FORSKOLIN Overview Information
Forskolin is a chemical found in the roots of the plant Plectranthus barbatus (Coleus forskohlii). This plant has been used since ancient times to treat heart disorders such as high blood pressure and chest pain (angina), as well as respiratory disorders such as asthma.
When taken by mouth, forskolin is also used to treat allergies, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, obesity, painful menstrual periods, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infections (UTI), bladder infections, advanced cancer, blood clots, sexual problems in men, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and convulsions.
Healthcare providers sometimes give forskolin intravenously (by IV) for heart failure.
Some people breathe in (inhale) forskolin powder for asthma.
Forskolin drops are used in the eyes to treat glaucoma.
Herbal product manufacturers are now producing Coleus forskohlii extracts that contain high levels of forskolin. These preparations are being promoted for the same conditions for which forskolin has been traditionally used. However, currently there is no reliable scientific information that shows Coleus forskohlii extracts taken by mouth are effective.
How does it work?
Forskolin works on muscles in the heart and in the walls of the blood vessels. It produces a more powerful heartbeat and widening of the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Possibly Effective for:
- A heart condition called idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy, when given intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider.
- Asthma, when inhaled (breathed in).
- Use by mouth for asthma, allergies, skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, obesity, dysmenorrhea (period pains), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), cancer, thrombosis (blood clots), insomnia, sexual problems in men, or convulsions.
- Use by injection for congestive heart failure (CHF).
- Use as eye drops for glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes). There is some preliminary evidence that forskolin suspension eye drops (1%) can significantly decrease intraocular pressure in healthy people without eye disease. Forskolin has not yet been tested in patients with glaucoma.
- Other conditions.
FORSKOLIN Side Effects & Safety
Forskolin is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when used appropriately by IV, inhalation (breathing in), or as eye drops. However, there can be some side effects. When given by injection, forskolin can cause flushing and low blood pressure. When inhaled, forskolin can cause throat irritation, cough, tremor, and restlessness. Eye drops containing forskolin can cause stinging.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of forskolin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: There is some evidence that forskolin might increase the likelihood of bleeding.
Heart disease (cardiovascular disease): There is some concern that forskolin might interfere with treatment for diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease) and could worsen them. Forskolin might significantly lower blood pressure. Use forskolin with caution if you have a heart problem.
Surgery: Forskolin might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using forskolin at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination
- Medications for high blood pressure (Calcium channel blockers) interacts with FORSKOLIN
Forskolin might decrease blood pressure. Taking forskolin with medication for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.
- Medications that increase blood flow to the heart (Nitrates) interacts with FORSKOLIN
Forskolin increases blood flow. Taking forskolin with medications that increase blood flow to the heart might increase the chance of dizziness and lightheadedness.
Some of these medications that increase blood flow to the heart include nitroglycerin (Nitro-Bid, Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat) and isosorbide (Imdur, Isordil, Sorbitrate).
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with FORSKOLIN
Forskolin might slow blood clotting. Taking forskolin along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- Healthcare providers give forskolin intravenously (by IV) for a heart condition called idiopathic congestive cardiopathy.
- Under medical supervision, people with asthma breathe in forskolin powder using a Spinhaler inhalator.