Burdock (generic name)

treats Quality of life in cancer patients and Diabetes
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Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Based on animal research and limited human study, burdock may either lower or raise blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary. Burdock has been associated with diuretic effects (increasing urine flow) in one human report and in theory may cause excess fluid loss (dehydration) or electrolyte imbalances (for example, changes in potassium or sodium levels in the blood). These effects may be increased when burdock is taken at the same time as diuretic drugs such as chlorothiazide (Diuril®), furosemide (Lasix®), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), or spironolactone (Aldactone®). Based on limited human evidence that is not entirely clear, burdock may have estrogen-like properties and may act to increase the effects of estrogenic agents including hormone replacement therapies such as Premarin® or birth control pills.

Based on animal research, burdock may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (although human research is lacking). Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®). Tinctures of burdock may contain high concentrations of alcohol (ethanol) and may lead to vomiting if used with disulfiram (Antabuse®) or metronidazole (Flagyl®).

Medications taken to treat gout, cancer, or HIV may interact with burdock. There is also a possible interaction with antibiotics.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Based on animal research and limited human study, burdock may either lower or raise blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that can also alter blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

Burdock has been associated with diuretic effects (increasing urine flow) in one human report, and in theory, may cause excess fluid loss (dehydration) or electrolyte imbalances (for example, changes in potassium or sodium levels in the blood) when used with other diuretic herbs or supplements.

Based on animal research, burdock may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, fewer cases with garlic, and two cases with saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

Herbs or supplements taken to treat gout, cancer, or HIV may interact with burdock. There is also a possible interaction with herbs with antibacterial, antioxidant, or anti-inflammatory effects (such as ginger).

Attribution

This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Tracee Rae Abrams, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); E-P Barrette, MD (Case Western Reserve School of Medicine); Ethan Basch, MD (Harvard Medical School); Samuel Basch, MD (Mt. Sinai Medical Center); Wendy Chao, PhD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Paul Hammerness, MD (Harvard Medical School); Sadaf Hashmi, MD, MPH (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health); David Sollars, MAc, HMC. (New England School of Acupuncture); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).

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