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Curcumin

What is it?

Curcumin is the active constituent (part) of Turmeric that is used as a supplement for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), ulcers, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and AIDS.

Other names for Curcumin include: Curcuma Longa, Turmeric, Indian Saffron, Indian Valerian, Jiang Huang, and Red Valerian.

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 gallstones, an ulcer, or a liver or bile obstruction (blockage)
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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

  • Blood thinning medicines (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)), aspirin, heparin, clopidogrel (Plavix(R)) enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)), dalteparin (Fragmin(R)))

Warnings:

  • Before taking Curcumin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take if you have gallstones, an ulcer, or a liver or bile obstruction (blockage) (17)

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.

  • Tell your doctor if you bleed or bruise easy; this has been associated with taking larger amounts of Curcumin (16)
  • Skin rashes have been reported with touching of turmeric or Curcumin (16)
  • Using large amounts has caused ulcers (16)

References:

1. Werbach MR & Murray MT: Botanical influences on Illness: a sourcebook of clinical research. Third Line Press, Tarzana, CA; 1994.

2. Rao DS, Sekhara C, Satyanarayana MN et al: Effects of curcumin on serum and liver cholesterol levels in the rat. J Nutri 1970; 100:1307-1316.

3. Srinivasan K & Samaiah K: The effect of spices on cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and on serum and hepatic cholesterol levels in the rat. Int J Vitam Nurt Res 1991; 61:364-369.

4. Srivastava R, Puri V, Srimal C et al: Effect of curcumin on platelet aggregation and vascular prostacyclin synthesis. Arzneim Forsch 1986; 36:715-717.

5. Srivastava R, Dikshit M, Srimal RC et al: Anti-thrombotic effect of curcumin. Throm Res 1985; 40:413-417.

6. Nagabhushan M & Bhide SV: Curcumin as an inhibitor of cancer. J Am Coll Nutr 1992; 11(2):192-198.

7. Soudamini KK & Kuttan R: Inhibition of chemical carcinogenesis by curcumin. J Ethnopharmacol 1989; 27:227-233.

8. Polasa K, Raghuram TC, Krishna TP et al: Effect of turmeric on urinary mutagens in smokers. Mutagen 1992; 7(2):107-109.

9. Ghatak N & Basu N: Sodium curcuminate as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Ind J Exp Biol 1972;10:235-236.

10. Arora R, Basu N, Kapoor V et al: Anti-inflammatory studies on curcuma longa (turmeric). Ind J Med Res 1971; 59:1289-1295.

11. Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG: Evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. In J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986; 24:651-654.

12. Deodhar SD, Sethi R & Srimal RC: Preliminary studies an antirheumatic activity of curcumin (deferuloyl methane). Ind J Med Res 1980; 71:632-634.

13. Li CJ, Zhang LJ, Dezube BJ et al: Three inhibitors of human type 1 immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat directed gene expression and virus replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1993;90:1839-1841.

14. Copeland R, Baker D, & Wilson H: Curcumin therapy in HIV-infected patients. Int Conf AIDS 10:216, 1994, abstract no PB0876.

15. Mazumder A Krishnamachari K, Weinstein J et al: inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1integrase by curcumin. Biochemical Pharmacol 1995;49:1165-1170.

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

17. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al: Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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