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Stevia

What is it?

Stevia is an herbal medicine used as a nonsugar sweetener in food and drinks. It is said to lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

Other names for Stevia include: Paraguayan Sweet Herb, Sweetleaf, Azucaca, and Honey Leaf.

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 diabetes or high blood pressure
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Stevia you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Stevia. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Stevia, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you should not take Stevia without first consulting your health care professional.

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.

  • A slowing of the heart rate and lowering of blood pressure have been reported (2)

References:

1. Cirigliano MD & Szapary PO: Stevia as a natural sweetener, hypoglycemic, and antihypertensive. Alt Med Alert 2000; 3(2):13-24.

2. Kinghorn AD & Soejarto DD: Current status of stevioside as a sweetening agent for human use. Econ Med Plant Res 1985; 1:1-52.

3. Boeckh-Haebisch EMA: Pharmacological trial of concentrated crude extract of Stevia rebaudiana (bert.) Bertoni in healthy volunteers. Arg Biol Tecnol 1992; 35(2): 299-314.

4. Xili L, Chengjiany B, Eryi X et al: Chronic oral toxicity and cardiogenicity study of stevioside in rats. Ed Chem Toxic 1992; 30(11): 957-965.


Last Updated: 9/4/2017
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