Is Glutathione Safe?
To help avoid possible complications with glutathione, safety concerns for the supplement should be discussed with a healthcare provider. For example, you may not be able to safely use glutathione if you have asthma, as glutathione can cause breathing problems. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of your existing conditions before taking glutathione. Safety precautions also apply to people who have certain allergies and to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced by the body and used in some dietary supplements. It is popular among practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking glutathione if you:
- Have asthma
- Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of glutathione include the following:
- Glutathione is a dietary supplement and is, therefore, not as closely regulated as prescription (or non-prescription) drugs. Also, it can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because it is sold in the United States that it is automatically safe or effective. Also, look for a glutathione product made by a reputable manufacturer (for oral glutathione) or a reputable pharmacy (for inhaled or injectable glutathione).
- There have been reports that inhaled glutathione can cause breathing problems in people with asthma. Check with your healthcare provider before taking glutathione if you have asthma.
- Glutathione can interact with some medications (see Glutathione Drug Interactions for more information).
- It is not known if glutathione supplements are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Glutathione and Pregnancy and Glutathione and Breastfeeding).