Vinpocetine is a man-made chemical. Its structure is similar to a substance found in the periwinkle plant. People use vinpocetine as medicine.
Vinpocetine is sold as a prescription drug in Germany under the brand name Cavinton. But high-quality studies evaluating its safety or health benefits are lacking. In the U.S., vinpocetine may be included in dietary supplements, but this is controversial. In the 1990s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged vinpocetine as a new dietary ingredient. This allowed it to be included in supplements. But in 2016, the FDA tentatively concluded that vinpocetine might not meet the criteria to be allowed in dietary supplements.