A so-called “study pill” sold by the Kruidvat drugstore chain in Belgium has been withdrawn from sale because it contains a high level of caffeine.
The Studeerpil, produced by Brainrush, claims to help students study for long periods – something that is much in demand at the end of the academic year. But it has now been taken off the shelves by the retailer, after talks with the federal food safety agency.
The pill contains 100mg of caffeine in a single pill, and Brainrush recommends a maximum dose of four pills in a 24-hour period. That brings the daily dose of caffeine up to 400mg, from the pills alone – not counting additional caffeine from tea, coffee and energy drinks.
The legal norm for caffeine from food supplements is a maximum of 80mg a day, less than is contained in a single study pill. Anyone taking more than 200mg is likely to feel an increase in feelings of anxiety.
“Brainrush is asking customers not to consume this product, and to bring it back to the point of sale, where the price will be refunded,” Kruidvat said in a recall notice.
The product continues to be sold at Kruidvat stores in the Netherlands, and on the Dutch website, although the company will not deliver products from that site to Belgium. On its Dutch website, Kruidvat makes no mention of dosages of caffeine: “The natural ingredients in the Studeerpil improve concentration and memory,” the company claims. “The formula contains among other things rhodiola rosae, l-theanine, caffeine and extract of mucuns pruriens.”
Rhodiola rosae, also known as arctic root, claims to relieve the body of stress; l-theanine is found in green and black tea, and is used to improve mental focus; extract of mucuns pruriens or velvet bean is used in herbal medicine to treat infertility in men and nervous disorders.
The Studeerpil has been on sale at Kruidvat branches in Belgium since May.