Butterbur

How does Butterbur work?

Butterbur contains chemicals that might relieve spasms and decrease swelling (inflammation).

Are there safety concerns?

Butterbur products that have been chemically processed to remove chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can damage the liver seem safe for most people when used for up to four months. Butterbur can cause some side effects including burping, stomach upset, diarrhea, fatigue, itching, and possibly other side effects.

Butterbur products that contain the pyrrolizidine alkaloids are UNSAFE. These chemicals can damage the liver, lungs, and blood circulation, and possibly cause cancer. Do not use butterbur products unless they are certified and labeled as free of PAs that cause liver damage.

Butterbur products theoretically might cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and other related herbs.

Do not take butterbur if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and other related herbs.
  • You have liver disease.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.