Cordyceps Side Effects & How Quality Impacts Risk

Cordyceps Side Effects Cover Photo

Although Cordyceps has been used for centuries, it’s the modern research into the mushroom’s therapeutic potential that has led to its rise in popularity. Now, you can find all sorts of Cordyceps supplements on the market, including Cordyceps in nootropic and adaptogenic blends designed to promote overall vitality. 

We’ve already touched on what Cordyceps is and the potential benefits it may offer. Now we want to touch on another common (and important) question–what are the side effects of Cordyceps? 

Let’s jump in:

Key Takeaways

Cordyceps side effects are rare and almost always mild.

You may be at a higher risk for side effects if you have a mushroom allergy or take certain medications, or have a bleeding disorder, blood sugar issues, heart problems, or other life-threatening conditions.

Most people can take Cordyceps without any complications, but you need to choose a high-quality supplement

Is Cordyceps Safe?

Cordyceps is thought to be safe for most people who do not have an allergy to mushrooms. Cordyceps, like most mushrooms, is made up mostly of carbohydrates and fiber. It does, however, contain bioactive compounds–like beta-glucans and cordycepin–which are thought to be responsible for the nootropic mushroom’s therapeutic effects. In some cases, these effects could conflict with certain health conditions or interact with other medications to create adverse reactions. 

Plus, certain minerals and fibers in mushrooms can react negatively with some people’s digestive systems. Although side effects are incredibly rare and have not yet been well studied, there are some possible adverse reactions to be aware of before adding Cordyceps supplements to your wellness routine.

Cordyceps Side Effects

Based on anecdotal reports and what we know about medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps side effects may include:


In rare cases, some consumers have reported feeling nauseous after using Cordyceps mushrooms.

Upset Stomach

Cordyceps mushrooms contain fiber that may be upsetting for some people’s digestive systems. Symptoms like upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, or gas could be a sign of an allergic reaction, but it could also mean you’ve taken too much Cordyceps and should reduce your dosage.

Allergic Reaction

Although it is rare, some people experience a mushroom allergy. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Cordyceps mushrooms may include:

  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, and airways
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramping
  • Bloating
  • Loose stools

Interactions With Other Supplements or Medications

In some cases, medicinal mushrooms like Cordyceps may interact with certain OTC and prescription medications, which could reduce their efficiency. We'll discuss this more below.

Cordyceps Drug Interactions

Evidence concerning drug interactions with Cordyceps is still scarce, but we can draw some conclusions based on how other mushroom supplements interact with certain medications and how Cordyceps affects the body. 

You may be able to take Cordyceps alongside certain medications with a doctor's guidance and adjusted dosage. You should always talk to your doctor before taking Cordyceps if you take one of the following types of medications:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Thyroid medications
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Diabetes medications

You should also consult your doctor regarding possible drug interactions if you take any of these specific medications or supplements:

  • Amikacin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Danshen 
  • Devil's claw
  • Gentamicin
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Kanamycin
  • Linezolid
  • neomycin PO
  • Netilmicin
  • Paromomycin
  • Phenelzine
  • Prednisolone
  • Streptomycin
  • Tobramycin
  • Tranylcypromine

Is Cordyceps Addictive?

Nope! Cordyceps does not possess any properties that may make it addictive. There is little to no potential for substance abuse for Cordyceps mushrooms. 

What Causes Cordyceps Side Effects?

Aside from potential drug interactions, the most common cause of Cordyceps side effects is incorrect dosage. People commonly take doses between 0.5 g and 3 g daily, although this dosage will vary greatly depending on whether you're using a whole mushroom powder or a Cordyceps extract. 

Either way, if you experience adverse reactions, especially nausea or vomiting, you may need to decrease your dosage. Stop taking Cordyceps and talk to your doctor to figure out a dosing routine that works for you. 

To learn more, read "Cordyceps Dosage"

FAQs About Cordyceps Side Effects

Who Should Not Take Cordyceps?

You should not take Cordyceps if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a bleeding disorder, or are expecting surgery in the next two weeks. You should also talk to your doctor before using Cordyceps if you take regular medications.

What Happens if You Take Too Much Cordyceps?

Cordyceps is thought to be safe for most people who do not have a mushroom allergy. When taking too much Cordyceps, you may experience stomach discomforts like diarrhea or constipation. 

How Does Cordyceps Make You Feel?

Cordyceps is thought to increase oxygen flow throughout the body, which may help you to feel more energized and alert. 

Can I Take Cordyceps Every Day?

Yes! In fact, you will experience more benefits from cordyceps when taking it daily. Taking cordyceps daily allows for a systemic effect to take place, offering much more benefit than a one-off dose.

Read our article “Best Time To Take Cordyceps” to learn more.

Can Pregnant Women Take Cordyceps Mushrooms?

There are no known side effects of Cordyceps for pregnant women because the safety of functional mushrooms for pregnant women has not been tested. We recommend talking to your doctor before using Cordyceps if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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