tell me your pregnenolone experience - is it safe?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Shannonsparkles, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Sounds like it could help me, especially in the memory area. FFC wants me to take it to help my memory and low testosterone. I'm a little worried by some of the side effects listed here. Does anyone have personal experience with it? Below is an article I scooped about it.

    Thanks for letting me know how it is working for you!
    ((((thanks)))) Shannon

    What is it?
    Pregnenolone serves as a precursor to other hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and progesterone.1

    The functions of pregnenolone in the body are not well known. It has been suggested the role of pregnenolone in the body is to serve as a "mother steroid" (precursor hormone). Aside from that role, it has no known functions in the body.

    Many effects of pregnenolone on the nervous system have been studied. Rat studies indicate powerful memory-enhancing effects,2 far beyond that of other neuroactive substances.3 4 In healthy men aged 20 to 30, administration of pregnenolone (1 mg daily) was found to improve sleep quality and decrease intermittent wakefulness.5

    It has been suggested this hormone may play a role in the neuroendocrine response to stress. In a study of airplane pilots subjected to stress, administration of pregnenolone (25 mg twice daily) improved performance without causing adverse side effects.6 In a study of the stress response in rats, an increase in anxiety was observed following administration of pregnenolone. The researchers suggested this was a beneficial response during a stressful period and was initiated through the nervous system.7

    In a study of rats subjected to spinal cord injury, administration of pregnenolone in combination with the anti-inflammatory medication indomethacin (Indocin®) and an immune-modulating substance (bacterial lipopolysaccharide) promoted recovery of nerve function. The effect was more pronounced with combination therapy than with any one of these substances given singly or in combinations of two. Pregnenolone has not been studied in humans with spinal cord injuries.8

    Pregnenolone appears to exhibit an antagonistic effect on the calming receptors in the brain (gamma-amino butyric acid [GABA] receptors), resulting in an excitatory effect. It is possible this alteration in nervous system transmission could contribute to seizure activity.9 10

    Steroid hormones are known to affect mood and behavior via effects on the nervous system. In people with either current depression or a history of depression, pregnenolone in the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that bathes the brain) was significantly lower, than levels in healthy people. In addition, it was found that patients with active depression had lower levels of pregnenolone compared with those with a prior history of depression.11

    In a double-blind study of elderly women with wrinkles, daily application of a 0.5% pregnenolone acetate cream improved the visible wrinkling of the skin. When the treatment was discontinued, the benefit was not maintained. Because the results were only temporary, it is suggested the beneficial effect of the cream was due to improved hydration of the skin.12

    Researchers have reported on the use of pregnenolone in a variety of rheumatologic diseases. In a study of pregnenolone therapy (intramuscular injection, 50–600 mg daily) for rheumatoid arthritis, six of eleven people experienced moderate to marked improvement in symptoms of joint pain and joint mobility. The symptom improvement was apparent two to four days after therapy was initiated. In a study of 13 adults with osteoarthritis, pregnenolone therapy reduced the pain and improved the range of motion in seven of the study participants. Pain recurred when therapy was discontinued. In a person who suffered from gouty arthritis that was unresponsive to conventional medications, pregnenolone therapy resulted in a dramatic response within three days of initiating therapy. This patient received 300 mg daily of pregnenolone (by intramuscular injection) for four weeks, followed by 200 mg weekly of pregnenolone as a maintenance amount. This study of pregnenolone therapy in rheumatologic diseases also reports a substantial benefit in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriasis, and scleroderma. Of the 59 people reported in this paper, the only adverse effect was redness or pain at the site of injection. No systemic adverse effects were reported.13

    Where is it found?
    The cells of both the adrenal gland and the central nervous system synthesize pregnenolone. Human studies show there are much higher concentrations of pregnenolone in the nervous tissue, than in the bloodstream.14 Animal studies indicate the concentration of pregnenolone in the brain is ten-fold higher than that of other stress-related hormones (including DHEA).15 Pregnenolone is present in the blood as both free pregnenolone and a more stable form, pregnenolone-sulfate.

    Who is likely to be deficient?
    Since it is not an essential nutrient, pregnenolone is not associated with a deficiency state.

    How much is usually taken?
    Pregnenolone is generally available in amounts of 10 to 30 mg. It is not known what an appropriate intake is for humans or whether the benefits of taking this hormone outweigh the risks.

    Are there any side effects or interactions?
    Due to its antagonistic effects on the GABA receptor in the central nervous system, supplementation with pregnenolone could cause problems in people with a history of seizures. Pregnenolone supplementation may increase the levels of progesterone and DHEA in the body and possibly the levels of other hormones (testosterone and estradiol). In theory, pregnenolone could cause disturbances in the endocrine system, which may manifest as changes in the menstrual cycle or the development or aggravation of hormone sensitive diseases (including breast and prostate cancer). The side effects and interactions with other therapies are currently unknown.

