with kidney disease or acute circulatory conditions in the brain.
IL: How about in patients with epilepsy and diabetes?
AV: It’s better not to prescribe the drug in those cases.
IL: How does Picamilon interact with other drugs?
AV: Considering it’s used to treat circulatory disorders in the brain, it’s often used in combination with other nootropics. In cases like this, it complements these other drugs well. However, if we’re talking about analgesics, especially opioids, it could compound their effect. When taken with sleeping pills, especially barbiturates, it might negate their effect. This information must be taken into account when prescribing Picamilon.
IL: Are there any analogs to Picamilon?
AV: Yes there are. They belong to the nootropic class of drugs. This includes Nootropil, Fezam, Noofen. These drugs generally produce an analogous effect.