Pregnenolone: Side Effects, Uses, and Benefits For 2023

Published On: September 8, 2021Last Updated: December 7, 2022By Categories: Health & Wellness

To maintain a balance between work and good health, it’s crucial to eliminate any factor causing you to feel unwell and hindering your performance. Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone you can intake to increase your energy levels. However, before we start taking it, we should know the pregnenolone side effects.

Pregnenolone is the main steroid hormone produced from cholesterol in your body, acting as the precursor for other steroid hormones. You can also supplement pregnenolone through medication. Today, we will discuss pregnenolone in detail, the possible ways to increase its level, its benefits, and the side effects.

What is Pregnenolone?


Before diving into pregnenolone’s side effects, let’s understand what this hormone is. It is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland and cholesterol in the body. It acts as a foundation in other hormones production, such as estrogen, cortisol, and progesterone. Due to this originator role, “pro-hormone” and “precursor” are the two other aliases of pregnenolone.

Pregnenolone side effects result from its use to treat conditions like aging and various diseases. As pregnenolone takes a foundation role in other hormones production, people want to increase its level to spur the formation of other hormones. The result is a boost in energy and a feeling of youth. However, there is no scientific study yet that proves pregnenolone is effective for the production of other hormones.

Pregnenolone Uses

Before discussing pregnenolone’s side effects, let’s look at its uses. The common pregnenolone use is to cure adrenal insufficiency. In this case, the hormone supply from the adrenal glands is not sufficient. This insufficiency leads to deficiencies in the body, and pregnenolone can help reach the needed hormone level. Moreover, people consume pregnenolone supplements to improve the brain’s functions and fight fatigue, stress, depression, and menopausal conditions.

How to Use Pregnenolone?

The studies on the steroid hormone’s optimum dosage and the best way to use it are limited. Therefore, we cannot provide a recommended dosage of pregnenolone.

Using pregnenolone to cure a disease for which a remedy already exists can have serious consequences. Therefore, we suggest you avoid delaying and holding back on the prescribed medication for a particular disease and replacing it with a pregnenolone dosage. Always consult your physician before using any steroid hormone as a treatment.

Nevertheless, despite having limited research on the subject, a commonly taken pregnenolone dose can help us understand how to take pregnenolone. A typical pregnenolone dosage is 30 mg daily. For clinical deficiencies, the usually prescribed dose is 100 mg. However, for research purposes, the methodology reports up to 700 mg of pregnenolone use. The best way to determine the pregnenolone use is to discuss your case with a doctor. He/she would recommend the dosage according to your condition.

Some Precautions

Now that we know the pregnenolone uses and its typical doses, we must take certain precautions to minimize the pregnenolone side effects. The endocrine system takes care of the hormone balance in the body. Although hormones are essential for the efficient functioning of different body parts, their excessive intake can pose negative effects.

Before taking a pregnenolone dose, make sure your body is deficient and needs a steroid hormone. Unnecessary intake of pregnenolone can disturb your endocrine system. Also, ensure that any drug you’re simultaneously taking does not interact with pregnenolone. The steroid hormone subdues the effectiveness of Benzodiazepine drugs including Xanax and Valium, a sedative drug class.

Moreover, if you want to use pregnenolone as a supplement, know that they largely remain untested for safety. A huge proportion of these supplements also does not face regulation from a proper authority. Due to this, the supplements may have a different quantity from what’s written on the package. Furthermore, these supplements may come corrupted with substances such as metal. Therefore, they can be dangerous, especially for children and pregnant women, and can lead to various pregnenolone side effects. Always remember to consult with your physician before taking pregnenolone or any related supplements.

Pregnenolone Benefits

Countless health-related benefits of pregnenolone overshadow the pregnenolone side effects. Here are a few of them.

1. Depression


Pregnenolone is a strong steroid hormone scientifically proven by a study to combat depression. However, this research published in 2012 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America focused on animals (rats in particular).

The report concluded that pregnenolone is a crucial hormone that fights the abnormalities in the brain cell, which in turn cures depression. Although pregnenolone’s effectiveness in combating depression remains unclear on humans, the hormone does subside depression.

2. Memory


Another health benefit of pregnenolone for men and women is its curing power for age-related memory problems. Past researches on both humans and animals show that the hormone is effective to keep memory fresh.

A piece published in Brain Research Reviews in 2001 examined the existing studies on steroid hormones’ effectiveness to fight memory impairments in the aging brain. Like depression, pregnenolone was found very efficient at fending off cognitive weakness in animals. However, the report’s authors note that the researches done on pregnenolone’s ability to fight human memory impairment has shown uncertain results. While some studies indicated that the steroid hormone is good at restoring cognitive abilities in humans, other researches showed otherwise.

3. Autism


Despite the pregnenolone side effects, this hormone is an excellent combatant of autism. Most common in the younger population, this brain disorder limits the person’s ability to communicate with other people. The affected individual goes through a wide range of symptoms including obstacles with non-verbal communication, speech, social engagements, and repetitive actions.

Researches done in the past indicate that pregnenolone is an efficient hormone to limit the characteristics of autism. Taking pregnenolone doses for up to 12 weeks can help cure the cognitive disorder.

4. Schizophrenia


Another benefit that overshadows the pregnenolone side effects is its effectiveness to cure schizophrenia. Like autism, schizophrenia is also a cognitive disorder that influences the brain’s functions. It leads to conditions like delusions, lack of emotion, and distorted behaviors and thoughts.

