What is this medicine?
GINKGO (GING koh) is an herbal product or dietary supplement. It is promoted to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, memory loss, impaired mental performance, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and circulatory disorders. Due to the fact that many mental or circulatory symptoms could be serious if not properly diagnosed by a health care provider, self-treatment is not recommended. The FDA has not approved this herb 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:
- Alzheimer's disease or other dementia
- bleeding problems
- high blood pressure
- seizure disorder
- taking blood-thinner medicines
- an unusual or allergic reaction to ginkgo, other herbs, plants, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling or ask your health care professional. For best results take this supplement with food. Do not take this supplement more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician regarding the use of this supplement 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?
Check with your doctor or healthcare professional if you are taking any of the following medications:
- aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems like diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil
- medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like enoxaparin, heparin, warfarin
- NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
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 supplement. You may need to stop taking this supplement 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
- unusual bleeding, bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- nausea, vomiting
- stomach gas, upset