Thumbnail image of: My Medicines: Illustration

Stevia

STEE-vee-a

What are other names for this remedy?

Type of medicine: natural remedy

Scientific and common names: Stevia rebaudiana, Stevia eupatorium, Stevia purpurea, azucacaa, green stevia, sweet honey leaf, Paraguayan sweet herb, sweetleaf, sweet leaf of Paraguay, yerba dulce

What is stevia?

Stevia is a plant that originally came from the rain forests of Paraguay. The leaf is the part of the plant that is used medicinally.

What is it used for?

Stevia has been used as a sugar substitute to sweeten food and beverages. It has no calories.

This remedy has been used to treat several conditions. Studies in humans or animals have not proved that this remedy is safe or effective for all uses. The FDA does not allow stevia to be used as a food additive because of concerns about its safety. Before using this remedy for a serious condition, you should talk with your healthcare provider.

As a dietary supplement, stevia has been used to treat:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Stevia has also been used to help with weight loss.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve uses for natural remedies. The FDA does not inspect or regulate natural remedies the way they do prescription medicines.

How is it taken?

Stevia comes in the form of a powder or liquid extract. Check the label on the package for the specific dose.

What if I overdose?

Symptoms of an acute overdose have not been reported.

What should I watch out for?

Talk with your healthcare provider before taking stevia supplements if you have:

  • An allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies
  • Diabetes (Stevia may affect your blood sugar level and change the amount of insulin or other diabetes medicines you may need.)
  • Kidney disease
  • Low blood pressure

If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.

Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any natural remedy that you are using or thinking about using. If your provider does not tell you how to take it, follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended. Ask about anything you do not understand. Remember:

  • Natural remedies are not always safe.
  • You should not take them if you are pregnant or breast-feeding without your healthcare provider’s approval. They should not be taken by infants, children, or older adults without your provider’s approval.
  • They affect your body and may interact with prescription medicines that you take.
  • Natural remedies are not standardized and may have different strengths and effects. They may be contaminated.

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its desirable effects, this remedy may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the remedy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).

Other: Nausea, bloating, headache, dizziness, muscle aches, numbness.

What products might interact with this remedy?

When you take this remedy with other medicines, it can change the way the remedy or the medicines work. Vitamins and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Before taking this remedy, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

  • ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril, enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril, lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), and ramipril (Altace)
  • Angiotensin receptor II blockers such as candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan)
  • Beta blockers such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), pindolol, propranolol (Inderal LA), and sotalol (Betapace)
  • Calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac), felodipine, isradipine (DynaCirc CR), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia), and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin SR, Verelan)
  • Diabetes medicines such as glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab), insulin, metformin (Glucophage), pioglitazone (Actos), repaglinide (Prandin), and rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • Diuretics (water pills) such as amiloride, bumetanide, chlorothiazide (Diuril), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), spironolactone (Aldactone), torsemide (Demadex), and triamterene (Dyrenium)
  • Lithium (Lithobid)
  • Natural remedies such as danshen, ephedra, devil’s claw, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, gotu kola, guar gum, horse chestnut, ginseng, psyllium, stinging nettle, turmeric, and valerian

If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.


Keep all natural remedies and medicines out of the reach of children.

This advisory includes select information only. The information was obtained from scientific journals, study reports, and other documents. The author and publisher make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the information. The advisory may not include all side effects associated with a remedy or interactions with other medicines. Nothing herein shall constitute a recommendation for the use of any remedy. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Medication Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-03-11
Last reviewed: 2013-12-03
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Patient Portal

Our Patient Portal provides safe and secure online access to better communicate with your Tufts Medical Center Community Care doctor. This easy-to-use web tool is a convenient way to book appointments, request referrals, renew prescriptions, view medical records/test results and communicate with your healthcare provider from the privacy of your own computer.

PATIENT PORTAL >

Your privacy is important to us. Learn more about ourwebsite privacy policy. X