Q Dear Dr. V,
My mother has been taking galantamine for a few months, and now she wants to try Vinpocetine also. Are there any drawbacks or side effects of using the two together?


A Dear FM,
Both galantamine and Vinpocetine enhance cognitive function, but by different mechanisms. Galantamine works by making more of the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine available in the brain, by inhibiting its breakdown. Vinpocetine works by increasing blood flow to the brain, thereby enhancing oxygen and glucose utilization.

As a general rule, most dietary supplements can be taken together, just as regular foods are mixed at meals. Even so, some supplements (as well as some foods) do have the potential for side effects, most commonly gastrointestinal upset or dizziness. It is likely that galantamine and Vinpocetine can be taken together safely. However, both can lower blood pressure (which is usually a good thing), so for anyone whose blood pressure is abnormally low, it may not be a good idea to take them both.

Finally, if your mother has any medical conditions, she should see her doctor before taking this step.

Please let me know how she does.

Dr. V

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