Citicoline

Molecule Description

Citicoline is a substance naturally produced by the body and found in cell membranes. It is beneficial in disorders of the brain that affect functions such as movement, memory, mood changes, as it prevents injury to brain cells. It is commonly prescribed as a ‘dietary supplement’ and is available in tablet and injection forms.
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Uses of Citicoline

  • Supportive treatment in combination with other medicines for improvement of symptoms in brain disorders such as thinking and memory problems due to interrupted blood supply to the brain (vascular dementia)
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  • Injury or death of brain cells due to ruptured blood vessels (stroke)
  • Age related brain damage and loss of function (Alzheimer's disease) that affects memory and other essential mental functions, or cause tremors and unintentional movements (Parkinson's disease)
  • A condition causing difficulty in concentration and controlling impulsive behavior, restlessness (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
  • Glaucoma (elevated pressure in the eye can damage nerves and structures in the eye causing blindness)
  • Citicoline can reduce and prevent this complication

Contraindications of Citicoline

When should one not use Citicoline

  • If you are allergic to Citicoline or any components of this medicine
  • Conditions causing increased muscle tone or stiffness (rigidity, spasticity, or dystonia)

Side effects of Citicoline

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Headache, sleeping disturbances, vision problems (blurred vision)
  • Low or high blood pressure, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, restlessness
  • Loose motions, feeling sick (nausea)

Precautions and Warnings of Citicoline

Pregnancy

Q:
Can I take Citicoline during pregnancy?
A:
You should not take Citicoline during pregnancy. It is because the safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established.

Breast Feeding

Q:
Can I take Citicoline while breastfeeding?
A:
It is probably unsafe to take this medicine if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed because it is unknown if Citicoline secretes in breast milk.

Driving

Q:
Can I drive if I have consumed Citicoline?
A:
Citicoline is not known to affect your ability to drive but may cause side effects such as vision and sleeping disturbances, irregular heartbeats, etc. Hence, it is advised to be cautious.

Alcohol

Q:
Can I consume alcohol with Citicoline?
A:
  • You may consume little amounts of alcohol during treatment with Citicoline
  • Alcohol is not beneficial for patients with brain disorders because it causes a depressive effect on the function of the brain and hamper the process of recovery
  • Citicoline is used to treat alcohol dependence (in patients addicted to alcohol)

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Inform the doctor:
  • If you have any brain disorders causing muscle stiffness or uncontrollable movements (hypertonia)
  • Before surgery regarding all the products you use (including prescription medicines, non- prescription medicines, and herbal products)

Mode of Action of Citicoline

How Does It Work?

Citicoline is essential for the healthy functioning of the brain. It is present in the cell membranes and is capable of repairing the injured or damaged brain cells. It also helps in minimizing brain damage after any physical injury or due to impaired blood supply or due to old age. The levels are decreased in brain injury, and supplementing it is believed to repair and prevent further damage.
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Interactions of Citicoline

Interactions with other medicines

  • Avoid:
  • Meclofenoxate (used to treat dementia (memory, thinking, and learning problems) and Alzheimer's disease)
  • Levodopa, Carbidopa, and Entecapone (all three are part of Parkinson's disease treatment)

Interactions with food items

You can take Citicoline with or without food.

Dosage of Citicoline

Overdose

Citicoline exhibits very low toxicity profile in humans, and the common symptom is headache. Consult the doctor if you experience symptoms such as vision and sleep problems, irregular heartbeats, or feel restless.
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Missed a Dose

If you missed any dose of Citicoline, take it as early as you remember. If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a higher or double dose of medicine to compensate for the missed dose.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Q: How does Citicoline help me?

  • Citicoline is essential for the functioning of the brain. It is of importance in case of any damage to brain and brain cells due to physical injury, stroke (rupture of blood vessels in the brain), thinking and memory problems due to interrupted blood supply to brain (vascular dementia) or due to old age (Parkinsonism or Alzheimer's disease)
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  • This supplement also has protective function and prevents blindness in conditions due to increased pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
  • It is thought to work by decreasing the amount of harmful substances and related stress on brain cells (free radicals), and by regulating the release of materials that transmit nerve impulses (neurotransmitters) like Dopamine, Acetyl Choline, and Norepinephrine
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  • Loss of control of movements, balance, memory and learning problems are due to inadequate or absent regulation of these neurotransmitters
  • Citicoline also potentiates the repair process in the brain, improves blood flow and increases metabolism of glucose, which is the main food for brain cells
  • Citicoline has also shown benefits in managing patients with mood disorders and those addicted to narcotics

Q: Is there anything else I need to know before taking Citicoline?

  • Citicoline should not be taken for long periods. Consult your doctor if you have to take it for more than three months
  • It is advised to be cautious while administering Citicoline in patients where there is severe bleeding rupture in the brain. If it is being given as an injection, then it is advised to give it slowly for 3-5 minutes or as intravenous drip (by mixing in saline solution) at a rate of 40-60 drops/ minute
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  • You may experience drowsiness or dizziness up to a few days after you stop taking this medication
Last Updated on: 17 Apr 2020 | 09:19 PM (IST)

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