Flaxseed

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

Flaxseed is used for:

Constipation and stomach irritation. It has also been used for pain and inflammation due to arthritis and as a supplement to decrease total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. It may also have other uses. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use.

Flaxseed is an herbal product. It works by providing an essential fatty acid that benefits the digestive tract and heart.

Do NOT use flaxseed if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in flaxseed
  • you have ileus or a history of intestinal blockage of any type
  • you have swelling or closure of the esophagus
  • you are pregnant

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

Before using flaxseed:

Some medical conditions may interact with flaxseed. 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 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 inflammation of the bowel (eg, Crohn disease), heart disease or other heart problems, or high blood pressure, or you are taking medicines for any of these conditions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with flaxseed. 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 flaxseed 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 flaxseed:

Use flaxseed 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.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking flaxseed is recommended.
  • Do not take flaxseed at the same time you take any other medicines prescribed by your doctor. Do not take this product if it has a bad smell or bitter taste.
  • If you miss taking a dose of flaxseed 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 flaxseed.

Important safety information:

  • The immature seeds of flax are poisonous. To avoid taking immature seeds, never use a flax product unless it is designed for human consumption.
  • If you take any prescription medicines and you notice a decreased effect, report this to your doctor as soon as possible.
  • If you are taking flaxseed to reduce cholesterol or LDL, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about other cholesterol-lowering therapies that are proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve survival.
  • Check with your doctor before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, including laxatives, stool softeners, aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; eg, ibuprofen).
  • 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: Flaxseed may cause harm to the human fetus. Do not take flaxseed if you are pregnant. Do not breast-feed while you are taking flaxseed.

Possible side effects of flaxseed:

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:

Gas; mild diarrhea; nausea.

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); slightly bluish, grayish, slate-like, or dark purple discoloration of the skin.

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 fast heartbeat; paralysis; seizures; shortness of breath; unsteadiness when walking; weakness.

Proper storage of flaxseed:

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 flaxseed out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about flaxseed, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Flaxseed 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 flaxseed 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 flaxseed. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to flaxseed. 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 flaxseed.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
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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