garlic (generic name)

It is promoted to reduce cholesterol or prevent hardening of the arteries
(GAHR lik)
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What is this medicine?

GARLIC (GAHR lik) is an herbal or dietary supplement. It is promoted to reduce cholesterol or prevent hardening of the arteries. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

This herb may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bleeding disorder
  • diabetes
  • HIV infection
  • low blood sugar
  • taking blood-thinning medications
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to garlic, other herbs, plants, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling, or take as directed by your health care professional. You may take this medicine with food. Do not take this medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
  • dipyridamole
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like cilostazol, clopidogrel, enoxaparin, ticlopidine, warfarin
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • other herbal or dietary supplements like danshen, dong quai, feverfew, ginger, ginkgo biloba, horse chestnut, willow bark
  • saquinavir

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

See your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.

If you are scheduled for any medical or dental procedure, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this medicine. You may need to stop taking this medicine before the procedure.

Herbal or dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines. Rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. The purity and strength of these products can vary. The safety and effect of this dietary supplement for a certain disease or illness is not well known. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • Natural does not mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products that include USP after the ingredient name. This means that the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements made or sold by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • burning in the mouth, stomach, throat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • garlic odor on breath, skin
  • headache
  • nausea
  • stomach gas, upset
  • sweating

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature or as directed on the package label. Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 29, 2009
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