Prevagen is one of so many supplements on the market promising to help improve memory and cognition, especially in older people. While it’s a top-seller, there are a lot of criticisms for the supplement, which we talk more about below. Before taking it, you must be aware of Prevagen ingredients’ side effects and potential interactions with other medicines. 

The Ingredients in Prevagen

There are two primary ingredients in Prevagen. 

The first is apoaequorin. Apoaequorin is a protein found in a certain type of glow-in-the-dark jellyfish. The apoaequorin in Prevagen is lab-made. Prevagen can be taken as a capsule or tablet daily, and it comes in three strengths—10, 20, and 40 mg. 

The ingredient works as a calcium-binding protein. Research does show some links between calcium and memory and brain health. When there’s an imbalance of calcium in neurons, which are brain nerve cells, it might age the cells, destroy them and disrupt signals between them. 

Since apoaequorin binds to calcium, it could theoretically regulate the levels in the brain, but there’s not a lot of research to concretely back that up. The apoaequorin in Prevagen is probably digested in the stomach before crossing the blood-brain barrier. 

There’s limited evidence to show that taking apoaequorin orally is going to do a lot to improve memory or cognition. The manufacturer conducted the company’s main study to back up its claims and had some pretty big flaws.

It was a small study, only looking at just over 200 participants with self-reported memory issues. The participants were randomly assigned to take Prevagen for 90 days or a placebo. Then, all the participants took nine computerized tests to gauge their cognitive and thinking skills. 

At the end of the study, researchers said some of the participants taking Prevagen had slight improvements on some of the tests. Neuroscientists think the results aren’t so positive. They say the study didn’t show people taking Prevagen benefited more than the placebo group. Plus, doctors and scientists don’t usually consider findings from a single small study to be proof of anything. Usually, several large studies are needed to confirm early results.  

The other ingredient in Prevagen is vitamin D as cholecalciferol. Vitamin D can help your body as it absorbs calcium. 

Are There Side Effects?

The company that makes Prevagen hired two doctors to review potential adverse effects reported by people taking the supplement. Some people did say they had side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Edema
  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure 

The doctors brought on by the manufacturer of Prevagen said all the serious adverse events were unrelated to using the supplement or were linked to other health issues. 

There are a couple of word-of-mouth reports from people with multiple sclerosis who experienced serious effects they think are linked to Prevagen, including low blood pressure and depression with suicidal thoughts. 

Based on current research, apoaequorin is believed to be well-tolerated by most people without pre-existing health conditions who take the advised dose for 90 days. 

Since the primary clinical study assessing Prevagen didn’t extend past 90 days, there’s no way to say if the supplement is safe for long-term consumption. 

Are There Interactions with Any Medicines?

Currently, based on preliminary evidence and studies in animals, apoaequorin is thought to be safe. There aren’t any known drug interactions, but the supplement makers suggest that you talk to your doctor before using it. 

Again, there needs to be quite a bit more research done before it’s possible to answer the question of whether or not Prevagen is effective and ensure its safety. There are reports of serious health effects like strokes that users believe are associated with Prevagen. While that may not be the case, the manufacturers should look into it and do more to prove the safety. 

Final Thoughts

Prevagen is a supplement that promises a lot but may not deliver. Overall, the ingredients in the supplement, including apoaequorin, are thought to be fairly safe and well-tolerated, with no known interactions with other medicines. That doesn’t mean Prevagen is an effective supplement or worth your money, though. 

There’s quite a bit of doubt about its effectiveness in helping memory, mostly because it probably can’t make it to the brain. For the apoaequorin to be effective, it would have to reach the brain and bind to enough excess calcium, which isn’t likely when used orally.