Doctor’s Review of Mexidol: Nootropic Effect
The Mexidol increases the resistance of the body to the effects of various damaging factors (shock, hypoxia and ischemia, cerebral circulation disorders, intoxication with alcohol, and antipsychotic drugs (neuroleptics).
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
When are antioxidants like Mexidol used in psychotherapy? What effects does this drug have on the body?
Mexidol is sold in a tablet and injectable form. How are each of these administered?
How is Mexidol taken: before or after eating? How many times a day?
How long is the course of treatment for Mexidol?
Among the side-effects of Mexidol, patients have reported headaches, nausea, vertigo, increased heart rate, lowered oxygen levels, and insomnia. How often do these symptoms occur and how can they be alleviated? And what about stopping the medicine?
Can children take Mexidol? In what circumstances? If so, from what age?
Can pregnant women take Mexidol?
Mexidol analogs include Mexiprim and Neurox. What are the differences between these medications?
Irina Lisitsyna: How are antioxidant medicines like Mexidol used in psychotherapy?
Aleksandr Galuschak: Mexidol has many qualities that make it very useful in neurology, treatment of substance abuse, and psychiatry. First of all, it is an antioxidant. That is, it protects brain cells from over oxidation and improves respiratory function. It is used in the recovery period following certain illnesses. Secondly, it possesses a nootropic effect. This means, it improves the regenerative effects of brain cells. Thirdly, it improves cognitive processes like attention, endurance, the nervous system, memory, memorization, and thought. So basically, in cases of certain neurological disorders, it provides a combination of effects.
Moreover, it produces an anticonvulsant effect and helps the body expel toxic and poisonous substances. It can also help regulate vascular tone and function of the vegetative nervous system where there are disorders such as vegetovascular dystonia. It is also an anti-anxiety medication. It has been shown to reduce anxiety, fear, and regulate sleep. It can help with nervous system disorders including atherosclerosis, and post-traumatic brain injury, encephalopathies, and in treating withdrawal symptoms.
And, for us, one of the most important things it does, is increasing the production of endorphins. Endorphins are neurochemicals that produce happiness and positive moods. Their production is hindered by drug addiction and toxicity because the drug addict abuses substances that produce euphoria and altered states of consciousness. This is a pathological state of happiness that can deregulate and worsen the production of dopamine and endorphins. Mexidol can help normalize these processes.
I.L.: This medication can be injected or taken in tablet form. Which method is preferred?
A.V.: Well, when it comes to injections, we understand that they can be either intramuscular or intravenous. They provide a stronger and quicker effect. Therefore, in particular acute cases of withdrawal, or intoxication—that is, extreme blows to the nervous system, the drug is administered in a dropper with a saline solution. The drug is dissolved in the solution and administered in drops. They can be administered once or twice a day depending on the indications. It comes as part of a complex treatment with detox therapy and rehab. After this, the patient may take intramuscular injections. We do this in cases where things like encephalopathy, memory problems, and impaired thinking are present. The intramuscular form of the drug is administered once a day. In longer courses of rehab treatment, the patient may also be given the drug as a tablet. As a rule, the tablets are administered twice a day. When we are converting doses to tablet form after intravenous or intramuscular injections, we have to monitor the dose so it doesn’t change. The patient usually takes a dose twice a day of one to two pills so the total amount doesn’t exceed six. This is the maximum dose. Actually 8 tablets a day is the absolute limit. An important note: if we are starting a course of the drug in tablet form, in the event of unspecified withdrawal symptoms or clinical manifestations, we need to start with a course of one pill per day. Then, we can increase the dose to two tablets. Then we can increase the dose to 3 tablets a day, up to four (but two times a day). We can also decrease the dose, but it must be done gradually to one tablet a day. We reduce the dose gradually so that if the patient takes pills three times a day, it goes down to two. If it’s twice a day, then it will still be two times a day only with a smaller dose. After this, we switch to a regime of once a day, ideally in the evenings so the patients can relax and sleep comfortably.
I.L.: Should the drug be taken before or after eating?
A.V.: These drugs should be taken after eating. We know that as a rule medicines taken while eating are enzymes that aid in digestion. So no these drugs are not to be taken while eating—most often after, though they may be taken before.
I.L.: What is the length of the treatment course?
A.V.: Withdrawal symptoms typically last 7, 10, 12, 15 days depending on the toxic substance the patient has ingested and the presentation of symptoms. So usually 7 to 10 days.
I.L.: Among the side effects of Mexidol, headaches, nausea, insomnia and lowered oxygen levels have been reported. What should be done in these cases?
A.V.: Naturally in these cases, we should monitor the dose. The course of treatment should start at a small dose. We start at a small dose, taking into account the patient’s unique threshold of tolerance. We then raise the dose until we reach to find that threshold. Taking into account the patient’s tolerance and clinical data. If the patient experiences side effects, then sometimes we need to take them off the medicine. The thing is when we consider the possible consequences, they aren’t observed in every patient, you know? When bringing any medication into practice they go through in vitro trials, that is on glass, and then in vivo, living organisms. Animal rights activists are against this of course, but we do this to alleviate human suffering. That’s why implementing a new medicine can take years, sometimes decades. After this, it’s tested on volunteers. I myself took part in trials like this. Every volunteer patient has a record and we observe the drug’s effects on them. It includes observation of the skin, respiratory system, urine, etc. before, during, and after taking the drug. After these analyses have been completed they are sent on to a clinic and a laboratory. Then the pharmaceutical company responds to the results. They need to protect their reputation and ensure that complications don’t negate the medicinal properties of the drug. So these complications are usually observed in a small number of patients and when not taken as prescribed by a physician.
I.L.: In what cases can children take Mexidol and from what age?
A.V.: Mexidol should not be taken by children.
I.L.: And what about pregnant women?
A.V. Pregnant women also shouldn’t take it.
I.L.: Are there any analogs to Mexidol?
A.V.: Yes, there are analogs. There’s one called Mexiprim and Neurox. These medicines have their own brand names but might differ from the original generic drug. I’ll say it this way, so it’s clear to everyone: sometimes we see a drug that has the same name as another but we’re being sold an analog. We say “this is an analog, give me the original.” We want the brand name drug, the original one. The difference between generic and original lies in the fact that the additional substances in the medicine might differ from one another even if the active compound is the same. Some of these drugs aren’t as well tested and might be dangerous. Sometimes they are produced in third world countries or by local private companies. Although the company name is usually somewhere in brackets while the brand name is different. Pharmacists usually say the following: large firms spend millions of dollars—sometimes tens of millions—developing drugs. This includes a lot of laboratory work and then decades of testing. They try to invent and remove side effects found during testing. They do this to make the drug less harmful and toxic. However, these brand from third world countries are released under a lease of the patent or even sometimes illegally. It’s the same active substance, but the additional components are different. Sometimes these additives can produce side effects. That’s why, if you have the financial means, it’s best to buy the original drug. If you wish to buy the generic form it’s significantly cheaper but it’s advised to stay away from untested substances.