- What other names is Bitter Almond known by?
- What is Bitter Almond?
- How does Bitter Almond work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Bitter Almond.
Despite serious safety concerns, people make medicine from the center (kernel) of the bitter almond. It is used for spasms, pain, cough, and itch.
"Bitter almond" volatile oils can also be produced from other related fruit kernels including apricot (Prunus armeniaca), peach (Prunus persica), and plum (Prunus domestica). Similar to bitter almond, these volatile oils are considered poisonous.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
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breathing problems, and death.
Special Precautions & Warnings:It is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to use bitter almond, but some people have extra reasons not to use it:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to take bitter almond by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Surgery: Bitter almond can slow down the nervous system. Anesthesia and other drugs used during surgery do this as well. Using bitter almond along with these medications can slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using bitter almond at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Bitter almond can be toxic and might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking bitter almond along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011