Cola Nut

18/Description

About

Cola nut is the seed of the cola nut plant. Cola nut is used widely in Nigeria and many West African countries as part of traditional hospitality, cultural, and social ceremonies. It is also used to make medicine.

Cola nut is used for short-term relief of fatigue, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), melancholy, lack of normal muscle tone (atony), exhaustion, dysentery, a type of diarrhea called atonic diarrhea, weight loss, and migraine headaches.

In foods and beverages, cola nut is used as a flavoring ingredient.

How it works

Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles.

Effectiveness

Not Proven
Weight loss

Some early research, sponsored by a product manufacturer, suggests that taking cola nut in combination with ephedra and willow bark by mouth for up to 6 months might cause modest weight loss in overweight and obese people. But this combination might not be appropriate for weight loss due to safety concerns related to ephedra. Ephedra is banned in the U.S. due to severe adverse effects.

Depression
Exhaustion
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
Dysentery
Diarrhea
Anorexia
Migraines
Mental and physical fatigue
Other conditions

Concerns

Likely safe

Cola nut is LIKELY SAFE for most people when consumed in amounts found in foods

Possibly safe

Cola nut is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, short-term. The caffeine in cola nut can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate and respiration, and other side effects

Possibly unsafe

When cola nut is used medicinally in larger amounts or for a long period of time, it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Chewing cola nut is associated with an increased risk of mouth cancer and gastrointestinal cancer. Also, due to its caffeine content, large amounts of cola nut might cause headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and irregular heartbeats. Stopping the use of caffeine suddenly can sometimes result in headaches, irritation, nervousness, anxiety, and dizziness

Likely unsafe

Taking cola nut by mouth in very large doses is LIKELY UNSAFE due to its caffeine content. Very high doses of caffeine can cause death. The fatal dose is estimated to be about 10-14 grams; that's 150-200 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Children: Cola nut isLIKELY SAFEfor children when taken by mouth in amounts found in foods.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Cola nut is POSSIBLY SAFE when consumed during pregnancy and breast-feeding in food amounts. But larger amounts are POSSIBLY UNSAFE, as larger doses might provide too much caffeine for both pregnant and breast-feeding women. Mothers should keep caffeine consumption below 200 mg per day. This is similar to the amount of caffeine found in about 2 cups of coffee. Consuming larger amounts during pregnancy might increase the chance of miscarriage, early delivery, and low birth weight. Caffeine passes into breast milk, so nursing mothers should closely monitor cola nut intake to make sure it is on the low side. Caffeine from cola nut can cause sleep disturbances, irritability, and increased bowel activity in breast-fed infants.

Anxiety disorders: The caffeine in cola nut might make anxiety disorders worse.

Bleeding disorders: Cola nut contains caffeine, which might slow blood clotting. This makes some experts worry that cola nut might make bleeding disorders worse.

Heart conditions: Caffeine in cola nut might cause irregular heartbeat in certain people. Use cola nut with care if you have a heart condition.

Diabetes: Cola nut contains caffeine. Some research suggests that caffeine may affect the way the body uses sugar and might worsen diabetes. But the effect of caffeinated beverages and herbs has not been studied. Use cola nut with caution if you have diabetes.

Diarrhea: Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.

Glaucoma: The caffeine in cola nut might increase pressure inside the eye. The increase might occur within 30 minutes and persist for at least 90 minutes.

High blood pressure: The caffeine in cola nut might increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this doesn't seem to occur in people who regularly consume cola nut or other products that contain caffeine.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.

Weak bones (osteoporosis): The caffeine in cola nut might increase the amount of calcium that is flushed out in the urine. If you have osteoporosis or low bone density, caffeine should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (approximately 2-3 cups of coffee). It's also a good idea to get extra calcium to make up for the amount that may be lost in the urine. Older women with an inherited disorder that affects the way vitamin D is used should use caffeine with caution. Vitamin D works with calcium to build bones.

Surgery: Cola nut might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using cola nut at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Major
Amphetamines

Stimulant drugs such as amphetamines speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and increase your heart rate. The caffeine in cola nut might also speed up the nervous system. Taking caffeine along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with cola nut.

Cocaine

Stimulant drugs such as cocaine speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and increase your heart rate. The caffeine in cola nut might also speed up the nervous system. Taking cola nut along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with cola nut.

Ephedrine

Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. The caffeine in cola nut and ephedrine are both stimulant drugs. Taking cola nut along with ephedrine might cause too much stimulation and sometimes serious side effects and heart problems. Do not take caffeine-containing products such as cola nut and ephedrine at the same time.

Moderate
Adenosine (Adenocard)

Cola nut contains caffeine. The caffeine in cola nut might block the effects of adenosine (Adenocard). Adenosine (Adenocard) is often used by doctors to do a test on the heart. This test is called a cardiac stress test. Stop consuming cola nut or other caffeine-containing products at least 24 hours before a cardiac stress test.

