The Korea Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued a warning against so-called “smart pills” that contain narcotics.
According to the drug agency, the pills prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder are often used by students to ward of sleepiness and enhance concentration.
However, the main ingredient of the drug, methylphenidate, can cause anxiety and depression as well as seizure during sleep, even if taken by someone who is healthy.
The KFDA revealed that a total of 306 side effects including loss of appetite, insomnia, weight loss and headache were reported as adverse effects between 2009 and 2010. Citing the U.S. FDA warning of possible sudden death among healthy children, the agency asked people to refrain from abusing the drug.