Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia Cambogia made its grand entrance into the weight loss supplement field after Dr. Oz showered it with accolades in late 2012. We initially sought reviews on the product in January 2013, and the response has been mixed. Here we take a closer look at some of the known and rumored side effects of garcinia cambogia.

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This article is a supplement to our first article on garcinia cambogia from January 2013. Be sure to also read our recap of the first year of Garcinia Cambogia in the spotlight with our article entitled Garcinia Cambogia Craze: Product Survives One Year of Scams, Complaints, and Bad Reviews.

The first list below contains some of the more commonly-known side effects of garcinia cambogia. These are the more serious – and likely – of the possible side effects.

Possible Side Effects

According to WebMD, possible side effects include:

  • Digestive tract discomfort
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Livestrong provides a more extensive list of possible side effects, which include:

  • Allergic reaction (skin rash, hives, chest tightness, wheezing, swelling)
  • Diarrhea
  • Lower Blood sugar levels
  • Headaches
  • Intestinal pain
  • Nausea
  • Testicular shrinkage (extremely high doses, according to one study)
  • Vomiting

Healthline points out that that garcinia is “well tolerated for up to 12 weeks in available human trials.”  It also lists possible side effects and warnings:

  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a
  • To be avoided by those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and those with a history of sensitivity to garcinia.

A study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology in April 2014 investigates the possibility of serotonin toxicity.

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Additional (Anecdotal) Side Effects

The following list of side effects is based on anecdotal reports. There may be some overlap with the list above, and some of these side effects may decrease over time or with a smaller dosage:

  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Gas
  • Increased hunger
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeplessness

Keep in mind that if you take more than the suggested dosage, the risk of unwanted effects will increase.

Bottom Line

You may or may not experience any of the side effects listed above if you take garcinia cambogia. If you have any pre-existing health conditions (especially diabetes), you should check with your doctor before using it. The most common negative comment we’ve heard about garcinia cambogia is simply that it “does nothing” at all.

Have you experienced any side effects not listed above? Let us hear from you in the comments below.

Please see our first post on garcinia cambogia which includes dozens of user comments.

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  • Leesa

    I have had such bad edema for 2 weeks with no idea the cause. Last night ankles tripled in size I couldn’t get my shoe on to work n the pain awful. The hospital told me n that I have an infection and the retention was for so long it started to seep leading to sepsis and cellulitis. I can’t think of any changes besides starting to take GC but any Web page mentioning it cannot be found. I have hep c so this is kinda a big deal. Does anyone know about causing retention?

  • Mary

    I started taking gc about 2 weeks ago, at this point, I have not noticed any weight loss. I have noticed a slight increase in bowl movement, in a good way (not diarrhea). But the most bizarre side effect, is that instead of giving me energy, it makes me very sleepy within an hour of taking it! So I’ve decided since I’ve paid for them, I’ll just take them at night as a sleep aid, which is great for me since I sometimes have difficulty falling asleep! (With any luck, I’ll lose weight while I sleep, though I’m not expecting it.)

  • Rene Griesel

    I must say that I am also experiencing the same symptoms of the severe kidney pain and the pain shooting through my left leg. I lost 2kg the first week but nothing ever since. I paid R550.00 for this and it’s sad to throw it away. I am also using the liver detox.

  • Kristina

    I took garcinia cambogia for a while, but did not lose any weight. It has been over a month since I stopped and I still have rumbling, gassy guts, fluid excretion with flatulence and soft thin unnatural (for me) bowels. I used to use the toilet 1 – 2 times a day for movements. Now it is 5 – 8. I’m wondering if this will ever pass.