Alcohol

The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Alcohol can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking cola nut along with alcohol might cause too much caffeine in the bloodstream and caffeine side effects including jitteriness, headache, and fast heartbeat.

Clozapine (Clozaril)

The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Some antibiotics might decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking these antibiotics along with cola nut might increase the risk of side effects including jitteriness, headache, increased heart rate, and other side effects.Some antibiotics that decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).The body breaks down clozapine (Clozaril) to get rid of it. The caffeine in cola nut might decrease how quickly the body breaks down clozapine (Clozaril). Taking cola nut along with clozapine (Clozaril) might increase the effects and side effects of clozapine (Clozaril).

Dipyridamole (Persantine)

Cola nut contains caffeine. The caffeine in cola nut might block the effects of dipyridamole (Persantine). Dipyridamole (Persantine) is often used by doctors to do a test on the heart. This test is called a cardiac stress test. Stop consuming cola nut or other caffeine-containing products at least 24 hours before a cardiac stress test.

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Disulfiram (Antabuse) can decrease how quickly the body gets rid of caffeine. Taking cola nut along with disulfiram (Antabuse) might increase the effects and side effects of caffeine including jitteriness, hyperactivity, irritability, and others.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox)

The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Estrogens can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking estrogens along with cola nut might cause jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and other side effects. If you take estrogens, limit your caffeine intake.Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking caffeine along with fluvoxamine (Luvox) might cause too much caffeine in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of caffeine.

Lithium

Your body naturally gets rid of lithium. The caffeine in cola nut can increase how quickly your body gets rid of lithium. If you take products that contain caffeine and you take lithium, stop taking caffeine products slowly. Stopping caffeine too quickly can increase the side effects of lithium.

Nicotine

Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine can stimulate the heart. Some medications for asthma can also stimulate the heart. Taking cola nut with some medications for asthma might cause too much stimulation and cause heart problems.Some medications for asthma include albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, Volmax), metaproterenol (Alupent), terbutaline (Bricanyl, Brethine), and isoproterenol (Isuprel).Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine can stimulate the body. Some medications used for depression can also stimulate the body. Taking cola nut with these medications used for depression might cause too much stimulation. This could cause serious side effects including fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, nervousness, and others.Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine might slow blood clotting. Using caffeine containing substances, such as cola nut, along with medications that slow clotting might increase the risk of bleeding.Some of these drugs include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), dipyridamole (Persantine), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.Stimulant drugs such as nicotine speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and increase your heart rate. The caffeine in cola nut might also speed up the nervous system. Taking caffeine along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with caffeine.

Pentobarbital (Nembutal)

The stimulant effects of the caffeine in cola nut might block the sleep-producing effects of pentobarbital.

Phenylpropanolamine

The caffeine in cola nut can stimulate the body. Phenylpropanolamine can also stimulate the body. Taking cola nut along with phenylpropanolamine might cause too much stimulation and increase heartbeat, blood pressure, and cause nervousness.

Riluzole (Rilutek)

The body breaks down riluzole (Rilutek) to get rid of it. Taking cola nut might decrease how fast the body breaks down riluzole (Rilutek) and increase the effects and side effects of riluzole.

Theophylline

Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and speed up your heart rate. Caffeine in cola nut might also speed up the nervous system. Taking cola nut along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure.Some stimulant drugs include diethylpropion (Tenuate), epinephrine, phentermine (Ionamin), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), and many others.Cola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine works similarly to theophylline. Caffeine can also decrease how quickly the body gets rid of theophylline. Taking cola nut along with theophylline might increase the effects and side effects of theophylline.

Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)

The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan) can decrease how fast the body gets rid of caffeine. Taking cola nut along with verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan) can increase the risk of side effects from caffeine including jitteriness, headache, and an increased heartbeat.

Minor
Cimetidine (Tagamet)

The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Birth control pills can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking cola nut along with birth control pills might cause jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and other side effects.Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Cimetidine (Tagamet) can decrease how quickly your body breaks down caffeine. Taking cimetidine (Tagamet) along with cola nut might increase the chance of caffeine side effects including jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and others.

Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Cola nut contains caffeine. The body breaks down caffeine to get rid of it. Fluconazole (Diflucan) might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of caffeine. This could cause caffeine to stay in the body too long and increase the risk of side effects such as nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia.

Mexiletine (Mexitil)

Cola nut contains caffeine. There is conflicting evidence that caffeine might either increase or decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. Taking some medications for diabetes along with caffeine-containing substances such as cola nut might decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.Cola nut contains caffeine. The body breaks down caffeine to get rid of it. Mexiletine (Mexitil) can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking cola nut along with mexiletine (Mexitil) might increase the effects and side effects of caffeine.

Terbinafine (Lamisil)

Cola nut contains caffeine. The body breaks down the caffeine in cola nut to get rid of it. Terbinafine (Lamisil) can decrease how fast the body gets rid of caffeine. Taking cola nut along with terbinafine (Lamisil) can increase the risk of caffeine side effects including jitteriness, headache, and an increased heartbeat.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.