pycnogenol (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Adults (18 years and older)
In general, 25-360 milligrams has been taken by mouth in divided doses daily. For gum health, 5 milligrams Pycnogenol® in chewing gum for 14 days has been used.
Pycnogenol® appears to be absorbed into the bloodstream in about 20 minutes. Once absorbed, therapeutic effects are purported to last for approximately 72 hours, followed by excretion in the urine. Because of its astringent taste and occasional minor stomach discomfort, it may be best to take Pycnogenol® with or after meals
Children (younger than 18 years)
Due to insufficient data, Pycnogenol® is not recommended for use in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Individuals should not take Pycnogenol® if allergic to it or any of its components.
Side Effects and Warnings
Pycnogenol® is generally reported as being well tolerated. Low acute and chronic toxicity with mild unwanted effects may occur in a small percentage of patients following oral administration. Because of its astringent taste and occasional minor stomach discomfort, it may be best to take Pycnogenol® with or after meals. To date, no serious adverse effects have been reported in the available scientific literature, although systematic study of safety is not available.
In theory, Pycnogenol® may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
In theory, Pycnogenol® may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Pycnogenol® is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to lack of scientific evidence.
Interactions with Drugs
Pycnogenol® may interact with other blood pressure lowering medications, specifically angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) such as benazepril (Lotensin®), captopril (Capoten®), enalapril (Vasotec®), fosinopril (Monopril®), lisinopril (Prinivil®), moexipril (Univasc®), perindopril (Aceon®), quinapril (Accupril®), ramipril (Altace®), trandolapril (Mavik®), or angiotensin converting enzyme receptor blockers such as losartan (Cozaar®), irbesartan (Avapro®), candesartan, cilexetil (Atacand®), or valsartan (Diovan®).
Pycnogenol® may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth (such as metformin, glyburide, glipizide) or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Pycnogenol® may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Pycnogenol® may have protective effects against alcohol's effects on brain neurons; further research is needed to confirm these results.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Although data has yet to confirm this claim, it has been proposed that Pycnogenol® may increase vitamin C levels.
Pycnogenol® may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Pycnogenol® may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Pycnogenol® may interact with herbs and supplements that affect blood pressure. Pycnogenol® may interfere with immunosuppressant or immunostimulant herbs and supplements. Pycnogenol® and other antioxidants may have additive effects.