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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Venastat

Generic Name: horse chestnut (Pronunciation: HORSE CHEST nut)

What is horse chestnut (Venastat)?

The use of horse chestnut 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.

Horse chestnut is also known as Aesculus hippocastanum, Cellu-Var, Variclear, Reparil, Varicare, Varicosin, VeinAway, Venastat, and others.

Horse chestnut has been used topically to cosmetically improve the appearance of varicose veins. It has also been promoted for relief of swelling or inflammation of joints, tendons, and muscles and hemorrhoids. Horse chestnut has been used orally to improve symptoms of fatigue, and pain, nighttime cramping, itching and swelling in the legs.

Horse chestnut has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of horse chestnut may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Horse chestnut may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of horse chestnut (Venastat)?

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to horse chestnut have been reported. Stop taking horse chestnut and seek emergency medical attention if you experience:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • bleeding (gums, nose, skin, stool, urine);
  • decreased amounts of urine;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • skin rash; or
  • unusual bruising.

Other less serious side effects have also been reported. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience

  • stomach upset or heartburn; or
  • burning or stinging where cream or gel is applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about horse chestnut (Venastat)?

Do not use horse chestnut without first talking to your doctor if you have a history of blood clots, colitis or other stomach or intestine related illnesses, diabetes, heart disease, low blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or poor blood circulation.

Do not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, others), naproxen (Aleve, others), or ketoprofen (Orudis KT, others) while using horse chestnut. These drugs may increase the risk of bleeding while using horse chestnut.

Horse chestnut has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of horse chestnut may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.



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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