Bitter Orange and Pregnancy
At this time, it is not known whether it is safe for pregnant women to take weight-loss pills or other herbal supplements that contain bitter orange. Pregnancy complications could occur, because bitter orange contains a stimulant that may cause high blood pressure or other heart problems. If you are taking bitter orange and pregnancy occurs, talk to your healthcare provider about the potential risks.
Bitter orange is citrus fruit. It is probably safe for pregnant women if eaten as a food. However, bitter orange (as its name suggests) is far too bitter for most people to consume as a food. As a result, most bitter orange is consumed in weight-loss pills or other herbal supplements. It is not known whether this type of bitter orange use is safe for pregnant women.
Bitter orange contains many different active ingredients, most of which have not been shown to be safe for use during pregnancy. In fact, one component (synephrine) is a stimulant that may cause high blood pressure (hypertension) or other heart problems (including heart attacks and strokes). Synephrine is similar to ephedra and has never been shown to be any safer than ephedra (which has been banned due to safety concerns).
Because it is never medically necessary for a pregnant woman to take bitter orange (and since the risks are unknown), it is usually recommended that pregnant women avoid taking bitter orange products.
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about bitter orange. Depending on your healthcare provider's recommendations and your own level of concern about using bitter orange, you may decide that it is best to avoid bitter orange during pregnancy.