In vitro antioxidant properties of pentoxifylline, piracetam, and vinpocetine

Beata Horvath, Zsolt Marton, Robert Halmosi, Tamas Alexy, Laszlo Szapary, Judit Vekasi, Zsolt Biro, Tamas Habon, Gabor Kesmarky, Kalman Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Oxygen-free radicals play an important role in several physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. In pathologic circumstances, they can modify and damage biologic systems. Because oxygen-free radicals are involved in a wide range of diseases (cerebrovascular, cardiovascular, etc.), scavenging these radicals should be considered as an important therapeutic approach. In our in vitro study, we investigated the antioxidant capacity of three drugs: pentoxiphylline (Sigma Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA) piracetam (Sigma Aldrich), and vinpocetine (Richter Gedeon RT, Budapest, Hungary). Phenazine methosulphate was applied to generate free radicals, increasing red blood cell rigidity. Filtration technique and potassium leaking were used to detect the cellular damage and the scavenging effect of the examined drugs. According to our results, at human therapeutic serum concentration, only vinpocetine (Richter Gedeon RT) had significant (p < 0.01) scavenging activity with a protective effect that increased further at higher concentrations. Pentoxiphylline (Sigma Aldrich) and piracetam (Sigma Aldrich) did not have significant antioxidant capacity at therapeutic concentrations, but increasing their concentrations (pentoxiphylline at 100-times, and piracetam at 10-times higher concentrations) led to a significant (p < 0.01) scavenger effect. Our findings suggest that this pronounced antioxidant effect of vinpocetine and even the milder scavenging capacity of pentoxiphylline and piracetam may be of value in the treatment of patients with cerebrovascular disorders, but merits further investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 9 2002


  • Antioxidants
  • Cerebrovascular drugs
  • Oxygen-free radicals
  • Red-blood-cell deformability


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro antioxidant properties of pentoxifylline, piracetam, and vinpocetine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this