Molecule of the Week
February 3, 2014
Vinpocetine is a derivative of the alkaloid vincamine that has vasodilating properties. C. Szántay isolated it from the periwinkle plant (Vinca minor) in 1975, but that was 2 years after C. Lörincz and co-inventors patented its synthesis.
Vinpocetine is used in eastern Europe to treat cerebral vascular disorders and memory impairment. It is not approved for drug use in the United States, but can be sold over the counter as a dietary supplement. Some body builders use it as a vasodilator to improve performance, but no studies have been performed to establish its effectiveness.