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Hawthorn Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings

  • Further studies are needed to better assess the safety of hawthorn-containing preparations. Moreover, the unsupervised use of this drug can be associated with problems, especially if given with concomitant medications.
    - Drug Saf. 2006;29(6):523-35. -- Adverse-event profile of Crataegus spp.: a systematic review. -- Daniele C, Mazzanti G, Pittler MH, Ernst E.

  • Hawthorn is well tolerated; the most common adverse effects are vertigo and dizziness. Theoretic interactions exist with antiarrhythmics, antihypertensives, digoxin, and antihyperlipidemic agents. Proven conventional therapies for heart failure are still recommended until the safety and effectiveness of hawthorn has been proven in long-term studies.
    - Am Fam Physician. 2010 Feb 15;81(4):465-8. -- Health effects of hawthorn. -- Dahmer S, Scott E.

  • Possible side effects include dizziness, gastrointestinal complaints, headaches and heart palpitations. It may have a potentiating effect on digitalis, anti-hypertensive agents, and lipid-lowering medications.
    - Altern Med Rev. 2010 Jul;15(2):164-7. -- Crataegus oxyacantha (Hawthorn). Monograph.

  • Hawthorn may interfere with either digoxin pharmacodynamically or with digoxin monitoring.
    - Arch Intern Med 1998 Nov 9;158(20):2200-11 -- Herbal medicinals: selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions. -- Miller LG.

  • Potential for hawthorn to interact negatively with typical heart failure medications.
    - J Card Fail. 2005 Oct;11(8):586-9. -- The prevalence and pattern of complementary and alternative supplement use in individuals with chronic heart failure. -- Zick SM, Blume A, Aaronson KD.

last update: February 2014

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