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flax (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking flax ()?

Do not take flax internally without first talking to your doctor if you have a narrowing of the esophagus or another stomach area, an intestinal obstruction, or other stomach or intestinal problems. Since flax swells in the stomach, it may be dangerous if used by people with certain intestinal problems.

Do not take flax internally without first talking to your doctor if you have prostate problems or difficulty with urination.

Before taking flax, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have allergies (especially to plants), have any medical condition, or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. Flax may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take flax without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether flax will harm an unborn baby.

Do not take flax without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is also not known whether flax will harm a nursing infant.

There is no information available regarding the use of flax by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take flax ()?

The use of flax in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take flax, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Take the pill forms of flax with a full glass of water.

To ensure the correct dose, measure the liquid forms of flax with a dropper or a dose-measuring spoon or cup.

If you are taking flax internally, be sure to drink plenty of fluid. Too little fluid can lead to a blockage of flax in the intestines.

Topical forms of flax are intended for external use only.

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, and others) of flax at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of flax.

Store flax as directed on the package. In general, flax should be protected from light.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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