Principal Proposed Uses
Vinpocetine is a chemical derived from vincamine, a constituent found in the leaves of common periwinkle ( Vinca minor L.), as well as the seeds of various African plants. It is used as a treatment for memory loss and mental impairment.
Developed in Hungary over 20 years ago, vinpocetine is sold in Europe as a drug under the name Cavinton. In the United States it is available as a "dietary supplement," although the substance probably doesn't fit that category by any rational definition. Vinpocetine doesn't exist to any significant extent in nature. Producing it requires significant chemical work performed in the laboratory.
What Is Vinpocetine Used for Today?
Some evidence supports the idea that vinpocetine can enhance memory and mental function, especially in those with Alzheimer's disease and related conditions. It is also widely marketed for enhancing memory in healthy people, but there is no real evidence that it is helpful for this purpose.
Based on these proposed actions, vinpocetine has also been tried as a treatment for reducing brain damage following strokes .
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Vinpocetine?
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Conditions (Dementia)
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
- Pentoxifylline (Trental)
- High-dosage vitamin E
Safety in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as aspirin , clopidogrel (Plavix), ticlopidine (Ticlid), or pentoxifylline (Trental): Simultaneous use of vinpocetine might cause bleeding problems.
- Natural substances with blood-thinning properties, such as garlic , ginkgo , policosanol , or high-dose vitamin E : Simultaneous use of vinpocetine might in theory cause bleeding problems.
- Warfarin (Coumadin): Vinpocetine might adversely affect the blood-thinning activity of warfarin (Coumadin).
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -