Huperzine A: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions


Huperzine A is a substance extracted from a plant called Chinese moss ( Huperzia serrata ). Huperzine A, marketed as a dietary supplement, is commonly touted as a remedy for Alzheimer's.

Used in alternative medicine, hypersine A has been found to act as an inhibitor of cholinesterase, a type of drug used to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine (a chemical essential for learning and memory) .

Huperzine A is used not only to treat Alzheimer's disease, but also to improve learning and memory, and to protect against age-related cognitive decline.

Additionally, Huperzine A is sometimes used to increase energy, increase alertness, fight depression, and help treat myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that affects the muscles. However, the research is limited.

Commonly known as

  • Huperzine A
  • Selagin

Health benefits

Although research on the health effects of hypersine A is limited, there is some evidence that hypersine A may have specific benefits. Some of the key findings of the available research include:

Alzheimer disease

According to a 2013 research review published in PLoS One , Huperzine A appears to provide some benefits for people with Alzheimer's. The researchers searched all randomized controlled trials of the efficacy and safety of huperzine A in Alzheimer's disease and concluded that huperzine A was more effective than placebo in terms of its effects on cognitive function, behavioral decline, and functionality. This was also found in a 2008 review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews .

However, a 2011 study published in the journal Neurology found that huperzine A did not improve cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients. The study involved 210 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, each of whom received Huperzine A or a placebo for at least 16 weeks. In their analysis of 177 participants who completed the study, the researchers found that huperzine A did not significantly affect cognitive function .

Improving memory

Very few studies have tested the use of Huperzine A to improve memory. However, a small, older study published in the Chinese journal Acta Pharmacologica Sinica in 1999 found that huperzine A helped improve memory and learning in a group of adolescent students .

In the study, 68 high school students (all of whom complained of insufficient memory) received Huperzine A or a placebo daily for four weeks. At the end of the study, participants in the huperzine A group showed greater improvements in learning and memory (compared to those in the placebo group).

More research is needed before huperzine A can be recommended for improving memory.

Possible side effects.

Huperzine A can cause side effects including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, sweating, blurred vision, slurred speech, fainting, anxiety, loss of appetite, muscle twitching and spasms, cramps, increased saliva and urine, inability to control urination. , high blood pressure, bloating, dizziness, insomnia, and slow heart rate .

Little is known about the long-term safety of taking Huperzine A. There is some concern that the use of Huperzine A may be harmful to people with certain medical conditions, such as kidney and / or liver disease, heart disease, asthma , epilepsy , and dizziness


Huperzine A can interact with some medications, including cholinesterase inhibitors, beta-blockers, and anticonvulsants. Given these safety concerns, it is important to consult with your doctor if you are considering using Huperzine A.

Get Drug Information / Anastasia Tretyak

Dosage and drugs

Huperzine A is available in tablets and capsules and is an optional ingredient in several combination supplements that are advertised as memory enhancers .

There is no recommended daily dose for hypersine A. The following doses have been studied:

  • Alzheimer's disease: 300 mcg to 500 mcg per day.
  • Dementia : 100 mcg twice a day.
  • Memory boost: 100 mcg twice daily.

What to look for

When choosing a supplement brand, look for products that are certified by Consumer Labs, USP, or NSF International.

Other questions

Does huperzine A increase blood pressure?

Huperzine A can increase your heart rate and therefore increase your blood pressure. If you have hypertension, talk to your doctor before taking Huperzine A.

Will Huperzine A improve my training?

Huperzine A is used in bodybuilding as a nootropic, which means it improves concentration. It is touted as a workout enhancer and is included in several combination supplements. However, there is insufficient evidence to support this use.

Get the word of drug information

Due to the lack of supporting research, Huperzine A cannot currently be recommended for the treatment or prevention of any health problems. If you are considering using huperzine A supplements, consult with your healthcare professional before taking supplements to weigh the risks, benefits, and feasibility.

It is important to note that self-medicating for Alzheimer's disease (or any other condition) with huperzine A and avoiding or delaying standard treatment can have serious health consequences.

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