Thinking of using tribulus but worried about the side effects?

As with any drug, supplement or herbal remedy, there can be side effects depending upon the individual and the dosing.

You will therefore want to be sure before taking any new supplement that it is safe to use and whether there are any known interactions with prescription drugs.

In this guide, we take a look at any special information you need to know before starting to use tribulus, the most common side effects as well as precautions you need to take when using this supplement.

Disclaimer: For total peace of mind, we suggest discussing your intention to take tribulus with a qualified medical professional. Every individual’s medical circumstances are different.


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Side Effects of Tribulus: Is It Safe?

The mere words, ‘side effects’ can make even the brave a little cautious.

But when you consider that the list of possible side effects associated with something as common as paracetamol runs to at least three dozen unwanted effects, you should be aware: they are part and parcel of any treatment.

Unlike paracetamol, tribulus does not have that many side effects and most of these are the wanted ones which you take the supplement for.

However, because no studies have been completed on the long-term use of tribulus, it is recommended that you take regular breaks in your treatment regime.

This is known as cycling.

side effects of tribulus other drugs

Is tribulus safe to take with other supplements or medication? Image via Flickr.

Tribulus Dosage

As with any new drug, whether natural, herbal or prescription, it is important that you follow the dosage recommendations correctly.

The correct dose depends on several factors including the user’s general health and age as well as the purity of the source of tribulus you are using.

There is insufficient scientific evidence to provide a definitive guide here on the precise quantities that are safe to use.

As such, it is important that you follow the directions for use as provided on the product label.

If you are in any doubt, you should consult a doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare provider before use.

Lastly, you should always source your tribulus from a reputable supplier to ensure that the ingredients are free from contamination.

Is Tribulus Safe to Use?

Tribulus supplements have been tested in research studies lasting up to 56 days with no evidence of harmful reactions. However, the long term safety of this supplement has not been verified.

What is known is that the fruit of the tribulus has been linked to serious lung problems and you should not eat this part of the plant.

side effects tribulus

The fruit of the tribulus should not be eaten. Image via Flickr.

Special precautions should be taken when using this supplement if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You have diabetes or taking medication for diabetes.
  • You have recently had, or about to have, surgery.
  • You have a history of liver or kidney problems.
  • Have prostate problems including prostate cancer.

Side Effects of Tribulus

Tribulus is used to treat decreased libido and enhance testosterone production as well as boost stamina, energy and athletic performance.

As a result, users often report feelings of restlessness as well as feeling mildly stimulated; this can result in insomnia. Though these may be welcome effects in some, for others they may present as adverse effects. Reducing your dosage may prevent these from occurring.

Other side effects can include a raised heart rate, flatulence, nausea and stomach cramps and feelings of intense warmth similar to a hot flash.

Obvious side effects also include an increase in sex drive as well as an improved and more positive mood.

Known Interactions

Tribulus is known to interact with lithium and produce a diuretic effect in users. Diuretics cause the body to lose water and as well as an increase in urine production can cause muscle cramps, excessive thirst and an increased heart rate.

The impact of this depends on how much lithium is in your system; however, if you are taking lithium supplements it is not recommended that you use tribulus.

Tribulus is also known to interact with certain medications used in the treatment of diabetes as it can reduce blood sugar. The combination of both can impact your sugar levels and as such extra monitoring of blood sugar levels is recommended.

tribulus and diabetes side effects

Diabetics need to monitor blood sugar levels closely when using tribulus. Image via Flickr.

If you are using any of the following for treating diabetes then it is recommended that you discuss your intention to use tribulus with your healthcare provider before you start your regime.

  • insulin
  • glipizide
  • glimepiride
  • glyburide
  • pioglitazone
  • rosiglitazone
  • chlorpropamide
  • tolbutamide

Discontinuing Treatment

If you experience any unwelcome effects whilst using tribulus then you should discontinue use immediately. There are no known withdrawal symptoms associated with tribulus.

Lastly, it is recommended that you take tribulus in cycles of no more than 9 weeks at a time with at least 2-4 weeks off in between cycles.

Tribulus Optimum Nutrition