Turmeric & Curcumin Side Effects & Interactions

Turmeric Side Effects

Excess of anything is bad, and the same goes for spices too. When you overdose on the curry spice, it may have possible side effects. Besides, turmeric and its bioactive compound curcumin interact with certain medications. So you should be aware of these prescription medicines that have interaction and side effects.


  • Opening Remarks
  • Possible Side Effects
  • Turmeric’s Quality Associated Side Effects
  • Turmeric interactions


Turmeric is a bright-orange flavored spice that has been used in Asian as well as Middle Eastern cuisines. So the new trend these days is ‘Supplements of turmeric or curcumin.’ Therefore, the public is concerned about the side effects of high or overdosing turmeric supplements. Also, turmeric and curcumin side effects and interactions may have with other drugs or medications. People often confuse turmeric with Javanese turmeric root or tree turmeric, zedoary, or goldenseals, which are different plants, sometimes called turmeric.

Let’s continue with what the study and research say…


Turmeric Products:

Supplements that provide 8-10 grams of curcumin are considered safe. So use accessories ranging from 8-10 grams of curcumin powder.

Turmeric, when taken by Mouth:

It is safer for short-term use if taken by mouth. However, some people may experience forbearing side effects, i.e., stomach discomfort, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, skin rash, or dizziness.

Turmeric Application on the Skin

Its application is secure on the skin and inside the Mouth when used as a mouthwash. Also, it is possibly safe when used as an enema.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding:

Smaller amounts of turmeric spice in foods are okay. Please don’t use it during pregnancy in extended doses, as it can put the pregnancy at risk. Also, don’t use turmeric during breastfeeding.

Gallbladder/ Bile duct obstruction/ Kidney stones:

 Turmeric can worsen gallbladder issues. Also, there is around 2{34cea586b088e0fd38e818617229a3e2b6cc2afe33580d7d159a9fdadf46af5c} oxalate in turmeric, which can form kidney stones if overdosed.


Evidently, taking turmeric may slow blood clotting and build the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Hormone-sensitive conditions (breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids):

Curcumin in turmeric acts like an estrogen hormone. So use it with caution.

Infertility Risk:

Turmeric can decrease testosterone levels and sperm count, reducing fertility. It should be used cautiously by couples desiring a baby.

Liver disease:

Until more is known, so don’t use turmeric by Mouth if you have liver disease.


As turmeric slows blood clotting, stop using turmeric at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Turmeric interaction with drugs

Its side effects vary from person to person. Formally, Turmeric & Curcumin Side Effects Interactions can result in moderate and mild interactions with some medications and drugs.

Curcumin or turmeric is safe to use, while some research states that it can affect how your body processes some medications you take,i.e.,

  • antibiotics
  • anticoagulants
  • antidepressants
  • antihistamines
  • cardiovascular drugs
  • chemotherapeutic agents

Interactions are further divided into two:

  1. Moderate interactions
  2. Mild interactions

Moderate Interactions:

Following are the moderate interaction turmeric curcumin may have:

Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs interact with turmeric.

Warfarin (Coumadin) slows blood clotting. Whereas eating turmeric with warfarin increases the risks of bleeding and bruising.

Antidiabetic drugs interact with turmeric.

Using turmeric with diabetes medications cause blood sugar level to drop too low.

Talinolol & Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) interaction with turmeric curcumin

Taking turmeric along with talinolol and Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) may negate the effects of talinolol.

Medications for cancer /Antitumor antibiotics/Topoisomerase I inhibitors interaction

Antioxidants in turmeric decrease the effects of some medications for cancer; further, seek advice beforehand from your doctor before taking turmeric.

Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs) Interaction

Some medicines can be harmful to the liver. So don’t use turmeric with medication for the liver.


Mild Interactions

Medications changed by the liver:

Explicitly, the liver changes and breaks some medications. But turmeric changes the scheme of how fast the liver breaks down these medications. These medications are as follows:

  • (Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1)
  • (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2)
  • (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)

Estrogen turmeric interaction

Generally, significant amounts of turmeric interfere with estrogen levels and can decrease estrogen effects.

Following are the Estrogen pills:

  • Conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin)
  • Ethinyl estradiol
  • Estradiol

Other interactions

  • Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein Substrates)
  • Paclitaxel (Abraxane, Onxol
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Glyburide (Diabeta)

Hence, always be watchful while using turmeric and the drugs mentioned above/medications.

Turmeric’s Quality Associated Side Effects

Commercially available turmeric powders are not always pure. Some are adulterated with metanil yellow or lead. Therefore, cheap and toxic ingredients have been added but are not listed on the product label. It may contain fillers, i.e., starch, barley, wheat, or rye flour,

Using turmeric with fillers can cause adverse side effects in people with gluten intolerance. In India, metanil yellow or acid yellow 36 are often used as a food colorant. However, animal studies revealed that acid yellow 36 causes:

  • Cancer

  • Neurological damage (use in high doses)

Finally, it is unlawful in the United States and Europe. Always make sure you use turmeric that is free of all impurities.



Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 2006–. Turmeric. 2022 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30000906/ Mar 21. PMID: 30000906.

Bahramsoltani R, Rahimi R, Farzaei MH. Pharmacokinetic interactions of curcuminoids with conventional drugs: A review. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28734960/ J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Sep 14;209:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.07.022. Epub 2017 Jul 19. PMID: 28734960.


Taiba Tariq

Taiba Tariq is a healthcare nutrition hobbyist, enthusiastic about researching healthcare & skincare news while analyzing the latest and science-backed evidence about nutrition, skin care, and supplements. She wants to help people regain their beauty, health, and well-being through natural means.

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