Huperzine A is a compound that comes from a type of moss. It has been used to improve brain function and slow signs of dementia. Huperzine A can be taken as a pill or powder. It can also be injected into the muscle by a healthcare provider.
200 micrograms 2 to 4 times daily
What Research Shows
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to take huperzine A in small doses for a short time, but nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may happen. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It also may not be safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A. Alzheimer Disease
A1. Li J, Wu HM, et al. Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(2):CD005592.
A2. Yang G, Wang Y, et al. Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e74916.
A3. Laver K, Dyer S, et al. Interventions to delay functional decline in people with dementia: a systematic review of systematic reviews. BMJ Open. 2016 Apr 27;6(4):e010767.
A4. Perng CH, Chang YC, et al. The treatment of cognitive dysfunction in dementia: a multiple treatments meta-analysis. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 May;235(5):1571-1580.
A5. Liang J, Li J, et al. Identification of the optimal cognitive drugs among Alzheimer's disease: a Bayesian meta-analytic review. Clin Interv Aging. 2018 Oct 18;13:2061-2073.
A6. Cui CC, Sun Y, et al. The effect of anti-dementia drugs on Alzheimer disease-induced cognitive impairment: A network meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jul;98(27):e16091.
B. Cocaine Use Disorder
B1. De La Garza R 2nd, Verrico CD, et al. Safety and Preliminary Efficacy of the Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor Huperzine A as a Treatment for Cocaine Use Disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Sep 12;19(3):pyv098.
C. Mild Cognitive Impairment
C1. Yue J, Dong BR, et al. Huperzine A for mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD008827.
D1. Zheng W, Xiang YQ, et al. Adjunctive huperzine A for cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: a systematic review and mate-analysis. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2016;31(4):268-295.
E. Vascular Dementia
E1. Hao Z, Liu M, et al. Huperzine A for vascular dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(2):CD007365.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/27/2020
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.
All rights reserved.