Pregnenolona, Pregnénolone.


Overview Information

Pregnenolone is a chemical that is found in our bodies. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it for medicine.

Pregnenolone is used for autism, back pain, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support its use.

How does it work?

In the body, pregnenolone is used to make steroid hormones. Pregnenolone affects many different chemicals in the brain and may play a role in certain psychiatric illnesses.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pregnenolone for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Pregnenolone is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken for up to 12 weeks. In some people, pregnenolone can cause skin rashes, acne, hair loss, diarrhea or constipation, problems sleeping, restlessness, agitation, sweating, or tremor. It may also cause irregular heartbeat, depressed mood, a change in appetite, or muscle pain.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if pregnenolone is safe when used for longer than 12 weeks.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if pregnenolone is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Pregnenolone is converted by the body to estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't take supplemental pregnenolone.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Estrogens interacts with PREGNENOLONE

    Pregnenolone is used in the body to make hormones including estrogen. Taking estrogen along with pregnenolone might cause too much estrogen to be in the body.

    Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

  • Progestin interacts with PREGNENOLONE

    Progestins are a group of hormones. Taking other hormones along with progesterone pills might cause too much hormones in the body. This could increase the effects and side effects of hormone pills.

  • Testosterone interacts with PREGNENOLONE

    The body changes pregnenolone into testosterone. Taking pregnenolone along with a testosterone pill might cause too much testosterone in the body. This might increase the chance of testosterone side effects.



The appropriate dose of pregnenolone 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 pregnenolone. 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.

View References


  • George MS, Guidotti A, Rubinow D, et al. CSF neuroactive steroids in affective disorders: pregnenolone, progesterone, and DBI. Biol Psych 1994;35:775-80.
  • Kardashev A, Ratner Y, Ritsner MS.Add-on pregnenolone with L-theanine to antipsychotic therapy relieves negative and anxiety symptoms of schizophrenia: an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Schizophr Relat Psychoses. 2018;12(1):31-41. doi: 10.3371/CSRP.KARA.070415. View abstract.
  • Fung LK, Libove RA, Phillips J, Haddad F, Hardan AY.Brief report: an open-label study of the neurosteroid pregnenolone in adults with autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 2014;44(11):2971-7. View abstract.
  • Devlin TM, ed. Textbook of Biochemistry With Clinical Correlations. third ed. New York: Wiley-Liss Inc., 1992.
  • Brown ES, Park J, Marx CE, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of pregnenolone for bipolar depression. Neuropsychopharmacology 2014;39(12):2867-73. View abstract.
  • Ayatollahi A, Bagheri S, Ashraf-Ganjouei A, Moradi K, Mohammadi MR, Akhondzadeh S. Does Pregnenolone Adjunct to Risperidone Ameliorate Irritable Behavior in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2020;43(5):139-145. View abstract.
  • Ayatollahi AM, Ghanadian M, Att-Ur-Rahman R, Mesaik MA, Khalid AS, Adeli F. Methoxylated flavones from Salvia Mirzayanii Rech. f. and Esfand with immunosuppressive properties. Iran J Pharm Res 2015;14(3):955-60. View abstract.
  • Kashani L, Shams N, Moazen-Zadeh E, et al. Pregnenolone as an adjunct to risperidone for treatment of women with schizophrenia: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Nov;94:70-77. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.06.011. View abstract.
  • Kreinin A, Bawakny N, Ritsner MS. Adjunctive pregnenolone ameliorates the cognitive deficits in recent-onset schizophrenia: an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Schizophr Relat Psychoses. Winter 2017;10(4):201-210. doi: 10.3371/CSRP.KRBA.013114. View abstract.
  • Marx CE, Keefe RS, Buchanan RW, et al. Proof-of-concept trial with the neurosteroid pregnenolone targeting cognitive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology 2009;34(8):1885-903. View abstract.
  • Meieran SE, Reus VI, Webster R, Shafton R, Wolkowitz OM. Chronic pregnenolone effects in normal humans: attenuation of benzodiazepine-induced sedation. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2004;29(4):486-500. View abstract.
  • Naylor JC, Kilts JD, Shampine LJ, et al. Effect of Pregnenolone vs Placebo on Self-reported Chronic Low Back Pain Among US Military Veterans: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e200287. View abstract.
  • Ritsner MS, Bawakny H, Kreinin A. Pregnenolone treatment reduces severity of negative symptoms in recent-onset schizophrenia: an 8-week, double-blind, randomized add-on two-center trial. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2014;68(6):432-40. View abstract.
  • Ritsner MS, Gibel A, Shleifer T, et al. Pregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone as an adjunctive treatment in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: an 8-week, double-blind, randomized, controlled, 2-center, parallel-group trial. J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(10):1351-62. View abstract.
  • Steiger A, et al. Neurosteroid pregnenolone induces sleep-EEG changes in man compatible with inverse agonistic GABAA-receptor modulation. Brain Res 1993; 615:267-74. View abstract.
  • Vallée M, Vitiello S, Bellocchio L, et al. Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication. Science 2014;343(6166):94-8. View abstract.
  • Wang M, Seippel L, Purdy RH, Backstrom T. Relationship between symptom severity and steroid variation in women with premenstrual syndrome: study on serum pregnenolone, pregnenolone sulfate, 5 alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione and 3 alpha-hydroxy-5 alpha-pregnan-20-one. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996;81:1076-82. View abstract.

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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.

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