Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Dietary Supplements Can't Treat or Cure Concussions

Agency tells consumers to ignore manufacturer claims and 'walk away' from these products

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Concussions can't be prevented, treated or cured with dietary supplements, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The agency issued a warning against these products in response to a number of false claims, including promises to promote faster healing times after a concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI).

No scientific evidence exists to support this claim or others, according to a recent FDA news release. The agency advised consumers to avoid these products, which are marketed on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and sold online and in various retail stores.

"As amazing as the marketing claims are, the science doesn't support the use of any dietary supplements for the prevention of concussions or the reduction of post-concussion symptoms that would enable one to return to playing a sport faster," Daniel Fabricant, director of the FDA's division of dietary supplement programs, said in the news release.

The FDA pointed out that dietary supplements marketed as cures or treatments for concussions or other traumatic brain injuries are not only untested, but also possibly dangerous.

These supplements typically contain the Indian spice turmeric and high doses of omega-3 fatty acids. The FDA recommends taking no more than 3 grams of omega-3s daily due to increased risk of bleeding, high cholesterol and problems controlling blood sugar levels.

Even if the ingredients in the products aren't harmful, the agency is concerned that those who believe the claims might not take the proper precautions to prevent a concussion or heal properly after such an injury.

A concussion is a type of serious brain injury that can occur after a hit to the head or rigorous shaking of the head or upper body. These head injuries must be properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor, experts say.

Although the long-term effects of concussions have been the subject of recent debate, research suggests that people who sustain a concussion and resume playing sports or participating in strenuous activities too soon are at greater risk for another concussion. Experts note that concussions have a cumulative effect on the brain, which can cause brain swelling, permanent brain damage or even death.

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
senior man
boy hits soccer ball with head
red and white swirl
marijuana plant
brain illustration stroke
nerve damage
Alzheimers Overview
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix