AY-27255, Cavinton, Eburnamenine-14-carboxylic acid, Ethyl Apovincaminate, Ethylapovincaminoate, Ethyl Ester, RGH-4405, TCV-3b, Vinpocetin, Vinpocetina, Vinpocétine.


Overview Information

Vinpocetine is a man-made chemical. Its structure is similar to a substance found in the periwinkle plant. People use vinpocetine as medicine.

Vinpocetine is sold as a prescription drug in Germany under the brand name Cavinton. But high-quality studies evaluating its safety or health benefits are lacking. In the U.S., vinpocetine may be included in dietary supplements, but this is controversial. In the 1990s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged vinpocetine as a new dietary ingredient. This allowed it to be included in supplements. But in 2016, the FDA tentatively concluded that vinpocetine might not meet the criteria to be allowed in dietary supplements. They requested comments about this conclusion from industry trade associations before making a final decision. In June 2019, the FDA issued a warning that vinpocetine may be unsafe in women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. Because of these safety concerns, the FDA has advised companies marketing vinpocetine products to include a warning on the label advising pregnant women or those who could become pregnant to avoid vinpocetine. The FDA has also stated that they plan to issue a final ruling on whether vinpocetine can be included in dietary supplements.

People use vinpocetine for improving memory and thinking skills, boosting energy, for weight loss, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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.


Uses & Effectiveness?

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 4 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.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • An eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a condition that causes vision loss in some older people. Early research shows that taking vinpocetine by mouth for 2 months might improve vision in people with AMD.
  • Hearing loss. Early research suggests that giving vinpocetine intravenously (by IV) for 10 days does not improve hearing in people with hearing loss.
  • Dialysis (hemodialysis). Early research suggests that taking vinpocetine daily for up to one year reduces the build-up of calcium around the joints in people with kidney failure who require hemodialysis.
  • Improving memory. Early research suggests that vinpocetine might enhance memory in normal volunteers. Taking vinpocetine along with ginkgo also appears to improve short-term memory in healthy adults.
  • Stroke. There is some evidence that vinpocetine might slightly 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. Scientific reviews of these studies found there wasn’t enough agreement among the studies to establish the effectiveness of vinpocetine for ischemic stroke.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Some early research suggests that giving vinpocetine by mouth and intravenously (by IV) along with physiotherapy might reduce ringing in the ears. However, giving vinpocetine by IV appears to be less effective than the drug nicergoline in reducing ringing in the ears caused by intense sound.
  • Bed-wetting and related urine control problems. Early research suggests that taking vinpocetine for 2 weeks might reduce the number of times a person with this condition needs to urinate during the day or at night.
  • Prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Motion sickness.
  • Symptoms of menopause.
  • Seizures.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of vinpocetine for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Vinpocetine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately, short-term. Vinpocetine can cause some side effects including stomach pain, nausea, sleep disturbances, headache, dizziness, nervousness, and flushing of the face.

When given by IV or as a shot: Vinpocetine is POSSIBLY SAFE when given by IV or as a shot under the care of a health care provider. It might cause irregular or rapid heartbeat in some people. It might also cause a person's blood pressure to become high or low for a short period of time.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Vinpocetine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in pregnant women or those who may become pregnant. Vinpocetine might increase the risk of miscarriage and might cause harm to the fetus. Avoid using.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information about the safety of taking vinpocetine if you are breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders: Don't use vinpocetine if you have a problem with blood clotting because it might increase the risk of bleeding.

Weakened immune system: Vinpocetine might weaken the immune system in some people. This might reduce the body's ability to fight infections. If you already have a weakened immune system due to other conditions such as HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment, check with your healthcare provider before using vinpocetine.

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 at least 2 weeks before you are scheduled for surgery.



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.

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