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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: pennyroyal (Pronunciation: PEH nee roy al)

What is pennyroyal ()?

The use of pennyroyal 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.

Pennyroyal is also known as Mentha pulegium, pulegium, American pennyroyal, run-by-the-ground, lurk-in-the-ditch, pudding grass, piliolerial, mosquito plant, squaw balm, and squawmint tickweed.

Pennyroyal has been used for digestive disorders, liver and gallbladder disorders, gout, colds, increased urination, as an insect repellant, to induce menstruation, and topically for skin diseases.

Since the use of pennyroyal oil has been associated with serious, even fatal, liver and kidney damage, oral or topical use of pennyroyal oil is generally not recommended.

Pennyroyal has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of pennyroyal 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.

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

What are the possible side effects of pennyroyal ()?

Although rare, allergic reactions to pennyroyal may occur. Stop taking pennyroyal and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Pennyroyal oil has been associated with cases of severe liver and kidney damage. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, unusual fatigue, loss of appetite, yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, clay colored stools, or little or no urine. These symptoms may be early signs of liver or kidney damage.

Stop taking pennyroyal and call your healthcare provider at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • lethargy, paralysis, and unconsciousness;
  • agitation and delirium;
  • seizures;
  • fever;
  • increased blood pressure and pulse rate; and
  • rash.

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 pennyroyal ()?

Since the use of pennyroyal oil has been associated with serious, even fatal, liver and kidney damage, oral or topical use of pennyroyal oil is generally not recommended.

Pennyroyal oil has been associated with cases of severe liver and kidney damage. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, unusual fatigue, loss of appetite, yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, clay colored stools, or little or no urine. These symptoms may be early signs of liver or kidney damage.

Pennyroyal has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of pennyroyal 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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