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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: guarana (Pronunciation: GWAR ah na)

What is guarana ()?

The use of guarana in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Guarana is also known as Paullinia cupana, paullinia, Brazilian cocoa, guarana bread, guarana paste or gum, and zoom. Guarana is also present in some soft drinks imported from South America in a manner similar to American soft-drinks fortified with caffeine.

Guarana contains very high concentrations of caffeine and has been used as a stimulant and appetite suppressant.

Guarana has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of guarana may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Guarana may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of guarana ()?

Although rare, serious side effects from guarana have been reported. Stop taking guarana and seek emergency medical attention if you experience

  • a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives; or
  • irregular heartbeats or chest pain.

Other less serious side effects may also reported with the use of guarana. Talk to your doctor or health care provider if you experience

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about guarana ()?

Guarana, or its active constituent caffeine, should not be taken when formulated with ephedrine in diet aids or performance-enhancing supplements. Potentially fatal irregular heartbeats have been reported to occur.

Guarana has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of guarana may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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