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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2007 Aug;77(2):101-3. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

The safety of evening primrose oil in epilepsy.

Author information

1
Imaging Sciences Department, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK. basant.puri@csc.mrc.ac.uk

Abstract

The concern that evening primrose oil might cause epilepsy or seizures, or reduce the threshold for seizures, originated from two papers published in the early 1980s. These original reports are re-examined, and the association of evening primrose oil with seizures is shown to be spurious. Not only are linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid safe in epilepsy, with prolonged oral administration of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (in a 4:1 mixture) protecting rats from having seizures in four different epilepsy models, but the evening primrose oil-derived omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid inhibits sodium ion currents and synaptic transmission, while the evening primrose oil-derived eicosanoid prostaglandin E(1) appears to have anticonvulsant activity. In light of these findings, it is suggested that formularies should now remove seizures or epilepsy as a side-effect of evening primrose oil, and should remove a history of seizures or epilepsy as a contraindication to taking evening primrose oil.

PMID:
17764919
DOI:
10.1016/j.plefa.2007.07.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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