Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2022

Generic Name: phosphatidylserine

Drug Class: Herbals

What is phosphatidylserine, and what is it used for?

Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance (phospholipid) that is part of the membranes of the brain's nerve cells (neurons) and has many important functions. Dietary phosphatidylserine can be obtained from foods such as rice, soy, fish and leafy green vegetables. Phosphatidylserine is taken as a supplement to prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function in elderly patients and to improve focus in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Phosphatidylserine is essential for the normal functioning of neuronal membrane, nerve signal transmission and efficient transfer of oxygen, enzymes and nutrients in and out of the neurons. Phosphatidylserine may also increase the release of acetylcholine, a substance that nerve ends secrete to make muscles contract. Animal studies suggest phosphatidylserine levels decline with age and taking it as supplement may improve brain function in the elderly.

Phosphatidylserine was originally processed from brain tissue of cattle, but because of the concern for transmission of diseases such as mad cow disease, this practice has been discontinued and it is now obtained from plant sources such as cabbage and soy.

The suggested uses of phosphatidylserine include:

What are the side effects of phosphatidylserine?

Common side effects of phosphatidylserine include:

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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What are the dosages of phosphatidylserine?

Alzheimer's Disease

  • 100 mg orally thrice daily

Senile Dementia and Cognitive/Memory Impairment

  • 100 mg orally thrice daily

ADHD in Children

  • 200-300 mg orally once daily


  • There are no reports of phosphatidylserine overdose. Overdose is unlikely to cause serious adverse reactions, may cause stomach upset and insomnia. Symptoms should resolve with discontinuation of phosphatidylserine.

What drugs interact with phosphatidylserine?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.

  • Phosphatidylserine has no known severe or serious interactions with other drugs.
  • Moderate interactions of phosphatidylserine may include:
    • anticholinergic drugs
  • Phosphatidylserine has no known mild interactions with other drugs.

The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • There is no adequate reliable information on the safety of phosphatidylserine use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Avoid use.
  • Never use any herbal or dietary supplement without checking with your healthcare provider first, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What else should I know about phosphatidylserine?

  • Phosphatidylserine is possibly safe for most adults when taken in recommended doses for up to 3 months.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement, including phosphatidylserine.
  • Take phosphatidylserine supplements exactly as per label instructions.
  • Dietary supplements often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the phosphatidylserine product you choose.
  • Phosphatidylserine supplements are marketed as dietary supplements and are not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.
  • In case of overdose, report to Poison Control.


Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance (phospholipid) that is part of the membranes of the brain's nerve cells (neurons). Taken as a supplement, phosphatidylserine is used to prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function in elderly patients and to improve focus in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Common side effects of phosphatidylserine include sleeplessness (insomnia), gas (flatulence), and stomach upset. Consult with your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2022