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Nettle

What is it?

Nettle is an herbal medicine used to treat heavy menstrual periods (monthly period), allergic rhinitis (itchy, runny nose from allergies), arthritis, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), inflammation, coughing, asthma, tuberculosis (TB), and skin rashes.

Other names for nettle include: Urtica, Common nettle, and Nettle weed.

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 caregiver about how much nettle you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking nettle. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 nettle without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)). (10)

Warnings:

  • Before taking nettle, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

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.

  • Decrease in the amount of urine that you pass (5)
  • Nausea (upset stomach) or pain (5)

References:

1. Bradley PR (ed): British Herbal Compendium, Vol 1. British Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, UK; 1992.

2. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

3. Newall C, Anderson L & Phillipson J: Nettle. In: Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996:210-202.

4. Brinker F: Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Eclectic Institute, Inc. Sandy, Oregon, 1997.

5. Duke JA: Handbook of medicinal herbs. Boca Raton: CRC, 1985.

6. Mittman P: Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Med 1990; 56(1): 44-47.

7. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al: Stinging nettle herb and leaf. In: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998: 216-217.

8. Randall CF: Stinging nettles for osteoarthritis pain of the hip [letter]. Br J Gen Pract 1994; Nov: 533-534.

9. Fetrow CW & Avila JR: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999: 453-455.

10. Product Information: COUMADIN(R) oral tablets, IV injection, warfarin sodium oral tablets, IV injection. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ, 2007.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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