Safflower Oil (generic name)

treats Atherosclerosis, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Cardiovascular disorders, Total parenteral nutrition, Toxicity, Familial hyperlipidemia, Kidn...
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DISCLAIMER: 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.


Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to safflower. Safflower is a member the daisy family (Asteraceae/Compositae) and may cause allergic reactions in patients sensitive to daisies. Other members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and many other plants. A case of contact dermatitis from safflower has been reported.

Side Effects and Warnings

In several clinical trials, 10-20% safflower oil emulsions were found to be safe and effective as a major component of adult parenteral nutrition. 10 and 20% Liposyn® are equally safe and effective components of a parenteral nutrition program for children. The most common adverse effects of safflower oil are cardiovascular, including increased serum lipids, and gastrointestinal, including diarrhea and loose stools.

Intravenous fat emulsion in newborns may cause hyperlipemia (high cholesterol) if serum triglycerides and free fatty acids are not monitored.

Belching, loose stools, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea have been reported in patients taking safflower oil daily. Ingestion of high doses of safflower oil per day may decrease blood pressure. Use cautiously in patients with hypotension (low blood pressure), as safflower oil may cause a modest fall in blood pressure.

Adverse effects reported in neonates taking Modified Liposyn® include tachycardia (increased heart rate) and tachypnea (rapid breathing). Patients taking Microlipid®, a safflower oil emulsion taken by mouth, have reported a feeling of fullness, nausea, loss of appetite, bad aftertaste, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Other possible side effects of safflower supplementation that have been noted in clinical trials include cardiac arrhythmia (altered heart rate), diarrhea, angina (chest pain), death, increase in acne, development of diabetes, and development of necrotizing enterocolitis (intestinal illness in babies). These adverse effects are rare and it is unclear whether they can be solely attributed to safflower or whether another study drug caused these side effects. Use cautiously in patients with diabetes, as safflower oil may adversely affect glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients.

Eosinophilia (increased number of white blood cells) developed in three newborn infants administered parenteral safflower oil emulsion for two weeks. Hypertriglyceridemia (elevated level of triglycerides, fatty acid compounds) has been reported during the intravenous infusion (injection) of a safflower oil-based fat emulsion. Elevation of serum triglyceride and liver enzyme concentrations occurred in some patients administered Liposyn®. Use safflower oil and parenteral safflower oil emulsions cautiously in patients with inadequate liver function, as they have been associated with elevation of liver enzyme concentrations.

Use parenteral safflower oil emulsions cautiously in newborns, as serum triglycerides and free fatty acids must be monitored to avoid the complications of iatrogenic hyperlipemia (high cholesterol) and intolerance. Use cautiously in patients with hypercoagulability, as safflower oil infusion may increase this condition.

Use cautiously in patients with skin pigmentation conditions, as kinobeon A, a rose-colored pigment found in safflower tissue, has demonstrated potent tyrosinase activity.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Safflower flower is possibly unsafe in pregnant women, as Carthamus tinctorius may have stimulating action on the uterus. However, safflower oil is likely safe when used in food amounts in healthy patients. Soybean/safflower lipid-based emulsions are likely safe when administered to pregnant patients. Safflower oil is likely safe when used in breastfeeding women, although there is rapid transfer of dietary fatty acids into human milk.

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