Edited article from de Volkskrant

Meldonium is for sale without prescription everywhere in Russia. In capsules of 250 and 500 milligrams. A box of 40 capsules of 250 milligrams costs 327.40 rubles, or 4.11 euros. That’s about 170 THB. The pharmacist sells meldonium almost on a daily basis.

Since January 1, 2016 meldonium has been placed by WADA on the doping list and since that moment the one after the other Russian athlete got caught for it. The pharmacist does not understand that the agent has been placed on the doping list as late as now. They have been selling meldonium  for more than 25 years. If it does really improve performance you may find that WADA needs  a very long time to decide to place it on the doping list.

The drug is used to treat heart problems and circulatory problems. It is also used by athletes. It helps the body in strenuous physical exercise as stated in the leaflet. Indications are: chronic heart problems, decreased blood flow to the brains, alcoholism and heavy physical activities by athletes.

Pharmacy in Moscow
Red Square in Moscow

The dosage for athletes is 2 x 500 mg. During a training period a cure lasts 14 to 21 days and during races a cure takes 10 to 14 days.

How meldonium exactly works is not mentioned in the leaflet but according to the pharmacist the heart pumps better and every physical effort is lighter.

Meldonium was developed in the Soviet Union in the 80’s for the Russian soldiers who fought on the highlands of Afghanistan. The drug went from Latvia directly to the Russian army in Afghanistan.
Since then, anyone can buy it at any pharmacy in Russia. If you read the leaflet meldonium is not dangerous. Side effects are rare or even absent.

There is little research on meldonium. The effects on children are unclear. The effect on pregnant women is unknown.

In America and most European countries, including the Netherlands, meldonium is not registered as a medicine.

In Russia it is a drug that is often used. The pharmacist himself used it in the spring and in the autumn then you have no headache when the temperature turns.