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Saw Palmetto Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings



  • Saw palmetto is sold in U.S. health-food stores as a supplement, which means its manufacturers do not have to prove safety or effectiveness.

  • Any man who is experiencing pain or swelling of the prostate, or who is having difficulty with urination, or who passes any blood in the urine, should be examined by his doctor.

  • Although the mechanism is not fully known, this is the second case of acute pancreatitis that has been documented secondary to the herbal medication saw palmetto. It is important for clinicians to obtain detailed medication histories, including over-the-counter and herbal medications, in order to prevent further complications from occurring.
    - South Med J. 2010 Jul;103(7):683-5. -- A possible case of saw palmetto-induced pancreatitis. -- Wargo KA, Allman E, Ibrahim F.

  • The potential for strong adverse interactions exists for Serenoa repens, which was seen as a potent inhibitor for some drugs.
    - J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Jun;11(3):433-9. -- Analysis of the inhibitory potential of Ginkgo biloba, Echinacea purpurea, and Serenoa repens on the metabolic activity of cytochrome P450 3A4, 2D6, and 2C9. -- Yale SH, Glurich I.

  • This report is about a case of severe intraoperative haemorrhage in a patient who was taking the herb Saw Palmetto. Bleeding times were prolonged but subsided after stopping the use of the herb. This case should increase the awareness of physicians to such possible complications.
    - J Intern Med. 2001 Aug;250(2):167-9. -- Intraoperative haemorrhage associated with the use of extract of Saw Palmetto herb: a case report and review of literature. -- Cheema P, El-Mefty O, Jazieh AR.








last update: February 2014



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