Squill

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What other names is Squill known by?

Cebolla Albarrana, Charpentaire, Drimia indica, Drimia maritima, European Squill, Indian Quills, Indian Squill, Jacinthe de Mer, Jangli Pyaj, Jungli Plyaz, Mediterranean Squill, Oignon Marin, Red Squill, Scilla, Scilla indica, Scilla maritima, Scille, Scille Blanche, Scille Maritime, Scille Mort-aux-Rats, Scille Officinale, Sea Onion, Sea Squill Bulb, Scilla, Squille, Urginea indica, Urginea maritima, Urginea scilla, Urginée Fausse-Scille, Urginée Maritime, Vanpalandu, White Squill.

What is Squill?

Squill is a plant. The bulbs of the plant are used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take squill to treat mild heart failure, irregular heartbeat, "nervous" heart complaints, and certain vein problems. They also take it as a "heart tonic."

Squill is used for lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, asthma with bronchitis, and whooping cough.

Some people take squill to relieve fluid retention (edema), thin mucus, induce vomiting, or cause an abortion.

In manufacturing, squill is used in pest control as rat poison.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD). Early research suggests that injecting methylproscillaridin, a chemical in squill, intravenously (by IV) might improve heart function in people with coronary heart disease.
  • Abnormal heart rhythm and other heart problems.
  • Fluid retention (edema).
  • Bronchitis.
  • Asthma.
  • Whooping cough.
  • Thinning mucus.
  • Inducing vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of squill 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 Squill work?

The chemicals in squill affect the heart. They can also thin mucus secretions in the lungs.

Are there safety concerns?

Squill is UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It causes stomach irritation, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, vision changes, depression, confusion, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, and skin rash. More serious side effects such as seizures, life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, and death have occurred.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is UNSAFE for anyone to take squill by mouth, but people with the following conditions have even more reasons not to use it:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to take squill by mouth if you are pregnant. It might cause a miscarriage. It's also UNSAFE to take squill if you are breast-feeding.

Heart conditions: Do not use squill if you have certain heart conditions, such as complete heart block, abnormally thick heart muscle, abnormally fast heart beats, or a condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Squill could make your condition worse.

Low potassium levels or high calcium levels in the blood (electrolyte imbalance): Do not use squill if you have one of these conditions. Squill could make your electrolyte imbalance worse.

Stomach and bowel problems: Squill can irritate the stomach and intestines. Don't use it if you have any stomach or bowel conditions.

Are there any interactions with medications?



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

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



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

Squill can stimulate the heartbeat. Calcium might also affect the heart. Taking squill along with calcium might cause the heart to be too stimulated. Do not take squill along with calcium supplements.



Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Squill might affect the heart. Some medications for inflammation can decrease potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can also affect the heart and increase the risk of side effects from squill.

Some medications for inflammation include dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (Deltasone), and others.



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

Squill can affect the heart. Quinidine can also affect the heart. Taking quinidine along with squill might cause serious heart problems.



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

Squill can affect the heart. The heart uses potassium. Laxatives called stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the chance of side effects squill.

Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.



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

Squill 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 squill.

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

Dosing considerations for Squill.

The appropriate dose of squill 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 squill. 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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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.

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

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