Bitter Orange Side Effects

Due to the synephrine content found in bitter orange, side effects of the supplement could be very serious. You should notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop high blood pressure, chest pain, or blurred vision. It is important to know that not all bitter orange side effects are serious; other possible side effects include sensitivity to the sun, trouble sleeping, and restlessness.

Does Bitter Orange Cause Side Effects?

Bitter orange is a fruit that is often used in weight-loss pills (and other herbal remedies and supplements). It contains synephrine, a stimulant compound similar to ephedra. Based on its synephrine content, bitter orange may cause serious side effects.

Serious Bitter Orange Side Effects

There are a number of side effects with bitter orange that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (known as heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain or any other signs of a heart attack
  • Blurred vision, one-sided weakness or paralysis, or any other signs of a stroke
  • Seizures
  • Signs of ischemic colitis (a serious intestinal condition), such as:


    • Blood in the stool
    • Severe diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal pain or cramping
    • Fever


  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
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