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FORSKOLIN

Other Names:

17beta-acetoxy-8,13-epoxy-1alpha, 6beta,9alpha-trihydroxylabd-14-en-11-one, Borforsin, Coleus, Coleus barbatus, Coleus forskolii, Coleus forskohlii, Colforsin, Colforsine, Forskohlii, Forskolin, Forskolina, Forskoline, HL-362, L-75-1362B, Plectr...
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FORSKOLIN Overview
FORSKOLIN Uses
FORSKOLIN Side Effects
FORSKOLIN Interactions
FORSKOLIN Dosing
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.

FORSKOLIN Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • A heart condition called idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy, when given intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider.
  • Asthma, when inhaled (breathed in).

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • 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.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of forskolin for these uses.


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.

FORSKOLIN Interactions What is this?

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.


FORSKOLIN Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

INTRAVENOUS:

  • Healthcare providers give forskolin intravenously (by IV) for a heart condition called idiopathic congestive cardiopathy.
INHALATION:
  • Under medical supervision, people with asthma breathe in forskolin powder using a Spinhaler inhalator.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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