Short & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (2024)

What are the possible side effects of donating plasma?


Plasma is the liquid part of blood, containing about 92 percent water as well as essential proteins and antibodies that help fight infections.

The protein found in the highest concentration in plasma is albumin, a protein vital for tissue growth and repair.

Plasma serves as a transport medium for delivering essential nutrients to the cells of different organs of the human body.

Also, plasmais involved in the transportation of waste products derived from cellular metabolism to the liver,kidneys, and lungs for excretion.

When isolated on its own, blood plasma is a light yellow liquid, and is similar to the color of straw.

Donor FAQ

During plasma donation, blood is drawn, and an automated machine separates the plasma from other blood components, which are returned to the donor.

The physical body commonly replaces plasma within about 48 hours of donation.

The donated plasma is used for people who suffer from immune deficiency disorders, bleeding disorders, and other conditions and injuries.

Interestingly, the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require paid plasma donations to be labeled.

The main reason is that the collected plasma never goes straight into another person. But, it is broken into many protein products that will become pharmaceuticals.

Eligibility Requirements

They vary by state, however, some are pretty standard and include:

  • to be in generally good health;
  • to be at least 18 years old;
  • to follow a recommended diet including 50 to 80 g of daily protein;
  • to test non-reactive for transmissible viruses, such as – HIV and hepatitis;
  • to pass a medical examination;
  • to weigh at least 110 pounds.

Pregnancy & BreastfeedingShort & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (1)

According to the official guidelines, you can donate plasma 6 weeks after delivery. However, some companies will require that you wait at least 6 months.

Moreover, you are allowed to donate plasma even if you are breastfeeding.

Smoking Weed

While it is not recommended the use of controlled substances, marijuana use does not necessarily disqualify you from giving plasma as long as you are feeling well. Also, there is no test for THC.

Working OutShort & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (2)

It is recommended to avoid practicing moderate physical exercise for 12-24 hours following a donation.

Best Foods To Eat

It is recommended to eat foods rich in protein & iron, no more than 3 hours before donating.

Healthy foods rich in protein include:Short & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (3)

  • Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Flaxseeds
  • Cashews
  • Sesame seeds
  • Oat bran
  • Chia seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Millet
  • Pecans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Mung beans
  • Quinoa
  • Wild rice
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sweet potato.

Healthy foods rich in iron include:Short & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (4)

  • Persimmons
  • Figs
  • Raisins
  • Mulberries
  • Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Jerusalem-artichokes
  • Lentils
  • Dandelion greens
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach
  • Beet greens
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans
  • Asparagus
  • Kale
  • Sweet potato
  • Elderberries
  • Passion-fruit
  • Currants
  • Prunes
  • Dates.

Note – vitamin C can help the body better absorb nonheme iron.

Foods rich in vitamin C include:Short & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (5)

  • Acerola cherries
  • Green hot chili peppers
  • Guavas
  • Sweet yellow peppers
  • Currants
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Kiwis
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Banana pepper
  • Lemons
  • Litchis
  • Oranges
  • Jujube
  • Persimmons
  • Kohlrabi
  • Papayas
  • Pummelo
  • Strawberries
  • Red cabbage
  • Pineapple
  • Clementines
  • Grapefruit.

Tips on How to Donate

Below is a list of tips to follow before, during, and after giving plasma:

  • rest after giving plasma and let your body recover;
  • eat a protein and iron-rich meal;
  • consume plenty of fluids (the best is plain water), especially after donating;
  • if your blood pressure tends to be low, increase your sodium intake before and after the donation;
  • keep your venipuncture site clean;
  • avoid alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, and illegal drugs.

Side Effects of Donating Plasma


Although it is hoped that no donor will have any side effects from giving plasma, for some people bruising of the arm may occur at the venipuncture site.

Also, if the needle is pushed in slightly too far, it can put extra pressure on the other side of the vein wall that could cause bruising around the whole area.

If there is bleeding from the venipuncture site, it is recommended to raise your armand apply pressure.

Note – if a bruise occurs while you are donating plasma, most centers will halt the donation to keep it from getting worse.


It is a common side effect since plasma contains a lot of water (up to 92 percent by volume).

However, dehydration after donating plasma is usually not severe.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • dark-colored urine;
  • dry mouth and tongue;
  • fatigue;
  • no tears when crying;
  • dizziness;
  • less frequent urination;
  • extreme thirst;
  • irritability;
  • sunken eyes.

Note – when you are dehydrated, it is vital to drink fluids that contain electrolytes.Short & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (6)

Keep in mind that caffeine dehydrates you.

You should also avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine (like green tea, chocolate, energy drinks, some sodas, and coffee) before and after you donate.

ALSO READ: Interesting Facts About Tay-Sachs Disease

DizzinessShort & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (7)

It is a frequent side effect of donating plasma. Sometimes, some donors may become so weakened that they faint.

If fainting happens, it is recommended to sit with your head between your knees or lie down.

ALSO READ: Yeast Infection vs Chlamydia

Lower Immunity

Frequent donations decrease plasma levels of serum immunoglobulins (glycoprotein molecules that are produced by plasma cells), possibly increasing infection risk by lowering the immune system.

A strong immune system protects you against colds and flu as well as keeps you away from chronic viral infections such as herpes or hepatitis.

More importantly, individuals with poor immunity have significantly increased chances of developing lymphomas and certain types of skin cancer.

