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FEVERFEW

Other Names:

Altamisa, Bachelor's Buttons, Chrysanthème Matricaire, Chrysanthemum parthenium, Chrysanthemum praealtum, Featerfoiul, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Flirtwort Midsummer Daisy, Grande Camomille, Leucanthemum parthenium, Matricaria, Matricaria eximia, ...
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FEVERFEW Overview
FEVERFEW Uses
FEVERFEW Side Effects
FEVERFEW Interactions
FEVERFEW Dosing
FEVERFEW Overview Information

Feverfew is an herb. The leaves are used to make medicine.

Feverfew has many uses, but so far, it seems to be effective only for preventing migraineheadaches in some people.

Feverfew is also used for fever, irregular menstrual periods, arthritis, a skin disorder called psoriasis, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.

Some people use feverfew for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also used for “tired blood” (anemia), cancer, common cold, earache, liver disease, prevention of miscarriage, muscular tension, bone disorders, swollen feet, diarrhea, upset stomach and intestinal gas.

Feverfew is sometimes applied directly to the gums for toothaches or to the skin to kill germs.

You may not get your money’s worth from all feverfew products. Some feverfew tablet products can contain little or no feverfew.

How does it work?

Feverfew leaves contain many different chemicals, including one called parthenolide. Parthenolide or other chemicals decrease factors in the body that might cause migraine headaches.

FEVERFEW Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Preventing migraine headache. Some research shows that taking feverfew by mouth can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and reduce pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise when they do occur. Feverfew may be more effective in people with more frequent migraine attacks. But there are also studies that concluded that feverfew doesn’t work for migraines. The difference in results may be explained by the differences in feverfew products that were tested. The Canadian government allows manufacturers of a certain feverfew formulation (containing 0.2% of a chemical called parthenolide) to claim that their product can be used to prevent migraines.

Possibly Ineffective for:


Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Itching (pruritus). Early research shows that applying a cream containing feverfew to the skin improves skin itching.
  • Fever.
  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Arthritis.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Allergies.
  • Asthma.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Earache.
  • Cancer.
  • Common cold.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of feverfew for these uses.


FEVERFEW Side Effects & Safety

Feverfew is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used short-term (up to four months). Side effects might include upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting. Other reported side effects include nervousness, dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, joint stiffness, tiredness, menstrual changes, rash, pounding heart, and weight gain.

The safety of feverfew beyond 4 months’ use has not been studied.

Feverfew is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when fresh leave are chewed. Chewing unprocessed feverfew leaves can cause mouth sores; swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips; and loss of taste.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Feverfew is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken during pregnancy. There is concern that it might cause early contractions and miscarriage. Don’t use feverfew if you are pregnant. The safety of feverfew during breast-feeding isn’t known. It’s best to avoid using feverfew if you are breast-feeding.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Feverfew may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking feverfew.

Surgery: Feverfew might slow blood clotting. It might cause bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking feverfew at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

FEVERFEW Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with FEVERFEW

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Feverfew might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking feverfew along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking feverfew, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates) interacts with FEVERFEW

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Feverfew might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking feverfew along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking feverfew, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications that are changed by the liver include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and pantoprazole (Protonix); diazepam (Valium); carisoprodol (Soma); nelfinavir (Viracept); and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with FEVERFEW

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Feverfew might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking feverfew along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking feverfew, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications that are changed by the liver include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), and piroxicam (Feldene); celecoxib (Celebrex); amitriptyline (Elavil); warfarin (Coumadin); glipizide (Glucotrol); losartan (Cozaar); and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with FEVERFEW

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Feverfew might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking feverfew along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking feverfew, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with FEVERFEW

    Feverfew might slow blood clotting. Taking feverfew 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.


FEVERFEW Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For preventing migraine headaches: 50-100 mg of feverfew extract daily.

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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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