  • allen small

    when i started taking these i n started to not know i have to pee. ihet a small tiny little pain below my belly button and i go to bathroom and i pee as soom as i get there. i never ever dreamed it was from taking a herb pill Garcinia Cambogia. then i went and che ked online and said a few people have bladder problems taking them.. i have stopped now and hope it never damage anything. this is the first day i stopped.. thinking of going to doctor to be sure.. ill be 60 in march.. DO NOT BUY OR USE THESE

  • Jennifer

    I bought gc at a vitamin place out of curiosity that it might help with my little weight issue uh nope I think I did more harm than good since day one I have been extremely dizzy with nausea migraines so extreme my own son had to help me walk to the bath room not to mention heart palpations accompanied with stomach illness I was sick so here I am tonight after reading this I have come to the conclusion that gc is bad for me and I pray that the side affects are not lasting and will go away even though it states to take three a day pill I only took one a day that was too much please note results do vary person to person I’m just one that can not toleratee this product

  • Kelly

    I started the Garcinia cambogia Patch 6 days ago. I have been in pain thinking I had a kidney stone or a sciatic nerve issue or a pulled muscle . My kidneys hurt and than it turned into massive leg pain. The pain throbbed threw my left leg. I just took off the patch . Waste of money. This stuff is bad for you

    • Jai

      Omg im experiencing the same thing. My left leg has throbbing pain. No more GC pills for me. Has anyone tried the raspberry ketone pills? If so, how are they?

  • Cesare

    Hi, yes I have used for few days and I ended in ambulance because I fainted on the train on my way back from the city. I stopped taking them, but after a week I thought that the cause could be something also and I had one more, result I was shopping and I fainted again. (Back in an ambulance)
    I though I was wrong about the GC and a month after I had one more, result I ended in emergence hospital because I fainted again.
    Could not believe how this tablets can be sold in the market when people are having to risk that much.
    They should be taken out from the market.

    • fa statet

      I have been experiencing the same symptoms. How long did it take for yours to go away? I feel so disappointed and discouraged with the dizziness. I feel like I’m going to faint multiple times a day.

  • dee1980

    Before these pills I was a very active person. Ran everyday. Watched what I ate. I only took these pills 1x a day for a week. So far all I do is eat. To a point where I cant stop. My body feels gross. Im so completely exausted to a point where my eyes are closing by themselves. Yesterday. I went to breakfast. Got home and I felt like someone was drilling holes into both sides of my stomach. I swear I could have rolled over and died. Im so tossing these. Worst mistake of my life.

    • Kisha

      I have been taking this product for 2 weekes and all I do is he also really a waste of time

  • Wilkinsons

    I’ve been taking Garcinia Max 3500g now for 4 days (today will be my 5th day), recommended dosage is 3 per day. I’ve had no side-effects. I have insomnia and had restless nights every night but have been sleeping very well since taking these capsule although I have changed my diet and now have a fitness regime. I never exercised and I ‘was’ a stress eater. The same day I started taking these capsules I purchased a Fitbit Flex, which I keep on my wrist 24/7, which tracks my sleeping habits, my calorie intake, my steps, my water intake and much more. In the last 4 days I have lost 2kgs while eating healthy, I feel great and have more energy

  • Aimee

    I started taking them a few days ago and I cannot stop eating, its non stop i eat then im still hungry. I suppose itl put on weight and il have to stop :( ha

  • Maggie

    I’ve been taking GC for about 3 weeks and started getting the bumps and itching right away on my back. It did not occur to me what was causing it. I’ve been very emotional, as well.

  • Jane Jensen Mazurs

    I started taking the suggested dose of the capsules for one bottle and saw no weight loss. I then took 2 capsules 2 times a day and developed a rash/redness in the urinary area, but I then lost weight 5 lbs in a week. Although i haven’t been drinking enough water. I’m going to try drinking more water and go back to the recommended directions, to see if the rash improves. I think my urine is concentrated with the fruit acid and causing my urinary area discomfort.

  • Fay Council

    I took the GC to lose weight for a church event. After taking them for a few days, I noticed I started itching on my back and my husband noticed these bumps everywhere on my back, i was having really bad sweats, real bad cramps and I also started having heart palpitations. I even noticed that my mobility in my body had decreased to the point to where I began to crawl up the stairs. Of course by now, I had stopped taking the pills. This was in March, 2013. In July,2013 I went to ER because of the bumps and found out that I had had a heart attack. I ended up having a double by pass. I am a 50 yr old and had no prior health problems. Please beware.

