Star Of Bethlehem

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What other names is Star Of Bethlehem known by?

Dame d'Onze Heures, Estrella de Belén, Étoile de Bethléem, Étoile de Marie, Nap-at-noon, Ornithogale en Ombelle, Ornithogalum umbellatum, Sleepydick, Snowdrop.

What is Star Of Bethlehem?

Star of Bethlehem is a plant. The bulb of the plant contains chemicals that have been used as a medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take star of Bethlehem for congestive heart failure (CHF).

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Heart failure. Individuals report that taking extracts of star of Bethlehem can improve heart function, decrease lung congestion, and decrease water retention in the legs. But a formal scientific study is needed to determine whether these benefits are typical.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of star of Bethlehem for this use.

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 Star Of Bethlehem work?

Chemicals contained in the bulb of star of Bethlehem have an action similar to a prescription drug called digoxin.

Are there safety concerns?

Star of Bethlehem is UNSAFE to use as a medicine. It contains powerful chemicals called cardiac glycosides. These chemicals are similar to the prescription drug digoxin. This product should not be used without close medical supervision due to potentially life-threatening side effects such as irregular heartbeat.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to take star of Bethlehem whether you are pregnant or not. The cardiac glycosides in star of Bethlehem can cause harm, including death.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Antibiotics (Macrolide antibiotics)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Star of Bethlehem can affect the heart. Some antibiotics might increase how much star of Bethlehem the body absorbs. Taking star of Bethlehem along with some antibiotics might increase the effects and side effects caused by star of Bethlehem.

Some of these antibiotics, called macrolide antibiotics, include erythromycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin.



Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Star of Bethlehem can affect the heart. Some antibiotics might increase how much star of Bethlehem the body absorbs. Taking star of Bethlehem along with some antibiotics might increase the effects and side effects caused by star of Bethlehem.

Some of these antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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



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

Star of Bethlehem can affect the heart. Quinine can also affect the heart. Taking quinine along with star of Bethlehem might cause serious heart problems.



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

Star of Bethlehem 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 from star of Bethlehem.

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.

Star of Bethlehem can 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 star of Bethlehem.

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

Dosing considerations for Star Of Bethlehem.

The appropriate dose of star of Bethlehem 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 star of Bethlehem. 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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