Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale, Blowball, Lion's Teeth)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

GENERIC NAME: Taraxacum officinale

BRAND NAME: Dandelion, Blowball, Lion's Teeth

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Taraxacum officinale is a plant. The above ground parts are used as natural herbal supplements and for many conditions. There is little evidence that it is effective for any condition. Taraxacum officinale contains chemicals that may increase urine production and decrease pain and swelling. Check with your health-care professional before using herbs or herbal supplements.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Taraxacum officinale is available as capsules, liquid extract, and tea forms. Concentration of Taraxacum officinale may vary from product-to-product due to multiple manufacturers producing various products. Products that contain Taraxacum officinale also contain other herbs.

STORAGE: Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of Taraxacum officinale, storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Taraxacum officinale is commonly used to increase urine production, joint pain, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and upset stomach. Taraxacum officinale is also used to treat viral infections, cancer, and to improve skin tone.

DOSING: There is no established dosing. Follow the manufacturers recommendation for each product.

Safe and effective use of Taraxacum officinale supplement is not established for individuals under the age of 18.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Taraxacum officinale should be used with caution with quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and moxifloxacin (Avelox) because it may reduce the absorption of these antibiotics and may decrease their effectiveness. Check with your doctor before using this herbal product.

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