Mental Health Home > Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Safety
Before using gamma-aminobutyric acid supplements, it is important to understand that this substance is a dietary supplement. This means it is not as closely regulated as prescription or nonprescription drugs. Therefore, gamma-aminobutyric acid can be sold without any proof that it is safe or effective. Also, just because it is a "natural" product, it does not mean that gamma-aminobutyric acid is safe for everyone.
Is Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Safe?There is very little information available about the safety of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) supplementation. Some people may be more likely to experience problems with a medication or supplement than others. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking gamma-aminobutyric acid if you:
- Have any chronic medical condition
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see GABA and Pregnancy)
- Are breastfeeding (see GABA and Breastfeeding).
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Safety Warnings and Precautions With Gamma-Aminobutyric AcidSome warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of gamma-aminobutyric acid include the following:
- As a dietary supplement, gamma-aminobutyric acid supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription or nonprescription drugs. They can be marketed without any evidence that they are either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is safe or effective. Make sure to look for gamma-aminobutyric acid products from a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
- If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including gamma-aminobutyric acid.
- It is unknown if gamma-aminobutyric acid is safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding (see GABA and Pregnancy and GABA and Breastfeeding).