Before you start taking inositol, safety warnings and precautions for the supplement should be discussed with your healthcare provider if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or bipolar disorder. Problems may occur with inositol use if you have these existing medical conditions or any allergies. Since the safety of inositol supplements has not been evaluated thoroughly, be sure to find a reputable manufacturer.
Inositol is a dietary supplement used to treat a variety of different conditions. In order to use inositol safely, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking inositol if you have:
- Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression
- Kidney disease, such kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Any allergies, including allergies to medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of inositol include the following:
- Supplements (including inositol) are not regulated as closely as drugs. In fact, supplements can be sold in the United States without ever having been shown to be safe or effective.
- There is one report of worsening of bipolar disorder possibly related to inositol use. However, in this case, inositol was taken in an energy drink along with several other active ingredients, and it is not possible to know if the problems were caused by inositol or the other ingredients. If you have bipolar disorder, do not take inositol without your healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
- If you have liver or kidney disease, check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including inositol. Many medications and supplements are cleared from the body using the liver and kidneys.
- Inositol supplements may possibly interact with a few medications (see Inositol Drug Interactions for more information).
- It is not known whether inositol is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Inositol and Pregnancy and Inositol and Breastfeeding).
- If you decide to use supplements, be aware that what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some dietary supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states. Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your inositol product is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that it has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.