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EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

Other Names:

Aceite de Onagra, Acide Cis-linoléique, Cis-Linoleic Acid, EPO, Evening Primrose, Evening Primrose Seed Oil, Fever Plant, Herbe-aux-ânes, Huile de Graines d’onagre, Huile D'Onagre, Huile de Primerose, Huile de Primevère Vespérale, Jambon de Jard...
See All Names

Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Overview
Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Uses
Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Side Effects
Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Interactions
Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Dosing
Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Overview Information

Evening primrose oil is the oil from the seed of the evening primrose plant. Evening primrose oil is used for skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis, weak bones (osteoporosis), Raynaud’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS), Sjogren’s syndrome, cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, a movement disorder in children called dyspraxia, leg pain due to blocked blood vessels (intermittent claudication), alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia.

Some people use evening primrose oil for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); asthma; nerve damage related to diabetes; an itching disorder called neurodermatitis; hyperactivity in children and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); obesity and weight loss; whooping cough; and gastrointestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and peptic ulcer disease.

Women use evening primrose oil in pregnancy for preventing high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), shortening labor, starting labor, and preventing late deliveries. Women also use evening primrose oil for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, endometriosis, and symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes.

In foods, evening primrose oil is used as a dietary source of essential fatty acids.

In manufacturing, evening primrose oil is used in soaps and cosmetics.

In Britain, evening primrose oil used to be approved for treating eczema and breast pain. However, the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), the British equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), withdrew the licenses for evening primrose oil products marketed as prescription drug products for these uses. The licenses were withdrawn because the agency concluded that there is not enough evidence that they are effective. The manufacturer disagrees, but it hasn’t published studies yet to prove the effectiveness of evening primrose for these uses.

How does it work?

Evening primrose oil contains “fatty acids.” Some women with breast pain might not have high enough levels of certain ”fatty acids.” Fatty acids also seem to help decrease inflammation related to conditions such as arthritis and eczema.

Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Breast pain (mastalgia). It may not be effective for long-term severe breast pain, though.
  • Osteoporosis, when used in combination with calcium and fish oils.

Possibly Ineffective for:

  • Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Reducing symptoms of a kind of skin disorder called atopic dermatitis (eczema).
  • Hot flashes and night sweats due to menopause.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). There is some early evidence that a specific combination of evening primrose oil and fish oils (Efamarine) might reduce the symptoms of CFS. However, study results have not been consistent.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some studies show evening primrose oil reduces pain in RA. But some other studies show no benefit.
  • Complications of pregnancy. Research to date suggests that taking evening primrose oil doesn’t seem to shorten labor, prevent high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), or prevent late deliveries in pregnant women.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder in which certain body cells attack and destroy the glands that produce tears and saliva). There is some evidence that taking evening primrose oil doesn’t improve symptoms.
  • Cancer.
  • Acne.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Heart disease.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate evening primrose oil for these uses.

Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Side Effects & Safety

Evening primrose oil is LIKELY SAFE for most people. It can sometimes cause mild side effects including upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and headache.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking evening primrose oil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy. It might increase the chance of having complications. Don’t use it if you are pregnant.

It is POSSIBLY SAFE to take evening primrose oil during breast-feeding, but it’s best to check with your healthcare provider first.

Bleeding disorders: There is a concern that evening primrose oil might increase the chance of bruising and bleeding. Don’t use it if you have a bleeding disorder.

Epilepsy or another seizure disorder: There is a concern that taking evening primrose oil might make seizures more likely in some people. If you have a history of seizure, avoid using it.

Schizophrenia: Seizures have been reported in people with schizophrenia treated with phenothiazine drugs, GLA (a chemical found in evening primrose oil), and vitamin E. Get your healthcare provider’s opinion before starting evening primrose oil.

Surgery: Evening primrose oil might increase the chance of bleeding during or after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Interactions What is this?

Major Interaction Do not take this combination

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

    Evening primrose oil might slow blood clotting. Taking evening primrose oil along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

    Evening primrose oil contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). GLA is the part of evening primrose oil that might slow blood clotting.

    Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications used during surgery (Anesthesia) interacts with EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

    Evening primrose oil might interact with medications used during surgery. One person who was taking evening primrose oil and other medications had a seizure during surgery. But there isn't enough information to know if evening primrose oil or the other medications caused the seizure. Be sure to tell your doctor what natural products you are taking before having surgery. To be on the safe side, you should stop taking evening primrose oil at least 2 weeks before surgery.

  • Phenothiazines interacts with EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

    Taking evening primrose oil with phenothiazines might increase the risk of having a seizure in some people.

    Some phenothiazines include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others.


Cis-Linoleic acid (EVENING PRIMROSE OIL) Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For breast pain: 3-4 grams daily.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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