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Lily of the valley

What is it?

Lily of the Valley is an herbal medicine that has been used as an antidote to poison gas, for the heart, and in epilepsy (seizures). It has also been used to help heal burns.

Other names for Lily of the Valley include: Convallaria majalis, Convallaria, Jacob's Ladder, Ladder-to-Heaven, Lily Constancy, Lily Convalle, Male Lily, May Lily, Muguet, and Our-Lady's-Tears.

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 a potassium deficiency, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, kidney or liver disease
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin(R))

Warnings:

  • Before taking Lily of the Valley, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not to be used in patients with high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, kidney or liver disease (2)
  • Not to be used in patients with potassium deficiency (1)
  • Coma, heart failure, and even death have been reported with the use of Lily of the Valley (2)

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.

  • Call your doctor right away if you have skipped heart beats, dizziness, excessive salivation (drooling), hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), cold and clammy skin, headache, and paralysis (unable to move) (2)
  • Stomach pain and cramps, skin rash, upset stomach, increased urine, and vomiting have all been reported (2)

References:

1. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998

2. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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