Saw Palmetto

Pronunciation

Generic Name: saw palmetto (SAW pal MET toe)
Brand Name: Prostate SR, Saw Palmetto

What is Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto)?

Saw palmetto comes from a palm-like plant that grows in the southeast United States. The berries of this plant are used to make the capsule form of saw palmetto.

Saw palmetto blocks certain effects of certain hormones in the body and also has some anti-inflammatory actions.

Saw palmetto has been used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH), such as increased night-time urination or decreased urinary flow.

Saw palmetto has been used historically to treat stomach or intestinal problems, bladder irritation, and bronchitis.

Saw palmetto has not been approved by the FDA to treat any disease, and it should not be substituted for prescription medications.

Saw palmetto has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of saw palmetto may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. Some marketed herbal 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.

Saw palmetto may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto)?

Talk to a doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider before taking saw palmetto. You may not be able to use this product if you have certain medical conditions or take other medications.

Saw palmetto has not been approved by the FDA to treat any disease, and it should not be substituted for prescription medications.

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Saw palmetto has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of saw palmetto may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. Some marketed herbal 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.

Saw palmetto may increase your risk of bleeding. Tell your healthcare provider if you take a blood thinner such as Coumadin, or if you have hemophilia, a stomach or intestinal ulcer, or if you need to have any type of surgery.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to saw palmetto, or have certain conditions. Be sure your doctor knows if you have:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder (such as hemophilia);

  • stomach ulcer with active bleeding; or

  • ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Before taking saw palmetto, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider. You may not be able to use this product if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • heart disease;

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • a history of stomach ulcer; or

  • asthma or other breathing disorder.

Do not take saw palmetto without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Saw palmetto may be harmful to an unborn baby.

It is not known whether saw palmetto passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without telling your doctor 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 take Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto)?

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 take saw palmetto, 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.

Saw palmetto is available in a capsule formulation.

Other forms of saw palmetto may also be available, such as teas, tinctures, and topical forms. Do not use many different forms of saw palmetto together at the same time, unless you healthcare provider instructs you to. Using different forms together may increase your risk of an overdose of saw palmetto.

Saw palmetto should be taken with food to reduce stomach upset.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using saw palmetto. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store saw palmetto at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available about missing a dose of saw palmetto. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or 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 taking Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto)?

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.

Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto) side effects

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

Stop using saw palmetto and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • weakness or fainting;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • pain or swelling in your breasts or testicles;

  • chest pain;

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;

  • easy bruising or bleeding; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;

  • diarrhea or constipation;

  • bad breath;

  • headache;

  • dizziness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • muscle pain;

  • depressed mood; or

  • increased or decreased interest in sex;

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Saw Palmetto (saw palmetto)?

Do not take saw palmetto without the advice of a doctor if you are using any of the following medications:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • flutamide (Eulexin);

  • garlic or ginkgo biloba;

  • birth control pills;

  • iron supplements such as ferrous fumarate ferrous gluconate, or ferrous sulfate;

  • hormone replacement therapy;

  • estrogen or testosterone;

  • 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

  • medication used to prevent blood clots, such as alteplase (Activase), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and urokinase (Abbokinase).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with saw palmetto. 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: 3.03. Revision Date: 2012-05-16, 12:26:36 PM.

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