saw palmetto (generic name)

It is promoted to help support prostate health
(saw pal MET oh)
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What is this medicine?

SAW PALMETTO (saw pal MET oh) is an herbal or dietary supplement. It is promoted to help support prostate health. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

This supplement 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:
  • liver disease
  • prostate cancer
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to saw palmetto, other herbs, plants, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this supplement by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling, or take as directed by your health care professional. If this supplement upsets your stomach, take it 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?

  • other medicines for the prostate like finasteride, tamsulosin
  • hormones
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to 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
  • dark urine
  • fever
  • general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite, nausea
  • right upper belly pain
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

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

  • breast tenderness or enlargement
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • stomach upset

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F) or as directed on the package label. Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused supplement 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: August 20, 2009
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