What is it?
Garlic is an herb used to help the heart. Garlic helps to lower fat (cholesterol) in the blood, lower high blood pressure, and reduce blood clotting. It is also an antioxidant used to protect against cancer. Garlic may be used to treat colds, lung infection (bronchitis), and the flu.
Other names for garlic include: Allium sativum , Ajo, Allicin, and Allium.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
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
Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about how much garlic you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking garlic. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more garlic 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 garlic without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:
- Chlorzoxazone (Paraflex(R))
- Indomethacin (Indocin(R))
- Medicine for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (examples: saquinavir (Fortovase(R), indinavir (Crixivan(R), ritonavir (Norvir(R)))
- Blood thinning medicine (examples: aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), ticlopidine (Ticlid(R)), warfarin (Coumadin(R)), enoxaparin (Lovenox(R))))
- Before taking garlic, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Discontinue garlic 14 days before having surgery or dental work
Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following 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.
- Asthma (difficulty breathing) if exposed to garlic dust
- Foul body odor or bad breath
- Nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up)
- Rash or a burn if garlic is placed on the skin
- Unexplained bruising or bruises that do not go away within a few days, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, or other bleeding
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Last Updated: 1/4/2010