Pregnenolone
Pregnenolone

Background

Pregnenolone is a chemical that is found in our bodies. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it for medicine.

Pregnenolone is used for autism, back pain, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support its use.
When taken by mouth: Pregnenolone is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken for up to 12 weeks. In some people, pregnenolone can cause skin rashes, acne, hair loss, diarrhea or constipation, problems sleeping, restlessness, agitation, sweating, or tremor. It may also cause irregular heartbeat, depressed mood, a change in appetite, or muscle pain.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if pregnenolone is safe when used for longer than 12 weeks.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if pregnenolone is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Pregnenolone is converted by the body to estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't take supplemental pregnenolone.

Effectiveness

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Autism. Early research shows that taking pregnenolone for 10-12 weeks may improve some symptoms of autism.
  • Back pain. Early research shows that taking pregnenolone for 4 weeks may improve low back pain by a very small amount in some people.
  • Bipolar disorder. Early research shows that taking pregnenolone for 12 weeks may improve symptoms of depression in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Schizophrenia. Taking pregnenolone as add-on therapy for 8 weeks might improve some negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as the inability to feel pleasure, lack of emotion, and limited speech. But not all research agrees. Taking pregnenolone as add-on therapy doesn't seem to improve positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations or delusions.
  • Depression.
  • Endometriosis (abnormal thickening of the lining of uterus).
  • Fatigue.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis).
  • Seizures.
  • Slowing or reversing aging.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pregnenolone for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The appropriate dose of pregnenolone depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pregnenolone. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Estrogens

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pregnenolone is used in the body to make hormones including estrogen. Taking estrogen along with pregnenolone might cause too much estrogen to be in the body.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

Progesterone

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pregnenolone is used in the body to make hormones including progesterone. Taking progesterone along with pregnenolone might cause too much progesterone to be in the body.
Some progesterone drugs include Prometrium, Endometrin, and others.

Progestin

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pregnenolone is used in the body to make hormones. Progestins are hormones. Taking pregnalone along with hormones such as progestins might cause too much hormones in the body. This could increase the effects and side effects of progestins.
Some progestin pills include norethindrone (Micronor, Camila), levonorgestrel (Plan B), and others.

Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pregnenolone may decrease the sedative effects of diazepam (Valium). It may also decrease the sedative effects of other benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and others.

Testosterone

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

The body changes pregnenolone into testosterone. Taking pregnenolone along with testosterone might cause too much testosterone in the body. This might increase the chance of testosterone side effects.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): Pregnenolone might increase the effects of steroid hormone supplements, including DHEA.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.

Action

In the body, pregnenolone is used to make steroid hormones. Pregnenolone affects many different chemicals in the brain and may play a role in certain psychiatric illnesses.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 16/11/2023 11:00:00. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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