What is the most important information I should know about fenugreek?
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.
What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek is a plant also known as Alholva, Bird's Foot, Bockshornklee, Bockshornsame, Chandrika, Fenogreco, Foenugraeci Semen, Greek Clover, Greek Hay, Greek Hay Seed, Hu Lu Ba, Medhika, Methi, Sénégrain, Trigonella, Woo Lu Bar, and other names.
Fenugreek has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in lowering blood sugar levels after a meal in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Fenugreek has been used in alternative medicine to treat heartburn, high cholesterol, weight loss, upset stomach, constipation, "hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), gout, sexual problems, fever, baldness, to increase the production of breast milk, and other conditions. However, these uses have not been proven with research.
It is not certain whether fenugreek is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Fenugreek should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Fenugreek 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.
Fenugreek may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking fenugreek?
Before using fenugreek, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use fenugreek if you have certain medical conditions.
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
- low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia); or
- bleeding or blood clotting disorders.
Fenugreek is considered likely unsafe to use during pregnancy. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
Fenugreek is considered likely unsafe to use if you are nursing a 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. Fenugreek might be unsafe for children.
How should I take fenugreek?
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 fenugreek, 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 formulations of fenugreek (such as tablets, liquids, and others) 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.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with fenugreek does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Fenugreek can affect blood-clotting and may increase your risk of bleeding. If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop taking fenugreek at least 2 weeks ahead of time.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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 fenugreek 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 fenugreek?
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Avoid using fenugreek 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, saw palmetto, turmeric, and willow.
Avoid using fenugreek together with other herbal/health supplements that can lower blood sugar, such as alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, devil's claw, garlic, guar gum, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, and others.
What are the possible side effects of fenugreek?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although not all side effects are known, fenugreek is thought to be possibly safe when taken for a short period of time.
Stop using fenugreek and call your healthcare provider at once if you have:
- symptoms of severe hypoglycemia: extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, trouble speaking, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions); or
- unusual bruising or bleeding.
Common side effects may include:
- diarrhea, stomach upset, gas;
- "maple syrup" odor in the urine.
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 fenugreek?
Other drugs may interact with fenugreek, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Do not take fenugreek without medical advice if you are using any of the following medications:
- diabetes medications: glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others;
- medications that slow blood clotting: warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with fenugreek, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.
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.
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