Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

Allergy or sensitivity reactions to evening primrose oil (EPO), although rare, have been reported. People who are allergic to EPO, plants in the Onagraceae family, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), or other ingredients or constituents in EPO should avoid its use.

Inflammation on the hands and face has been reported.

A healthy pregnant female, who consumed raspberry leaf tea and thirteen 500 milligram EPO capsules, had a ripened cervix and shorter duration of childbirth. After delivery, skin lesions were experienced by the newborn infant, which were resolved by five days after delivery.

Side Effects and Warnings

Evening primrose oil is likely safe when taken by mouth in suggested doses for up to one year for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, or eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Evening primrose oil may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.

Evening primrose oil may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

Use cautiously in people with seizure disorders or mania. Use cautiously in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Use cautiously in people taking agents for convulsions or depression, agents for the brain, central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, or people undergoing anesthesia.

Avoid in people with an allergy or sensitivity reaction to evening primrose oil (EPO). People who are allergic to EPO, plants in the Onagraceae family, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), or other ingredients or constituents in EPO should avoid its use.

Evening primrose oil may also cause abdominal pain, acidity, acne, altered immune system function, anxiety, belching, bloating, cellulitis (skin infection), cervix ripening, colic, constipation, cough, cramping, crying, decreased or increased duration of childbirth, depression, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, dryness of mucous membranes, eczema, fullness, gas, gastrointestinal adverse effects, headache, heartburn, increased bleeding time or decreased platelet aggregation, increased risk of inflammation, indigestion, irregular menstruation, irritability, itchy and fatty skin, loose stools, musculoskeletal adverse effects, nausea, nervous system adverse effects, pneumonia, reproductive system adverse effects, respiratory system adverse effects, seizures or lowered seizure threshold, short temper, skin lesions in newborns, skin rash, slower dilation during childbirth, stomachache, tension, vivid dreams, vomiting, weight gain, or worsening mania.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is a lack of sufficient data on the use of EPO during pregnancy or lactation.

A study has reported women taking EPO by mouth to have a longer labor, slower dilation rate, prolonged rupture of membranes, use of oxytocin, and arrest of descent.

Females receiving Efamol® for eight months of lactation had increased total fat and essential fatty acids in breast milk. Evidence of adverse effects was lacking in breastfed infants.

A healthy pregnant female, who consumed raspberry leaf tea and thirteen 500 milligram EPO capsules, had a ripened cervix and shorter duration of childbirth. After delivery, skin lesions were experienced by the newborn infant, which were resolved by five days after delivery.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com