Vinpocetine Summary:

Vinpocetine is one of the first nootropic substances to hit the mainstream public. The chemical is a derrivative of a naturally ocurring compund known as vincamine extracted from the periwinkle plant.

The main action of this nootropic is to dilate the cerebral arteries, thus allowing more blood flow to the brain. This makes this chemical beneficial for conditions like Alzheimer's and Dementia where the mechanism of action is thought to be through reduced blood flow to the brain (this is one of several contributing factors for these conditions).

Vinpocetine has been shown to improve memory retrieval, and memory formation in both animal and human studies. It has also been shown to improve reaciton times, prevent the onset of altitude sickness, and increase the positive outcome of hemorrhagic stroke patients.

Where Does It Come From?

Vinpocetine is a semi-synthetic alkaloid from the periwinkle plant (Vinca major/minor). The original alkaloid, vincamide, is altered in a lab to create vinpocetine.

Vinca minor/major


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Vinca major flower vinpocetine

General Actions:

  • Cerebrovasodilator
  • Improves cell communication
  • Antioxidant
  • Nootropic

Specific Actions:

  • Dilates the cerebral arteries
  • Stimulates vasodilation
  • Inhibits the effects of phosphodiesterase (leads to an increase in cyclic AMP over cyclic GMP) 
  • Increases the tolerance of brain cells to hypoxic (lack of oxygen) conditions
  • Free radical scavenging activity


  • To prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease
  • As a study aid
  • Hemmorhagic stroke
  • Poor cerebral blood flow


40 - 60 mg/day

Take with food. Can be split up into 2-3 doses throughout the day.

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Chemical Description:

Vinpocetine is a semi-synthetic alkaloid derrived from vincamine extracted from the leaves of the periwinkle (Vinca minor/major) plant. 

vinpocetine vs vincamide


Video in progress. 

Pharmacology And Medical Research:

Research One

Compiling research

Improvement In Memory

Vinpocetine has been shown to significantly improve both memory retrieval and the making of new memories. [1]. The mechanism of action is not well understood.

Research Three

Still compiling research.



The absorption rate of vinpocetine is only 6.7% on an empty stomach. When taken with meals this rises significantly to 60-80%. After ingestion, it takes 1-2 hours to enter the bloodstream. Once in circulation, it is metabolized into the inactive vincaminic acid and excreted through the kidneys and urine. [1]. 

Vinpocetine has been shown to accumulate in the thalamus, putamen, and neocortical regions of the brain. [1]. 


Vinpocetine is very safe. There have been no reported long-term side effects, and has an incredibly low toxicity.

Caution is advised if taking with blood thinning medications such as warfarin.


Still compiling research. 

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Formulas Containing Vinpocetine:

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Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: March 2017

Related Blog Posts:


  1. Jha, M.K., Rahman, Sheikh, H. (2012). Vinpocetine: A smart drug and sart nutrient: A review. IJPSR. Vol 3. 2. 346-352. 
  2.  Bonoczk P., Gulyas B., Adam-Vizi V., et al., (2000). Role of sodium channel inhibition in neuroprotection: Effect of vinpocetine. Brain Res Bull. 53: 245-254
  3. Szakall S., Boros I., Balkay L., et al., (1998). Cerebral effects of a single dose of intravenous vinpocetine in chronic stroke patients: a PET study. J Neuroimaging. 8(4). 197-204
  4. Nagy, Z., et al., (1995). The cell division cycle and the pathophysiology of Alzheimers disease. Neuroscience. 87(4). 731-739
  5. Thal, Salmon, Lasker et al.,  (1989). The safety and lack of efficacy of vinpocetine in Alzheimers disease. J Am Geriatr Soc. 37:515-520
  6. Konopka watts, Zalewski P., Olszewski, J., et al., (1997). Treatment results of acoustic trauma. Otolaryngol Pol. 25:281-284