In our modern world, drugs are everywhere, but are limited in what they can do. However, in the world of sci-fi, any drug you can imagine can exist. Let's take a look at the made-up drugs that we all wish would be real. Ask your doctor if any of these drugs are right for you.

1. Bacta - From The Empire Strikes Back (1980), bacta is a synthetic solution that accelerates healing in a variety of injuries from small cuts to frostbite. Most famously, after Luke Skywalker was mauled by a snow monster, they literally dunked his entire body in a tank of the stuff. Not only would bacta revolutionize modern medicine, but floating in a bacta tank would make hospitals a lot more fun. Especially if there was a robot working the controls.
WARNING: Side effects may include drowsiness, loss of appetite, and having to float in your underwear. Avoid prolonged or excessive exposure to sunlight while taking this medication.

2. Boosterspice - In Larry Niven's Known Space universe of novels and short stories, boosterspice is a drug that extends the human lifespan and reverses the aging process. Of course, it goes without saying why this would be cool - you can live forever as long as you take it. What more do you need? Okay, let's add that you get to travel the Galaxy, too. Now it's awesome.
WARNING: Side effects may include allergies in a small subset of humans, and eventual boredom from living forever, mitigated by the coolness of flying around in spaceships and fighting aliens. For external use only.

3. Chemical X - From The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2004), this black liquid mixed with sugar, spice, and everything nice becomes cute little girls with superpowers. It also turned Mojojojo from a simple monkey into a criminal genius. I think we can all agree that the world would be a better place with super-powered little girls and evil genius monkeys running around.
WARNING: Side effects may include enormous eyes, lack of fingers and toes, an enormous brain that you have to cover with a hat, and excessive cuteness. Take with food.

4. Ephemerol - In the movie Scanners (1981), Ephemerol was originally intended as a cure for morning sickness, but was pulled when they discovered the drug caused mutation in unborn children. It's an obvious reference to the disaster of Thalidomide, except instead of deformed children, Ephemerol produces children with psychic powers. If this drug existed and my wife was pregnant, I'd be putting ephemerol in all her meals, saying, "But the kid'll rule the world, honey!"
WARNING: Side effects may include children who end up with lots of side effects that may include nosebleed, nausea, earaches, stomach cramps, telepathy, telekinesis, and the power to explode human brains. Do not take Ephemerol or handle broken tablets if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant unless you want kids with superpowers, then go for it.

5. Kalocin - From the movie The Andromeda Strain (1971) comes Kalocin, a wonder drug that's basically a cure for all known infections, diseases, and parasites. The only downside is, um, horrific infections and death if you stop taking it. But hey, it's a cure for all known diseases, people! All we need is a cure for the effects of Kalocin, and we're good. Hey, if Kalocin is a cure for all known diseases and causes a known disease, shouldn't it cure itself? Riddle me that.
WARNING: Side effects may include bizarre and fatal infections if stopped. Do not stop taking Kalocin without consulting your doctor. In fact, not even if you do consult your doctor.

6. Melange - In the novel, movie, and TV mini-series Dune, the drug melange (more popularly known as "the spice") is the most important substance in the known Universe. Made from the secretions of giant worms living under the sands of the planet Dune, melange does pretty much everything you could want from a drug. It extends the human lifespan. It allows navigators to pilot spaceships beyond light speed. Then there's the bonus that it gives some people visions of the future. It makes plain old coal look like - well, coal. And if you think the fight over fossil fuels is bad now...
WARNING: Side effects may include addiction, blue-on-blue eyes, visions of the future, and physical fish-like mutations in high doses. Alcohol may intensify the effect.

7. NZT-48 - The movie Limitless (2010) introduced NZT-48, a drug designed to unlock the human mind's hidden potential. It worked by allowing you to use the entire brain, instead of just twenty percent. Although the premise is scientifically unsound (see our earlier post), the idea of a simple pill that you can take you from an ordinary joe to a super-smart business tycoon is awesome. In fact, I suspect this drug already exists. How can you explain the success of Donald Trump, huh? Answer me that, smart guy.
WARNING: Side effects may include nausea, headaches, loss of consciousness, addiction, death, and becoming a total jerkhole.

8. Quicksilver - In the TV series The Invisible Man (2008), Quicksilver is a light-bending substance that can be secreted from your pores to turn you invisible at will. The only downside is that they have to stick a genetically modified rat gland into your brain. Oh, and if you don't get regular doses of a counteragent, you go insane. I say, small price to pay.
WARNING: Side effects may include the inability to see in color, and temporary insanity. For external use only.

9. Venus Drug - The Venus Drug was a major part of the Star Trek episode, Mudd's Women (1966). It's a little pill that instantly enhances your most positive attributes, making you more alluring and beautiful. In the episode, it's implied that the drug doesn't actually work, but what if it did? Imagine if we could just take a pill to be sexy. I think we should get scientists working on that right now. Start with Extract of Angelina Jolie. Or Brad Pitt.
WARNING: Side effects may include not actually making you any more attractive than you already are.

Are you as psyched about these drugs as we are? If not, got any better suggestions of fictional drugs you've seen in scifi movies and TV?
[Image Source: Stardestroyer.net]


Sci-Fi Gene said...

Plenty of drugs described in classic sci-fi but not always given a catchy name like NZT-48. Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - possibly not for personal use but consider the military applications! Similarly The Truth About Pyecroft - and the drug that is the MacGuffin in Romeo and Juliet may hold the secret of suspended animation and therefore interstellar flight. More human trials needed. 

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

" Alcohol may intensify the effect." That's good!
Now, what about the red pill that will help me escape from this matrix?


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