Astragalus

Generic Name: astragalus (Not applicable.)
Brand Name: Generics only. No brands available.

Astragalus is used for:

Increases movement of the intestinal wall and is promoted to treat constipation. It is also used to restore immune function after cancer chemotherapy. It may also have other uses. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use.

Astragalus is an herbal product. It works by stimulating parts of the immune system and increasing contractions of the intestinal wall.

Do NOT use astragalus if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in astragalus

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using astragalus:

Some medical conditions may interact with astragalus. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of multiple allergies, a damaged bowel tract, trouble swallowing, persistent stomach pain, bloating, or nausea or vomiting
  • if you have had problems with constipation for more than 2 weeks or if there is blood in your stools
  • if you have an autoimmune disorder (eg, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), an organ transplant, or an infection

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with astragalus. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine, prednisone) because effectiveness may be decreased by astragalus

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if astragalus may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use astragalus:

Use astragalus as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dosing depends on the use and the source of the product.
  • Use as directed on the package, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • Take each dose of this product with a full glass of water. Drinking extra fluids while you are using this product is also recommended. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for instructions if you are on fluid restriction for any reason.
  • Do not use this product for more than 7 days unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you miss taking a dose of astragalus for 1 or more days, there is no cause for concern. If your doctor recommended that you take it, try to remember your dose every day.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use astragalus.

Important safety information:

  • Long-term use of laxatives may lead to laxative dependence, chronic constipation, loss of bowel function, and damage to the colon.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while using this product. Drinking insufficient liquids may result in serious medical conditions, including blockage of the esophagus or intestines.
  • Check with your doctor before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, including other laxatives and medicine containing magnesium or senna.
  • Follow the dietary plan provided by your doctor. Increasing fiber intake, drinking more fluids, and performing regular exercise may help to prevent constipation. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
  • This product has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for any medical condition. The long-term safety of herbal products is not known. Before using any alternative medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Use of astragalus is not recommended if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the risks of using this product during pregnancy.

Possible side effects of astragalus:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Bloating; diarrhea; gas; nausea; stomach upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or black stools; difficult or painful swallowing; failure to have a bowel movement; stomach or abdominal pain.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include difficulty swallowing; stomach or abdominal bloating or pain.

Proper storage of astragalus:

Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light unless otherwise directed on the package label. Do not store in the bathroom. Most herbal products are not in childproof containers. Keep astragalus out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about astragalus, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Astragalus is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about astragalus. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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