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Feverfew

What is it?

Feverfew is an herbal medicine used for migraine headache.

Other names for feverfew include: Tanacetum, Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium, bachelor's buttons, featherfew, camomille grande, midsummer daisy, and Pyrenthrum parthenium.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement).
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
  • are breastfeeding.
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease.

Dosage:

Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about how much feverfew you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking feverfew. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more feverfew or take it more often than what is written on the directions.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take feverfew without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), ticlopidine (Ticlid(R)), warfarin (Coumadin(R)), enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)))

Warnings:

  • Before taking feverfew, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not give feverfew to children under 2 years of age.

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth ulcers and a swollen tongue from chewing the leaf
  • Headaches, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness, joint pain, drowsiness, nervousness, and tension after stopping feverfew

References:

1. Berry M: Feverfew. Pharm J 1994; 253:806-808.

2. Murphy JJ, Heptinstall S & Mitchell JRA: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of feverfew in migraine prevention. Lancet 1988; 2:189-192.

3. Brown AMG, Edwards CM, Lowe KC et al: Effects of parthenolide and feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) extracts on human neutrophils in vitro. Br J Pharmacol 1996; 119:265P.

4. Palevitch D, Earon G & Carasso R: Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) as a prophylactic treatment for migraine: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Phytother Res 1997; 11:508-511.

5. Johnson ES, Kadam NP, Hylands DM et al: Efficacy of feverfew as prophylactic treatment of migraine. Br Med J 1985; 291:569-573.

6. Miller LG: Herbal medicinals selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions. Arch Intern Med 1998; 158:2200-2211.

7. O'Hara MA, Kiefer D, Farrell K et al: A review of 12 commonly used medicinal herbs. Arch Fam Med 1998; 7:523-536.

8. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

9. De Weerdt CJ, Boostma HPR & Hendriks H: Herbal medicines in migraine prevention. Phytomedicine 1996; 3:225-230.

10. Murdoch JK: Feverfew for migraine prophylaxis. Can J Hosp Pharm 1989; 42:209-210.

11. Collier HOJ, Butt NM, McDonald-Gibson WJ et al: Extract of feverfew inhibits prostaglandin biosynthesis. Lancet 1980; 1:922-923.

12. Diener HC, Pfaffenrath V, Schnitker J et al: Efficacy and safety of 6.25 mg t.i.d. feverfew CO2-extract (MIG-99) in migraine prevention--a randomized, double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled study. Cephalalgia 2005; 25(11):1031-1041.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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