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Maca

What is it?

Maca is an herbal medicine that comes from Peru. It has been used for centuries as a food by native peoples. Maca is now used to change hormone levels during menopause, help with stress, and to control irregular menstrual (period) bleeding. It is also used to balance adrenal gland hormones.

Other names for Maca include: Lepidium peruvianum and Royal Maca.

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 Maca you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Maca. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Maca, 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:

This medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

References:

1. Walker M: Effects of Peruvian Maca on Hormonal Functions. Townsend Letter 1998;184:18-22.

2. DerMarderosian A (ed): Maca. In: The Review of Natural Products. Facts and Comparisons Inc, St. Louis, MO; 2000.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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