Health Guide

Pine bark

What is it?

Pine Bark is an herbal medicine used to treat heart disease and blood circulation problems.

Other names for Pine Bark include: French maritime Pine Bark, Pycnogenol, Pine Bark extract, and Pygenol.

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 other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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

  • Irritability and decreased energy in children taking Pine Bark for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (3)


1. Putter M, Grotemeyer KHM, Wurthwein G et al: Inhibition of smoking-induced platelet aggregation by aspirin and pycnogenol. Thromb Res 1999; 95(4):155-161.

2. Petrassi C, Mastromarino A, & Spartera C: Pycnogenol(R) in chronic venous insufficiency. Phytomedicine 2000; 7(5):383-388.

3. Greenblatt J: Nutritional supplements and ADHD. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999; 38(10):1209-1210. Comment by Horrigan: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999; 38(10):1210-1211.

Last Updated: 1/27/2017
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