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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Herbal remedy danger

19th July 2006

19072006_capsules1.jpgThe Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have issued an alert over Cimicifuga racemosa, or Black cohosh, saying that  millions of women may be at risk of liver disorders because they take the herbal remedy to counter hot flushes and other symptoms of the menopause. 
Warnings will soon appear on all products containing the plant. Black cohosh is also sold as black snake root, rattle snake root and squaw root and sold as drops or capsules that cost between £5 and £10 for a month’s supply. It has been available in Britain for more than 20 years, with its use increasing since 2003, when a study linked HRT with higher risks of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer. It was estimated that in 2004 a total of 9 million treatment days were purchased.

Chairman of the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee, Professor Philip Routledge, said that the data underlined a link between black cohosh and a risk of liver disorders, adding that this is rare, but can be serious.

If anyone had previously experienced any liver complaint of any other serious health complaint they were advised not to take Back Cohosh without speaking to their doctor first. People already taking the remedy are not being told to stop, but should seek medical advice if they suffer from unexplained nausea, flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain, dark urine or a yellowing of the eye or skin (jaundice).

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