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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 Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Contraindications: Pregnancy. Coltsfoot contains gamma-linolenic acid, which increases production of prostaglandin E, a compound that can stimulate premature labor.

Warning 2 - Antidysrhythmics: Coltsfoot may antagonize antidysrhythmics.

Warning 3 - Antihypertensives: Coltsfoot may antagonize antihypertensives.

Warning 4 - Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Coltsfoot contains lycopsamine, amabiline, and thesinine. These alkaloids potentially hepatoxic are carcinogenic.

Warning 5 - Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Coltsfoot contains lycopsamine, amabiline, and thesinine. Used excessively these alkaloids are hepatoxic and may inflame or damage the liver.

Note: You can avoid the above complications by using Coltsfoot that is labeled "PA-free."

Warning 6 - Blood thinners: Coltsfoot has blood thinning effects and may increase the risk of bleeding if used with medications such as coumadin (Warfarin) or plavix (Clopidogrel).

Used as a natural health remedy 1: Coltsfoot is commonly used internally as an antitussive to suppress or relieve coughing.

Used as a natural health remedy 2: Coltsfoot is commonly used externally as a demulcent to soothe inflamed or injured skin.

Used as a natural health remedy 3: Coltsfoot may have anticancer properties.

Side Effects of Coltsfoot

The known side effects of taking Coltsfoot internally are rare but include the following:
  1. Nausea
  2. Bloating
  3. Liver damage (with excessive use)
  4. Headaches
Other side effects may also occur when using Coltsfoot internally. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

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 2011-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Coltsfoot 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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