At its annual meeting held June 10-13, 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a new policy targeting nootropics. Nootropics—sometimes referred to as “smart drugs”—include prescription drugs, supplements and substances claiming to enhance cognitive functions.

The new policy is aimed at discouraging the nonmedical use of these prescription drugs and also calls for additional research on the use, risks and benefits of dietary supplements and herbal remedies claiming to enhance cognitive abilities.

AMA’s June 15, 2016, news release noted, “Only a limited amount of information is available on the patterns of dietary supplements and herbal substances used for cognitive enhancement. More than 100 substances from amino acids to botanical preparations are advertised on websites as having the ability to improve cognitive performance, and their safety and efficacy have not been systematically examined.” AMA also plans to encourage the Federal Trade Commission to evaluate dietary supplement and herbal remedy advertisements that make these claims.