Do you suffer from concentration problems while struggling for your exams?

At the drugstore you can get different tablets that promise to promote your concentration and memory and various 'study pills' are offered on the internet.

This article is from BN DeStem.

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But according to Frans Sturm, general practitioner in Bosschenhoofd en Zegge, it is better to ignore the concentration pills.

"Pills with miracle powders don't exist."

There are various pills for sale at the drugstore that should ensure that you can concentrate better.

They are sold online as special "study pills."

The main ingredient?


But does caffeine help you concentrate better?

According to Sturm, there is not enough scientific evidence for this.

"If there were actually pills that could improve your concentration, they wouldn't just be at the drugstore and there would only be one pill in circulation."


He warns against becoming dependent on the concentration pills. "The trick is that you no longer believe that you can do without a pill. That is a special contrast with a pill that does not work. That placebo effect is of course wonderful for the manufacturers, but for the people who take the pills it is. not desirable."

Sturm does not think it is surprising that young people, especially when their final exams start, look for something that helps them to concentrate.

"The brains of young people are fragile and they are easily distracted. TikTok and Instagram take this into account. You only have to pay attention for a short time and you get a small reward when you have to laugh about it. Learning for your exams takes a lot of time. different way of attention. As far as I am concerned, you can empty the drug store, but that does not change your attention and concentration. "

'No panacea'

While caffeine has never been proven to promote concentration, manufacturers claim it does.

"Research has been conducted into the effect of caffeine on concentration for years. It has never been shown in concrete terms that it helps. Research may show that it is statistically significant, but the question then remains whether it is also clinically relevant. "

"When your reaction time gets 0.01 second faster with caffeine, it doesn't mean that you have any use for that in daily life. There are just no shortcuts, no miracle cures. They won't make a difference in your final exam grades. I want all final exam candidates. above all, wish them a lot of success. I think they would benefit more from a helping hand than a pill. "


Boris van Wijk, pharmacist in Steenbergen and Wouw, agrees with Sturm.

He even thinks that the pills can have a negative effect on concentration.

"A lot of caffeine causes a release of adrenaline in your body, which in turn causes a fight-or-flight response. You don't want that in an exam."

What the pharmacist would recommend instead of the concentration pill is a beta blocker like Propranolol.

"It's much more useful and has been used for decades, so you can be sure that it will work. It's only available on prescription and it fights the symptoms of nervousness, such as trembling hands and palpitations."


A few years ago, Jan Trooster, a pharmacist from Goor, made sure that the study pill Braincaps Boost was removed from the vending machines of the University of Amsterdam, where he studied history. The pill, like most variants that are sold over the counter, mainly contained caffeine. "There is no evidence whatsoever that the substances from the pill ensure an optimally performing brain, but that suggestion is aroused. Concentration is not in a pill."