Dietary Supplements

Does silymarin have any side effects?

A Answers (2)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    There are side effects associated with the use of silymarin (milk thistle). Milk thistle may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other members of the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. An allergic reaction that causes difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat requires immediate medical attention. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking milk thistle. In general, milk thistle is safe for adults if taken responsibly. It can have a laxative effect or trigger nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating, fullness or pain, and loss of appetite. Extracts from milk thistle plant may have estrogen-like properties; if you have breast cancer, fibroids, PMS, or any condition that could be worsened by exposure to estrogen, do not use silymarin. The more commonly used milk thistle seed extracts do not seem to act like estrogen.
  • AMediGuard answered

    Based on information from, a free medication monitoring service, 6% of patients experience side effects while taking silymarin (milk thistle). One of the side effects reported by iGuard members includes hot flashes. Please follow up with your doctor or other healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms that worsen or do not go away.

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