VINPOCETINE Overview Information
Vinpocetine is a man-made chemical resembling a substance found in the periwinkle plant Vinca minor. People use it as medicine.
Vinpocetine production requires considerable laboratory work, stretching the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) definition of a dietary supplement. Vinpocetine is sold by prescription in Germany under the brand name Cavinton. It has also been referred to generically as cavinton. Although website advertising claims that "more than a hundred" safety and effectiveness studies have been funded by the Hungarian manufacturer Gedeon Richter, few double-blind controlled clinical studies have been published. Double-blind controlled clinical studies are considered the gold standard for establishing safety and effectiveness.
Because some people think vinpocetine might improve blood flow to the brain, it is used for enhancing memory and preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions that harm learning, memory, and information processing skills as people age.
Vinpocetine is also used for preventing and reducing the chance of disability and death from ischemic stroke. This is the type of stroke that occurs when a blood clot stops blood flow in the brain, causing brain cells (neurons) to die because they are not receiving oxygen. People try vinpocetine for preventing and treating stroke right after it happens because they think vinpocetine might help keep blood from clotting and might also protect neurons against the harmful effects of oxygen deprivation.
Other uses for vinpocetine include treating symptoms of menopause, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and seizure disorders; and preventing motion sickness.
Healthcare providers sometimes give vinpocetine intravenously (by IV) for treating seizure disorders and stroke.
How does it work?
It is not known exactly how vinpocetine works, but it might increase blood flow to the brain and offer some protection for brain cells (neurons) against injury.
Possibly Effective for:
- Diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, that interfere with thinking. Vinpocetine might have a small effect on the decline of thinking skills due to various causes, but most studies have lasted 6 months or less. Most of the studies were published prior to 1990, and results are hard to interpret because they used a variety of terms and criteria for cognitive decline and dementia.
- Improving memory. Some beginning research suggests vinpocetine might enhance memory in normal volunteers.
- Stroke. There is some evidence that vinpocetine might modestly reduce brain damage due to acute ischemic stroke. There have been only a few clinical studies investigating the use of vinpocetine for stroke, and most have been published in languages other than English. Two scientific reviews of these studies found there wasn’t enough agreement among the studies to establish the effectiveness of vinpocetine for ischemic stroke.
- Prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
- Motion sickness.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Other conditions.
VINPOCETINE Side Effects & Safety
Vinpocetine appears to be POSSIBLY SAFE for most people. No significant harmful effects were reported in a study of people with Alzheimer's disease treated with large doses of vinpocetine (60 mg per day) for one year.
Vinpocetine can cause some side effects including stomach pain, nausea, sleep disturbances, headache, dizziness, nervousness, and flushing of the face.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of vinpocetine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Clotting disorders: Don’t use vinpocetine if you have a problem with blood clotting because it might increase the risk of bleeding.
Surgery: Vinpocetine might slow blood clotting. There is a concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using vinpocetine if you are scheduled for surgery in the next 2 weeks.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with VINPOCETINE
Vinpocetine might slow blood clotting. Taking vinpocetine along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with VINPOCETINE
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Vinpocetine might increase how long warfarin (Coumadin) is in the body, and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For treating memory and thinking disorders such as Alzheimer's disease: 5-10 mg of vinpocetine three times daily.