Meldonium - what is it?

Meldonium, also known as Mildronate, is a drug invented in the USSR, Latvia, in the middle of 1970s by Ivars Kalvins - a researcher from Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis. The drug was certificated by the author’s certificate in 1976. In 1985 it was patented in the United States, but it not approved by FDA.

In current time, the Meldonium is manufactured by a Latvian pharmaceutical company Grindeks.

In Russia Meldonium (Mildronate) is available without prescription in almost any drug store. It costs about 200..300 rubles (3..4 dollars at March 10, 2016) for a pack of 40 pills (250 mg) in blister. There is a text on the side of the pack, it says "Available by prescription only", but it is not true - no one was asked for a prescription. Meldonium is also available in ampoules for injection.

Meldonium, also known as Mildronate in pills, produced by Grindeks Blister with pills of Meldonium (Mildronate)

How Meldonium is used in Russia? The main reason of using this drug is that the Meldonium can improve work capacity of healthy people at physical and psycho-emotional overloads and enhances performances of athlete by increasing blood flow. It's very safe drug, there are no evidence of side effects. It also prevents an athlete from sudden death during competition due to excessive overload. People who recover from injury or illness also use Meldonium in rehabilitation period.

Students taking Meldonium for the examination time to improve their mental capability.

But the initial reason of invention of this drug was that Meldonium can help for patients with chronic heart disease and problem with blood circulation. As was mention above, the ability of Meldonium to increase blood flow makes it useful to treat ischaemia. It also can treat myocardial infarction and angina. It can restore blood circulation in any tissue or organ - in heart, brain, muscles.

How Meldonium was invented? The inventor, Ivars Kalvins tried to find the answer for a question - what a substance the body loses at the moment of exhaustion? The he found the answer in works of German physiologists.

In the beginning of 20 century a group of German physiologists carried out some experiments with dogs where the dogs were tortured, electrocuted, freezed by cold, beat with a stick and poisoned. Then they tested dog's urine, and they found there a substance. Ivars Kalvins assumed that this is the same substance that body loses because of the stress. But this substance has been described in the the "Nature" magazine, and it says that the substance is toxic. That was very strange. Ivars Kalvins didn't believed to the magazine, he synthesized the substance and carried out some experiments with mice. He gave a huge dose of the substance to one mouse - it survived. Then he gave another huge dose of the substance to the second mouse - it survived too. He proofed that the substance is totally harmless.

Since that time, the Meldonium is used quite widely in medicine in Russia and some Eastern countries. Now Meldonium is known all over the world because it was banned by WADA.