BERBERINE Overview Information
Berberine is a chemical found in several plants including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree tumeric.
People take berberine for heart failure.
Some people apply berberine directly to the skin to treat burns and to the eye to treat trachoma, a bacterial infection that frequently causes blindness.
How does it work?
Berberine might cause stronger heartbeats. It also might also be able to kill bacteria.
- Heart failure, burns, trachoma (an eye infection that can cause blindness), and other conditions.
- Burns. Applying an ointment that contains berberine and beta-sitosterol seems to work about as well for second-degree burns as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazine.
- Congestive heart failure (CHF). Berberine might reduce some of the symptoms and lower death rate in some people with congestive heart failure.
- Trachoma. There is some evidence that eye drops containing berberine might be useful for treating trachoma, a common cause of blindness in developing countries.
- Other conditions.
BERBERINE Side Effects & Safety
Berberine seems to be safe for most adults for short-term use when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Children: It’s UNSAFE to give berberine to newborns. It can cause kernicterus, a rare type of brain damage that can occur in newborns who have severe jaundice. Jaundice is yellowing of the skin caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a chemical that is produced when the old red cells break down. It is normally removed by the liver. Berberine may keep the liver from removing bilirubin fast enough.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to take berberine by mouth if you are pregnant. Researchers believe berberine can cross the placenta and might cause harm to the fetus. Kernicterus, a type of brain damage, has developed in newborn infants exposed to berberine.
It’s also UNSAFE to take berberine if you are breast-feeding. Berberine can be transferred to the infant through breast milk, and it might cause harm.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination
- Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with BERBERINE
The body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) to get rid of it. Berberine might decrease how fast the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). This might cause there to be too much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) in the body and potentially cause side effects.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with BERBERINE
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
Berberine might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking berberine along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking berberine, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver. Some medications changed by the liver include cyclosporin (Neoral, Sandimmune), lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), indinavir (Crixivan), sildenafil (Viagra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
The appropriate dose of berberine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for berberine. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.