arnica (arnica montana, Arnicare, Arniflora)

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GENERIC NAME: arnica montana

BRAND NAME: Arnicare, Arniflora

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Arnica montana is a homeopathic topical pain relief agent. Its mechanism of action is not well known. Arnica preparations have shown wound healing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties. Arnica's actions may be due to two chemicals called helenalin and dihyrdohelenalin. These chemicals may modify the action of immune cells, kill bacteria, reduce the activity of chemicals and blood cells that cause inflammation, and kill cancer cells.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Quick dissolving tablets; Ointment: 4%; Cream: 7%; Gel 7%, 8%

STORAGE: Store Arnica Montana at room temperature between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Arnica Montana is used for temporary pain relief, muscle aches, stiffness, bruising, and swelling.

DOSING:

Topical Cream or Gel

  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older: Apply a thin layer to affected area(s) as soon as possible after injury. Repeat 3 to 4 times a day or as needed. Avoid contact with eyes and open wounds.
  • Children under 2 years of age: Consult a doctor.

Tablets

Adults and children 2 years of age and older: at the onset of symptoms, dissolve 2 tablets in the mouth or in 1 tablespoon of water and repeat every hour for 2 more hrs. Then dissolve 2 tablets in the mouth every 6 hrs.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: There are no significant drug interactions, when using topical forms of arnica. Arnica may increase the effect of anticoagulants and other drugs that increase the risk of bleeding when taken orally.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies done on arnica to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women. It is considered unsafe during pregnancy. Arnica has been used to cause abortions.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether arnica enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

SIDE EFFECTS: Arnica should not be applied to open wounds or mucous membranes. Arnica also may give mild odor when applied. Undiluted oral forms are considered unsafe and have been reported to cause cardiac arrest, fast heart beat, shortness of breath, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Pure arnica is considered an unsafe herb by the FDA.

REFERENCE: FDA Poisonous Plant Database.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/13/2014



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