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November 15, 2019
 

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Safety risk for certain dietary supplements

FDA issues warning statement on supplements containing vinpocetine

Note: this article is provided by Ohio Northern University Healthwise Pharmacy.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning statement on certain dietary supplements.

This warning focuses on dietary supplements that contain vinpocetine. This substance may be referred to on dietary product labels as Vinca minor extract, common periwinkle extract or lesser periwinkle extract.

Products containing vinpocetine are often advertised for memory, focus and mental acuity enhancement. These products have also been marketed to increase energy and for weight loss.

The FDA's safety concerns regarding these products center on women of childbearing age. This concern is based on a recent report by the National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program. The report showed that vinpocetine may be tied to adverse reproductive effects, such as a miscarriage or harm to the development of the unborn baby.

The concern is that these types of products are widely available. The FDA recommended that pregnant women and women who can become pregnant not take products that contain vinpocetine.

In addition, the FDA is recommending that companies that market vinpocetine-containing products evaluate their labeling to ensure it includes this warning.

The FDA said it is taking steps to strengthen the regulation of dietary supplements. The agency has introduced a new tool called the "Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List." This list is meant to alert the public when certain ingredients have been unlawfully marketed in dietary supplements.

Speak with your health care provider about any dietary or herbal supplements you are taking.

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