Summary of Pyritinol
Primary Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts
Pyritinol (also known as pyrithioxine) is a compound with is essentially two Vitamin B6 molecules bound together by two sulfur atoms (a disulfide bridge). It has historically been used in European countries for treatment of Dementia and related issues of cognitive decline in the elderly. It is marketed under the brand name Encephabol.
It has had a resurgence as a nootropic compound for recreational use, but no studies have been undertaken in a young adult population.
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Things To Know & Note
Pyritinol is semi-water soluble. It does not need to be taken with food, although it may help
How to Take Pyritinol
Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details
A standard dosage of pyritinol used is 600mg taken in divided doses throughout the day with meals, usually 300mg taken with two meals of the day.
Scientific Research on Pyritinol
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Pyritinol is a semi-water soluble compound that is constructionally similar to Vitamin B6. Essentially, it is two pyridoxine(B6) molecules mirroring each other, in which they are bond not by their phosphorus side chains but instead a disulfide bridge. It is commonly sold as pyritinol hydrochloride, or pyrithioxine hydrochloride.
It is implicated in recovery and repair of damaged cholinergic neurons and may increase acetylcholine levels and uptake through lipid soluble metabolites. It also increases glucose utilization and cGMP levels in the brain, although more clinically significant in aged subjects.
It has been noted that these studies have their validity questioned due to small sample sizes. Most literature has also been published in the 1980s and has not been replicated to a large degree.
Pyritinol has been linked to, and causality established, case study of acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), the subject took 600mg daily for 3 months leading up to the initial inflammatory reaction, and then subsequent reactions were induced with minimal dosing. It has been linked to causing acute hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) as well in over 5 case studies averaging 400-600mg daily and experiencing jaundice and hepatitis within 2 weeks of starting usage. The mechanism of action for pyritinol's hepatotoxicity appears to be due to individual physiology (not applicable to everybody) and cholestatic in nature.
It has historically been linked to drug-induced pemphigus and occupational-contact dermatitis and other topical outbursts have been noted. A single case of auto-immune hypoglycemia has also been recorded.
Most of these side effects are due to pyritinol belonging to a class of sulfhydryl compounds.
Given its usage in Europe for over twenty years for medicinal treatment, it is unlikely that these effects manifest themselves in the majority of persons; equally likely is underreporting in the past of pyritinol-induced hepatitis.
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- Toledano A, Bentura ML. Pyritinol facilitates the recovery of cortical cholinergic deficits caused by nucleus basalis lesions. J Neural Transm Park Dis Dement Sect. (1994)
- Martin KJ, Vyas S. Increase in acetylcholine concentrations in the brain of 'old' rats following treatment with pyrithioxin (Encephabol). Br J Pharmacol. (1987)
- Martin KJ, Tucker L, Widdowson L. Effects of some metabolites of pyritinol (Encephabol) on ACH release from brain slices. Pharmacopsychiatry. (1988)
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- Lemmel EM. Comparison of pyritinol and auranofin in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The European Multicentre Study Group. Br J Rheumatol. (1993)
- Khan MA, Jensen K, Krogh HJ. Alcohol-induced hangover. A double-blind comparison of pyritinol and placebo in preventing hangover symptoms. Q J Stud Alcohol. (1973)
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- Tanaka M, et al. Photoallergic drug eruption due to pyridoxine hydrochloride. J Dermatol. (1996)
- Faguer de Moustier B, et al. Auto-immune hypoglycemic syndrome induced by pyritinol. Diabete Metab. (1988)
- Archambeaud-Mouveroux F, et al. Autoimmune hypoglycemia: the fault of pyritinol?. Presse Med. (1988)
- Jaffe IA. Adverse effects profile of sulfhydryl compounds in man. Am J Med. (1986)