What is it?
GLA is an abbreviation for Gamma-linoleic acid which is an essential fatty acid that is used as a supplement for alcoholism, asthma, high cholesterol. It may also be used to treat diabetes, eczema, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breast disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma.
Other names for GLA include: Gamma-Linoleic Acid, Fatty Acid, Omega-6 Fatty Acid, EPO, and Evening Primrose Oil.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
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 GLA you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking GLA. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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.
- Before taking GLA, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
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.
- Mild stomach upset, diarrhea, gas (28)
1. Werbach MR & Murray MT: Botanical influences on Illness: a sourcebook of clinical research. Third Line Press, Tarzana, CA; 1994.
2. Glen AL, Flen EM, MacDonald FK et al: Essential fatty acids in the treatment of the alcohol dependence syndrome. In: Girch GG & Lindley MG (eds): Alcoholic Beverages. Elsevier, London, UK; 1985:203-21.
3. Segarnick DJ, Cordasco DM, & Rotrosen J: Prostaniod modulation (mediation?) of certain behavioral effects of ethanol. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1985; 23:71-75.
4. Horrobin DF: Prostaglandins (PG's) and essential fatty acids (EFAs): A new approach to the understanding and treatment of alcoholism. Psychiatry in Practice 1984; August 3:19-21.
5. Horrobin DF, Manku MS: How do poly-unsaturated fatty acids lower plasma cholesterol levels? Lipids 1983;18:558-562.
6. Horrobin D: The reversibility of cancer: The relevance of cyclic AMP, calcium, essential fatty acids and prostaglandin E1. Medical Hypotheses 1980;6:469-486.
7. Das UN, Bevi GR, Tao KP et al: Benzo(a)pyrene and gamma-radiation-induced genetic damage in mice can be prevented by gamma-linoleic acid but not by arachidonic acid. Nutr Res 1985; 5:101-105.
8. Dippenaar N, Booyens J, Fabbri D et al: The reversibility of cancer: evidence that malignancy in melanoma cells is gamma-linolenic acid deficiency-dependent. S Afr Med J 1982;62:505 & 683.
9. Haessler HA, Crawford JD: Insulin-like inhibition of lipolysis and stimulation of lipo-genesis by prostaglandin E1 J Clin Invest 1967;46:1065-1070.
10. Mercuri O, Peluffo RO, Brenner RR: Depression of microsomal desaturaion of linoleic to gamma-linoleic acid in the alloxan-diabetic rat. Biochim Biophys Acta 1966;116:409-411.
11. Jamal GA, Carmichael H, Weir AI et al: Gamma-linoleic acid in diabetic neuropathy. Lancet 1986;1:1098.
12. Manku MS, Horrobin DF, Morse N et al: Reduced levels of prostaglandin precursors in the blood of atopic patients: Defective delta-6-desaturase function as a biochemical basis for atopy. Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Med 1982;9(6):615-628.
13. Wright S, Burton JL: Oral evening-primrose-seed oil improves atopic eczema. Lancet 1982;Nov 20:1120-1122.
14. Wright S: Atopic dermatitis and essential fatty acids: A biochemical basis for atopy? Acta Derm Venereol (Stockholm) Suppl. 1985;114:143-145.
15. Pye JK, Hughes LE, Mansel RE: Clinical experience of drug treatment for mastalgia. Lancet 1985;2:373-377.
16. Lininger S (ed): The Natural Pharmacy. Prima Health Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.
17. Scholkens BA, Gehring D, Schlotte V et al: Evening primrose oil, a dietary prostaglandin precursor, diminishes vascular reactivity to renin and angiotensin II in rats. Prost Leuko Med 1982;8:273.
18. Mills DE, Summers MR & Ward RP: Gamma-linoleic acid attenuates cardiovascular responses to stress in borderline hypertensive rats. Lipids 1985;20(9);573-577.
19. Simpson LO, Shand BI, Olds RJ et al: Dietary supplementation with Efamol and multiple sclerosis. New Zea Med J 1985;98(792):1053-1054.
20. Field EJ, Joyce G: Multiple sclerosis: Effect of gamma-linolenate administration upon membranes and the need for extended clinical trials of unsaturated fatty acids. Eur Neurol 1983;22:78.
21. Field EJ, Joyce G: Effect of prolonged ingestion of gamma-linolenate by multiple sclerosis patients. Eur Neurol 1978;17:67-76.
22. Horrobin DF, & Phil D: the role of essential fatty acids and prostaglandins in the premenstrual syndrome. J Reprod Med 1983;28(7):465-468.
23. Puolakka J, Makarainen L, Viinikka L et al: Biochemical and clinical effect of treating the premenstrual syndrome with prostaglandin synthesis precursors. J Reprod med 1985;39(3):149-153.
24. Brush MG: Evening primrose oil in the treatment of the premenstrual syndrome. In: Horrobin DF (ed): Clinical uses of essential fatty acids. Eden Press, Montreal, Canada; 1982:155-162.
25. Hansen TM, Lerche A, Kassis V et al: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with prostaglandin E1 precursors cis-linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid. Scan J Rheum 1983;12:85-88.
26. McCormick JN et al: Immunosuppressive effect of linoleic acid. Lancet 1977;2:508.
27. Leeds AR, Gray I & Ahmad MNMA: Effects of n-6 essential fatty acids as evening primrose oil in mild hypertension. In: Horrobin DF: Omega-6 essential fatty acids, pathophysiology and roles in clinical medicine. Alan R Liss Inc; 1990: 157-171.
28. Leventhal LJ, Boyce EG & Zurier RB: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gammalinoleic acid. Ann Intern Med 1993; 119(9):867-873.
29. Horrobin DF: Essential fatty acids in the management of impaired nerve function in diabetes. Diabetes 1997;46(suppl 2): S90-S93.
30. Belch JJF, Shaw B, O'Dowd et al: Evening primrose oil (Efamol) in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon: a double blind study. Thromb Haemost 1985;54(2): 490-494.
31. Soma M, Manku MS & Horrobin DF: The effects of hydrogenated coconut oil, safflower oil and evening primrose oil on development of hypertension and sodium handling in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1985;63:325-330.
31. Strong AMM et al: The effect of oral linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (Dfamol). Br J Clin Pract 1985; Nov/Dec: 444.
Last Updated: 1/4/2018