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ginkgo (cont.)

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

Do not take ginkgo without first talking to your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; if you are taking a medicine to prevent blood clots; or if you are taking other medications, herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may also affect blood clotting). Ginkgo may affect the time it takes for the blood to clot.

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

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

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

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

How should I take ginkgo ()?

The use of ginkgo 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 ginkgo, 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.

Ginkgo is available in pill and liquid forms.

Ginkgo leaves can also be brewed to form a tea for drinking.

Do not take more of this product than is directed. Too much could be dangerous.

Do not use ginkgo seeds or fruit pulp. These have been shown to be toxic. Also, do not handle the ginkgo fruit pulp. A severe reaction including skin redness, swelling, blistering, and itching lasting for 7 to 10 days has been reported.

Store ginkgo as directed on the package. In general, ginkgo should be protected from light and moisture.

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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