FDA/CDC

FDA: Vinpocetine associated with fetal harms, miscarriage


 

The Food and Drug Administration has warned that vinpocetine, an ingredient found in many dietary supplements, may harm fetal development or cause miscarriage, according to a statement from the agency.

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This warning is based on data reviewed by the FDA, including a report from the National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program, that show associations between vinpocetine use and decreased fetal weight and increased risk of miscarriage in animals. The agency is particularly concerned because products containing this ingredient, including those marketed as improving energy and memory, are widely available to women of childbearing age. As a result, the agency has recommended these women not take vinpocetine.

Vinpocetine is a synthetically produced compound used in dietary supplements either on its own or in combination and may be referred to as Vinca minor extract, lesser periwinkle extract, or common periwinkle extract on product labels. Although vinpocetine is regulated in some countries as a prescription drug, when it’s sold in dietary supplements in the United States, the FDA does not usually review those products or their labeling before they become available to consumers under the same safety and effectiveness standards used to evaluate drug products.

“Today’s safety warning is just one of many steps the FDA is taking to adapt to the realities of the evolving dietary supplement industry,” according to the agency’s statement. “Protecting the public from unsafe dietary supplements remains a top priority for the FDA.”

The full statement regarding vinpocetine and its risks can be found on the FDA website.

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