  • Lindsay

    Wow, I’m glad I found this page! Finally some answers. I got the Garcinia (green bottle) the one that is “just pay for shipping”. I took it for 2 days and had a lot of diarrhea, fatigue and worst of all irritable! This stuff is as we say in San Diego, NO BUENO!

    • Fay Council

      Please be careful, don’t allow it to do to you, what it done to me.

  • Cfender

    I took one of these capsules on a Monday, I started having light cramps which rapidly increased to excruciating pain, nausea, sweating and diarrhea. I have only taken the one pill and I’m on day 4 of not being able to eat anything. Ofcorse I have lost 4 lbs in 4 days but this is not healthy. Going to have my liver enzymes checked. Please don’t take this product!

    • Fay Council

      How are you feeling now?

  • erica

    I been taking them for almost a month and have been losing only inches in d stomach area daily my stomach is way smaller since I started whic h is what I wanted :) but they do have side affects but notthing serious on my end I hve to poop every other day now n have cramps sometimes if v I up t he dosage that day. Mines tell me to take 3 pills breakfast 3 pills lunch 3 pills dinner. Yess that’s 9 pills a day! Not including the extra patassium and calcium pills to take along with it. But I only sometimes take 4-6 a day

  • Lesley gascoyne

    I’ve been taking theses for 4 days now with the detox plus, I am so desperate just to loose a stone,
    My metabolism doesn’t work properly so no diet helps me to loose weight but I don’t gain it either.
    I have had chronic dioreah for 4 days I feel like my stomach has been ripped apart I eat then 10 min later I have chronich stomach cramps and if we go has made me very sore and uncomfortable
    I eat healthy work 110 hours a week and I’m allways on my feet racing about
    Going to give it a week to see if it helps me

  • gillian

    Been taking Garcinia 50pc HCA for 4 days. Experienced headaches and severe constipation. Also makes me hungry yet I have previously not been having food cravings since I have been on a low carbon diet. After reading these comments I am throwing my bottle of garcinia into the Bin!

  • Autumn

    I’ve been taking the Garcina in the form of NOW brand Super Citrimax. I’ve been taking it for six weeks and I’ve lost 14 lbs so far. I have been taking two capsules an hour before each meal and it has literally stopped all my cravings. I was such a sugaraholic prior to trying the Garcina and now, no cravings for any kind of junk food at all. NONE! Plus, it controls my appetite like you would not believe. I have to remember to eat now. I am rarely ever hungry any more, which makes it’s real easy to make healthier choices when I do eat. I did experience some constipation after a few weeks but drinking extra water seems to have fixed that. I can hardly believe the results I’m seeing. I am 56 yrs old and have osteoarthritis in my knees and spine, so I’m not able to exercise daily. All I have been able to do is take this supplement and hope for the best so that I can lose enough weight to begin exercising again.

  • Maria

    I just started 2 days ago and I’m having a stomach upset and pain,and makes me hungry so I guess I have to stop.

  • Lucylu

    I’ve been taking this for two weeks my energy levels are great but my hunger increased since day one now I’m 5lbs heavier and eating like crazy

  • Sarah

    Thanks so much for all the input! I have been researching and trying to see which brand to buy and also whether or not these capsules had any side effects whatsoever but couldn’t find anything. There are a lot of mix reviews on here so my only question is what brands did you guys purchase? Cause there are lots of cheap and fake ones out there and which brand is the best?

  • suelynn

    For the many people having side affects, you may be allergic, sensitive to the high dosage, not eating/exercising, possibly just detoxing, or taking more than you should etc. So far I’ve been feeling great! I’ve just been hungry…but for healthy food! I look at packaged or junk food and I feel like I want to just vomit. Yet when I look at veggies, fruits, or whole grains I get this craving for it. Very odd!Even WATER!!

