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Thunder god vine

What is it?

Thunder god vine is an herbal medicine/supplement used for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Other names for thunder god vine include: Tripterygium wilfordii and Lei gong teng.

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

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much thunder god vine you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking thunder god vine. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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:

Thunder god vine may interact with other medicines you may be taking. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse before taking thunder god vine with any other medicine.

Warnings:

  • Before taking thunder god vine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding

Side Effects: Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

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.

  • Gastrointestinal effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia (1,2)
  • Amenorrhea (1,3-6)
  • Dysmenorrhea (7)
  • Fatigue (1)
  • Dizziness (1)
  • Mucous membrane erosions (1,4-5)
  • Rash (1,3)
  • Thrombocytopenia (5)
  • Leukopenia (1-3, 5,8)
  • Aplastic anemia (3,8)

References:

1. Lipsky PE & Tao XL: A potential new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: thunder god vine. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1997; 26(5):713-723.

2. Chou WV, Wu CC, Yang PC et al: Hypovolemic shock and mortality after ingestion of Tripterygium wilfordii hook F: a case report. Int J Cardiol 1995; 49(2):173-177.

3. Tao XL, Sun Y, Dong Y et al: A prospective, controlled, double-blind, cross-over study of tripterygium wilfodii hook F in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Chin Med J (Engl) 1989: 102(5):327-332.

4. Guo JL, Yuan SX, Wang XC et al: Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Prelimary report. Chin Med J (Engl) 1981; 94(7):405-412.

5. Chen BJ: Triptolide, a novel immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory agent purified from a Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. Leukemia Lymphoma 2001; 42:253-265.

6. Guo JL, Gao ZG, Zang AC et al: Radix Tripterygium Wilfordii Hook F in rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Chin Med J (Engl) 1986; 99(4):317-320.

7. Tao X, Younger J, Fan FZ et al: Benefit of an extract of Tripterygium Wilfordii Hook F in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arthritis Rheum 2002; 46(7):1735-1743.

8. Pyatt DW, Yang Y, Mehos B et al: Hematotoxicity of the Chinese herbal medicine Tripterygium wilfordii hook f in CD34-positive human bone marrow cells. Mol Pharmacol 2000; 57(3):512-518.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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