April 22, 2022 4 min read

Alpha-GPC (also known as choline alphoscerate) is an essential lipid that helps regulate important processes, like the production of choline and regulation of nervous system functions. Some sources infer that supplementing with Alpha-GPC can help boost athletic performance and protect our cognition as we age.

If you're already convinced of Alpha-GPC's benefits and ready to move onto the next most important topic–what are Alpha-GPC side effects–you're in the right place. Let's talk about all the possible side effects you may experience with Alpha-GPC and how to avoid them:

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Table of Contents
Is Alpha-GPC Safe?
What are the Side Effects of Alpha-GPC?
Alpha-GPC Drug Interactions
Is Alpha-GPC Addictive?
Who Shouldn’t Take Alpha-GPC?
Alpha-GPC Side Effect FAQs

Key Takeaways

  • Alpha-GPC side effects are rare and almost always mild.
  • Alpha-GPC should not be taken with some medications, like those designed to block choline production.
  • You should talk to your doctor before taking Alpha-GPC if you take other supplements or prescription medications daily.
  • Most people can take Alpha-GPC without any complications, but you need to choose a high quality supplement.
A line of Alpha-GPC capsules, the most popular delivery method for daily Alpha-GPC dosing.

Is Alpha-GPC Safe?

Alpha-GPC is naturally found in the body and is thought to be harmless even when used in supplement form, assuming a high-quality alpha-GPC supplement is used responsibly. In the event that a poor quality or contaminated alpha-GPC supplement is used, you could experience a wide range of side effects. Typically, however, there are no serious or severe side effects associated with taking Alpha-GPC. Here's what you should look out for:

What are the Side Effects of Alpha-GPC?

Based on anecdotal reports and various trials, we know that Alpha-GPC side effects are rare and mild. Alpha-GPC is typically used for a period of up to 6 months, and we need more evidence to understand the potential side effects of long term use beyond 6 months. When using Alpha-GPC daily within a six month period, side effects may include:

Heartburn

Some people experience heartburn after taking alpha-GPC, which could be caused by capsules becoming trapped in the upper digestive tract. Some people use antacids to remedy this.

Headache

Medications that alter brain chemicals can possibly cause headaches, and headaches have been reported after taking larger alpha-GPC doses. Generally, these headaches are rare and mild, but severe headaches should be reported to your healthcare provider who recommended alpha-GPC supplementation.

Dizziness

Dizziness may come as a side effect related to headaches, although it has been infrequently reported on its own after taking larger doses of alpha-GPC. Discontinue use and consult your doctor if you feel dizzy after your Alpha-GPC dose.

Skin Rash

Typically, a skin rash is a sign of an allergic reaction and may be caused by other ingredients used in an alpha-GPC dose. Some people experience a rash after getting alpha-GPC injections. Using a high quality alpha-GPC supplement can minimize this risk.

Interactions With Other Supplements or Medications

Alpha-GPC could interact with certain prescription and over the counter medications, so it's important to discuss supplementation with your doctor before you begin. We'll discuss this more below.

A pill divider filled with daily supplements and medications, many of which are safe to take with Alpha-GPC.

Alpha-GPC Drug Interactions

There is not much research regarding Alpha-GPC drug interactions, but sources suggest that it could interact with a prescription drug called Scopolamine, which is designed to block choline production in the brain. Since Alpha-GPC may increase choline production, you shouldn't take it with any medication meant to suppress choline or if choline suppression is one of your wellness goals.

It's unknown whether Alpha-GPC interacts with other medications, but you should talk to your doctor if you take medications that impact neurological function, including:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Hormone altering medications

Is Alpha-GPC Addictive?

Nope! Alpha-GPC does not possess any properties that may make it addictive and there is little to no risk for dependency when supplementing with a high-quality Alpha-GPC product.

Who Shouldn't Take Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC is a naturally occurring compound in the body and is thought to be safe when used responsibly. There are no known severe side effects of taking alpha-GPC, but some people may want to avoid alpha-GPC and talk to their doctor before adding it to their wellness routine. This includes people who:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are high risk for heart attacks
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Frequently experience heartburn
  • Take a prescription drug called Scopolamine, which is designed to block choline production in the brain.

Avoiding Alpha-GPC side effects also means using a proper dosage and a high-quality supplement. To learn more, read "Alpha-GPC dosage."

Alpha-GPC Side Effects FAQ

Can you take Alpha-GPC everyday?

Yes, Alpha-GPC can be taken daily. Research suggests that it may be safe to take Alpha-GPC daily for a period of six months. Daily dosing is the best way to achieve a systemic response for optimal health effects.

Does Alpha GPC raise blood pressure?

Evidence suggests that Alpha-GPC may have vasorelaxant effects that could help lower blood pressure.

Is Alpha GPC safe long term?

Most research looks at the use of Alpha-GPC over the course of 3-6 months. There is no evidence to suggest that long term use is unsafe, but no studies have examined alpha-GPC's safety over a period longer than 6 months. If you believe you should take Alpha-GPC for a longer period of time, check with your doctor first.

Can pregnant women take Alpha-GPC?

There are no known contraindications for pregnant people taking Alpha-GPC, but there has also been no research to support the safety of supplementing with Alpha-GPC during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor before taking Alpha-GPC.


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