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7 Drugs Made Popular By Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become powerful influencers in various aspects of our lives, including healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry.  Available data indicates that over 40% of consumers make their health choices from information found on social media platforms. In addition, younger generations, such as 18 to 24-year-olds, are significantly more active in using social media for health discussions, while 90% of young adults trust medical information shared on their social networks.

While social media can be a valuable tool for sharing health information and connecting patients with support networks, it has also contributed to the popularization of certain drugs. This article lists the 7 drugs that were popularized on social media, shedding light on the potential benefits and risks associated with their online popularity.


Adderall, a prescription medication primarily intended for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), has garnered significant attention on social media for its off-label uses. Many users have shared their experiences with the drug, particularly highlighting its perceived benefits when used as a study aid or for weight loss.

While some users report improved focus, alertness, and concentration, there is also a dark side to its misuse. Negative experiences and side effects have been shared as well, including issues like insomnia, anxiety, and addiction. The drug’s presence on social media has raised concerns about its potential for abuse and the need for responsible use under the guidance of healthcare professionals.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD, a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, has taken social media by storm due to its touted health benefits. Users frequently discuss its potential to alleviate pain, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being. This online popularity has led to a proliferation of CBD products, ranging from oils and edibles to topicals and more.

However, the rapid growth of the CBD industry on social media has raised concerns about product quality, inconsistent dosages, and unverified health claims. Users must exercise caution when considering CBD products and ensure they purchase from reputable sources.


Ketamine, originally developed as an anesthetic, has gained notoriety on social media platforms for its off-label use as a recreational drug, particularly in party and club scenes. Users share their experiences with “k-holing,” a term describing the intense and dissociative effects of high-dose ketamine use. In recent years, discussions have shifted toward its potential for treating severe depression and other mood disorders.

Online conversations have prompted investigations into ketamine’s therapeutic potential, with ketamine infusion therapy gaining acceptance as a treatment option for depression. However, it is essential to note that such treatments should only be administered under the supervision of qualified medical professionals.


Modafinil, a prescription medication primarily prescribed for narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder, has garnered popularity as a nootropic or “smart drug” on social media. Users discuss its ability to enhance wakefulness, improve cognitive function, and increase productivity, making it an appealing choice for students and professionals seeking a mental boost.

 However, the risks and legal implications associated with off-label use of Modafinil are often downplayed in online discussions. It is crucial to remember that Modafinil should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider and for its approved medical indications.


Kratom, a plant-based substance originating from Southeast Asia, has gained attention on social media as a natural remedy for various ailments, including pain relief and opioid withdrawal symptoms. Users often share their personal stories about using Kratom to manage chronic pain or curb opioid addiction.

However, concerns about Kratom’s safety, its potential for addiction, and the lack of quality control in the Kratom market are subjects of ongoing debate. Users should exercise caution, be aware of potential side effects, and consult with healthcare professionals before using Kratom.


Nootropics, also known as cognitive enhancers or “smart drugs,” have cultivated a dedicated following on social media platforms. Enthusiasts discuss their experiences with various nootropic substances, including racetams, choline, and other cognitive-enhancing compounds.

Online discussions often revolve around their potential to boost memory, concentration, and mental clarity. As with other drugs, the responsible and informed use of nootropics is essential, and it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into one’s regimen.

Drugs Popularized by Social Media


Perhaps the most important drug popularized by social media is Ozempic. This once lesser-known medication has surged into the spotlight, thanks to its effectiveness in managing diabetes and the power of social media to spread the word. Ozempic, known generically as semaglutide, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist used to treat type 2 diabetes. Its journey from relative obscurity to social media stardom is a fascinating example of how digital platforms can impact healthcare awareness.

People who have experienced significant improvements in their diabetes management after starting Ozempic have taken to social media especially TikTok to share their success stories. These testimonials, often accompanied by dramatic before-and-after photos or videos, have resonated with others facing similar challenges.

Visual content, such as images, infographics, and videos, has played a significant role in disseminating information about Ozempic. Eye-catching graphics and shareable content have made it easier for users to understand the drug’s benefits.

Health-related hashtags and trends on platforms like Twitter and Instagram have provided a platform for Ozempic-related content to gain traction.

Social media influencers, particularly those in the health and wellness niche, have played also a pivotal role in popularizing Ozempic. Influencers who have successfully managed their diabetes with the drug often share their experiences with large followings, further boosting its reputation.


Social media has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping public perceptions and trends in healthcare, including the use and discussion of various drugs and therapies. While online platforms can serve as valuable sources of information and support, they also present risks when it comes to the misuse, promotion, or misinformation surrounding drugs.

It is crucial for users to critically evaluate the information they encounter on social media and consult healthcare professionals for sound medical advice and guidance. The popularity of drugs on social media should be seen as a double-edged sword, where awareness and education are key to making informed decisions about one’s health and well-being.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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