How does Feverfew work?

Feverfew leaves contain many different chemicals, including one called parthenolide. Parthenolide or other chemicals decrease factors in the body that might cause migraine headaches.

Are there safety concerns?

Feverfew is safe for most people when used short-term. Side effects might include upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting. Other reported side effects include nervousness, dizziness, headache, insomnia, joint stiffness, tiredness, menstrual changes, rash, palpitations, and weight gain.

The safety of feverfew beyond 4-months' use has not been studied.

Feverfew can also cause allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to ragweed, mums, marigolds, or daisies. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking feverfew.

Some people chew feverfew instead of swallowing it in a pill. Chewing fresh feverfew leaves can cause mouth sores; swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips; and loss of taste.

Do not take feverfew if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks. Feverfew might increase the risk of bleeding.

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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.