||This article needs more medical references for verification or relies too heavily on primary sources. (January 2014)|
|AHFS/Drugs.com||International Drug Names|
|ATC code||N06BX18 (WHO)|
|Bioavailability||56.6 +/- 8.9%|
|Biological half-life||2.54 +/- 0.48 hours|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||350.454 g/mol|
|3D model (Jmol)||Interactive image|
|(what is this?)|
Vinpocetine (brand names: Cavinton, Intelectol; chemical name: ethyl apovincaminate) is a synthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloid vincamine (sometimes described as "a synthetic ethyl ester of apovincamine"), an extract from the lesser periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine was first isolated from the plant in 1975 by the Hungarian chemist Csaba Szántay. The mass production of the synthetic compound was started in 1978 by the Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter Gedeon.
Vinpocetine is not FDA approved in the United States for therapeutic use. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that vinpocetine, due to its synthetic nature and proposed therapeutic uses, was ineligible to be marketed as dietary supplement under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
Vinpocetine has been reported to have cerebral blood-flow enhancing and neuroprotective effects, and has been used as a drug in Eastern Europe for the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders and age-related memory impairment.[unreliable medical source?]
Controlled clinical trials
In vitro and animal studies
Kindling models in rats has shown vinpocetine to exhibit anticonvulsant properties. The most pronounced anticonvulsant effects were observed in Pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-kindled rats although there was also an effect on amygdala-kindled and neocortically-kindled rats. Vinpocetine has also been shown to abolish [3H]Glu release after in vivo exposure to 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) which suggests an important mechanism for vinpocetine anticonvulsant activity.
Vinpocetine has been investigated in animal models as a potential anti-inflammatory agent.  Vinpocetine inhibits the up-regulation of NF-κB by TNFα in various cell tests. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction also shows that it reduced the TNFα-induced expression of the mRNA of proinflammatory molecules such as interleukin-1 beta, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). In mice, vinpocetine reduced lipopolysaccharide inoculation induced polymorphonuclear neutrophil infiltration into the lung.
Mechanism of action
Vinpocetine acts as a phosphodiesterase (PDE) type-1 inhibitor in isolated rabbit aorta, Independent of vinpocetine's action on PDE, vinpocetine inhibits IKK preventing IκB degradation and the following translocation of NF-κB to the cell nucleus.
Increases in neuronal levels of DOPAC, a metabolic breakdown product of dopamine, have been shown to occur in striatal isolated nerve endings as a result of exposure to vinpocetine. Such an effect is consistent with the biogenic pharmacology of reserpine, a structural relative of vinpocetine. However, this effect tends to be reversible upon cessation of vinpocetine administration, with full remission typically occurring within 3–4 weeks.
Vinpocetine is generally well-tolerated in humans.[unreliable medical source?] No serious side effects have thus far been noted in clinical trials,[unreliable medical source?] although none of these trials were long-term. Some users have reported headaches, especially at doses above 15 milligrams per day, as well as occasional upset stomach. The safety of vinpocetine in pregnant women has not been evaluated. Vinpocetine has been implicated in one case to induce agranulocytosis,[unreliable medical source?] a serious condition in which granulocytes are markedly decreased. Some people have anecdotally noted that their continued use of vinpocetine reduces immune function. Commission E warned that vinpocetine reduced immune function could cause apoptosis (cellular death) in the long term.
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