Reviewed on 9/23/2021

What Is Stevia and How Does It Work?

Stevia, which comes from the natural stevia plant, is used as a sweetener for foods and beverages as an alternative to sugar. Other alternatives to stevia include sucralose and aspartame, which are used in a variety of food, drinks, and recipes. These are artificial sweeteners that are hundreds of times stronger in sweetness than standard table sugar. Stevia is able to add a sweet taste without the calories found in sugar, which is beneficial to diabetic patients on specific diets. Stevia is also used to treat hyperglycemia and hypertension, and as a weight loss aid and diuretic. Some studies have linked the use of artificial sweeteners to types of cancer.

Effectiveness: Studies are inconclusive and contradictory.

Stevia is available under the following different brand and other names: stevia rebaudiana.

Dosages of Stevia

None provided; See "Suggested Dosing"

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Suggested Dosing


  • 250-500 mg orally three times daily


  • 1 g stevioside take with meals

Water extracts of 5 g of leaves every 6 hours for 3 days to increase glucose tolerance


Weight loss occurs in the belly before anywhere else. See Answer

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Stevia?

Common side effects of stevia include:

  • Allergic reaction

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Stevia?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication for diabetes, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Stevia?


This medication contains stevia. Do not take stevia rebaudiana if you are allergic to stevia or any ingredients contained in this drug.


Hypersensitivity to Asteraceae family (ragweed, daisies, etc.)

Effects of Drug Abuse


Short-Term Effects

See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Stevia?"

Long-Term Effects

See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Stevia?"


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and European regulatory agencies have questioned the safety of chronic use of stevia.

Pregnancy and Lactation

There is no information available on the safety of stevia use during pregnancy or lactation. Consult your doctor.


The Best Diet Tips: How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way See Slideshow
Medscape. Stevia.

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