Bromantan: properties and effects of this drug

Bromantan: properties and effects of this drug

Bromantan is a stimulant drug that was developed by the Soviet Union in the Russian army to motivate the soldiers who were invading Afghanistan. It has anxiolytic (decreases anxiety) and stimulant (provides energy) properties.

This substance generated a lot of controversy in 1996, as four athletes from the Atlanta games were disqualified from competition when it was discovered that they had taken it as a doping substance.

Bromantan: what is it?

Bromantan is a drug originating in Russia, with properties similar to those of amphetamine. It is an atypical psychostimulant and anxiolytic, belonging to the adamantane family .

It is used in Russia to treat neurasthenia. Neurasthenia, on the other hand, is a type of neurosis, accompanied by intense depressive symptoms and great emotional instability.

Specifically, bromantan is said to have been developed in the 1980s in the Russian army by the Soviet Union, with the aim of being used by army personnel. Bromantan is currently sold as a drug under the trade name "Ladasten" .

Properties

Among the most characteristic properties of bromantan are those of reducing or inhibiting fatigue, increasing physical energy, reducing anxiety levels , stabilizing mood and enhancing memory and concentration.

In addition, it is considered a drug that allows for increased physical activity of the body under extreme environmental conditions , such as no (or very little) oxygen available, high temperatures, etc.

Mechanism of action

However, the mechanism of action of bromantan is actually unknown; scientists believe that this substance acts by increasing brain activity (specifically, at the level of the hippocampus, the nucleus of the hypothalamus, and also in the reticular nucleus of the brain).

They also believe that bromantan is closely related to the activation of the dopaminergic system , and that it acts through the increase of tyrosine and some amino acids. That is, it would promote the activation of the dopaminergic system, and this would increase the person’s concentration and warning system.

On the other hand, it is believed that activation of the dopaminergic system in the brain (or dopamine synthesis) that promotes bromantan may explain the enhancement of a feeling of happiness experienced by the person taking the substance.

Uses

By way of summary, the main uses of bromantan are

1. Improve brain function

This leads to improvements in alertness (vigilance) and also in motor coordination . In addition, the level of anxiety would also be reduced.

2. Improve physical activity

In studies with rats, it was shown that bromantan increased the effects of the noradrenergic and adrenergic systems; this meant that the rats could swim efficiently for longer.

3. Reduce inflammation

Also in rats, bromantan was shown to reduce depressive symptoms caused by certain inflammations.

4. Improving neurasthenia

As we saw at the beginning, bromantan can also help reduce the symptoms of neurasthenia, such as insomnia, fatigue, and headache.

Type B stimulant

Bromantan, among the substances used for doping, is classified as a type B stimulant, along with amphetamines, pemoline, cocaine and others . Logically, type B stimulants are prohibited substances in the world of competition and sport.

Stimulants decrease fatigue and reaction time, as well as increase alertness and concentration; these would be the main functions of Bromantan.

In addition, some stimulants also increase exercise fitness; others also improve endurance and decrease pain sensitivity, for example.

Controversy: form of doping?

In 1996, bromantan generated a lot of controversy in the world of sport, since several athletes from the Atlanta games were discovered consuming this substance , disqualified from competition and judged for being a form of doping.

Some experts said it was a drug, and others said the drug was a stimulant, increasing physical strength and recovery after physical exertion.

Following this event, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to promote a trial.

But the Atlanta games were not the only ones where athletes were found to have taken Bromantan. Years later, for example in 2013, Chamberlain Oguchi, a Nigerian basketball player who made his debut in the Endesa League (with Gran Canaria), also tested positive for the drug.

Doping in sport

Doping consists of all those actions carried out by athletes with the aim of modifying their organism at a physiological level, by increasing their capacity for recovery and quickly recovering physical energy in an unnatural way, that is, by ingesting some type of substance or drug.

They do this with the ultimate goal of either being able to enter a certain competition, or to increase their performance within it to increase their chances of winning.

Thus, at the legal level, it involves the use of prohibited substances such as drugs; all of them are included in lists of pharmacological categories (each country and sports organization has its own).

However, the mechanism of action of bromantan is actually unknown; scientists believe that this substance acts by increasing brain activity (specifically, at the level of the hippocampus, the nucleus of the hypothalamus, and also in the reticular nucleus of the brain).

They also believe that bromantan is closely related to the activation of the dopaminergic system , and that it acts through the increase of tyrosine and some amino acids. That is, it would promote the activation of the dopaminergic system, and this would increase the person’s concentration and warning system.

On the other hand, it is believed that activation of the dopaminergic system in the brain (or dopamine synthesis) that promotes bromantan may explain the enhancement of a feeling of happiness experienced by the person taking the substance.

Uses

By way of summary, the main uses of bromantan are

1. Improve brain function

This leads to improvements in alertness (vigilance) and also in motor coordination . In addition, the level of anxiety would also be reduced.

2. Improve physical activity

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