Huperzine A was identified for medicinal use by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the 1980s. It increases levels of a chemical called acetylcholine. This seems to help treat diseases that interfere with memory and thinking.
People use huperzine A to improve memory and mental function in people with Alzheimer disease or other types of dementia. It is also used for depression, schizophrenia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Don't confuse huperzine A, which is also called selagine, with similar sounding medications such as selegiline (Eldepryl). Also don't confuse one of the brand names for huperzine A (Cerebra) with brand names for unrelated prescription drugs such as celecoxib (Celebrex) and citalopram (Celexa).
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Alzheimer disease. Taking huperzine A by mouth for up to 6 months might improve memory, thinking skills, and behavior in people with Alzheimer disease.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if huperzine A is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Huperzine A is possibly safe in children when taken by mouth for less than one month.
Slow heart rate or other heart diseases: Huperzine A can slow the heart rate. This might be a problem for people who already have a slow heart rate or other heart conditions. If you have heart disease, check with your healthcare provider before using huperzine A.
Seizure disorder (epilepsy): Huperzine A might make epilepsy worse. If you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy, check with your healthcare provider before using huperzine A.
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract blockage: Huperzine A might make GI blockage worse. If you have a GI tract blockage, check with your healthcare provider before using huperzine A.
Stomach ulcers: Huperzine A might make stomach ulcers worse. If you have stomach ulcers, check with your healthcare provider before using huperzine A.
Lung conditions: Huperzine A might make asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) worse. If you have asthma or COPD, check with your healthcare provider before using huperzine A.
Urinary tract blockage: Huperzine A might make blockage of the urinary tract worse. If you have a urinary tract blockage, check with your healthcare provider before using huperzine A.
Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) interacts with HUPERZINE A
Huperzine A can increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a big part in many important body functions. Some medications, called anticholinergic drugs, block the effects of acetylcholine in the body. Taking huperzine A might decrease the effects of anticholinergic drugs.
Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) interacts with HUPERZINE A
Huperzine A can increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. Some medications that are used for glaucoma, Alzheimer disease, and other conditions, also increase acetylcholine levels. Taking huperzine A with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.
Be cautious with this combination
You Might Also Like
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.