Active Ingredients

Uridine – Effect, Application & Risks


According to biochemical or pharmacological criteria, uridine is described as a nucleoside . It is therefore an organic molecule made up of a nucleobase (building block of DNA ) and pentoses (carbon-rich monosaccharides). Uridine is used in combination with the active ingredient cytidine to support the treatment of inflammation of the nerves and diseases of the muscles ( myopathies ). Administration of uridine can be either oral or by syringe.

What is uridine?

Uridine is a component of ribonucleic acid (RNA). This is an organic acid that is formed by thread-like macromolecules that only have one strand and is found in the cell nucleus . RNA plays an important role in the biosynthesis of proteins . Uridine itself is a nucleoside. It is composed of pentoses and nucleobases.

In human medicine, uridine is administered in combination with cytidine. The two substances are used to support the treatment of myopathies (diseases of the muscles ) and neurological diseases.

In chemistry and pharmacology, uridine is described by the chemical formula C 9 – H 12 – N 2 – O 6, which corresponds to a moral mass of 244.2 g/mol.

Pharmacological action

In human medicine, uridine is used almost exclusively together with the active ingredient cytidine. The combination of active ingredients achieved in this way is used as phosphate and supplies building blocks of the genetic material. These are needed by the human body to repair damaged tissue or to regenerate nerves.

Uridine thus supports the body’s natural wound healing powers. For this reason, uridine is only used as a supplementary treatment. Therapy will therefore usually not be based entirely on uridine.

Medical Application & Use

In combination with the active ingredient cytidine, uridine is used to treat neurological diseases (especially inflammation of the nerves) and diseases of the muscles (myopathies). The active ingredients are taken either orally in the form of film-coated tablets or capsules. An injection is also common. This applies above all to the treatment of myopathies, since the active ingredient can reach the affected area directly.

However, uridine is only used as a supportive treatment. Therapy will therefore only be based exclusively on preparations containing uridine in exceptional cases.

The most common fields of application include inflammation in the spinal column (e.g. cervical spine syndrome , shoulder-arm syndrome and sciatica or lumbago , often referred to as “lumbago”) as well as pain in the supply area. The latter include in particular intercostal neuralgia (supply pain of the intercostal nerves) and inflammation of various nerves (e.g. trigeminal neuralgia or polyneuropathy ). Polyneuropathies can be caused by diabetes or neurotoxic substances such as alcohol .

Due to the supportive effect on wound healing, uridine is also given to fight shingles (herpes zoster) or inflammation of any kind.

Preparations containing uridine can usually be taken by both adults and children. There are basically no restrictions on use during pregnancy or breastfeeding either. Before taking, however, you should pay attention to the instructions from the doctor or pharmacist and the package leaflet, since preparations can also have more than just one active ingredient.

Risks & side effects

Uridine should not be taken if there is a contraindication. Such is the case if there is a contraindication from a medical point of view, i.e. the use of the drug would not be beneficial to the treatment. This is especially the case with known intolerances ( allergies ).

In addition, interactions with other medications must be taken into account. For example, uridine can interfere with the effectiveness of certain cancer drugs such as cytarabine . Preparations such as zidovudine or zalcitabine can also experience not only insignificant impairments in their spectrum of effectiveness due to uridine. The doctor treating you should therefore always be informed about all the medication you are taking.

In general, however, uridine is considered to be well tolerated. Because apart from intolerance and interactions, no undesirable side effects have been recorded so far.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.