Pleurisy Root

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What other names is Pleurisy Root known by?

Asclépiade, Asclépiade Pleurétique, Asclépiade Tubéreuse, Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed, Canada Root, Flux Root, Orange Milkweed, Orange Swallow Wort, Pleurisy, Racine du Canada, Racine Colique, Racine de Flux, Racine de Tubercule, Swallow Wort, Tuber Root, Vencetósigo, White Root, Wind Root.

What is Pleurisy Root?

Pleurisy is a plant. The root is used as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, pleurisy root is used for coughs, swelling of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy), swelling of the air sacs in the lungs (pneumonitis), swelling of the airways (bronchitis), influenza, and swine flu. It is also used to treat disorders of the uterus, muscle spasms, and pain; to loosen mucus so it can be coughed up; and to promote sweating.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Coughs.
  • Lung inflammation (pleurisy and pneumonitis).
  • Bronchitis.
  • Influenza.
  • Disorders of the uterus.
  • Pain.
  • Spasms.
  • Promoting sweating.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pleurisy root for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Pleurisy Root work?

There isn't enough information to know how pleurisy root might work.

Are there safety concerns?

Pleurisy root is POSSIBLY UNSAFE because it contains a powerful chemical that is similar to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin). It might cause serious heart problems. Pleurisy root also can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting, and skin rash.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use pleurisy root if you are pregnant. Pleurisy root can stimulate the uterus and it can also act like the hormone estrogen. These effects can endanger the pregnancy.

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use pleurisy root if you are breast-feeding. Avoid use.

Heart problems: Pleurisy root might interfere with medicines used to treat heart problems. Don't use pleurisy root if you have a heart condition.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Pleurisy root also seems to affect the heart. Taking pleurisy root along with digoxin can increase the effects of digoxin and increase the risk of side effects. Do not take pleurisy root if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your healthcare professional.



Estrogens
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Large amounts of pleurisy root might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But pleurisy root isn't as strong as estrogen pills. Taking pleurisy root along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Pleurisy root might affect the heart. "Water pills" can decrease potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can also affect the heart and increase the risk of side effects from pleurisy root.

Some "water pills" that can deplete potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing considerations for Pleurisy Root.

The appropriate dose of pleurisy root depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pleurisy root. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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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.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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