Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Find a Vitamin or Supplement

BROMELAIN

Other Names:

Ananas, Ananus ananus, Ananas comosus, Ananus duckei, Ananas sativus, Bromelaine, Bromélaïne, Bromelains, Bromelainum, Bromelia ananus, Bromelia comosa, Bromelin, Bromelina, Broméline, Concentré de Protéase Végétale, Enzyme d’Ananas, Extrait d’A...
See All Names

Protease (BROMELAIN) Overview
Protease (BROMELAIN) Uses
Protease (BROMELAIN) Side Effects
Protease (BROMELAIN) Interactions
Protease (BROMELAIN) Dosing
Protease (BROMELAIN) Overview Information

Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem. People use it for medicine.

Bromelain is used for reducing swelling (inflammation), especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. It is also used for hay fever, treating a bowel condition that includes swelling and ulcers (ulcerative colitis), removing dead and damaged tissue after a burn (debridement), preventing the collection of water in the lung (pulmonary edema), relaxing muscles, stimulating muscle contractions, slowing clotting, improving the absorption of antibiotics, preventing cancer, shortening labor, and helping the body get rid of fat.

It is also used for preventing muscle soreness after intense exercise. This use has been studied, and the evidence suggests bromelain doesn’t work for this.

Some people use a product (Phlogenzym) for arthritis (osteoarthritis) that combines bromelain with trypsin (a protein) and rutin (a substance found in buckwheat). Bromelain used in this way seems to reduce pain and improve knee function in people with arthritis.

There isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not bromelain is effective for any of its other uses.

How does it work?

Bromelain seems to cause the body to produce substances that fight pain and swelling (inflammation).

Bromelain also contains chemicals that interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow blood clotting.

Protease (BROMELAIN) Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis) when used in combination with trypsin and rutin.

Possibly Ineffective for:

  • Preventing muscle soreness (myalgia) after exercise. Taking bromelain orally, immediately following intense exercise, does not seem to delay onset of muscle soreness and has no effect on pain, flexibility, or skeletal weakness.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis). Taking bromelain alone doesn’t seem to help arthritis pain. However, a specific combination of bromelain, trypsin and rutin (Phlogenzym) might help about as well as the prescription anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac.
  • Arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). Some research suggests that bromelain might help reduce joint swelling in rheumatoid arthritis; however this research is not very reliable.
  • Knee pain. There's some evidence that taking bromelain by mouth might reduce mild acute knee pain that’s lasted for less than three months in otherwise healthy people.
  • Severe burns. There’s some evidence that using a bromelain-derived product called Debridase under a dressing helps to remove the dead tissue from burns.
  • Inflammation.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Improving antibiotic absorption.
  • Hay fever.
  • Preventing cancer.
  • Shortening of labor.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bromelain for these uses.


Protease (BROMELAIN) Side Effects & Safety

Bromelain is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken in appropriate amounts. Bromelain may cause some side effects, such as diarrhea and stomach and intestinal discomfort. Bromelain may also cause allergic reactions, especially in people who have other allergies. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking bromelain.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of bromelain during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergies: If you are allergic to pineapple, latex, wheat, celery, papain, carrot, fennel, cypress pollen, or grass pollen, you might have an allergic reaction to bromelain.

Surgery: Bromelain might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using bromelain at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Protease (BROMELAIN) Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox) interacts with BROMELAIN

    Taking bromelain might increase how much amoxicillin is in the body. Taking bromelain along with amoxicillin might increase effects and side effects of amoxicillin.

  • Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with BROMELAIN

    Taking bromelain might increase how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking bromelain along with some antibiotics might increase effects and side effects of some antibiotics called tetracyclines.

    Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with BROMELAIN

    Bromelain might slow blood clotting. Taking bromelain along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

    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.


Protease (BROMELAIN) Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For osteoarthritis: a combination product (Phlogenzym), which contains rutin 100 mg, trypsin 48 mg, and bromelain 90 mg, given as 2 tablets 3 times daily has been used.

See 33 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

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.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 
Related Newsletters

Stay Informed with the latest must-read information delivered right to your inbox.

IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.