Reported side effects of stevia sweetener include numbness, dizziness, muscle pain, and bloating or nausea, explains FitDay. Since stevia comes from the same plant family as ragweed and daisies, people with ragweed allergies should avoid consuming it.
Aside from an allergic reaction, the side effects of stevia are short lived, reports FitDay. The sweetener can lower blood pressure and can be a concern for people with existing low blood pressure problems. Stevia also lowers blood sugars, and should be use cautiously by diabetics or anyone with uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
Inconclusive evidence exists regarding stevia's long-term side effects and safety, says FitDay. A chemical of stevia called steviol has been shown by some studies to cause cancer. But other studies refute this conclusion, citing poorly conducted research. A chemical called Rebaudioside A extracted from the stevia leaf has been determined as generally safe for the marketplace by the United States Food and Drug Administration, as of 2015, despite controversial studies, states LiveScience.
Stevia leaves have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, as of 2015, explains LiveScience. Products developed from stevia leaves cause concern regarding reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems. The approved form of stevia is considered safe but concerns about how it interacts with various medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and calcium channel blockers, exist.