Breaking News: US FDA Issues Warning About Usage Of Supplements Containing Vinpocetine By Females
The US FDA has issued warnings that supplements containing Vinpocetine may pose a risk to women of childbearing age and even women planning to have children in the near future as it could lead to miscarriages or even harm the fetus despite consuming the supplement way before pregnancy.
Vinpocetine is a synthetic chemical resembling a phytochemical found in the periwinkle plant Vinca minor. People use it as for a variety of so called claims such as its ability to improve blood flow to the brain, (thus assuming it might improve cognitive functions such as memory etc, or even prevent Alzheimer),for the prevention of strokes, for menopause, motion sickness, seizures etc. (most of these claims are not medically proven.)
The compound is also found in many weigh loss supplements as an ingredient.
The mode of usage is either by capsule supplements that are sold by various brands or via IV doses that are administered by many unscrupulous “ Wellness Clinics”. In Thailand, a few wellness clinics in Sukhumvit vicinity has been seen having this therapy despite not being approved by the MOPH or Thai FDA. There are lots of booths that are selling supplements that are illegally imported at malls in Lardphrao, Ratchada, Bang Na and also MBK that contain this compound.
“Pregnant women and even women who are planning to become pregnant within the next year should not take vinpocetine ," FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Amy Abernethy said in a phone interview with Thailand Medical News. "We are also advising firms marketing dietary supplements containing vinpocetine to evaluate their product labeling to ensure that it provides adequate safety warnings against use by pregnant women and women who could become pregnant."
It may be listed on labels of certain supplements as Vinca minor extract, lesser periwinkle extract or common periwinkle extract, the US FDA said.
In some countries, vinpocetine is treated as a prescription drug. In Thailand and the United States, however, supplements containing the compound have not been reviewed by the Thai FDA or US FDA. Thus, neither the safety and effectiveness nor the label claims for these supplements are approved.