Garcinia cambogia and interactions with medications

Garcinia cambogia and interactions with medications

Garcinia cambogia interacts with a number of medications. As such, it is always advisable to speak to your doctor before taking it if any of the following medications have been prescribed to you:


Garcinia cambogia aids in the promotion of weight loss through increasing the serotonin levels in the brain which improves feelings of satiety. SSRIs, a popular kind of antidepressants help in relieving feelings of sadness, anxiety and stress in having the same effect on serotonin as HCA.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – These types of antidepressants ease symptoms of depression through blocking the reuptake, also known as reabsorption, of serotonin (a chemical messenger/neurotransmitter in the brain that carries messages between the brain cells), this allows for more serotonin to be available. Serotonin is thought to affect mood, social behaviour, digestion and appetite.

Taking Garcinia cambogia with SSRIs may result in too much serotonin in the brain which can cause severe side effects associated with a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This disorder causes heart problems, anxiety, excessive sweating and tremors. 

Some of these drugs used for depression include:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)

Other atypical and tricyclic antidepressants that interact with Garcinia include:

  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)

Other medications that also increase serotonin levels in the brain include:

  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Pentazocine (Talwin)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)

Dosage considerations for Garcinia cambogia extract

Currently, there is not enough information to determine what the appropriate range of dosage for Garcinia cambogia is. Some research suggests that a safe range of Garcinia cambogia extract is between 4500mg and 6000mg25.  

The use of Garcinia cambogia has however only been documented short-term and using the supplement for 12 weeks or less is deemed as safe26.

Bear in mind that a number of weight management supplements available over the counter are not regulated and the dosage information and ingredients list may be incorrect.



25. National Cancer Institute (NCI). 2002. Garcinia cambogia extract. Available: [Accessed 21.11.2017]

26. NIH. 2017. Garcinia Cambogia. Available: [Accessed 21.11.2017]

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