Vinpocetine

Plant Part Used

Isolated constituent

Introduction

The lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor) is a native of many parts of Europe, where it grows in woods and thickets. A derivative of vinca minor, vinpocetine, was introduced into clinical practice in Europe more than two decades ago for the treatment of certain brain disorders.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

5-40mg, 2 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

5-10mg, 2 times a day.

Standardization

Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.

Standardization is not applicable for this dietary supplement.

Reported Uses

Vinpocetine has seen clinical use in the treatment of disorders that involve inadequate blood flow to the brain. For instance, the incidence and risk of stroke may be reduced by vinpocetine, though this effect is debated. (1) Scientists think the reason for this benefit may involve vinpocetine’s potential ability to enhance blood flow to the brain, dilate blood vessels, support the proper function of red blood cells and reduce blood viscosity. (2) , (3) , (4)

As part of its support of healthy brain function, vinpocetine may enhance memory, learning and cognitive performance in patients suffering from dementia. (5) , (6) , (7) This may be partially due to vinpocetine’s potential ability to enhance the production of energy in the brain. Because of this effect, vinpocetine may also function as an anticonvulsant. (8) , (9)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

If you are planning to have any type of surgery or dental work, stop using this dietary supplement for at least 14 days prior to the procedure.

Health Conditions

If you have a bleeding disorder talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. This dietary supplement may cause skin eruptions, flushing, and sometimes gastrointestinal upset. Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

This supplement should not be used in children unless recommended by your physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Bereczki D, Fekete I. Vinpocetine for Acute Ischaemic Stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD000480.
  2. View Abstract: Burtsev EM, et al. 10-year experience with using Cavinton in cerebrovascular disorders. Zh Nevropatol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 1992;92(1):56-60.
  3. Tamaki N, et al. The effect of Vinpocetine on cerebral blood flow in patients with cerebrovascular disorders. Ther Hung. 1985;33:13-21.
  4. Osawa M, Maruyama S. Effects of TCV-3B (Vinpocetine) on blood viscosity in ischemic cerebrovascular diseases. Ther Hung. 1985;33:7-12.
  5. View Abstract: Balestreri R, Fontana L, Astengo F. A double-blind placebo controlled evaluation of the safety and efficacy of Vinpocetine in the treatment of patients with chronic vascular senile cerebral dysfunction. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1987;35:425-430.
  6. View Abstract: Hindmarch I, et al. Efficacy and tolerance of vinpocetine in ambulant patients suffering from mild to moderate organic psychosyndromes. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 1991;6(1):31-43.
  7. View Abstract: Nicholson CD. Pharmacology of nootropics and metabolically active compounds in relation to their use in dementia. Psychopharmacology. (Berl). 1990;101:147-159.
  8. View Abstract: Schmidt J. Comparative studies on the anticonvulsant effectiveness of nootropic drugs in kindled rats. Biomed Biochim Acta. 1990;49(5):413-9.
  9. View Abstract: Molnar P, et al. Vinpocetine is as potent as phenytoin to block voltage-gated Na+ channels in rat cortical neurons. Eur J Pharmacol. Feb1995;273(3):303-6.