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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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  #1  
Old 12-09-04, 04:21 PM
2d2 2d2 is offline
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Anyone remember 'Vivarin' BEFORE late 1990s?

Several persons who took this OTC product before the formula was changed (by new ownership?) did not realize they had been successfully treating their.....whatever they thought their problem was. Only after seeking professional help with the subsequent ADD symptoms, did they learn of their 'official' problem: ADD. This indicates how effective this product was previously. Of course, it no longer exists in that formulation.
Anyone with same experience with any other OTC products?
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Old 12-10-04, 01:10 AM
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I've heard of people using sudafed in a similar way (not that I would recommend it). Sudafed contains pseudoephedrine, which is chemically similar to amphetamine.

Of course, there is good old caffeine. I self medicated with Mt. Dew for years before I finally saw a doc and got hooked up with the good stuff. (Wellbutrin + Strattera)
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Old 12-10-04, 02:56 AM
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Vivarin is 200mg Caffeine, and I can't find any record of it ever having existed as anything else. The formulation is pretty straight forward: caffeine, filler bits.

I keep it stocked for people who need them on my floor at school (I'm like that, heh), but I don't take them because it took me a long time to kick a caffeine habit that I don't want to start again...
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Old 12-10-04, 01:09 PM
2d2 2d2 is offline
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Kmiller, you are correct in assuming that V is 'just caffeine'. All info on the net confirms this.
Old personal users do beg to differ. Before the late 90s. V had 160mg dextrose as active ingredient plus a 'secret' active ingredient the makers called 'Stimucin'. Stimucin was advertised on the front of the box throughout all owners of the product from 1969 to the time of SmithKline Beecham. This company was purchased in late 90s (when V enjoyed 58+% market share) and the new company made the change with no info given about the change; in fact, launched a $20,000.000. Advertising campaign for new users.
Just a guess, but the 'just caffeine' product was substituted for the original because the original was perfect for some ADD users and cheap, without a perscription; it was too effective. Around the time ADD became better recognized, medications such as the prescribed $200.+ per bottle Provig** debuted, the "original" over the counter, V, availiable everywhere for under $6.00 per box for 40... disappeared with little tracable information.
Good for the company. Not good for those who have found nothing as effective, prescribed or not.
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Old 12-10-04, 08:33 PM
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I used to take vivarin in high school during the late 80s before I even knew what ADD was. It just made me much sharper. However, I always remember the ingredients reading 200 mgs of caffeine and nothing else.
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Old 01-20-05, 05:02 PM
hannahsciocia hannahsciocia is offline
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2d2, I love a good conspiracy theory, but I think I'm going to have to scuttle this one. (BTW, I did self-medicate with this many, many years ago!) An online check shows an application for the term Stimucin was filed 4/83; JB Williams Co (which also registered the name Vivarin in 1969, and which sold Geritol as a quick fix for fatigue and was sued by the FTC for false advertising!) conveyed rights to the name to Beecham in 3/84 (I'm guessing the online records don't go back to when JBW registered it); and the name was registered to Beecham as a trademark in 11/84. Beecham merged with SmithKline in 1993. The trademark office description of the "goods and services" called Stimucin: Caffeine Sold Only as an Integral Component and Active Ingredient in Stimulant Tablets.

So, there ya go. It's all marketing. And thanks very much (!?!) for giving me something to hyperfocus on at the expense of everything else I had to do today. ;D
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Old 01-20-05, 07:11 PM
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Guarana works pretty good for caffeine. (nt)

It's cheap too.. I noticed when taking Adderall it had the similar feeling an effects as Guarana that you can buy in the supplement store.
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Old 02-06-05, 12:22 AM
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Hi all.
Yes, it is time consuming to continue to research a product which has, shall we say, undergone a modification? Trust when we say V was just "too effective in its original circa 1969 state". Must have been the 150 mg of dextrose as an active ingredient.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:23 AM
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dextrose is a sugar
In 1969 there would not have been anything more than caffiene in over the counter stimulant pills. I don't believe that amphetamines would have ever been available without prescription in North America or Europe, but it may have been much easier to get scrips for it back in the 50's and 60's?
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Old 02-15-05, 11:58 AM
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V 'was' listed as a caffeine alkaloid in a dextrose (sucrose) base. This is confusing because caffeine is an alkaloid. However research show caffeine has a minimum Of 22 analogues (alkaloids). Synthesized with dextrose is what made it exceptional, cheap, legal and safe. Gone, but but still remembered.
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Old 02-17-05, 03:26 PM
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Possibly became habituated to caffeine

Quoting 2d2: “Yes, it is time consuming to continue to research a product…"

It’s also educational, but can sometimes have the side effect of aligning memory with reality.

