Ginseng has been used for improving overall health. It has also been used to strengthen the immune system and help fight off stress and disease. There are different types of ginseng. Asian ginseng (from Chinese and Korean sources) has been used for unclear thinking, diabetes, and male erectile dysfunction. American ginseng has been used for diabetes and for prevention of the common cold and flu. Siberian ginseng has been used for preventing colds and flu, and for reducing the severity of herpes simplex virus type 2 infections.
Do not give ginseng to infants because it may cause harm. This product is not recommended for use in children.
Some herbal/dietary supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful impurities/additives. Check with your pharmacist for more details about the brand you use.
The FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Take this product by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. Dosage is based on the condition the product is used for and the type of ginseng. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Ginseng should not be used for long periods. Asian ginseng should not be used for more than 3 months at a time, and Siberian ginseng should not be used for more than 2 months at a time. American ginseng has been used for up to 1 month, although certain extract products have been used for up to 4 months. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about your product and how to use it safely.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Trouble sleeping is the most common side effect. Less common effects include headache, agitation, upset stomach, menstrual problems (e.g., unusual vaginal bleeding), breast pain, and dizziness. An increase or decrease in blood pressure may also occur. Siberian ginseng may also cause drowsiness, nervousness, or mood changes. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking ginseng, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any other ingredients listed on the product label; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
People who are allergic to one type of ginseng should also avoid taking other types.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: high or low blood pressure, heart problems (e.g., abnormal heart rhythm, rheumatic heart disease), bleeding/clotting problems, a certain mental/mood disorder (schizophrenia), overactive immune system disorders (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis), conditions that are affected by estrogen (e.g., endometriosis, uterine fibroids, cancer of the breast/uterus/ovary).
Ginseng may lower blood sugar levels too much, especially in people with diabetes. Siberian ginseng may lower or raise blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar more carefully while using this product, and report any unusual results or symptoms to your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medications.
Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
This product may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
This product is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this product.
It is unknown if this product passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: medications/products that may increase your risk of bleeding (e.g., "blood thinners" such as warfarin and heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, herbal products such as danshen/garlic/ginger), MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine), drugs that weaken the immune system (e.g., corticosteroids such as prednisone, drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection such as cyclosporine), drugs to treat diabetes (e.g., glyburide, insulin), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid), other herbal products (e.g., fenugreek, willow bark).
Aspirin may also increase the risk of bleeding when used with this product. If your doctor has prescribed low doses of aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue to take the aspirin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Caffeine can increase the side effects of this product. Avoid drinking large amounts of beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, certain soft drinks) and eating large amounts of chocolate.
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase the side effects of ginseng. Decongestants (e.g., pseudoephedrine) and stimulants (e.g., caffeine, ephedra, ma huang) may worsen trouble sleeping, fast heartbeat, and increased blood pressure. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If you are taking Siberian ginseng, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs/other products that cause drowsiness such as: anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone), other herbal products (e.g., kava, valerian), antihistamines in allergy and cough-and-cold products (e.g., diphenhydramine).
Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Different types and quality of ginseng may have different effects. Read the product label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications and herbal products away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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