Health Guide


What is it?

Passionflower is an herbal medicine used to treat people who are nervous or cannot sleep (as a sedative), have seizures (uncontrolled shaking), and stomach upset. It may also be used to help a person stop using benzodiazepines.

Other names for passionflower include: Apricot vine, Grenadille, Maypop, Passiflora, Passion vine, and Passiflora incarnata.

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 passionflower you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking passionflower. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 passionflower without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Medicine for sleeping, anxiety, seizures, or migraine headaches (examples: diazepam (Valium(R)), lorazepam (Ativan(R)), alprazolam (Xanax(R)), butalbital (Fiorinal(R)), Fioricet(R)), phenobarbital (Nembutal(R)))
  • Blood thinning medicine (example: warfarin (Coumadin(R)) (8)


  • Before taking passionflower, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • You may feel sleepy, so beware when driving (4)
  • Allergic skin reactions with itching and redness around blood vessels have been reported (6)


1. Bradley PR (ed.): British Herbal Compendium vol. 1. British Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, UK; 1992.

2. Newall C, Anderson L & Phillipson J. Passionflower. In: Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996.

3. Wong AHC, Smith M & Boon HS: Herbal remedies in psychiatric practice. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1998; 55:1033-1044.

4. Aoyagi N, Kimura R & Murata T:: Studies on Passiflora incarnata dry extract. I. Isolation of maltol and pharmacological action of maltol and ethyl maltol. Chem Pharm Bull 1974; 22:1008-1013.

5. Brinker F: Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Eclectic Medical Publications, Sandy, OR; 1998.

6. Smith GW & Chalmers TM: Vasculitis associated with herbal preparation containing Passiflora extract. (letter). Br J Rheum 1993; 32(1):87.

7. Anon: Passiflorae herba. In: European scientific cooperative on phytotherapy (ESCOP) monographs on the medicinal uses of plant drugs, Fascicule 4. ESCOP, Exeter, UK; 1997.

8. Product Information: COUMADIN(R) oral tablets, IV injection, warfarin sodium oral tablets, IV injection. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ, 2007.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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