Pregnenolone (P5): Uses, Side Effects & Dosage Guide

Pregnenolone is present naturally in the human body. Pregnenolone (P5) is a steroid hormone which is produced endogenously in our body. Pregnenolone is essential because there are many intermediate processes which require Pregnenolone for the biosynthesis of other steroid hormones; hence Pregnenolone is also known as precursor metabolic intermediate. There are many other steroid hormones which required Pregnenolone for their normal synthesis.

These hormones are as follow:

  • Mineralocorticoids
  • Androgen
  • Progesterone
  • Estrogen
  • Glucocorticoid

Pregnenolone also acts as a neurosteroid and is also biologically active itself. Besides the function of Pregnenolone as a natural hormone, Pregnenolone is also used as a supplement and medication for various purposes. As Pregnenolone belongs to the group of neurosteroids like dehydroepiandrosterone and progesterone, Pregnenolone is found in various parts of the brain in high concentration. Pregnenolone with its different salts like pregnenolone sulfate and pregnenolone 3β-sulfate are synthesized in different parts of the brain as a neurosteroid. The primary and most essential functions are neuroprotection and help to enhance nerve myelination. Another vital function of Pregnenolone is to improve memory and cognitive function. In some clinical studies, it is noted that Pregnenolone may also help to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia; hence it has some protective effect in this case also.

Pregnenolone is also known as an allosteric endocannabinoid because of its harmful allosteric modulation of cannabinoid receptors type 1. Pregnenolone also allosterically blocks the cannabinoid receptor type 1 to prevent the activation of cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1). 

Pregnenolone has a high affinity to bind with the MAP2 (microtubule-associated protein 2) whereas pregnenolone sulfate lacks this property and can not bind to the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) in the brain. 

Most of the people use Pregnenolone to strengthen their body mass and for bodybuilding purposes. Like other steroid hormones which are frequently used for bodybuilding, Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone or precursor of other steroid hormones also used for bodybuilding purposes.

Various studies showed that Pregnenolone could improve the age-related conditions and may help to alleviate the other age-related health conditions.

Pregnenolone level decrease in neuroinflammatory diseases denotes the role of Pregnenolone in the protection of neurons and other cells of the brain. Some studies also reported that Pregnenolone is also produced by the lymphocytes and hence prove its role in the immune system also.

The proper dose of Pregnenolone depends on various factors which include health, age, and various other health conditions. There is no specific data available for the specific dosage of the Pregnenolone but instead of this dosage is still very important besides the fact that Pregnenolone is a naturally occurring steroid hormone. All the directions mentioned on the label should be carefully read if you are using an OTC drug, or you should consult with your physician before using Pregnenolone.


Use of Pregnenolone is indicated in the following conditions

  • Autism

Some researches have shown that taking medicine for three months will improve symptoms of autism

  • Bipolar disorders

Some researches have shown that taking Pregnenolone for three months will improve the symptoms of depression in bipolar disorders

  • Schizophrenia

Pregnenolone for two months will improve the negative symptoms of schizophrenia-like lack of emotions, inability to feel pleasure, and limited speech

  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis ( which is abnormal thinking of the lining of the uterus
  • Fatigue and increase energy
  • Slowing or reversing ageing
  • Alzheimer’s disease and enhancing memory
  • Trauma and injuries
  • Used for stress
  • To improve immunity
  • Also used for skin disorders
  • Psoriasis
  • Scleroderma
  • To improve mood
  • Allergies
  • Fibrocystic breast conditions
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Premenstrual symptoms
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Promote detox
  • For prevention of bear disease


Pregnenolone influences the levels of the hormones in the body, so it is contraindicated in hormones related following conditions:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • And is contraindicated in patients with known allergies to Pregnenolone

As the pregnenolone interacts with other hormones therefore it is strongly contraindicated in people who are taking testosterone or other steroid hormones.

Side Effects

Side effects of Pregnenolone will become evident when used in the long term or regular use most countered side effects of Pregnenolone are:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Headache
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Skin inflammation
  • Acne  
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Sleep problems
  • Drowsiness/tiredness
  • Restlessness and increased excitement
  • Agitation
  • Anorexia
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Cold extremities
  • Blunted mood
  • Sinusitis
  • Increased appetite


Care should be taken before using the combinations as follow:

  • Pregnenolone with Estrogens
  • Pregnenolone with Progestin
  • Pregnenolone with Testosterone

Most of the people use Pregnenolone as a supplement, but as Pregnenolone is a precursor of many other hormones; therefore, it has some interactions also. Suppose someone is taking Pregnenolone with another hormone-like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. In that case, it will cause too much amount of this hormone in the body that will cause severe complications so Pregnenolone should not be used with another steroid hormone because it enhances the amount of hormone in the body as it also produces these hormones.

High-Risk Groups

High-risk groups for the use of Pregnenolone are

  • Pregnant ladies
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Children
  • Patients of
  • breast cancer patients
  • Prostate cancer patients
  • Endometriosis patients