Font Size

milk thistle (cont.)

Who should not take milk thistle ()?

Milk thistle may inhibit the metabolism of certain drugs. Before taking milk thistle, ask your doctor if any drugs you are taking are metabolized by a liver enzyme called CYP3A4. You may not be able to take milk thistle, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring while you are taking it.

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

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

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

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

How should I take milk thistle ()?

The use of milk thistle 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 milk thistle, 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 milk thistle with a full glass of water.

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

Some forms of milk thistle can be brewed to form a tea for drinking.

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, teas, and others) of milk thistle 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 milk thistle.

Store milk thistle as directed on the package. In general, milk thistle 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.

Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.

Medical Dictionary