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CDP-choline, or citicoline, is a nootropic that is thought to help with preventing or treating memory related issues that occur naturally with aging. CDP-choline consists of choline and uridine which both protect brain health and may even help promote learning behaviors. This compound is thought to potentially help with memory and attention in children, but further research is needed. Interestingly, preliminary research has shown that CDP-choline may have anti-addictive functions against cocaine and food addictions. This supplement should not be confused with choline, despite the fact that it contains some amount of this compound.

Also known as:  CDP-Choline, Citicolina, Cytidine 5-Diphosphocholine, Cytidine Diphosphate Choline

Diseases and Conditions

Citicoline is possibly effective when used for age-related cognitive impairment, cerebrovascular disease, and ischemic stroke. In people aged fifty to eighty-five years with poor memory, taking one thousand to two thousand milligrams of citicoline daily seems to improve verbal memory. Some evidence has also shown that citicoline taken orally or given intramuscularly or by intravenous infusion might improve memory and behavior in patients with chronic cerebrovascular diseases, such as stroke. Lastly, stroke patients who receive five hundred to two thousand milligrams per day of citicoline orally within twenty-four hours of an acute ischemic stroke are more likely to have a complete recovery within three months compared to a placebo.


Citicoline may be safe when used orally in the short-term. Orally taking doses of citicoline at up to 2,000mg/day may be safe to use for up to 90 days. There is insufficient information on the safety of citicoline for children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women; best to avoid. Possible side effects of citicoline include:

  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hypotension

Medication Interactions

There are no known medication interactions for citicoline.

Supplement and Food Interactions

There are no known supplement, herb, or food interactions for citicoline.


The standard dose of citicoline is five hundred to two thousand miiligrams taken in two doses of two hundred fifty to one thousand milligrams throughout the day. Benefits such as increased attention are more pronounced at the lower dosage range, whereas those having to do with appetite are more prevalent at the higher dose range. Therefore, the ideal dosage is largely based on the desired effects.


There is insufficient evidence to determine if citicoline can be found in foods.

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