- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: grape seed extract
Brand and Other Names: activin, leucoanthocyanin, Muscat, muskat, pine bark extract, pinus maritima, pinus nigra, proanthodyn, pycnogenol, vitis coignetiae, vitis vinifera
Drug Class: Herbals
What is grape seed extract, and what is it used for?
Grape seed extract is derived from the seeds of the grapes (Vitis vinifera) used to make red wine. Grape products have several phenolic compounds, fatty acids, and vitamins that are believed to be beneficial for health.
Grape seed extracts are used in the treatment and prevention of many conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, eye conditions, and circulatory disorders. Grape seed extracts are available over the counter (OTC) as oral tablets and capsules.
Grape seeds contain biologically active compounds known as proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins which have been studied for their medicinal properties. Research suggests that the grape seed components have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and cardioprotective properties. Of particular interest are the antioxidants in grape seeds which can neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that result from normal metabolic activity in the body. Free radicals damage tissue and are implicated in several diseases.
Grape seed extracts are taken as a dietary supplement in many conditions including:
- Attention deficit disorder (ADHD)
- Cancer (prevention)
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Collagen breakdown (prevention)
- Dental caries prevention
- Eye stress
- Macular degeneration, an age-related eye disorder
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Poor night vision
- Retinal disease (retinopathy)
- Varicose veins
Studies indicate that grape seed extracts may improve venous circulation, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and help prevent the formation of plaques in arteries (atherosclerosis) that can lead to stroke or heart attack. One study showed evidence that grape seed extract may reduce endometriosis symptoms. These uses, however, require more research and there is inadequate scientific evidence to establish the efficacy of grape seed extracts in most other uses.
- Do not take grape seed extract if you are hypersensitive to any of the components in the grape seed extracts.
- Avoid taking grape seed extract before a scheduled surgery, or if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood thinners, it can increase the risk of bleeding.
What are the side effects of grape seed extract?
Side effects of grape seed extract may include:
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of grape seed extract?
There is no established dosage for grape seed extract.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
- Extract procyanidin: 150-300 mg orally once/day
- Tablets/Capsules: 75-300 mg/day for 3 weeks, THEN 40-80 mg/day OR
- 360 mg or 720 mg once daily (Antistax, Boehringer Ingelheim) orally once/day
- Extract procyanidin: 200-300 mg orally once/day
- 30 mg orally twice daily (based on randomized controlled trial)
There is no information on grape seed extract overdose, however, serious symptoms are unlikely. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness. Symptoms should resolve with discontinuation of grape seed extract. If symptoms persist, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.
What drugs interact with grape seed extract?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Grape seed extract has no known severe, serious, moderate or mild interactions with other drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
What else should I know about grape seed extract?
- Grape seed extract is likely safe for most people in recommended doses.
- Take grape seed extract supplements exactly as per label instructions.
- Herbal supplements often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the grape seed extract product you choose.
- Grape seed extract supplements are marketed as herbal supplements and are not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
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Grape seed extracts are used in the treatment and prevention of many conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, eye conditions, and circulatory disorders. Side effects of grape seed extract may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy scalp, headache, dizziness, weakness, and potential for liver damage. There is no information on grape seed extract overdose, however, serious symptoms are unlikely. Do not take grape seed extract if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
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