5'-Cytidine diphosphate choline, CDPC, CDP Choline, CDP-Choline, Citicholine, Citicolina, Cytidine 5-Diphosphocholine, Cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine, Cytidine (5') diphosphocholine, Cytidine Diphosphate Choline, Cytidine Diphosphocholine, Cytidinediphosphocholine.<br/><br/>


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.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Age-related memory problems. Taking citicoline seems to help memory loss in people aged 50 to 85 years.
  • Long-term blood circulation problems in the brain (cerebrovascular diseases). There is some evidence that taking citicoline by mouth or injecting citicoline into the vein or muscle might improve memory and behavior in patients with long-term cerebrovascular diseases, such as stroke.
  • 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. Stroke patients who receive intravenous (IV) citicoline within 12 hours of having an ischemic stroke and daily thereafter for 7 days also have improved recovery.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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.
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia). Early research suggests that giving citicoline as a shot for 15 days might improve vision in people with a lazy eye.
  • Bipolar disorder. Early research suggests that taking citicoline does not improve depression or manic symptoms in people with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction.
  • Cocaine addiction. Early research suggests that taking citicoline might reduce cocaine use in people with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction.
  • Glaucoma. Developing evidence suggests that citicoline might improve vision in some people with glaucoma.
  • Vision loss due to blockage of the optic nerve (ischemic optic neuropathy). Early research suggests that taking a specific citicoline product (Cebrolux-Tubilux) for 60 days might improve vision in people with ischemic optic neuropathy.
  • Memory. Early research suggests that taking citicoline might improve memory, learning, and speaking ability in people with brain injury due to trauma. Other research suggests that citicoline might improve some aspects of memory in elderly people.
  • Muscle strength. Early research suggests that injecting citicoline intravenously (by IV) might improve muscle strength in people recovering from a type of stroke called a cerebral hemorrhage that was not caused by trauma.
  • Parkinson's disease. Some research shows that giving citicoline as a shot along with usual treatment might improve some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but not shaking (tremor).
  • Recovery after surgery. Early research suggests that taking citicoline 24 hours before surgery and for 4 days after surgery might reduce symptoms of delirium after surgery in elderly people.
  • Vascular dementia. Taking citicoline does not seem to improve symptoms in people with vascular dementia.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD).
  • Head trauma.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of citicoline for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Citicoline is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth 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: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking citicoline if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for CITICOLINE Interactions.



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.

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  • Trovarelli, G., de Medio, G. E., Dorman, R. V., Piccinin, G. L., Horrocks, L. A., and Porcellati, G. Effect of cytidine diphosphate choline (CDP-choline) on ischemia-induced alterations of brain lipid in the gerbil. Neurochem.Res 1981;6(8):821-833. View abstract.
  • Virno, M., Pecori-Giraldi, J., Liguori, A., and De, Gregorio F. The protective effect of citicoline on the progression of the perimetric defects in glaucomatous patients (perimetric study with a 10-year follow-up). Acta Ophthalmol.Scand.Suppl 2000;(232):56-57. View abstract.
  • Warach, S., Pettigrew, L. C., Dashe, J. F., Pullicino, P., Lefkowitz, D. M., Sabounjian, L., Harnett, K., Schwiderski, U., and Gammans, R. Effect of citicoline on ischemic lesions as measured by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Citicoline 010 Investigators. Ann.Neurol. 2000;48(5):713-722. View abstract.
  • Wurtman, R. J., Regan, M., Ulus, I., and Yu, L. Effect of oral CDP-choline on plasma choline and uridine levels in humans. Biochem.Pharmacol. 10-1-2000;60(7):989-992. View abstract.
  • Xiong, Y., Liu, X., Wang, Y., and Du, Y. Cloning of cytidine triphosphate: phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase mRNA upregulated by a neuropeptide arginine-vasopressin((4-8)) in rat hippocampus. Neurosci.Lett. 4-7-2000;283(2):129-132. View abstract.
  • Yashima, K., Takamatsu, M., and Okuda, K. Intestinal absorption of cytidine diphosphate choline and its changes in the digestive tract. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol.(Tokyo) 1975;21(1):49-60. View abstract.
  • Yasuhara M and Naito H. Characteristic actions of CDP-choline on the central nervous system. Current Therapeutic Research 1974;16(4):346-374.
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  • Adibhatla RM, Hatcher JF. Citicoline mechanisms and clinical efficacy in cerebral ischemia. J Neurosci Res 2002;70:133-9. View abstract.
  • Babb SM, Appelmans KE, Renshaw PF, et al. Differently effect of CDP-choline on brain cytosolic choline levels in younger and older subjects as measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1996;127:88-94. View abstract.
  • Barrachina M, Dominguez I, Ambrosio S, et al. Neuroprotective effect of citicoline in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats and in 6-hydroxydopamine-treated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. J Neurol Sci 2003;215:105-10. View abstract.
  • Cohen RA, Browndyke JN, Moser DJ, et al. Long-term citicoline (cytidine diphosphate choline) use in patients with vascular dementia: Neuroimaging and neuropsychological outcomes. Cerebrovasc Dis 2003;16:199-204. View abstract.
  • Conant R, Schauss AG. Therapeutic applications of citicoline for stroke and cognitive function in the elderly: A review of the literature. Altern Med Rev 2004;9:17-31. View abstract.
  • Davalos A, Castillo J, Alvarez-Sabin J, et al. Oral citicoline in acute ischemic stroke: An individual patient date pooling analysis of clinical trials. Stroke 2002;33:2850-7. View abstract.
  • Dempsey RJ, Raghavendra Rao VL. Cytidinediphosphocholine treatment to decrease traumatic brain injury-induced hippocampal neuronal death, cortical contusion volume, and neurological dysfunction in rats. J Neurosurg 2003;98:867-73. View abstract.
  • Fioravanti M, Yanagi M. Cytidinediphosphocholine (CDP-choline) for cognitive and behavioural disturbances associated with chronic cerebral disorders in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;(2):CD000269. View abstract.
  • Rejdak R, Toczolowski J, Krukowski J, et al. Oral citicoline treatment improves visual pathway function in glaucoma. Med Sci Monit 2003;9:PI24-8. View abstract.
  • Savci V, Goktalay G, Cansev M, et al. Intravenously injected citicoline increases blood pressure and reverses hypotension in haemorrhagic shock: effect is mediated by central cholinergic activation. Eur J Pharmacol 2003;468:129-39. View abstract.
  • Sobrado M, Lopez MG, Carceller F, et al. Combined nipodimine and citicoline reduce infarct size, attenuate apoptosis, and increase BCL-2 expression after focal cerebral ischemia. Neuroscience 2003;118:107-13. View abstract.
  • Spiers PA, Myers D, Hochanadel GS, et al. Citicoline improves verbal memory in aging. Arch Neurol 1996;53:441-8. View abstract.
  • Teather LA, Wurtman RJ. Dietary cytidine (5)-diphosphocholine supplementation protects against development of memory deficits in aging rats. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2003;27:711–17. View abstract.
  • Weiss GB. Metabolism and actions of CDP-choline as an endogenous compound and administered exogenously as citicoline. Life Sci 1995;56:637-60. View abstract.
  • Zweifler RM. Membrane stabilizer: Citicoline. Curr Med Res Opin 2002;18:s14-s17. View abstract.

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