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Germander

What is it?

Germander is an herbal medicine that is highly toxic and should not be used.

Other names for Germander include: Teucrium Chammaedrys.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about Germander 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 other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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

  • Any medicine that may be damaging to the liver; some common examples are alcohol, Tylenol(R) acetaminophen, herbs such as comfrey, coltsfoot, kava, pennyroyal, valerian, and skullcap. Germander should not be taken because it is highly damaging to the liver.

Warnings:

  • Long term Germander use may cause hepatitis (liver damage) (1,2,3,4,5,6)
  • Germander is toxic and should not be used

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. Laliberte L & Villeneuve JP: Hepatitis after the use of germander, a herbal remedy. Can Med Assoc J 1996; 154(11): 1689-1692.

2. Ben Yahia M, Mavier P, Metreau JM et al: Chronic active hepatitis and cirrhosis induced by wild germander: 3 cases (French). Gastroenterol Clin Biol 1993; 17(12): 959-962.

3. Castot A & Larrey D: Hepatitis observed during a treatment with a drug or tea containing Wild Germander: evaluation of 26 cases reported to the Regional Centers of Pharmacovigilance (French). Gastroenterol Clin Biol 1992; 16(2): 916-922.

4. Larray D, Vial T, Pauwels A et al: Hepatitis after germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) administration: another instance of herbal medicine hepatotoxicity. Ann Int Med 1992; 117(2): 129-132.

5. Legoux JL, Maitre F, Labarriere D et al: Cytolytic hepatitis and wild Germander: a new case with reintroduction (French). Gastroenterol Clin Biol 1992; 16(10): 813-815.

6. Pauwels A, Thiermann-Duffaud D, Azanowsky JM et al: Acute hepatitis caused by wild germander: hepatotoxicity of herbal remedies, 2 cases (French). Gastroenterol Clin Biol 1992; 16(1): 92-95.

7. Smith LW & Culvenor CCJ: Plant sources of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. J Nat Prod (Lloydia) 1981; 44:129-159.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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