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Pyritinol: Wikis


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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 1098-97-1
ATC code N06BX02
PubChem 14190
Chemical data
Formula C 16H20N2O4S2  
Mol. mass 368.473
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Half life 2.5 hours
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.  ?
Legal status
Routes  ?

Pyritinol also called pyridoxine disulfide or pyrithioxine (European drug names Encephabol, Encefabol, Cerbon 6) is a semi-natural water soluble analog of vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCl). It was produced in 1961 by Merck Laboratories by bonding 2 vitamin B-6 compounds (pyridoxine) together with a disulfide bridge. Since the 1970s has been a prescription and OTC drug in several countries for cognitive disorders and learning disorders in children. Since the early 90's it has been sold as a nootropic dietary supplement in the US.

It is approved for "symptomatic treatment of chronically impaired brain function in dementia syndromes" and for "supportive treatment of sequelae of craniocerebral trauma" in various European countries, including Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, and Greece. In France it is also approved for rheumatoid arthritis as a disease modifying drug, on the basis of the results of clinical trials.1 It is not licensed for use in the United Kingdom, but in many countries it is available over the counter and is widely advertised on the internet as being for "memory disturbances." From the known sales data, it is estimated that more than 100 000 individuals in European Union countries have taken pyritinol in the past five years.

One small study, with 12 subjects given pyritinol, showed an improvement in performance on tests of reaction time, but not on memory tests.[1]

Some studies have found large doses of Pyritinol can help to reduce hangovers.[2]

Common dosages are 100-1,600 mg daily, taken in 1-3 doses during the day.

Adverse affects

Adverse effects include nausea, headache, and rarely allergic reaction. A 2004 survey of six case reports suggested a link between pyritinol and severe cholestatic hepatitis when on several drugs for certain diseases.[3]

Other rare side effects: acute pancreatitis[4], photoallergic eruption[5].


  1. ^ Hindmarch I, Coleston D, Kerr J (1990). "Psychopharmacological effects of pyritinol in normal volunteers". Neuropsychobiology 24 (3): 159–64. doi:10.1159/000119478. PMID 2135070.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ Maria, V. et al. (6 March 2004) Severe cholestatic hepatitis induced by pyritinol. British Medical Journal. Issue 328, pp. 572-574. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7439.572
  4. ^
  5. ^

3. BMJ 2004;328:572-574 (6 March), doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7439.572

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