Health Guide

Grape seed extract

What is it?

Grape seed extract is an herbal medicine used to treat vein problems, including varicose veins (large veins that are usually seen in the legs). It may also be used to prevent disease and to treat eye problems, like diabetic retinopathy (eye problems in diabetics). Premenstrual syndrome may be improved with Grape Seed Extract.

Other names for grape seed extract include: Vitis vinifera, PCO, pycnogenol, and OPC.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much grape seed extract you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking grape seed extract. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take grapefruit without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Cilostazol (Pletal(R)) (1)
  • Ixabepilone (Ixempra(R)) (2)
  • Nilotinib (Tasigna(R)) (3)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis(R)) (4)


  • Before taking grape seed extract, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
  • Skin discoloration on the face (5)

Other Side Effects:

This medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

References: 1.Taniguchi K, Ohtani H, Ikemoto T, et al: Possible case of potentiation of the antiplatelet effect of cilostazol by grapefruit juice. J Clin Pharm Ther 2007; 32(5):457-459. 2. Product Information: IXEMPRA(TM) IV injection, ixabepilone IV injection. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ, 2007. 3. Product Information: TASIGNA(R) oral capsules, nilotinib oral capsules. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, 2007. 4. Product Information: CIALIS(R) oral tablets, tadalafil oral tablets. Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, 2008. 5. Yamakoshi J, Sano A, Tokutake S et al: Oral intake of proanthocyanidin-rich extract from grape seeds improves chloasma. Phytother Res 2004; 18(11):895-899.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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