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Devil's claw

Generic Name: devil's claw (DEV ils KLAW)
Brand Name:

Medically reviewed on Oct 2, 2018

What is devil's claw?

See also: Orencia

Devil's claw is an herb also known as Garra del Diablo, Grapple Plant, Griffe du Diable, Harpagophyti Radix, Harpagophytum, Harpagophytum procumbens, Harpagophytum zeyheri, Racine de Griffe du Diable, Racine de Windhoek, Teufelskrallenwurzel, Uncaria procumbens, or Wood Spider.

Devil's claw has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating back pain or osteoarthritis pain. Devil's claw is sometimes given together with an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

Other uses not proven with research have included rheumatoid arthritis, muscle pain, gout, skin conditions, migraine headaches, high cholesterol, and stomach problems.

It is not certain whether devil's claw is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Devil's claw should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Devil's claw 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.

Devil's claw may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:

It is not known whether devil's claw will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether devil's claw passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

How should I take devil's claw?

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 devil's claw, 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.

Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of devil's claw at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.

Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with devil's claw does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

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 devil's claw 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.

What should I avoid while taking devil's claw?

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

Devil's claw side effects

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

Although not all side effects are known, devil's claw is thought to be possibly safe when taken in recommended doses for up to 1 year.

Stop using devil's claw and call your healthcare provider at once if you have:

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • changes in your menstrual periods;

  • headache, ringing in your ears; or

  • altered sense of taste.

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 devil's claw?

Do not take devil's claw without medical advice if you are using a medication to treat any of the following conditions:

Also do not take devil's claw without medical advice if you are using any of the following medications:

  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or

  • an NSAID--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with devil's claw, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.

Further 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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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