Guarana is a tropical berry coming from the type of a plant originating from the maple family, and it is native to the Amazon region, Brazil in particular. It is found in the different non-alcoholic drinks, and rich in caffeine, which is why it is sometimes used as a stimulant and an appetite suppressant. It is important to note that FDA is yet to investigate guarana for its potential risks and effects.
In rare cases, guarana was reported to have produced some severe side effects, including severe allergic reaction like hives, breathing difficulties, swollen tongue, lips or face, or closing of the throat. These reactions, as well as irregular heartbeat or chest pain, require immediate discontinuation of guarana consumption and emergency medical attention.
If a person finds themselves nervous, anxious, irritable, sleepless, constipated or experiencing diarrhea, heartburn, upset stomach, headache or irregular heartbeats, they should report these less serious side effects to their doctor. The occurrence of other side effects is also possible. Health care providers should be notified of any unusual or persistent side effect.
Medication and guarana
The active ingredient of guarana is caffeine, and, accompanied by ephedrine in the form of supplements and different dietary aids, it has lead to the occurrence of potentially deadly irregular heartbeats. These were the only reported interactions between guarana and other drugs. Still, those who might be concerned about the potential interactions between guarana and the medication or dietary supplements that they might be using, should consult their doctor or pharmacist before they taking guarana.
High doses of caffeine in guarana can cause problems to people with a kidney disease, overactive thyroid, high blood pressure or heart conditions, and those with nervous or anxiety disorders. Individuals suffering from these conditions, and those with plant allergies, should consult their doctor or pharmacist before guarana consumption. Doctors might prohibit the use of guarana to these risk categories, or suggest lower doses or even special monitoring.
Guarana is not recommended to expectant mothers and women who are trying to conceive. Breastfeeding women should also keep away from guarana, as large amounts of caffeine may induce sleep disorders and restlessness in infants. Although no information is available on the effects of guarana on children, it has been established that caffeine can lead to anemia and other problems in children. It is advisable not to give any health or dietary supplements to children without prior consultation with the doctor.