Overview

Limonene is a chemical found in the peels of citrus fruits and in other plants. It is used to make medicine.

Limonene is used for obesity, cancer, and bronchitis, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, beverages, and chewing gum, limonene is used as a flavoring.

In pharmaceuticals, limonene is added to help medicinal ointments and creams penetrate the skin.

In manufacturing, limonene is used as a fragrance, cleaner (solvent), and as an ingredient in household cleaning products, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products.

How does it work ?

Limonene may block cancer-forming chemicals and kill cancer cells in the laboratory. But more research is needed to know if this occurs in humans.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Cancer. One form of limonene (D-limonene) seems to build up in tumors in people with advanced cancer when it is taken by mouth. The high levels of limonene in the tumors may slow down the progress of the cancer, but their effect on the person's survival is uncertain.
  • Obesity.
  • Short-term swelling (inflammation) of the airways in the lungs (acute bronchitis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of limonene for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Limonene is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for up to one year.

When applied to the skin: Limonene is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in amounts typically found in fragrances and personal hygiene products. It can cause skin reactions in people who are allergic to limonene.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Limonene is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for up to one year.

When applied to the skin: Limonene is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in amounts typically found in fragrances and personal hygiene products. It can cause skin reactions in people who are allergic to limonene. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Limonene is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts, but there's not enough information to know if it's safe in larger medicinal amounts. Stay on the safe side and stick to the amounts found in foods.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with LIMONENE

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Limonene might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking limonene along with some medications that are changed by the liver can lead to a variety of effects and side effects. Before taking limonene talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), and piroxicam (Feldene), amitriptyline (Elavil), warfarin (Coumadin), glipizide (Glucotrol), losartan (Cozaar), and others.

  • Medications that decrease breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) inhibitors) interacts with LIMONENE

    Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that decrease the break down of limonene in the liver might increase the effects and side effects of limonene.

    Some medications that might decrease the breakdown of limonene in the liver include cimetidine (Tagamet), fluvoxamine (Luvox), omeprazole (Prilosec); ticlopidine (Ticlid), topiramate (Topamax), and others.

  • Medications that decrease breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) inhibitors) interacts with LIMONENE

    Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that decrease the break down of limonene in the liver might increase the effects and side effects of limonene.

    Some medications that might decrease the breakdown of limonene in the liver include amiodarone (Cordarone), fluconazole (Diflucan), lovastatin (Mevacor), paroxetine (Paxil), zafirlukast (Accolate), and many others.

  • Medications that increase breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) inducers) interacts with LIMONENE

    Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver might decrease the effects of limonene.

    Some medications that might increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver include carbamazepine (Tegretol), prednisone (Deltasone), and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane).

  • Medications that increase breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) inducers) interacts with LIMONENE

    Limonene might be broken down by the liver. Taking limonene along with medications that increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver might decrease the effects of limonene.

    Some medications that might increase the breakdown of limonene in the liver include rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) and secobarbital (Seconal).

Dosing

The appropriate dose of limonene depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for limonene. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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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 2020.