Encephabol (Pyritinol) is a cholinergic nootropic drug that is used to restore impaired cognitive functions.

By its chemical structure, Pyritinol is a vitamin B6 derivative which is obtained by bonding two molecules of pyridoxine with a disulfide bridge. However, the pharmacological action of Encephabol differs from that of Vitamin B6.

The drug was developed in 1961 by Merck (Germany) and has a long history of clinical use. As of today, Encephabol is marketed in more than 50 countries worldwide. It is used in medicine to treat dementia, decreased mental capacity and developmental delays in children.

Pyritinol does not produce a significant effect on aminergic systems, having practically no influence on levels, turnover, and uptake of dopamine, serotonin, GABA and norepinephrine. Its main mechanism of action is cholinergic, antioxidant and vasodilatory.

In studies, Pyritinol has been shown to:

  • Increase blood ATP in a dose-dependent manner by up to 20%;
  • Compensate the age-related reduction in glucose utilization by up to 75%;
  • Increase choline uptake in striatal synaptosomes in both aged and young rats;
  • Increase the cGMP content in cortex by up to 50%;
  • Produce a significant vasodilatory effect comparable to that of Vinpocetine;
  • Produce vigilance-enhancing effects in EEG studies;
  • Improve psychomotor performance and short-term memory in healthy volunteers.

To avoid possible side effects and potentiate the therapeutic action, it is highly recommended to take Pyritinol with an additional source of choline e.g. Cereton.

Encefabol also can be stacked with Vinpocetine as they have a synergistic effect on the cerebral blood flow.