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Red clover

What is it?

Red Clover is an herbal medicine used to treat menopause symptoms. It is also used to treat cough, long term skin problems, and to remove toxins from the body.

Other names for Red Clover include: Trifolium pratense, Beebread, Cow Clover, Meadow Clover, Purple Clover, Trefoil, and Missouri Milk Vetch.

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 or have had cancer
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Red Clover you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Red Clover. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 Red Clover without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Birth control pills, patches, or injections
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex(R))
  • Blood thinning medicine (anticoagulants, examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)), clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), enoxaparin (Lovenox(R))

Warnings:

  • Before taking Red Clover, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take Red Clover if you have or have had an estrogen receptor-positive cancer (female-related cancer)
  • Talk to your doctor before taking Red Clover if you have cancer or have had cancer
  • Talk to your doctor before taking Red Clover if you have a bleeding problem
  • Do not take more Red Clover than recommended

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.

  • Unusual bleeding

References:

1. Newall C, Anderson L & Phillipson J: Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, England; 1996.

2. Kowalak JP & Mills EJ: Professional Guide to Complementary and Alternative Therapies. Springhouse Co, Springhouse, PA, 2001.

3. Nelsen J, Barrette E, Tsouronix C et al: Red clover (Trifolium pratense) monograph: A clinical decision support tool. J Herbal Pharmacotherapy 2002; 2(3):49-72.

4. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM & Blen M: Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. PSEBM 1998; 217(3):369-378.

5. Ju YH, Doerge DR, Allred KF et al: Dietary genistein negates the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen on growth of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells implanted in athymic mice. Cancer Res 2002; 62(9):2474-2477.

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Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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