gotu kola

Generic Name: gotu kola (GO too KOE la)
Brand Name:

What is gotu kola?

Gotu kola is also known by many other names, including brahmi, centella, Indian pennywort, marsh penny, thick-leaved pennywort, white rot, hydrocotyle, Indian water navelwort, and talepetrako. Gotu kola is not related to kola (cola) nut.

Gotu kola has been used orally (by mouth) in alternative medicine as an aid to treating anxiety, depression, fatigue, memory loss, colds and flu, upset stomach, diarrhea, ulcer, bladder infections, liver problems, and diabetes. Gotu kola has also been used to treat circulation problems, varicose veins, anemia, lupus, menstrual problems, and birth control.

Topical forms of gotu kola have been used in alternative medicine to aid in wound healing and reducing scars.

Not all uses for gotu kola have been approved by the FDA. Gotu kola should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

Gotu kola is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Gotu kola may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about gotu kola?

Not all uses for gotu kola have been approved by the FDA. Gotu kola should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

You should not use gotu kola if you have liver disease.

Before you use this product, tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider if you have diabetes or high cholesterol.

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Gotu kola is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Use gotu kola as directed on the label, or as your healthcare provider has prescribed. Do not use this product in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using gotu kola?

You should not use gotu kola if you have liver disease.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use gotu kola. Before you use this product, tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider if you have:

  • diabetes; or

  • high cholesterol.

It is not known whether gotu kola is harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use this product without talking to a healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether gotu kola passes into breast milk or if it may harm a nursing baby. Ask your healthcare provider before using gotu kola if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I use gotu kola?

When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to use gotu kola, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

Different formulations of gotu kola are available to be taken by mouth (orally) or applied to the skin (topically).

Do not use different formulations of gotu kola (such as tablets and topical forms) at the same time, unless your healthcare provider has told you to. Using different formulations together can increase your risk of an overdose of gotu kola.

Store gotu kola at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Consult your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider for instructions if you miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using gotu kola?

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using gota kola.

Gotu kola side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching, redness, or burning of your skin; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using gotu kola and call your healthcare provider at once if you have any signs of liver problems, such as nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea;

  • upset stomach; or

  • drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect gotu kola?

Gotu kola can be harmful to the liver, and these effects are increased when gotu kola is used together with medications that can harm the liver. Before using gotu kola, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);

  • zileuton (Zyflo);

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol);

  • cancer medications

  • tuberculosis medications;

  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;

  • arthritis medications such as auranofin (Ridaura);

  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), and others;

  • medications to treat infections, such as dapsone, erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate), or terbinafine (Lamisil);

  • cholesterol medications such as niacin (Advicor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Altocor, Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), and others;

  • diabetes medications such as acarbose (Precose), pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia);

  • HIV/AIDS medications such as lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir), abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine (Trizivir), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir), tenofovir (Viread), zidovudine (Retrovir);

  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others; or

  • seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), felbamate (Felbatol), valproic acid (Depakene).

Herbal or alternative medicine products that may also be harmful to the liver include:

  • herbal or alternative medicine products such as androstenedione, chaparral, comfrey, DHEA, germander, pennyroyal oil, red yeast, and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs or alternative medicine products that can interact with gotu kola. Tell your healthcare provider about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your healthcare provider.

Where can I get more information?

  • Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision Date: 2011-01-06, 5:28:27 PM.

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