The safest and most effective Pycnogenol dosage has not yet been clearly established. Because Pycnogenol is a dietary supplement, it does not have to go through dose-range studies (as medications do) to determine the safest and most effective dose. However, the studies that have been done on Pycnogenol used doses ranging between 25 mg and 360 mg each day.
A recommended Pycnogenol® dosage has not yet been clearly established. Unlike medications, for which the standard doses have been well established in carefully designed studies, there is less information available for determining the best dose for most herbal supplements, including Pycnogenol.
With both prescription and non-prescription medications, researchers establish the most effective and safest doses in special studies, known as dose-range studies. These studies are done early in the development of medications, long before they are ever approved. However, because herbal supplements do not require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dose-range studies are rarely performed. Without such studies, only vague "trial and error" information is available.
Even though Pycnogenol has undergone several studies, it is not known if the doses used in these studies are the safest and most effective. Read the label of your particular Pycnogenol product carefully and consult with your healthcare provider in order to find a reasonable dose for your situation. In general, studies used Pycnogenol doses ranging from 25 mg to 360 mg per day. Some studies split the dose into two or three smaller doses per day, while other studies used a once-daily dose.
Considerations for people taking Pycnogenol include the following:
- Because the manufacturing of supplements such Pycnogenol is not closely regulated, it is important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer of your supplements. Your pharmacist is a good source of information regarding which supplement manufacturers are more reputable than others. Even though Pycnogenol is a patented extract that seems to contain a high-quality active ingredient, the supplements themselves, which are made by several different companies, may vary in quality.
- It is probably best to take Pycnogenol with meals or just after meals, as this may decrease or eliminate stomach upset.
- If you have any chronic health problems or take any prescription medications, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking Pycnogenol.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or Pycnogenol dosing in general, please talk with your healthcare provider.