Vinpocetine (brand names: Cavinton, Intelectol; chemical name: ethyl apovincaminate) is a synthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloid vincamine (sometimes described as "a synthetic ethyl ester of apovincamine"), an extract from the lesser periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine was first isolated from the plant in 1975 by the Hungarian chemist Csaba Szántay. The mass production of the synthetic compound was started in 1978 by the Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter Gedeon.
Vinpocetine is not FDA approved in the United States for therapeutic use. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that vinpocetine, due to its synthetic nature and proposed therapeutic uses, was ineligible to be marketed as dietary supplement under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
Vinpocetine has been reported to have cerebral blood-flow enhancing and neuroprotective effects, and has been used as a drug in Eastern Europe for the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders and age-related memory impairment