‘Focus pill’ hits shelves

A new over-the-counter pill called Xcel is similar to Adderall, pictured above. Xcel is currently being sold online.  — File photo

A new over-the-counter pill called Xcel is similar to Adderall, pictured above. Xcel is currently being sold online. — File photo

A new pill called Xcel was released this year to be used as an over-the-counter substitute to Adderall for those ages 18 and older.

According to the Xcel website, this pill can elevate IQ scores, increase brain activity by over 30 percent and enhance memory recall.

Both Wartburg physicians assistant Megan McMillan and a Wal-Mart pharmacist, said they had never heard of the pill before.

“I think anytime you order something online there is always a question mark of what are you getting exactly,” McMillan said.

Many students, like Connor Campo, have seen ads about Xcel through Facebook, but have not taken the pill.

“People are talking about this pill because I know a lot of students who use Adderall, illegally and legally. It seems like more people are willing to try Xcel because when you’re not ADHD, I bet it’s hard to actually get Adderall,” Campo said.

“So for the people who aren’t ADHD and do want a focus pill, Xcel seems like a good way to go.”

Xcel has not yet been approved by the Federal Drug Administration but is being sold solely online for $34.95 for a month’s supply.

“My personal opinion is that anything that hasn’t been approved by the FDA I would not take because it’s not safe. That’s the reason why stuff gets approved by the FDA is because you know it is safe. I wouldn’t suggest it to anybody,” the pharmacist said.

Wartburg student Landon Shea studies for three hours a day but does not take any caffeine or supplements to give him energy for studying.

“I feel like taking Xcel or Adderall is cheating because it’s not their own brain power and they’re taking something that’s helping them and they’re getting better grades because of this medicine that I’m obviously not taking,” Shea said.

Campo disagreed with Shea. “The medicine isn’t making you smarter, it’s just allowing you to focus and use the brainpower you already have to work.”

Xcel works by releasing all-natural ingredients into the body that help increase activity in the brain. According to the website, Xcel “helps cleanse your mind of all the cobwebs that have built over the years, so you can think more clearly.”

The website does not specify how the pill cleanses the mind or the natural ingredients.

It does however say that none of the ingredients are unnatural man-made compounds or substances such as investigational new drugs.

McMillan cautions students not to use the pill until she gathers more information about it and until the FDA approves it.

Shea doesn’t think people should take Xcel.

“We should all have the same opportunity based upon how smart we are and what we do, not based on what medicines we take to make us stronger,” Shea said.


  1. If it is all natural the fda will never approve it because it’s not medicine. It is an herbal supplement. Terrible article.

  2. My 1st time using em. Hoping for better results.

  3. Do these work, and have they been approved by the FDA yet?

  4. Sandy Du Preez says:

    I have in the past tried many types to help with focus and memory problems due to an accident years ago, I started taking excel four months ago and only use a half tablet daily …I have found it the best Ive used yet for concentration and memory but when taking the dosage it feels my mind is non stop…. working overtime

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