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Huperzine A

What is it?

Huperzine A is an extract from a moss called Huperaine serrata. It has been used in Chinese medicine for fever, inflammation, muscle strains, and rheumatological conditions such as arthritis. It has also been used for Alzheimer's disease to prevent memory loss

Other names for Huperzine A include: Hup A, Qian Ceng Ta, Huperzia serrata, Chinese Clubmoss, and Shuangyiping.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Huperzine A you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Huperzine A. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Huperzine A, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Upset stomach, diarrhea and throwing up have all been reported with the use of Huperzine A (1)
  • Hyperactivity or insomnia (difficulty sleeping) (1)

References:

1. Xu SS, Gao ZX, Weng A et al: Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer's Disease. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 1995;16(5):391-395.

2. Zhu XD & Giacobini E: Second generation cholinesterase inhibitors: Effect of (1)-huperzine-A on cortical biogenic amines. Journal of Neuroscience Research 1995;41:828-835.

3. Ved HS, Koenig ML, Dave JR et al: Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for dementia, reduces neuronal cell death caused by glutamate. Neuro Report 1997; 8:963-968.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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