Pycnogenol Side Effects

Pycnogenol has not been studied as extensively as most medications. As a result, only some information is available about the possible side effects of Pycnogenol. Based on this information, side effects may include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Although most studies have indicated that the supplement is not likely to cause serious side effects, you should contact your healthcare provider if you develop signs of allergic reactions or other serious problems.

Does Pycnogenol Cause Side Effects?

Even though it is a "natural" product, Pycnogenol® may cause side effects. As a dietary supplement, Pycnogenol has not been studied as extensively or as systematically as most medications. However, some information is available from studies and from practical experience with Pycnogenol.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Pycnogenol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Pycnogenol side effects with you.)

Bothersome Side Effects of Pycnogenol

Possibly bothersome (but not usually dangerous) Pycnogenol side effects include:
  • Stomach or intestinal discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness.
The manufacturer of Pycnogenol extract recommends that some of these bothersome side effects may be reduced or eliminated if the supplement is taken with meals or right after meals.

Serious Pycnogenol Side Effects

In general, studies have indicated that Pycnogenol is unlikely to cause serious side effects. Theoretically, it could increase the risk of bleeding, including dangerous internal bleeding, but studies have not demonstrated this risk. Also, in theory, Pycnogenol could increase the risk of low blood sugar in people with diabetes, especially if it is combined with diabetes medications.
As with any supplement or medication, it is possible that Pycnogenol could cause allergic reactions. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
  • An unexplained rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
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