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No serious ill effects have been reported for inositol, even with a therapeutic dosage that equals about 18 times the average dietary intake. However, no long-term safety studies have been performed.
Although inositol has sometimes been recommended for bipolar disorder, there is evidence to suggest inositol may trigger manic episodes in people with this condition. 1 If you have bipolar disorder, you should not take inositol unless under a doctor's supervision.
Safety has not been established in young children, women who are pregnant or nursing, and those with severe liver and kidney disease. As with all supplements used in very large doses, it is important to purchase a reputable product, because a contaminant present even in small percentages could add up to a real problem.
- Levine J, Witztum E, Greenberg BD, et al. Inositol-induced mania? [letter]. Am J Psychiatry. 1996;153:839.