- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: resveratrol
Other Names: cis-resveratrol, kojo-kon, stilbene phytoalexin, trans-resveratrol
Drug Class: Herbals
What is resveratrol, and what is it used for?
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol compound found in many plants and fruits, and most abundant in skins and seeds of red grapes, grape juice and red wine. Peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, tea and dark chocolate are reported to be other food sources of resveratrol. Resveratrol supplements are generally produced from the roots of a Japanese knotweed plant, Polygonum cuspidatum. Resveratrol dietary supplements are available as tablets, capsules, powder, liquid or gummies.
People take resveratrol as a dietary supplement to reduce blood cholesterol, protect against heart disease and cancer, to treat hay fever and many other conditions. Resveratrol exists in two isomeric forms, cis-resveratrol and trans-resveratrol. Supplements are usually in the ‘trans’ from which has more potent therapeutic effects, however, resveratrol has low water solubility and is poorly absorbed in the body, hence its therapeutic effects are questionable.
Studies show resveratrol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, cardioprotective and neuroprotective properties. Although resveratrol is one of the most researched natural polyphenols because of its health benefits, results of clinical trials are conflicting. Although many studies support resveratrol’s beneficial effects, there are inadequate studies on its adverse effects, and therefore more extensive research is required to validate the therapeutic use of resveratrol.
Suggested uses of resveratrol include:
- Do not take resveratrol supplements if you are hypersensitive to resveratrol or any component of the formulation.
- Do not take red wine as a source for resveratrol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Resveratrol may slow down the process of blood clotting.
- Use with caution if you have any bleeding disorder or if you take blood-thinning medications, resveratrol may increase the risk for bleeding.
- Stop taking resveratrol at least 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery.
- Resveratrol may have estrogen-like effects. Avoid taking resveratrol if you have hormone-sensitive conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer or breast cancer.
What are the side effects of resveratrol?
Common side effects of resveratrol (high doses) 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 resveratrol?
There are no standard established dosages of resveratrol.
- 10-200 mg/day orally
There is limited information on resveratrol overdose. Acute overdose will likely intensify its adverse effects. Prolonged use of high doses may damage the kidney or liver. Resveratrol overdose may be treated with symptomatic and supportive care.
What drugs interact with resveratrol?
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.
- Resveratrol has no known severe or serious interactions with other drugs.
- Moderate interactions of resveratrol include:
- Drugs that slow down blood clotting (anticoagulant or antiplatelet agents)
- Drugs metabolized by liver
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
- Food sources of resveratrol such as grapes, grape juice, peanuts and berries are likely safe to take during pregnancy. There is no information on the safety of resveratrol supplements during pregnancy. Do not use wine as a source of resveratrol during pregnancy.
- Resveratrol found in food sources is likely safe to take while breastfeeding, avoid supplements and wine.
- Do not take any dietary supplement, including resveratrol without first checking with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid alcohol, including wine, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What else should I know about resveratrol?
- Resveratrol is safe for most people in amounts found in food.
- If you take resveratrol supplements, follow label instructions exactly. Natural products are not necessarily safe always and following suggested dosing is important.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement, including resveratrol, particularly if you have any health conditions or if you are taking any regular medications.
- Dietary supplements often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the resveratrol product you choose.
- Resveratrol is marketed as a dietary supplement and is 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.
- Store resveratrol supplements safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, report your symptoms to Poison Control and seek medical help.
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol compound found in many plants and fruits, and most abundant in skins and seeds of red grapes, grape juice and red wine. People take resveratrol as a dietary supplement to reduce blood cholesterol, protect against heart disease and cancer, to treat hay fever and many other conditions. Common side effects of resveratrol (high doses) include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas (flatulence), and abdominal cramping.
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