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Black cohosh

Pronunciation

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

Black cohosh is used for:

Symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It may also have other uses. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use.

Black cohosh is an herbal product. It has a similar effect to estrogen, a natural hormone in the body, which controls the menstrual cycle.

Do NOT use black cohosh if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in black cohosh or to salicylates (eg, aspirin)
  • you are pregnant or breast-feeding

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

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Before using black cohosh:

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

  • if you are planning to become pregnant
  • 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 kidney disease, an estrogen-dependent tumor, or a blood-clotting disorder (eg, hemophilia, hypoprothrombinemia)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with black cohosh. However, no specific interactions are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if black cohosh 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 black cohosh:

Use black cohosh 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.
  • It may take 2 weeks of use to see effects. Maximum effects usually take 2 months.
  • If you miss taking a dose of black cohosh 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 black cohosh.

Important safety information:

  • Black cohosh may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to black cohosh. Using black cohosh alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Black cohosh may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit or stand up slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Check product labeling carefully. Some products may contain a combination of both black and blue cohosh. Blue cohosh has different effects and is used for different purposes.
  • 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: Do not use black cohosh if you are pregnant. Because of the potential risk to the baby, breast-feeding while using this product is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Possible side effects of black cohosh:

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:

Dizziness; nausea; stomach discomfort; vomiting.

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).

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.

Proper storage of black cohosh:

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 black cohosh out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about black cohosh, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Black cohosh 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 should not be used to decide whether or not to take black cohosh 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 black cohosh. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to black cohosh. 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 black cohosh.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
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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