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

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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.



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.

Taraxacum officinale may reduce the breakdown of some drugs by the liver, increasing blood levels of these drugs. Some examples include propranolol (Inderal), amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), and ondansetron (Zofran).

Taraxacum officinale contains potassium. If combined with potassium sparring diuretics (water pills) such as spironolactone (Alkdactone) there may be significant increases in blood potassium levels.

Taraxacum officinale may increase urine production, so it may affect how lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) may be removed from the body. Increased urine production can slow down lithium removal from the body, leading to increased lithium levels. Adjustments in lithium dose may be required.

Taraxacum officinale may slow down blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, Taraxacum officinale should be used with caution with medications like aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), enoxaparin (Lovenox), diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of Taraxacum officinale to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women. It should be avoided during pregnancy.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether Taraxacum officinale enters breast milk. It should be avoided by nursing mothers to avoid harm to the newborn.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of Taraxacum officinale are abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, heartburn, increased heart rate, bruising and bleeding, excessive urination, and increased potassium levels (hyperkalemia).


Medscape. Effects of Herbal Supplements on the Kidney.

MedlinePlus. Dandelion.

NIH. Dandelion.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2014

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