Pregnenolone plays a prominent role in combating schizophrenia, as proven by Neuroscience published report in 2011. The report included results from animal-based researches as well as pilot studies on humans. The authors revealed that pregnenolone affects the steroid compounds in the brain, leading to an improvement in schizophrenia conditions.

Furthermore, the same study unveils that pregnenolone may fight schizophrenia by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain. Therefore, pregnenolone remains the steroid hormone with an effective role in fending off brain-related diseases.

5. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Research indicates that pregnenolone minimizes bipolar disorder, as well. Like autism and schizophrenia, bipolar disorder is a mental illness. Characterized by periods of high energy and elation and then spells of low energy and despair, bipolar disorder is a double-edged cognitive impairment.

Studies completed in the past on pregnenolone and bipolar disorder indicate that taking the steroid hormone for up to 12 weeks can help cure the mental illness.

6. Back Pain

Back Pain

Pregnenolone shows curing properties against back pain, which is common in the elderlies, as well as in a small but rising proportion of the younger generation. While back pain is not serious mostly, sometimes it is severe and affects your daily routine and activities.

Past researches indicate that taking pregnenolone doses for up to 4 weeks can help subdue back pain. However, pregnenolone only lessens the pain’s intensity and doesn’t completely cure it, and just works for a few people.

7. Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Pregnenolone dose can help people with excessive weight. As pregnenolone may increase other steroid hormone production such as testosterone, it could help with weight loss. Therefore, low pregnenolone and weight gain are common.

However, researches on this subject are scarce; no study indicates that pregnenolone combats weight gain, for sure.

8. Other Benefits

Apart from the benefits discussed above, pregnenolone has countless other advantages that outpace the pregnenolone side effects. Pregnenolone not only helps in the recovery of various mental diseases but also assists in curing health conditions.

The steroid hormone is a part of many medicines to heal diseases. Some of the common conditions that pregnenolone combats are as follows.

  • Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Psoriasis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Fibrocystic breast
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Pregnenolone has many health-related benefits apart from curing the conditions listed above. It is an effective remedy to reduce stress, boost memory, slow the aging process, and empower the immune system. However, the researches on pregnenolone and its benefits are relatively limited. Most studies on the subject date back to the 1940s, and the more recent additions to the literature are scarce. The steroid hormone may emerge as a medicine for countless other conditions once new researches come out.

Pregnenolone Interactions

Before discussing pregnenolone side effects, let’s explore some hormones that interact with pregnenolone. These interactions may trigger various conditions in the body, and you must know them to avoid the negative effects beforehand.

1. Interaction With Estrogens

As pregnenolone is a precursor, it generates hormones in the body, including estrogen. Therefore, taking pregnenolone together with estrogen might increase the estrogen level excessively.

So, avoid consuming estrogen with pregnenolone. Some common pills having estrogen comprise Premarin, estradiol, and Ethinylestradiol.

2. Interaction With Testosterone

The body converts pregnenolone into testosterone. Hence, taking a testosterone dose along with pregnenolone can abnormally increase its level. It may cause pregnenolone testosterone side effects.

3. Interaction With Progestin

Progestin is a group of hormones in the body. Intake of pregnenolone helps in the production of other hormones, pushing the overall levels upward. High hormone levels can lead to undesirable effects. Therefore, avoid taking pregnenolone when you’re already consuming progestin pills.

4. Pregnenolone Side Effects

Together with all the health benefits, we need to be aware of pregnenolone side effects. A too little or too high pregnenolone level can lead to adverse conditions.

Mostly, when consumed for up to 12 weeks, pregnenolone does not show any negative outcomes. Little information exists on whether the use of pregnenolone for more than 12 weeks is safe. Nevertheless, a study revealed the following common pregnenolone side effects.

  • Muscle Pain
  • Hair Loss
  • Sleep Difficulties
  • Cold
  • Increased Appetite
  • Sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Anorexia
  • Angry Mood
  • Skin Inflammation
  • Acne
  • Increased Excitement
  • Tremor
  • Irregular Heart Beat
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

However, as pregnenolone supplements remain unregulated, little clinical data exists for the steroid hormone. As a result, there are limited findings on pregnenolone side effects and its effectiveness as a drug. Although the above-mentioned pregnenolone side effects are common, they do not show the whole picture.

If you feel any of the pregnenolone side effects following its use, consult your doctor immediately to avoid any serious consequences.

Pregnenolone Alternative

After discussing the pregnenolone side effects, it makes us think about other natural remedies with no disadvantages. For depression, the usage of herbs such as St. John’s wort can help combat disorder. You can also try physical and mind-body exercises like meditation and acupuncture to enlighten your mood. Moreover, consider spending time outdoor and engaging in regular exercises, such as pushups and walks, to enhance your mood and reduce stress.

Similarly, we have many natural remedies that boost memory. Various researches conducted on the matter indicate that omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can have positive effects on your memory. Therefore, consider increasing your intake of these substances to improve your memory. These natural solutions can help cure different health conditions without inviting the risk of pregnenolone side effects.


Steroid hormones come with various benefits. Pregnenolone is one of the steroid hormones produced from cholesterol in the body and is a precursor for other hormones. You can also intake pregnenolone in supplement form to increase its level. Pregnenolone benefits may range from fighting depression, autism, and schizophrenia to curing allergies and fatigue.

However, excessive intake can invite pregnenolone side effects such as hair loss, muscle pain, constipation, and tiredness. Always consult with your doctor before taking pregnenolone because it interacts with other medication and hormones.

About the Author: Personal Care Truth

Personal Care Truth is your trusted source for evidence-based information on personal care and wellness. A dedicate health advocate who is passionate about empowering individuals to make informed choices when it comes to their personal care.

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