The most common passion flower side effects include stomach upset and nausea. Although not considered a serious side effect, passion flower preparations should be discontinued if nausea persists. Typically, however, nausea will subside as the body adjusts. Before taking passion flower or any other dietary supplement, the health care provider should be notified who can discuss the pros and cons.
Passion flower is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, pain, and high blood pressure. Minor inflammatory skin conditions may also improve as the result of passion flower treatments. Before taking passion flower or any other dietary supplement, the health care provider should be notified who can discuss the pros and cons.
Other side effects of passion flower include confusion and alterations in memory function. Like nausea, this side effect will usually subside as the body becomes acclimated to it. Although memory loss and confusion are common passion flower side effects, they can also signify a serious medical condition such as stroke, dementia, or other neurological problem.
Cardiac arrhythmias and abnormal muscle contractions are serious passion flower side effects. Abnormal heart rhythms can increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. If heart palpitations occur, passion flower should be immediately discontinued and the health care provider notified at once. Abnormal muscle contractions can occur in any muscle in the body, including the heart muscle.
Multiple studies have shown that passion flower is especially beneficial to those suffering from general anxiety disorder. In fact, research has shown that taking passion flower preparations may be just as effective as taking anti-anxiety medications. Persistent and debilitating anxiety, however, needs to be evaluated and treated by an experienced health care provider and not solely treated with herbal supplements.
Passion flower side effects also include drowsiness and therefore, may enhance the effects of other medications such as anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, barbiturates, and anti-seizure medications. In addition, passion flower may also enhance the effects of anticoagulant medications, which are medications that thin the blood. It may not be recommended to take passion flower in combination with aspirin and prescription blood thinners, unless under the strict supervision of the health care provider.
Since passion flower mixtures are not considered medications, they are not subject to strict government testing, therefore, extreme caution must be taken when considering taking them. Although generally tolerated by most people, those with certain medical condition should not take passion flower preparations. As with any dietary supplement or alternative remedy, the health care provider can evaluate current medical conditions and possible medication interactions.