CITICOLINE Overview Information
Citicoline is a brain chemical that occurs naturally in the body. As a medicine, it is taken by mouth as a supplement or given by IV or as a shot.
Citicoline is used for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, head trauma, cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, age-related memory loss, Parkinson's disease, attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD), and glaucoma.
Citicoline was originally developed in Japan for stroke. It was later introduced as a prescription drug in many European countries. In these countries it is now frequently prescribed for thinking problems related to circulation problems in the brain. In the US, citicoline is marketed as a dietary supplement.
How does it work?
Citicoline seems to increase a brain chemical called phosphatidylcholine. This brain chemical is important for brain function. Citicoline might also decrease brain tissue damage when the brain is injured.
Possibly Effective for:
- Age-related memory problems. Citicoline seems to help memory loss in people aged 50 to 85 years.
- Stroke recovery. Stroke patients who take citicoline by mouth within 24 hours of having the kind of stroke that is caused by a clot (ischemic stroke) are more likely than other ischemic stroke patients to have a complete recovery within 3 months.
- Long-term blood circulation problems in the brain (cerebrovascular diseases). There is some evidence that citicoline taken by mouth or given by IV or as a shot might improve memory and behavior in patients with long-term cerebrovascular diseases, such as stroke.
- Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Some evidence suggests that taking citicoline by mouth might improve learning, memory and information processing (cognitive function) in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
- Parkinson's disease. There is some evidence that citicoline given as a shot along with usual treatment might improve some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but not tremor.
- Attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD).
- Glaucoma. Developing evidence suggests that citicoline might improve vision in some people with glaucoma.
- Vascular dementia. Taking citicoline does not seem to improve symptoms in people with vascular dementia.
- Head trauma.
- Other conditions.
CITICOLINE Side Effects & Safety
Citicoline seems to be safe when taken short-term (up to 90 days). The safety of long-term use is not known. Most people who take citicoline don't experience problematic side effects. But some people can have side effects such as trouble sleeping (insomnia), headache, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, chest pains, and others.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of citicoline during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For decline in thinking skills due to age: 1000-2000 mg of citicoline per day.
- For ongoing disease of the blood vessels that serve the brain (chronic cerebrovascular disease): 600 mg of citicoline per day.
- For immediate treatment of stroke due to a clot (ischemic stroke): 500-2000 mg of citicoline per day starting within 24 hours of stroke.
- Healthcare providers give citicoline intravenously (by IV) for age-related decline in thinking skills or for chronic cerebrovascular disease.
- Healthcare providers give citicoline by shot for chronic cerebrovascular disease.