Published: 2 September 2015

Complementary Corner — Olive Leaf Extract

Prescriber Update 36(3): 34–35
September 2015

Healthcare professionals are reminded that dietary supplements can contain pharmacologically active ingredients that may cause adverse reactions. Olive leaf (Olea europaea) extract is one such dietary supplement, which is predominantly marketed to 'provide immune support'.

The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) has received three reports of gastrointestinal adverse reactions with the use of olive leaf extract products. In one case, the patient experienced nausea, epigastric pain and projectile vomiting soon after taking the product, followed by bouts of diarrhoea. In the other cases, the patients experienced vomiting or gastrointestinal pain.

Healthcare professionals are reminded to ask patients about their use of complementary medicines, including herbal and dietary supplements, and to report any suspected adverse reactions to CARM.