>> “…which has, shall we say, undergone a modification?”

This comment and some of the earlier ones seem written to a) plant the suspicion that some omnipotent corporate “them” is malevolently keeping good things from “us” or restricting access and making us pay dearly at the pharmacy rather than over the counter (Free the Pharms!?), and b) to arouse demands for the return to market of an “earlier version” of a product when in fact the product has undergone no change of active ingredient. The paper trail’s quite traceable on that point.

I think it’s more likely that the corporate “them” would attempt to stir up demand (create a buzz! OK, that was eye-rolling bad) and then – voila! – target-market to “us” what by then we’d be convinced we truly needed, even when it was already available elsewhere. 200mg tablets of caffeine are sold under different names as alertness aids, energy aids, diet aids, diuretics, and sports performance enhancers. I can see it now for ADD: caffeine re-packaged and re-marketed as a nutraceutical – at a suitably serious price point – with vague under-the-FDA-and-FTC-radar allusions to clarity, focus, and being able to find one’s car keys.

>> “Trust when we say V was just "too effective in its original circa 1969 state."

(Who’s we?) It’s caffeine and always was – and this old personal user was one who was there and knows. I don’t think we’re saying that caffeine’s not effective to some degree in helping address ADD issues of mental energy and focus. What I am saying, though, is that there was never any additional active ingredient or “secret” formula to Vivarin, although the company that trademarked “Stimucin” clearly wanted people to think so. Of course we all know diagnosed and undiagnosed ADDers who self-medicate with Starbucks. It makes some sense: caffeine blocks adenosine reception in the brain (binding of adenosine causes drowsiness) so neuron activity is not slowed down and you thus feel more alert. The increased neural activity sets off production of adrenaline, which is what gives you a boost. Caffeine also increases dopamine levels in the same way that amphetamines do (but milder) to make you feel good.

By the way, the main ingredient of guarana (mentioned in a previous post) is “guaranine”, which is simply caffeine derived from guarana. That's the reason for the energy boost people get after taking guarana. It’s absorbed more slowly because the guarana seed is fatty, i.e., less water-soluble and takes longer to digest, and the apparent longer-lasting effect is in part why some mistakenly believe that “guaranine” is different than caffeine. Guarana also has present in small amounts theobromine and theophylline, which are alkaloids in the same family as caffeine and have related effects.


>>“Must have been the 150 mg of dextrose as an active ingredient.”

Dextrose is not an active ingredient, it’s a sugar that is less sweet than table sugar. Caffeine by itself is very bitter, so dextrose helps make it more palatable. Dextrose, along with other inert ingredients, acts as a binder to hold a tablet together after it has been compressed, and a disintegrant to ensure that, when a tablet is ingested, it breaks down quickly in the stomach. Although dextrose is a simple carbohydrate and thus easily digested, any blood sugar “spike” from one tablet would be pretty small.



None of this post, by the way, is meant to say that your personal experience wasn’t valid. Reading your initial post, it looks like you believe that you had been unwittingly but successfully treating ADD, then “….Only after seeking professional help with the subsequent ADD symptoms, did they learn of their 'official' problem: ADD. This indicates how effective this product was previously. ….” The key word is subsequent. If it had still been working for you, you probably wouldn’t have sought professional help. But the loss of effectiveness for you wasn’t due to any formulation change – there was none. Maybe your symptoms were initially milder, or your were at a place earlier in your life where your environment wasn't challenging your ADD too much, and then things subsequently changed so that what once worked was no longer sufficient. It is also possible that for your younger self Vivarin was effective enough to address your symptoms then, but that over time your body just simply became habituated to it.
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Old 02-17-05, 06:25 PM
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Old 02-17-05, 07:41 PM
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I haven't taken Vivarin since the ealry 1990's. I didn't like coffee back then and used to pull all nighters every now and then to try to study. I never contributed the Vivarin to helping me study I just thought that I was realy night person and studied better late at night.
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