Vinpocetine is a nootropic drug first developed in the sixties. It is commonly prescribed in Europe to treat memory loss and other aging related mental disorders.

What Is Vinpocetine?

Vinpocetine was synthesized in the late 1960s and has been sold under the commercial name Cavinton since 1978. Vinpocetine is a semisynthetic nootropic derived from the periwinkle plant. It is known to be a neuroprotectant and a memory enhancer. Vinpocetine is used in Europe to treat those suffering from age-related memory loss and cerebral disorders resulting from lack of blood to the brain. It is commonly marketed as a supplement that increases blood-flow to the brain and improves memory.

Vinpocetine Dosage Information

It is highly recommended that first time users start with a small dosage of 2-5mg because many users report a sensitivity to this smart drug. Once you have taken a small dosage for at least a week you can up your dosage to 10mg per day. If you still feel no side effects you may continue to up your dosage to a maximum of 40mg per day.

How Does Vinpocetine Work?

Vinpocetine Na+ channel and phosphodiesterase inhibitor. [9][10]  This contributes to its neuroproctive effects and its ability to increase blood flow to the brain. It also inhibits IKK which prevents degradation of IkB. Having insufficient levels have IkB has been linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, viral infection, improper immune development, and has been implicated in the processes of synaptic plasticity and memory.[1]

Safety and Side Effects of Vinpocetine

There has never been a serious side effect reported in any clinical trial. [11] Vinpocetine is also tolerated quite well and comes with few adverse reaction. However, some users do report a sensitivity to Vinpocetine even at recommended dosages. These side effects may include an upset stomach and dizziness. Even though Vinpocetine is regarded as being extremely safe, its effects on pregnant women are not documented.

Because Vinpocetine increase blood flow and may inhibit blood clotting it should not be taken during any period immediately before or after any surgery. It should also not be taken in combination with drugs that have blood thinning properties. These drugs include:

  • Aspirin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
  • Pentoxifylline (Trental)
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo
  • Policosanol
  • High-dosage vitamin E

Vinpocetine FAQ

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Vinpocetine.

Should I Use Vinpocetine?

If the number one goal for your nootropic regimen is improved memory then you should strongly consider this nootropic for your regimen. It is regarded as being the best memory enhancer you can find. Not only that, but it doesn’t take a month or more for the effects to kick which is a common attribute of some other nootropics, such a gingko. The bottom line with Vinpocetine is that if you want to improve your memory Vinpocetine will help you. If you are uninterested in improving your memory then you should probably pass on this smart drug. Even though it also increases blood flow to the brain and acts as a neuroprotectant there are other nootropics out there are more effective in those areas.

What Are Some Notable Vinpocetine Studies?

One study was conducted on two healthy female volunteers. Each volunteer received treatments of either 10, 20, 40mg of Vinpocetine or a placebo over a series of days. One hour following the doses subjects completed a series of psychological tests. One such test was the Sternberg Memory Scanning Test which is evaluate short term memory. Memory as judged by the Sternberg Test, was found to be significantly improved in both subjects following doses of Vinpocetine. [8]Another study aimed to determine the pharmacological effects of Vinpocetine on cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism in stroke patients. Thirteen patients were administered Vincopetine for a 14-day long treatment regimen. Not only did Vincopetine increase cerebral blood flow and the rate of glucose metabolism but patients that were administered more of the smart drug saw larger increases in both areas. [2]

Cited Studies

1. Albensi BC, Mattson MP (2000). “Evidence for the involvement of TNF and NF-?B in hippocampal synaptic plasticity”. Synapse 35 (2): 151–9. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2396(200002)35:2<151::AID-SYN8>3.0.CO;2-P. PMID 10611641.

2. Szilágyi G, Nagy Z, Balkay L, et al. (2005). “Effects of vinpocetine on the redistribution of cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism in chronic ischemic stroke patients: a PET study”. Journal of the Neurological Sciences 229-230: 275–84. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2004.11.053. PMID 15760651.

3. Dézsi L, Kis-Varga I, Nagy J, Komlódi Z, Kárpáti E (2002). “[Neuroprotective effects of vinpocetine in vivo and in vitro. Apovincaminic acid derivatives as potential therapeutic tools in ischemic stroke]” (in Hungarian). Acta Pharmaceutica Hungarica 72 (2): 84–91. PMID 12498034.

4. “Vinpocetine. Monograph”. Alternative Medicine Review 7 (3): 240–3. 2002. PMID 12126465.

5. Jeon, KI; Xu, X; Aizawa, T; Lim, JH; Jono, H; Kwon, DS; Abe, J; Berk, BC et al. (2010). “Vinpocetine inhibits NF-kappaB-dependent inflammation via an IKK-dependent but PDE-independent mechanism.”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (21): 9795–800. doi:10.1073/pnas.0914414107. PMC 2906898. PMID 20448200.

6. Medina, AE (2010). “Vinpocetine as a potent antiinflammatory agent.”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (22): 9921–2. doi:10.1073/pnas.1005138107. PMC 2890434. PMID 20495091.

7. McDaniel MA, Maier SF, Einstein GO (2003). “‘Brain-specific’ nutrients: a memory cure?”. Nutrition 19 (11-12): 957–75. doi:10.1016/S0899-9007(03)00024-8. PMID 14624946.

8.  Subhan Z, Hindmarch I (1985). “Psychopharmacological effects of vinpocetine in normal healthy volunteers”. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 28 (5): 567–71. doi:10.1007/BF00544068. PMID 3899677.

9. “Vinpocetine blockade of sodium channels inhibits the rise in sodium and calcium induced by 4-aminopyridine in synaptosomes”. Neurochemistry International 46 (7): 533–40. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2005.02.001. PMID 15843047.

10.  Hagiwara M, Endo T, Hidaka H (1984). “Effects of vinpocetine on cyclic nucleotide metabolism in vascular smooth muscle”. Biochemical Pharmacology 33 (3): 453–7. doi:10.1016/0006-2952(84)90240-5. PMID 6322804.

11.  “Vinpocetine Side Effects and Warnings”. foundhealth. Retrieved 2011-07-02.