Citrate Reaction

When donating plasma, citrate is added to the blood as it enters the separating machine to prevent clotting.

Signs and symptoms of a citrate reaction include:

  • shortness of breath;
  • a rapid or slow pulse;
  • muscle twitching;
  • light-headedness;
  • shivering;
  • chills;
  • experiencing a metallic taste;
  • feeling vibrations;
  • numbness or tingling, particularly in the fingers, lips, and toes.

If untreated, it may lead to shock, seizures, or cardiac arrest.

Note – about 7 percent of donors experience citrate reactions.

Images credit – Shutterstock


Short & Long Term Side Effects of Donating Plasma - Health Guide Net (2024)


What are the long term side effects of donating plasma? ›

What are side effects of donating plasma? As mentioned above, there is risk of low immunoglobulin levels because it takes time for the levels to replenish. Those who donate frequently and long term may also be at risk for anemia from incidental loss of red cells during donation.

What are the cons of donating plasma often? ›

Plasma is rich in nutrients and salts. These are important in keeping the body alert and functioning properly. Losing some of these substances through plasma donation can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. This can result in dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness.

Does donating plasma affect the kidneys? ›

Donating plasma is unlikely to be harmful to your kidneys if you are healthy and take the right precautions. Those with kidney conditions should consult with their doctor about whether donating plasma is contraindicated or not.

How long does it take to fully recover from donating plasma? ›

Plasma regenerates quickly. With proper hydration, your blood volume returns to normal within 48 hours. Because of this, you can give plasma twice in any 7-day period, but no more than once in a 48-hour period. You can typically schedule a return visit while you are at the plasma center.

Is donating plasma healthy for your body? ›

Donating plasma has a positive effect on the body: it helps to prevent stroke, heart attack, and other heart diseases, cleanses the blood of bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood clots, normalizes blood pressure, and minimizes seasonal allergies.

Does donating plasma detox your body? ›

Donating blood comes with detoxifying benefits. A regular donation of whole blood and plasma allows for the significant reduction of PFAS levels in the body. PFASs stand for poly-fluoroalkyl substances. They are used for coating various household items, making them more resistant to heat, grease, oil, or stain.

What don't they tell you about donating plasma? ›

FALSE – It is healthy to donate once or twice each week, if there is a 48-hour period between each donation. Plasma is 90% water and frequent donation will not harm you. It can lead to side effects such as dizziness and fatigue, but staying hydrated can help avoid these.

Why do they check your arms when donating plasma? ›

The screening staff member uses these numbers, along with your sex, height, and weight, to figure out how much plasma you can donate. Next, the screening staff member inspects your arm. They are checking for rashes, plaques, and vein issues that may make it difficult to donate.

Can donating plasma make you lose weight? ›

People burn around 500 calories1 from a blood or plasma donation as the body uses energy to replace the donation.

Can donating plasma affect your heart? ›

Plasma and platelets risks

The following are very rare events. A life-threatening reaction can occur but the likelihood of an event occurring is minimised by our safety protocols: Severe reaction to citrate: can include muscle contractions or spasms, seizures, breathing difficulties or disturbance of heart rhythm.

What are 5 long term side effects related to donating a kidney? ›

Long-Term/Medical Risks
  • Developing a disease that could affect the function of the remaining kidney such as:
  • Natural decline in kidney function as get older.
  • Developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Increase in the amount of protein spilled into the urine.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Nerve damage.

What medications disqualify you from donating plasma? ›

  • Accutane.
  • Antibiotics *Donors who are taking antibiotics are eligible to donate 24 hours after their last dose.
  • Anti-Platelet Medications.
  • Avodart.
  • Blood thinners (such as Coumadin, Heparin, Lovenox, Warfarin)
  • Bovine insulin.
  • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin.
  • Human-derived growth hormones.

What are the downsides of donating plasma? ›

For most people, donating plasma does not cause any side effects, but some donors can experience fatigue, bruising, bleeding, or dehydration. Additionally, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded. While not typical, fainting can also occur. It's rare, but more serious infections or reactions can occur, which can be treated.

Why do I feel so good after donating plasma? ›

Donating Has Mood-Elevating Effects

In addition, when you're donating plasma, your body releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and lower your stress. This explains why some people who donate feel less anxious after their session has been completed.

What can go wrong after donating plasma? ›

It is extremely rare to experience a severe side effect from giving plasma. Side effects are typically limited to lightheadedness or bruising at the needle site. People giving plasma for the first time, younger adults, and people with low weights tend to experience these side effects more often than others.

Is donating plasma twice a week safe? ›

FALSE – It is healthy to donate once or twice each week, if there is a 48-hour period between each donation. Plasma is 90% water and frequent donation will not harm you. It can lead to side effects such as dizziness and fatigue, but staying hydrated can help avoid these.

What medical conditions disqualify you from donating plasma? ›

Those diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness–like high blood pressure, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, or a primary immunodeficiency (PI)–are not eligible to donate plasma. Those who have high blood pressure would need to be tested to see what their current blood pressure is at the time of donating.

Can donating plasma cause blood clots? ›

Conclusions: Plasma donation may result in arterial thrombosis in patients with a mild hypercoagulable disorder, which is otherwise not phenotypically expressed. Further studies are needed to evaluate plasma donation as a potential etiology for ischemic stroke.

What does plasma do for your body? ›

Plasma carries water, salts, and enzymes. The main role of plasma is to take nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it. Cells also put their waste products into the plasma.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 5704

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.