Here’s what we know.
Most of what we know comes from reports during the 1960s and 90s
- Seizures have been reported in people taking evening primrose oil.
- There were 193 adverse reactions to evening primrose oil reported from 1968-1997, including convulsions, aggravated convulsions, facial edema, and asthma.
- It was suggested that evening primrose oil might increase the risk of seizure when used simultaneously with anesthetics or antipsychotics (eg, chlorpromazine [Thorazine] and trifluoperazine [Stelazine]) and may lower seizure threshold when used with anticonvulsant agents or stimulants.
- Reassessment of the 3 patients in the 1981 study revealed they were simultaneously taking evening primrose oil with phenothiazines (antipsychotic and antihistaminic) — known to lower the threshold for seizures.
- All 3 patients were re-diagnosed as suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy and not schizophrenia.
- In a 1983 study, of the 2 of 23 patients with schizophrenia who developed seizures while taking evening primrose oil, both were also taking fluphenazine (Prolixin), which was replaced with chlorpromazine in 1 patient.
- Both drugs are classified as phenothiazines.
- Furthermore, a relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy is proposed.
The bottom line?
It takes a mile of work to reverse an inch of rumor.
Even then, the rumor remains.
7/9/13 10:02 JR