Medically Reviewed on 8/25/2022

Generic Name: taurine

Other Names: mega taurine

Drug Class: Herbals

What is taurine, and what is it used for?

Taurine is a semi-essential amino acid, a compound naturally synthesized in the body that can also be obtained from food sources such as meat, fish and eggs.

Taurine is available as dietary supplements over the counter (OTC) and is also used as a component of energy drinks, infant formula, and health foods. Taurine is used as a supplement in the treatment of many conditions including cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and type 2 diabetes.

Although taurine is an amino acid, unlike many other amino acids, it is not involved in protein synthesis. Taurine is present in all tissues in the body, but is particularly abundant in the heart, brain, retina, and skeletal muscles. Taurine plays an important role in many biological processes that include:

  • Protection of cells from damage (cytoprotective)
  • Regulation of body’s fluid concentrations (osmoregulation)
  • Cell membrane stabilization
  • Energy metabolism
  • Maintenance of intracellular calcium concentration (calcium homeostasis)
  • Regulation of functioning of cellular organelles mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum
  • Anti-inflammatory activity
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Regulation of quality control processes such as rejuvenation or programmed death of damaged cells
  • Modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS)
  • Digestion of fats by conjugation with bile acids

Studies show that taurine may lower blood pressure and cholesterol and improve liver and heart function. Suggested uses of taurine as a dietary supplement include the following conditions:


  • Do not take taurine supplements if you are hypersensitive to any of the components in the formulation.
  • Avoid taurine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Patients with congestive heart failure should be monitored while receiving taurine.

What are the side effects of taurine?

There are no reported side effects for taurine.

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:

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.


Heart Illustration Browse through our medical image collection to see illustrations of human anatomy and physiology See Images

What are the dosages of taurine?

There is no standardized dosage for taurine, check with your healthcare provider.

Suggested dosage

Congestive Heart Failure

  • 2-6 g/day orally either twice daily or three times daily

Acute Hepatitis

  • 4 g orally three times daily for 6 weeks

Steatorrhea in Children with Cystic Fibrosis

  • 30 mg/kg day for 4 months in addition to pancreatic enzyme supplementation


  • Large amounts of taurine may be toxic, however, currently, there is not enough information on what might be a safe upper limit for taurine.
  • In case you experience any symptoms from taurine overdose, report to Poison Control.

What drugs interact with taurine?

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.

  • Taurine has no known severe, serious or moderate interactions with other drugs.
  • Taurine has mild interactions with at least 35 different 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

  • Taurine consumed in normal quantities in food is likely safe.
  • There is no information on the safety of taurine supplements in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Avoid use. 

What else should I know about taurine?

  • Taurine is likely safe for most adults in recommended doses.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement, including taurine.
  • Take taurine supplements exactly as per label instructions.
  • Dietary supplements often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the taurine product you choose.
  • Energy drinks with taurine typically contain caffeine and other substances in addition, exercise caution.
  • Taurine supplements are marketed as dietary 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.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.


Taurine is a dietary supplement used in the treatment of many conditions including cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and type 2 diabetes. Taurine is also used as a component of energy drinks, infant formula, and health foods. There are no reported side effects for taurine. Avoid taurine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Treatment & Diagnosis


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 8/25/2022