OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to explore the trends and rationale of use of memory and vitality-enhancing medicines (MVEM) in the Gujarat region. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective pharmacoepidemiological study involving pharmacists of Gujarat region was carried out in the year 2005. Pharmacists (n = 351) working in general and Ayurvedic medical stores were selected from 12 districts of Gujarat region. The pharmacists were explained about the objective of the study and were given a pretested, validated questionnaire. OUTCOME MEASURES: The questionnaire included the questions regarding herbal MVEM used most commonly, percentage sale of herbal MVEM - sold with or without prescriptions - age group of patients and professional groups who used these drugs most commonly. RESULTS: The number of individuals using MVEM was highest in the age group of 11-20 years (17.54%), followed by the 21-40 years group (17.12%), supporting the results that the professional group of students (17.29%) and the persons of business or service class (15.29%) are the highest users of these medicines. Evaluation of various constituents in the marketed polyherbal MVEM revealed that Brahmi (Bacopa monniera), Shankhpushpi (Evolvulus alsinoides), Ashwangandha (Withania somnifera), Jatamansi (Nardostychos jatamansi), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) were the common ingredients in the polyherbal preparations. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights commonly used Ayurvedic medicines that can be explored for safely enhancing memory and vitality performance. Hence, detailed and scientifically designed research on these drugs would help to identify safe and effective drugs for enhancing the same.
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