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Feverfew

Generic Name: feverfew (FEE ver few)
Brand Name:

Medically reviewed on March 5, 2018

What is feverfew?

Feverfew is an herb also known as Altamisa, Bachelor's Buttons, Chrysanthème Matricaire, Chrysanthemum Parthenium, Chrysanthemum praealtum, Featerfoiul, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Flirtwort Midsummer Daisy, Grande Camomille, Leucanthemum Parthenium, Matricaria, Pyrethrum Parthenium, Santa Maria, Tanaceti Parthenii, or Tanacetum Parthenium.

Feverfew has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in preventing migraine headaches or reducing the symptoms of headaches that do occur.

Feverfew has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, research has shown that feverfew may not be effective in treating this condition.

Other uses not proven with research have included skin itching, asthma, allergies, menstrual problems, psoriasis, fever, nausea, vomiting, and other conditions. Feverfew may have been combined with other plants or extracts in a specific preparation to treat these conditions.

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

Feverfew 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.

Feverfew may also be used for purposes not 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

You should not use this product if you are allergic to feverfew or if you have:

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • allergies to chamomile, ragweed, yarrow, or other plants in the Asteraceae family; or

  • if you have ever had a rash after touching a feverfew plant.

It is not known whether feverfew will harm an unborn baby. However, there has been some concern that feverfew may stimulate uterine contractions or cause miscarriage. Do not use this product if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether feverfew passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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

How should I take feverfew?

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 feverfew, 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 feverfew at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.

The use of raw feverfew is possibly unsafe. Chewing fresh leaves can cause mouth sores, swelling of your lips or tongue, and loss of taste.

Do not take topical (for the skin) feverfew by mouth. Topical forms of this product are for use only on the skin.

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

Feverfew can affect blood-clotting and may increase your risk of bleeding. If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop taking feverfew at least 2 weeks ahead of time.

Store feverfew in a sealed container 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 feverfew 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 feverfew?

Avoid using feverfew together with other herbal/health supplements that can also affect blood-clotting. This includes angelica (dong quai), capsicum, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, horse chestnut, panax ginseng, poplar, red clover, turmeric, and willow.

Feverfew 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, feverfew is thought to be likely safe when taken for a short period of time (up to 4 months).

Common side effects may include:

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 feverfew?

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

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with feverfew, 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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