Passion Flower Safety

Although many people may use passion flower, the safety and effectiveness of the supplement have not actually been determined. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to avoid passion flower products until more information is available. The safety of passion flower supplements in people with liver disease, kidney disease, or epilepsy has also not been evaluated, so make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have these conditions.

Is Passion Flower Safe?

Passion flower is an herbal supplement often used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and numerous other conditions. You may not be able to take passion flower safely if you have:
 
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Passion Flower Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of passion flower include the following:
 
  • If you have liver or kidney disease, check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including passion flower. Many medications and supplements are cleared from the body using the liver and kidneys.
     
  • Passion flower is classified by the Food and Drug Administration as "generally recognized as safe" for use in food. However, this does not mean that it is safe for medicinal use (usually at higher doses than when used in food).
     
  • It is sometimes claimed that passion flower is useful for treating epilepsy or seizure disorders. However, you should not treat yourself for seizures or take yourself off of your usual seizures medications without your healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
     
  • Passion flower supplements can interact with some medications (see Passion Flower Drug Interactions for more information).
     
  • It is not known whether passion flower is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Passion Flower and Pregnancy and Passion Flower 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 passion flower product is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. 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.
     
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