Drug information of Huperzine A

Huperzine A

Huperzine A, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid found in the extracts of the firmoss Huperzia serrata. The botanical has been used in China for centuries for the treatment of swelling, fever and blood disorders. Recently in clinical trials in China, it has demonstrated neuroprotective effects. It is currently being investigated as a possible treatment for diseases characterized by neurodegeneration – particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

Mechanism of effect

Huperzine A has been found to be an inhibitor of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This is the same mechanism of action of pharmaceutical drugs such as galantamine and donepezil used to treat Alzheimer's disease.


Clinical trials in China have shown that huperzine A is comparably effective to the drugs currently on the market, and may even be somewhat safer in terms of side effects.


Absorption: readily from GI tract

Distribution: wide, including brain

Peak Plasma Time: 80 min

Metabolism: some first pass metabolism in liver

Drug indications

Alzheimer , Myasthenia gravis


Alzheimer Disease & Multi-infarct Dementia

50-200 mcg PO BID

Senile or presenile dementia

30 mcg PO BID

Prevention of muscle weakness in myasthenia gravis

400 mcg IM qDay


Not available

Points of recommendation

Not available

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