Madagascar Periwinkle

How does Madagascar Periwinkle work?

Madagascar periwinkle might alter the immune system, increase the production of urine (diuretic), and lower blood sugar.

Vinblastine and vincristine, some chemicals that can be taken out of Madagascar periwinkle, are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in chemotherapy. These chemicals are used against cancers such as Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, Kaposi's sarcoma, malignant lymphomas, mycosis fungoides , neuroblastoma, and Wilm's tumor.

Are there safety concerns?

Madagascar periwinkle is UNSAFE when taken by mouth due to the presence of poisonous chemicals known as vinca alkaloids. Madagascar periwinkle can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, hearing loss, dizziness, bleeding, nerve problems, seizures, liver damage, low blood sugar, and even death.

There isn't enough information to know if it is safe for use on the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use Madagascar periwinkle if you are pregnant. It could cause a miscarriage or birth defects.

It's also UNSAFE to use Madagascar periwinkle if you are breast-feeding, because of the poisonous chemicals it contains.

Diabetes: Madagascar periwinkle seems to be able to lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might lower blood sugar too much in people with diabetes who are using antidiabetes medications. Medication doses might need to be changed.

Surgery: Madagascar periwinkle seems to be able to lower blood sugar levels. Some doctors worry that Madagascar periwinkle might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using Madagascar periwinkle at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


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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.


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