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Pycnogenol (French maritime pine extract)

Pycnogenol, or French maritime pine bark extract, is a nutritional herbal supplement that has been touted to have immune system boosting and antioxidant effects. The active constituents include a blend of procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and phenolic acids, each of which contributes to the health benefits of Pycnogenol. It is considered safe as it has been clinically researched for decades and can be found as an ingredient in various medications.


What is Pycnogenol used for?

  • Promote heart and circulatory health
  • Prevent and reduce inflammation
  • Boost beauty and skin vitality
  • Fight against aging and free radical damage
  • Improve male fertility
  • Ease premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms or dysmenorrhea
  • Lower blood glucose levels

How should I take Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is available as an ingredient in many different medications. Locally, it is available in oral capsule form. Do not crush or chew the capsule. It can be taken with or without meals.

How do I store Pycnogenol?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Pycnogenol?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Pycnogenol?

Like all drugs, this drug may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Acne (in patients with PMS or dysmenorrhea)
  • Dysfunctional bleeding (in patients with PMS or dysmenorrhea)

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Pycnogenol?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Does food or alcohol interact with Pycnogenol?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Pycnogenol?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?


  • Take at least 20 mg per day

Improve cardiovascular health

  • Take 25 mg per day.
  • For hypertension and impaired blood circulation, take 50 to 100 mg per day


  • Take at least 30 mg per day

Reducing edema

  • Take 50 mg per day, up to 100 to 150 mg per day for advanced stages of the disease

Lowering blood sugar

  • Take 50 mg once or twice a day

Managing symptoms of PMS or dysmenorrhea

  • Take 30 mg once or twice a day

Osteoarthritis, bronchial asthma

  • Take 100 mg per day.

What is the dose for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Pycnogenol available?

This drug is available in the following brands, dosage forms, and strengths:

  • Pynocare 40 Actisome containing Procyanidin (French Maritime pine bark extr) 24 mg, ascorbic acid 60 mg, β-carotene 6 mg, d-α tocopheryl acetate 15 IU
  • Puritan’s Pride 30 mg oral capsules
  • Now Foods 30 mg oral capsules
  • Health Thru Nutrition 50 mg oral capsules

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14659974/ Accessed July 23, 2021

Pynocare 40 Actisome https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/pynocare%2040%20actisome Accessed July 23, 2021

Pycnogenol https://www.pycnogenol.com/home/ Accessed July 23, 2021

Assessing the Efficacy and Mechanisms of Pycnogenol® on Cognitive Aging From In Vitro Animal and Human Studies https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00694/full Accessed July 23, 2021

Pine Bark Extract https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/pine-bark-extract Accessed July 23, 2021

Maritime Pine. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed July 23, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jul 24