What Are the Different Vinpocetine Side Effects?

A. Gamm

Vinpocetine is a medication made from a synthesized form of a compound called vicamine, commonly found in periwinkle. There are several uses of Vinpocetine, ranging from helping menopause and ulcers to cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Minor side effects include headache, nausea and gastrointestinal issues. As this medication may thin blood and prevent clots, it should not be taken by someone who has had surgery or plans on having surgery. Also, certain medications may be prohibited when taking Vinpocetine due to their tendency to cause side effects.

Headaches are a common side effect of Vinpocetine.
Headaches are a common side effect of Vinpocetine.

As of 2011, there are no reported serious Vinpocetine side effects and the minor side effects that have been reported are not considered common. In fact, Vinpocetine side effects are rarely mentioned in reports. Common side effects are normally listed as nausea, headache, dizziness, anxiety, sleep issues, stomach pains, flushed face and rash. Typically, these side effects lessen over time, though if they seem prolonged or worsen with time it is recommended to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Taking this drug may also create a decrease of certain white blood cells; however, this is usually only noticed after formal testing.

Some patients experience dizziness and nausea while taking vinpocetine.
Some patients experience dizziness and nausea while taking vinpocetine.

Although not normally considered one of the common Vinpocetine side effects, the medication may thin blood and inhibit clotting by affecting platelet activity. As such, there are a few possible drug interactions, primarily with drugs that may also thin blood, such as aspirin or Ticlopidine, as they may cause potentially serious bleeding problems if combined with Vinpocetine. Although unconfirmed as of 2012, certain natural supplements and food may also cause bleeding issues when paired with this medication. High concentrations of vitamin E, ginkgo and garlic are not recommended when taking Vinpocetine.

Due to the blood thinning properties of Vinpocetine, it is not recommended for people who have recently had surgery or plan on undergoing surgery in the near future. This typically includes women who may go into labor. It is further not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and children due to the lack of research. Elderly people with certain medical issues, especially those involving the heart, should also avoid Vinpocetine.

It is typically recommended to seek medical advice before deciding to take Vinpocetine. This is to discuss the risks and benefits of this medication for each specific situation. If any Vinpocetine side effects become severe, or if any other reactions not listed occur, it is highly recommended to seek medical attention immediately.

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