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Menopause Support

Generic Name: black cohosh (BLACK KOE hawsh)
Brand Name: Menopause Support

What is Menopause Support (black cohosh)?

Black cohosh is also known as Cimicifuga racemosa, baneberry, bugbane, black snake root, rattleroot, bugwort, and richweed.

Black cohosh has been used in alternative medicine as an aid in treating the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort. Black cohosh has also been used for rheumatism, cough, high cholesterol levels, and hardening of the arteries.

Not all uses for black cohosh have been approved by the FDA. Black cohosh should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Black cohosh 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.

Black cohosh may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Menopause Support (black cohosh)?

Do not confuse black cohosh with blue cohosh, a very different herbal supplement with potentially damaging effects on the heart.

Do not take black cohosh without first talking to your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is unknown whether black cohosh can stimulate breast cancer cell growth.

Do not take black cohosh without first talking to your doctor or health care provider if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether black cohosh will harm an unborn baby. Black cohosh has been reported to cause uterine stimulation, and may induce miscarriage or premature birth in large doses.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Not all uses for black cohosh have been approved by the FDA. Black cohosh should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Black cohosh 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 black cohosh 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 taking Menopause Support (black cohosh)?

Before taking black cohosh, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have allergies (especially to plants), have any medical condition, or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. Black cohosh may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take black cohosh without first talking to your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is unknown whether black cohosh can stimulate breast cancer cell growth.

Do not take black cohosh without first talking to your doctor or health care provider if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether black cohosh will harm an unborn baby. Black cohosh has been reported to cause uterine stimulation, and may induce miscarriage or premature birth in large doses.

Do not take black cohosh without first talking to your doctor or health care provider if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is also not known whether black cohosh will harm a nursing infant.

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

How should I take Menopause Support (black cohosh)?

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 black cohosh, 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.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Take the pill forms of black cohosh with a full glass of water.

To ensure the correct dose, measure the liquid forms of black cohosh with a dropper or a dose-measuring spoon or cup.

Some forms of black cohosh can be brewed to form a tea for drinking.

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, teas, and others) of black cohosh at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of black cohosh.

Do not confuse black cohosh with blue cohosh, a very different herbal supplement with potentially damaging effects on the heart.

Store black cohosh as directed on the package. In general, black cohosh should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Symptoms of a black cohosh overdose are not well known but might include nausea, dizziness, seizures, visual disturbances, reduced pulse rate, and increased perspiration.

What should I avoid while taking Menopause Support (black cohosh)?

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Menopause Support (black cohosh) side effects

Although rare, allergic reactions to black cohosh may occur. Stop taking black cohosh and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Large doses of black cohosh have been reported to cause

  • nausea,

  • dizziness,

  • seizures,

  • visual disturbances,

  • reduced pulse rate, and

  • increased sweating.

Stomach upset has been reported as a common side effect with the use of therapeutic doses of black cohosh.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Menopause Support (black cohosh)?

There may be other drugs that can interact with black cohosh. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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: 2.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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