Betel nut is used for schizophrenia, a group of eye disorders that can lead to vision loss (glaucoma), poor digestion, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Using betel nut might also be unsafe.
Some people use betel nut as a recreational drug because it speeds up the central nervous system (CNS).
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Insufficient Evidence for
- Schizophrenia. Early research suggests that chewing betel nut might reduce symptoms in some people with schizophrenia. But using betel nut for a long time can be unsafe.
- Stroke. Early research suggests that taking a solution containing betel nut extract might improve speech, strength, and bladder function in people who have had a stroke.
- Aiding in digestion.
- Other conditions.
Chewing betel nut can make your mouth, lips, and stool turn red. It can cause stimulant effects similar to caffeine and tobacco use. It can also cause more severe effects including vomiting, diarrhea, gum problems, increased saliva, kidney disease, chest pain, abnormal heart beat, low blood pressure, shortness of breath and rapid breathing, heart attack, coma, and death.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking betel nut by mouth is LIKELY UNSAFE. Betel nut can affect the central nervous system and this might endanger a pregnancy. Chemicals in betel nut might pass into breast milk and harm a nursing infant. Stay on the safe side and avoid using betel nut if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Asthma: Betel nut might make asthma worse.
Slow heart rate (bradycardia): Betel nut might slow down the heart beat. This could be a problem in people who already have a slow heart rate.
Heart disease: People with heart disease might have an increased risk of having a heart attack if they use betel nut. If you have heart disease, do not use betel nut.
Gastrointestinal tract blockage: Betel nut might cause "congestion" in the intestines. This might cause problems in people who have a blockage in their intestines.
Stomach ulcers: Betel nut might increase secretions in the stomach and intestines. There is concern that this could worsen ulcers.
Lung conditions: Betel nut might increase fluid secretions in the lung. There is concern that this could worsen lung conditions, such as asthma or emphysema.
Seizures: There is concern that betel nut might increase the risk of seizures.
Urinary tract obstruction: Betel nut might increase secretions in the urinary tract. There is concern that this could worsen urinary obstruction.
Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) interacts with BETEL NUT
Areca contains chemicals that can affect the brain and heart. Some of these drying medications can also affect the brain and heart. But areca works differently than drying medications. Areca might decrease the effects of drying medications.
Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).
Procyclidine interacts with BETEL NUT
Procyclidine can affect chemicals in the body. Areca can also affect chemicals in the body. But areca has the opposite effect of procyclidine. Taking areca along with procyclidine might decrease the effectiveness of procyclidine.
Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) interacts with BETEL NUT
Areca contains a chemical that affects the body. This chemical is similar to some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions. Taking areca with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.
Some of these medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), and others.
Be cautious with this combination
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