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Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:610103. doi: 10.1155/2014/610103. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Safety of nicergoline as an agent for management of cognitive function disorders.

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Section of Sleep Research and Pharmacopsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Nicergoline is a semisynthetic ergot derivative and has a selective alpha-1A adrenergic receptor blocking property and also other additional mechanisms of actions, both in the brain and in the periphery. It is in clinical use for over three decades in over fifty countries for conditions such as cerebral infarction, acute and chronic peripheral circulation disorders, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer's disease and has been found to be beneficial in a variety of other conditions. However, concerns about its safety have been raised, especially after the European medicines agency's (EMEA's) restriction in the use of all ergot derivatives including nicergoline. But, most of the available literature and data suggest that the adverse events with nicergoline are mild and transient. Further, none of the available treatment options for cognitive disorders afford definitive resolution of symptoms. In this backdrop, we discuss the pharmacology of nicergoline with special emphasis on the safety of this compound, especially when used in patients suffering from cognitive function disorders.

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