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Bromelain appears to be essentially nontoxic, and it seldom causes side effects other than occasional mild gastrointestinal distress or allergic reactions. 1 However, because bromelain "thins" the blood to some extent, it shouldn't be combined with drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin) without a doctor's supervision.
According to one small animal study, bromelain might interact with sedative medications, increasing their effect. 2 As noted above, it might also increase blood levels of various antibiotics , which could present risks in some cases. In addition, one trial suggests that doses of bromelain eight times higher than standard recommendations might increase heart rate (but not blood pressure). 3 Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
- If you are taking medications that thin the blood, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin , sedative drugs such as benzodiazepines , or antibiotics : Bromelain might amplify their effect as it can increase the absorption of various drugs.
- Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs, Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 1998:94.
- MOSS JN, FRAZIER CV, MARTIN GJ. BROMELAINS. THE PHARMACOLOGY OF THE ENZYMES. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 145():166-89.
- Gutfreund AE, Taussig SJ, Morris AK. Effect of oral bromelain on blood pressure and heart rate of hypertensive patients. Hawaii Med J. 37(5):143-6.