An Introduction to the Safety of Guarana
is a plant that contains a large amount of caffeine. It is often used in energy drinks, and it is sometimes used in energy or weight loss supplements. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking guarana if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings for Guarana
Some of the safety warnings for guarana include the following:
- Guarana contains a significant amount of caffeine, which may make anxiety disorders worse. If you notice increased anxiety while taking guarana, it is probably a good idea to avoid it.
- The caffeine in guarana can worsen some heart conditions. If you have any heart problems, do not take guarana without first checking with your healthcare provider.
- There is some evidence that caffeine can affect blood sugar. If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood sugar more often while taking guarana.
- If you have glaucoma, do not take guarana without checking with your healthcare provider first. The caffeine in guarana can make this condition worse.
- If you have high blood pressure, guarana may increase it even more due to the caffeine content. However, this is not a problem for everyone, especially people who are accustomed to consuming caffeine on a regular basis.
- The caffeine in guarana can increase calcium loss through your urine. This may be a problem for people with osteoporosis. Check with your healthcare provider, as you may need extra calcium to make up for this.
- Guarana can interact with a number of medications (see Guarana Interactions).
- It is not known if guarana is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Guarana and Pregnancy and Guarana and Breastfeeding).
- If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states.
Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your guarana product is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.