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Vinpocetine

What is it?

Vinpocetine is an herbal supplement used to treat thinking and memory problems, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Other names for Vinpocetine include: Ethyl apovincaminate, Ethyl apovincaminoate, and vinca minor.

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 a history of depression, breast cancer, have pheochromocytoma, or ulcers
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Vinpocetine you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Vinpocetine. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 Vinpocetine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take Vinpocetine if you have a low blood pressure (7)
  • Do not take Vinpocetine if you have constipation (difficulty having a bowel movement) (7)
  • Do not use Vinpocetine if you have a seizure disorder (2)
  • Do not use Vinpocetine if you have liver problems (2)

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.

  • Seek medical attention immediately if you have a change in blood pressure or heart rate (3)
  • Upset stomach and headaches (4)
  • Facial flushing (sweaty, warm, and red face) can occur with Vinpocetine (3)

References:

1. Hitzenberger G, Sommer W & Grandt R: Influence of vinpocetine on warfarin-induced inhibition of coagulation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1990; 28: 323-328.

2. Anon: Vinpocetine monograph. In: DrugDex Drug Evaluations. Micromedex Inc, Englewood, CO; 2000.

3. Manconi E, Binaghi F & Pitzus F: A double-blind clinical trial of vinpocetine in the treatment of cerebral insufficiency of vascular and degenerative origin. Curr Ther Res 1986; 40: 702-709.

4. Hindmarch I, Fuchs HH & Erzigkeit H: Efficacy and tolerance of vinpocetine in ambulant patients suffering from mild to moderate organic psychosyndromes. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 1991; 6: 31-43.

5. Thal LJ, Salmon DP, Lasker B et al: The safety and lack of efficacy of vinpocetine in Alzheimer's disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 1989; 37: 515-520.

6. Blaha L, Erzigkeit H, Adamczyk A et al: Clinical evidence of the effectiveness of vinpocetine in the treatment of organic psychosyndrome (abstract). Human Psychopharmacol 1989; 4: 103-111.

7. Brinker F: Herb contraindications and drug interactions, 2nd ed. Eclectic Medical Publications, Sandy, OR; 1998.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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