  • Sabrina

    I started taking these just after new years (I thought they could be a resolution cheat). After about a week, I was feeling totally drained and dizzy all the time, but I was seeing some amazing results, so I just reduced the dose a little and kept taking them. About four days into the second week I was in the shower and fainted. Luckily, I didn’t injure myself, but I did stop taking them immediately. About a week after stopping with GC, I started to feel more energetic and normal again. Don’t take these; they’re a mess.

  • Cam

    I just took my first garcinia cambogia pill today (about 10:15a) by 10:45a, I had a terrible stomach pains in the core of my abdomen. I then ran to the bathroom thinking that my breakfast may have caused the reaction (which by the way was one egg and one piece of wheat toast) but when I finished, i suddenly had to vomit. I have been in the bed, trying to recoup. I’ve never had a reaction like that with any diet pill I’ve ever used. I’m done with these pills.

  • Ana

    I started these 15 days ago. Using the GNC ones. The first week was ok, but after the second week, I began to feel nauseous. Yesterday I started to vomit, it has been really bad. It feels like there is something stuck in my throat and I have read that it can sometimes cause throat inflammation which is probably what I have.
    I stopped them immediately after the vomiting began. However a day later, I am still vomiting every couple of hours. Have no appetite at all & I feel listless, have no energy whatsoever, feel depressed and am afraid that I may have damaged my liver.
    Please do not take these pills.

  • Amber

    I had only taken GC for 3 days (2 a day). I felt pretty wired on them but it was tolerable. On the 4th day I hadn’t taken one before work and an hour into my shift out of nowhere I suddenly felt extremely emotional to the point of bursting into tears and I was having a panic attack, it took an hour until I was able to calm myself down. I knew immediately it must’ve been due to the effect GC has on seratonin. I decided that day to stop taking them. This was over 10 days ago and I’m still experiencing anxiety attacks and feel like I have the flu. My symptoms are that of SSRI withdrawal. I do have a history of mild anxiety and depression so I would strongly urge people with those issues to NOT TAKE THESE PILLS. I’m very scared I’ll never get back to normal as it’s been over a week and no signs of any change. It’s just shocking to me because I had only taken it a few days.

    • Lindsay

      Don’t worry, it will go away. I have similar problems, and I can see after 2 days that these pills are no good for me! Don’t psyche yourself out though, you’ll get better!

    • keyna

      Doesnt sound like a side effect. It sounds like you had the flu.

  • Leslie

    I been taking GC for a week i have been going through it I have heart palpitations,anxiety ,caugh,stomach cramps and headaches I’ve been of the pill for 2days and still exsperiencing side affects hope it go away soon

    • Fay Council

      You may want to check those heart palpitations it. I had them too and I had a heart attack. Please check it out!!!!

  • Andi

    I’ve been on GC for 1.5 weeks. The last few days I have been experiencing a mild to moderate headache, tension in my neck, lack of energy, and for a few hours after I take a dose, I feel “cracked out”. I seem to be more irritable too. I am drinking plenty of water and getting adequate sleep. I thought I was experiencing eye strain, but I have taken all of the necessary precautions to avoid that. I’m stopping this drug today. I’m an RN, and know better than to stay on it with these symptoms.

  • Be

    I experienced no weight loss. Took this supplement for 3-4 months. Recently I’ve gained weight. I cannot lose it and now I’m hungry all the time. Not sure if stopping will make it worse. I think it hurt my metabolism some how.

    • Fay Council

      When I was admitted in the hospital, I had little to no metabolism. Get checked out..

  • Sofia

    I have been taking Garcinia Cambogia for over a week now almost 2 and I have not lost any weight. However, on the bottle it advises to use 2 pills 1 – 2 hours before meals for weight loss and 1 pill 1 – 2 hours before meals for satiety dosage. My interest was not to lose weight but surpress my appetite or control my cravings. I have noticed I am kind of “bloated” and yes gas-y. I am assuming this is normal as fruit can do this to me.

    Another thing I also noticed is that I only eat 1 core meal a day and for the remainder of my day I may eat a banana or a cheese strings (that’s all!). Anyone else experience the same?

    I would still recommend this product to many people; but first consult a professional about your health.


