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Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Contraindications: Fertility problems: Animal research suggests that andrographis might interfere with reproduction, but this hasn't been shown in people. Nevertheless, if you are having trouble fathering a child or getting pregnant, it's best not to use andrographis.

Warning 2 - Auto-immune diseases: such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Andrographis might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using andrographis.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Warning 3 - Anticoagulants: Andrographis is a mild blood thinner and increases the risk of bleeding and bruising. Using Andrographis with other anticoagulants may prolong bleeding Use caution when combining with ginkgo, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs.

Warning 4 - Antihypertensive drugs: Andrographis seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking andrographis along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Andrographis is a plant that is native to South Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka. The leaf and underground stem are used to make medicine.

Andrographis is also known as Alui, Bhui-neem, Bhunimba, Chuanxinlian, Indian echinacea, Kalmegh, Kalmegha, Kalupnath, Kirayat, Mahatita, Sam biloto, and Yavatikta.

Used as a natural health remedy: Andrographis is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:
  • Anticancer agent (being investigated)
  • Bronchial and lung infections
  • Colds and upper respiratory tract infections (demonstrated)
  • Fever anti-inflammatory (demonstrated)
  • HIV infection (modest activity)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis (demonstrated)
  • Liver complaints (unproven)
  • Strengthen immune system (being investigated)
Used as a natural health remedy: Andrographis is used externally for the following benefits and conditions:
  • insect bites
  • itch relief
  • minor wounds
  • skin ulcers

Side Effects of Andrographis

Although the side effects associated with Andrographis are rare it may cause:
  1. Diarrhea
  2. fatigue
  3. headache
  4. loss of appetite
  5. rash
  6. runny nose
  7. Vomiting

A serious allergic reaction to this herb is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. Other side effects may also occur when using Andrographis. (See form below)

Caution Some Internet vendors offer andrographis products that contain extra amounts of an active ingredient called andrographolide. Some of these products are almost 30% andrographolide. However, be careful; the safety and effectiveness of andrographis preparations with high andrographolide content are unknown.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2015 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Andrographis and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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