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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Saw Palmetto

Generic Name: saw palmetto (Pronunciation: SAW pal MET toe)

What is saw palmetto (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.

What are the possible side effects of saw palmetto (Saw Palmetto)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using saw palmetto and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • 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;
  • chest pain;
  • 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:

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.

What is the most important information I should know about saw palmetto (Saw Palmetto)?

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.



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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