Is It Safe to Take Lysine in Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
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  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Information on the safety of lysine in pregnancy is lacking. Lysine, is however, considered safe in the general population, but before considering taking lysine in pregnancy, the woman should speak with her health care provider who can educate her on the risks versus the benefits. Since lysine is not considered a medication, but a dietary supplement, it has not been regulated by the government, and standard dosing regimes have not been well established.

Lysine is an amino acid that may help in the absorption of calcium, which may prove beneficial in the development of bones and teeth of a growing fetus. Women who are pregnant and have been diagnosed with a calcium deficiency might benefit from lysine supplements. As with any dietary supplement, the woman should consult with a doctor before taking lysine. Taking lysine in pregnancy may help lower the risk of a herpes outbreak, and may even help prevent mother-to-baby transmission of genital herpes during childbirth.

Taking lysine in pregnancy can cause side effects in the mother, but it is not known whether those side effects affect the unborn baby. Side effects from taking lysine supplements include diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. Taking lysine in high dosages can predispose certain people to gallstones. Supplements may also pose the risk of allergic reactions such as abnormal swelling, shortness of breath, chest pain, and hives. These side effects require immediate medical evaluation and treatment to avoid potential complications.


Women who are breastfeeding and taking lysine may be exposing their babies to its effects. It is not known how much of the substance passes through the breast milk to the baby, however, before considering taking lysine supplements while breastfeeding, the health care provider needs to be consulted. Although studies have shown that the teeth and bones of the developing fetus may benefit from the mother's intake of lysine, the substance may not be safe for the rest of the body. Too much calcium uptake can cause organ failure and contribute to cardiac abnormalities and arrhythmias.

Forms of lysine include oral and topical blends, and when used in the treatment of genital herpes, lysine can be applied directly to the affected area of the skin. Although lysine has been shown to inhibit the growth and proliferation of the herpes virus, more studies are needed to confirm these findings, as well as the safety of lysine in those who are pregnant.


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Post 3

@ZipLine-- I'm not a doctor but I've spoken to several different doctors and pharmacists about this and the consensus was that it's okay to take lysine in moderation during pregnancy.

Lysine is not a medication, it's an amino acid. You can't take anti-viral medications during pregnancy but you can take a moderate dose of lysine when you feel a breakout coming. So try not to take it all the time. As far as I know, the cream is safer than the oral supplements because you will use less and less of the medication will enter the bloodstream.

I highly recommend doing your own research on this and you should ask your doctor before you take anything.

Post 2

@ZipLine-- I asked my doctor about this for cold sores and he said that he hasn't seen any studies about it. Since he wasn't sure, he didn't want me to take the risk and said that I should avoid lysine.

I can't say that I was satisfied with this answer, but I didn't take any lysine during my pregnancy. If you have an outbreak close to birth, you have to have those treated with laser or a similar treatment anyway. Or you could get a c-section. Unfortunately, I don't think you can take anything to get rid of genital blisters when you are pregnant.

Post 1

Has anyone here used lysine for genital herpes during pregnancy?

I was taking lysine supplements to help prevent herpes breakouts before my pregnancy. Can I continue to use them?

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