  • yahi

    I’ve been taking CG for two weeks. I have noticed a change on my belly and also the back of my legs. The bottle says 3000mg per day so I take 4 to 6 500mg daily. 1 before bedtime with no food. Now for side effect I’ve been getting slight headaches aside from my migraines. Ive been getting Migraines since I was a kid, so it might sound crazy but I tell that the CG is adding the extra. On my second week, at like around four in the morning, I started getting nausea it was bad but I figured it was because I wasnt drinking as much water. Its been three days and I still feeling the same just not as bad. I’m going to start taking the CG again, now that I let my body rest a little but this time I’m going to drink lot and lots of water… Lol

  • Sherday

    Yes me too with the vomiting ,diarrhea , and chills.. my stomach is so upset not really able to eat …. and when I do only small amounts after I’m done eating I’m back in the restroom

  • Teresa Kellogg

    Have been taking this for a couple days down a couple no diet change. Exercised on my eliptical twenty min per day.Some cramps..

  • sandy

    I started taking garcinia cambogia some time back and had to stop
    because after a few days I become tired and felt kinda depressed.
    Energy level got worse and appetite started to increase so I stopped.
    I started it again yesterday am. Felt less hunger and okay but today
    I had to stop it again. Felt very tired, hungry and down. I do not
    take any anti depressants but have a past history of anxiety. This
    is a warning to those with this problem. Beware !!! I remember a
    doctor told me years ago to stay aware from any herbal pills but I
    had forgotten and wanted to give it a try…..

  • cherie

    I’ve been taking pure GC. 6 a day (the recommended dose) 200 mg. No head aches or discomfort. No rash. I did poop a lot but seemingly healthy poops. I feel I eat when stressed. So I’m not sure whether my increased hunger is circumstancial or not. I feel lighter and slimmer in just a week. I’ve lost a couple pounds. We’ll see. I believe it will work.

  • C. Black

    I’ve tried all kinds of diet supplements. When the new GC came out I was excited to try it! I used it for 3 weeks and than i started getting sharp pain in my head, I’m tired all the time. I can’t sleep..I feel drained out so I stopped using it. Natural dieting and exercises is the best and safe way to loosing weight.

  • Liam

    Been taking 3 a day for two and a half weeks. No side effects, but pretty decent results. I’ve lost about of my belly fat (and about 8 pounds), sleep like a baby and feel great! Mind you I’ve made some lifestyle changes. NO alcohol, balanced high protein diet and a half hour a day of a tread mill. It seems to be working great. Sorry to those who had a bad experience, but keep with diet and exercise any way.

  • ceilidh

    Ive been on this for a week now and i have only lost 2 pounds but I have side effects dizziness upset stomach cramps a little cold, I just feel so drained and run down. I honestly think im going to stop taking them cause i just feel ill and its horrible.

    • Lana Avaloz

      Love what you wrote and I have been taking them for only one week and its awful.Headaches and after first few days appetite actually increased and frequent urination, and I am not drinking any caffeinated drinks so I thought it strange that I would have to urinate so often , also extreme fatigue / weakness can hardly do house chores or drive..Flue like symptoms for sure with rapid heart palpitations …Well the old way is the best way , exercise and eating right !!!

      • Fay Council

        I hope you’re okay, I ended up having a heart attack. GET CHECKEDOUT

  • Dolly

    I never wrote a review before, but I have tried so many pills always herbal just to be in race to lose weight.
    After reading too much about garnicia combodia, saw Dr Oz comments. Anyway I ordered Miracle brand. So I took 1 each day for 2 days, night couldn’t sleep and had horrible headache, dizziness. I did not took the capsule today and stopped so I can start thinking clearly.
    I know that we all know losing weight can not be a miracle. It took so much time to gain those extra 10kg. Not going to come out easy. Healthy diet and exercise is the key. We all know it but always looking for quick fix. These companies keep bringing new products on shelf to empty our pockets. If there is a miracle pill, then they should be only selling that one.
    Please don’t risk your health & waste ur money.


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