Generic Name: saw palmetto (SAW pal MET toe)Brand Names: Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto comes from a palm-like plant that grows in the southeast United States. The berries of this plant are used to make the capsule form of saw palmetto.
Saw palmetto blocks certain effects of certain hormones in the body and also has some anti-inflammatory actions.
Saw palmetto has been used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH), such as increased night-time urination or decreased urinary flow.
Saw palmetto has been used historically to treat stomach or intestinal problems, bladder irritation, and bronchitis.Saw palmetto has not been approved by the FDA to treat any disease, and it should not be substituted for prescription medications.
Saw palmetto has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of saw palmetto may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. Some marketed herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Saw palmetto may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Talk to a doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider before taking saw palmetto. You may not be able to use this product if you have certain medical conditions or take other medications.Saw palmetto has not been approved by the FDA to treat any disease, and it should not be substituted for prescription medications.
Saw palmetto has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of saw palmetto may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. Some marketed herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.Saw palmetto may increase your risk of bleeding. Tell your healthcare provider if you take a blood thinner such as Coumadin, or if you have hemophilia, a stomach or intestinal ulcer, or if you need to have any type of surgery.
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder (such as hemophilia);
stomach ulcer with active bleeding; or
ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
Before taking saw palmetto, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider. You may not be able to use this product if you have:
a heart rhythm disorder;
a history of stomach ulcer; or
asthma or other breathing disorder.
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to take saw palmetto, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Saw palmetto is available in a capsule formulation.Other forms of saw palmetto may also be available, such as teas, tinctures, and topical forms. Do not use many different forms of saw palmetto together at the same time, unless you healthcare provider instructs you to. Using different forms together may increase your risk of an overdose of saw palmetto. Saw palmetto should be taken with food to reduce stomach upset. If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using saw palmetto. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time. Store saw palmetto at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
No information is available about missing a dose of saw palmetto. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider for instructions if you miss a dose.
Symptoms of a saw palmetto overdose are not known.
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using saw palmetto.
weakness or fainting;
black, bloody, or tarry stools;
coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
pain or swelling in your breasts or testicles;
fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
easy bruising or bleeding; or
nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
diarrhea or constipation;
sleep problems (insomnia);
depressed mood; or
increased or decreased interest in sex;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist or other healthcare provider about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
garlic or ginkgo biloba;
birth control pills;
iron supplements such as ferrous fumarate ferrous gluconate, or ferrous sulfate;
hormone replacement therapy;
estrogen or testosterone;
an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others; or
medication used to prevent blood clots, such as alteplase (Activase), anistreplase (Eminase), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and urokinase (Abbokinase).
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect saw palmetto. Tell your healthcare provider about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your healthcare provider.