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The side effects of guarana would be expected to be similar to those of tea or coffee, such as heartburn, gastritis, insomnia, anxiety, and heart arrythmias (benign palpitations or more serious disturbances of heart rhythm). 1 Combination products containing guarana and ephedra would be expected to present additional risk. Finally, all drug interactions that can occur with caffeine would be expected to occur with guarana as well (see Interactions You Should Know About ).
Young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with heart disease should not use guarana.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- MAO inhibitors : The caffeine in guarana could cause dangerous drug interactions.
- Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin: The stimulant effects of guarana might be amplified.
- Drugs to prevent heart arrythmias or treat insomnia or anxiety: Guarana might interfere with their action.
- Cannon ME, Cooke CT, McCarthy JS. Caffeine-induced cardiac arrhythmia: an unrecognised danger of healthfood products. Med J Aust. 174(10):520-1.