Limonene

What other names is Limonene known by?

Alpha-Limonene, Alpha-Limonène, Dipentene, D-Limonene, D-Limonène, L-Limonene, L-Limonène, Limonène, Limoneno, R-Limonene, R-Limonène, S-Limonene, S-Limonène.

What is Limonene?

Limonene is a chemical found in the peels of citrus fruits and in other plants. It is used to make medicine.

Limonene is used to promote weight loss, prevent cancer, treat cancer, and treat bronchitis.

In foods, beverages, and chewing gum, limonene is used as a flavoring.

In pharmaceuticals, limonene is added to help medicinal ointments and creams penetrate the skin.

In manufacturing, limonene is used as a fragrance, cleaner (solvent), and as an ingredient in water-free hand cleansers.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer treatment. One form of limonene (D-limonene) seems to build up in tumors in people with advanced cancer, when it is taken by mouth in 21-day cycles. The high levels of limonene in the tumors may slow down the progress of the cancer, but their effect on the person's survival is uncertain.
  • Cancer prevention.
  • Weight loss.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of limonene for these uses.

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How does Limonene work?

Limonene may block cancer-forming chemicals and kill cancer cells in the laboratory. But more research is needed to know if this occurs in humans.

Are there safety concerns?

Limonene is safe in food amounts. It also appears to be safe for most people in medicinal amounts when taken by mouth for up to one year.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Limonene is safe in food amounts, but there's not enough information to know if it's safe in larger medicinal amounts. Stay on the safe side and avoid using limonene as a medicine until more is known.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 [CYP2C9] substrates)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Limonene might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking limonene along with some medications that are changed by the liver can lead to a variety of effects and side effects. Before taking limonene talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), and piroxicam (Feldene), amitriptyline (Elavil), warfarin (Coumadin), glipizide (Glucotrol), losartan (Cozaar), and others.



Medications that decrease the breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 [CYP2C19] inhibitors)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that decrease the break down of limonene in the liver might increase the effects and side effects of limonene.

Some medications that might decrease the breakdown of limonene in the liver include cimetidine (Tagamet), fluvoxamine (Luvox), omeprazole (Prilosec); ticlopidine (Ticlid), topiramate (Topamax), and others.



Medications that decrease the breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 [CYP2C9] inhibitors)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that decrease the break down of limonene in the liver might increase the effects and side effects of limonene.

Some medications that might decrease the breakdown of limonene in the liver include amiodarone (Cordarone), fluconazole (Diflucan), lovastatin (Mevacor), paroxetine (Paxil), zafirlukast (Accolate), and many others.



Medications that increase the breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 [CYP2C19] inducers)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver might decrease the effects of limonene.

Some medications that might increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver include carbamazepine (Tegretol), prednisone (Deltasone), and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane).



Medications that increase the breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 [CYP2C9] inducers)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver might decrease the effects of limonene.

Some medications that might increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver include rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) and secobarbital (Seconal).

Dosing considerations for Limonene.

The appropriate dose of limonene depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for limonene. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011