    At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with pregnenolone.

  2. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    The only problem I had with it is that it seems to slant toward cascading down and making estradiol instead of the DHEA the alternative practitioner was going for. I started getting very tender breasts before my period.

    So I was put on 7-Keto instead. This is supposed to NOT convert to estrogen, but I had the tender breasts anyway.
  3. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    She said i could if i wanted to but other patients had some bad experiences with it. She said their necks got thick and they had other complications I can't think of--I think weight gain. That was enough of a precaution for me to leave it alone. Blessings--Jen102
  4. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I've been taking 25 mg pregnenolone for two months, and have had no negative side effects.

    I've been feeling much better since I started taking it. I think that is probably due to more things than just the pregnenolone, though. I'm also taking T3 and Cortef. And I've started probiotics, aloe & lemon, Stormy's shake and just generally eating healthier. I'm sure it's a combo of all these things that I am feeling better.

    Since making these changes, including taking T3, pregnenolone and Cortef, I have had less pain, more energy and fewer flares. The flares I have had are shorter in duration and less intense.

    I'd give pregnenolone a thumbs up.

  5. Jasmine

    Jasmine New Member

    I've been taking Pregnenolone 30 mg for about six years now and I've had no side effects. I started at a higher dosage but then the former Dr. Poesnecker reduced me to 30 mg and started me on 2 pills of 7-keto. All I can say is that the pregnenolone really helped my sex drive a lot. I found the 7-keto more helpful as it gave me energy and no more headaches or depression.

    Love, Jasmine
  6. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Shannon

    I took both of them in moderate doses for over 6 months, along with some herbal HRT alterntives, I had no problems with them and they helped take the edge off hormone related symptoms. Saliva tests for DHEAs, cortisol, and my sex hormones helped in making this choice. Previously I had been Rx low doses of cortef but the results were disappointing.

    Ironically natural progesterone made things worse for me but this combo helped.

    love, Tansy
  7. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Rather than taking the hormone directly, is there something you can take to help your body produce it?

    Thank you. :)
  8. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    consulting a hormone handout from the FFC reprinted from Practical Pain Management (April 2005), it shows that pregnenelone is produced from cholesterol, so aside from gobbling up big macs, you should probably go straight to the pregnenelone :) the author of the article seems to see pregnenelone through rose-colored glasses as he does not mention any of the side effects in your description. in fact, he states preg supplements "are inexpensive and appear very safe. there are no reported serious side effects even with daily dosages of several hundred milligrams." who knows who to believe anymore?!

  9. auntyemnga

    auntyemnga New Member

    because of the risk of increased estrogen. I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor and should never have been given this. I started this and the bio-id hormones 3 days apart from each other. My fatigue got much worse and had shooting pains in my breast. I was so scared about the shooting pains that I called my PCP and she scheduled a mammogram & ultrasound. I had not put 2 and 2 together (hormones & shooting pain).
    It ended up being benign cysts but I got a 'talking to' about taking anything that would increase my estrogen level. That's all it took...I stopped all hormones (including pregnenolone) immediately. The next day the disabling fatigue got better.
    I go for my next FFC visit next week. I'm afraid the dr is not going to be very happy with me.

  10. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    eddie, I could see how I'd be low in pregnenolone then... my cholesterol level was too low as well.
  11. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member


    you might ask the ffc for their hormone handouts. one is simply a list of the hormones and their actions, the other is an article entitled "Hormone Treatments in Chronic and Intractable Pain: An Emerging Practice," which contains th flow chart i mentioned with cholesterol as the starting point. i got mine from the atlanta office. not sure if they all have these handouts available?


    [This Message was Edited on 12/31/2005]
  12. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    FFC wants me to take 200mg. Should that be okay? I'll probably start with a really low dose and see how I do - I have really weird reactions sometimes.
  13. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    200 mg sounds pretty high to me. I take 25 mg. I get the 50 mg tablets and cut them in half. You might want to check with FFC to see why they want you to start so high. If that's really the dose they want you to take, you could start with a lower dose and work your way up.
  14. sofy

    sofy New Member

    to say how safe it is because we are all different and it will have a different effect on each of us.

    200mgs sounds like a very high dose and it would scare me a little. Most things I read say 5-10 mgs every few days. I take 25 mgs per day and have been for over 6 months.

    I havnt been able to read a book since before 2000 and am now using my library card again. The pregnenelone might be helping my cognitive ability but I cant say for sure.

    I also had my amalgams out and am going thru heavy metal detox so that could be the real help.

    Ive tried to slowly taper off the pregnenelone several times and when I suffered a horrible crash I thought pregnenelone could be the reason so went back up to 25mgs again.

    Have still had numerous crashed since but for now am going to stick with it.

    It definately has risks to it so ask your doc about what they can do to help moniter those risks while you give it a try.