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Bromelain is used for reducing swelling (inflammation) after surgery or injury, especially of the nose and sinuses. It is also used for hay fever, treating a bowel condition that includes swelling and ulcers (ulcerative colitis), removing dead and damaged tissue after a burn (debridement), preventing the collection of water in the lung (pulmonary edema), relaxing muscles, stimulating muscle contractions, slowing clotting, improving the absorption of antibiotics, preventing cancer, shortening labor, and helping the body to get rid of fat.

How it works

Bromelain is an enzyme obtained from pineapple juice. It causes the body to produce substances that fight pain and swelling (inflammation). It also contains chemicals that interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow blood clotting.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Altered menstrual cycle, Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, Shortness of breath, Tachycardia


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Expert advice

  • Do not start or continue the bromelain, If you are allergic to pineapple, latex, wheat, celery, papain, carrot, fennel, cypress pollen, or grass pollen, bromelain. 
  • Do not start or continue the bromelain, If you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Do not use bromelain at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is bromelain safe?
This drug is safe if used at prescribed dose and duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is bromelain gluten free/ in pineapple?
Yes. Drug is gluten free. However, please refer to package insert of the prescribed brand before use. Yes, pineapple contains some amount of bromelain in it.
Q. Is bromelain good for gout?
It is not indicated for gout, but may be used in treatment of joint pain. Patients should follow  the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
Q. Is bromelain safe to take before surgery?
No, it is not safe to take before surgery. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor  regarding its use.
Q. How long can I take bromelain for?
Patient should take bromelain for prescribed dose and duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Can I take bromelain with antibiotics/ibuprofen/prednisone/Coumadin?
No, taking other medicines may alter the effects of bromelain. Always consult your physician for the change of dose regimen or an alternative drug of choice that may strictly be required.
Q. Does bromelain help with weight loss/swelling/inflammation?
Yes, it is used to reduce swelling, inflammation and helps with weight loss by getting rid of fat.
Q. Does bromelain work?
Yes, it works at prescribed dose and duration for particular disease condition as advised by your doctor.
Q. Does bromelain increase blood pressure/ thin the blood?
Bromelain causing these side effects is rare or uncommon. Always consult your doctor if you experience these side effects.
Q. Does bromelain aid digestion?
It may aid digestion by contraction of smooth muscles, but is used to treat swelling and ulcers (ulcerative colitis). Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)