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Vinpocetine

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 14-Ethoxycarbonyl-(3alpha,16alpha-ethyl)-14,15-eburnamine, apovincaminic acid, Cavinton®, cezayirmenekşesi (Turkish), Crioceras longiflorus, ethyl apovincaminate, Eusenium®, Intelectol®, kavinton, myrtle vincapervinc, periwinkle, RGH-4405, TCV-3b, Vinca minor, vinRx, vintoperol, Voacanga africana.
  • Note: Vincamine, a compound also found in periwinkle, is not covered in this monograph.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Vinpocetine (ethyl-apovincaminate, Cavinton®) is a synthetic compound that was discovered in the late 1960s. It is a chemical derivative of vincamine, a vinca alkaloid isolated from the leaves of periwinkle (Vinca minor). Vincamine is also present in Voacanga africana and Crioceras longiflorus.
  • Vinpocetine is best known for its neuroprotective effects. It been used to maintain and improve brain health and cognition. According to secondary sources, in the brain, vinpocetine has been shown to cause relaxation of smooth muscle, dilation of blood vessels, improved blood flow, increased production of ATP, improved utilization of oxygen, improved metabolism of glucose, and improved cerebral efficiency.
  • According to secondary sources, vinpocetine has exhibited beneficial effects on brain function in hypoxic and ischemic conditions and enhanced performance on certain cognitive tests. Due to its antianoxic, anti-ischemic, and neuroprotective properties, vinpocetine is used to treat cerebral disorders of vascular origin (1). Vinpocetine exerted beneficial effects on cerebral glucose metabolism and regional cerebral blood flow in chronic poststroke patients (2).
  • In vitro studies have revealed that vinpocetine modulates calmodulin dependent phosphodiesterase E1, sodium and calcium channels, peripheral benzodiazepine receptors, and glutamate receptors (2).
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.