Drugs Q & A

Why Is Berocca Banned In The United States?

What is Berocca?

Berocca is a multivitamin supplement that consists of B vitamins, vitamin C plus added magnesium, calcium, and zinc. When first released in 1969, Berocca came in one flavor, Berry, which later became Original Berry. It now comes in four flavors: Original Berry, Orange, Blackcurrant, and Mango & Orange.

Berocca is used to treat or prevent vitamin deficiency due to poor diet, certain illnesses, or during pregnancy. Vitamins are important building blocks of the body and help keep you in good health.

Berocca also gives you extra support to help you stay on top of your game every day. Berocca has several benefits for the immune system. One of the main reasons people take vitamin C-containing supplements such as Berocca is to boost their immunity, as vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system. First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection. Berocca contains Vitamin B6 which is in charge of keeping the immune system strong, making new red blood cells, and transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Is Berocca banned in the United States?

No, Berocca is not banned in the United States. It is currently available for sale to US residents, you can buy it from Amazon, Walmart, and your local pharmacy store. However, some colors in Berocca have been banned in other countries while still allowed in Australia, the US, and New Zealand.

In the U.S., Berocca is used to support mental alertness because of its caffeine content.  Berocca contains Guarana, a rainforest berry that natives used as an herbal caffeine source. Guarana has been used by Amazonian tribes for its therapeutic effects for centuries. It is commonly touted for its ability to reduce fatigue, boost energy, and aid learning and memory. It has also been linked to better heart health, weight loss, pain relief, healthier skin, lower cancer risk, and a decreased risk of age-related eye diseases.

Berocca also boosts physical energy with key vitamins, including Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 that help convert food to fuel. It also provides other key nutrients like Vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and more. Berocca’s effervescent tablets contain small quantities of aspartame (phenylalanine).

Is it OK to take Berocca every day?

Yes, Berocca is suitable for daily use throughout the year. Always read the label and follow the directions for use. It is important to note that vitamin and mineral supplements such as Berocca are not a replacement for a healthy and balanced diet.

However, Berocca may not be okay for everyone always discuss it with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a new supplement especially if you are already taking other medication.

What are the possible side effects of Berocca?

Berocca can cause some side effects which include:

•          Anxiety.

•          Constipation

•          Dehydration.

•          Dependency, so you need to take more of it to get the same results.

•          Diarrhea

•          Dizziness.

•          Fast heart rate.

•          Headaches.

•          Insomnia.

•          Restlessness and shakiness.

•          Stomach upset.

These effects are usually temporary and may disappear as your body adjusts to this medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Taking excessive and unnecessary quantities of Berocca could lead to serious side effects. High doses of supplemental B3 (niacin) may lead to vomiting, high blood sugar levels, skin flushing, and even liver damage. Additionally, high doses of B6 can cause nerve damage, light sensitivity, and painful skin lesions.

Berocca causes urine to turn deep yellow in color – this is due to the excess vitamin B2 (also known as Riboflavin, with “flavus” meaning “yellow” in Latin) being passed via urine.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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