Swamp Milkweed

What other names is Swamp Milkweed known by?

Asclépiade Incarnate, Asclépiade Rouge, Asclepias incarnata, Asclépias Incarnata, Ciénaga de Algodoncillo, Rose-Colored Silkweed, Swamp Silkweed.

What is Swamp Milkweed?

Swamp milkweed is an herb. The root and underground stem (rhizome) are used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take swamp milkweed for digestion problems.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Digestion problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of swamp milkweed for these uses.

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How does Swamp Milkweed work?

There isn't enough information available to know how swamp milkweed might work.

Are there safety concerns?

Swamp milkweed is UNSAFE to use. It contains chemicals similar to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin) that can cause a dangerously irregular heartbeat. Handling the plant can cause swelling (inflammation) of the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Swamp milkweed is UNSAFE for anyone to use, including pregnant and breast-feeding women. It can cause a dangerously irregular heartbeat.

Heart disease: Swamp milkweed can make a heart condition worse. Avoid use.

Are there any interactions with medications?



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

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



Quinine
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Swamp milkweed can affect the heart. Quinine can also affect the heart. Taking swamp milkweed along with quinine might cause serious heart problems.



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

Swamp milkweed can affect the heart. Some antibiotics might increase how much swamp milkweed the body absorbs. Increasing how much swamp milkweed the body absorbs might increase the effects and side effects of swamp milkweed.

Some 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.

Taking tetracycline antibiotics along with swamp milkweed might increase the chance of side effects from swamp milkweed.

Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).



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

Swamp milkweed 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 swamp milkweed.

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.

Swamp milkweed 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 swamp milkweed.

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

Dosing considerations for Swamp Milkweed.

The appropriate dose of swamp milkweed 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 swamp milkweed. 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.

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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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011