Health Guide


What is it?

Aloe is an herbal medicine used in skin ointments and creams to treat wounds, burns, or other skin problems. Aloe by mouth is used to treat constipation (hard bowel movements).

Other names for aloe include: Aloe vera.

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


Talk with your caregiver about how much aloe you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking aloe. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more aloe or take it more often than what is written on the directions.

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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:

Do not take aloe without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin(R))(3)
  • Sevoflurane (Ultane(R))(7)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin(R))(8)


  • Before taking aloe, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Do not take aloe by mouth if you have bowel problems of any kind (recent abdominal or bowel surgery or bowel blockage)
  • Do not take aloe by mouth if you have nausea or vomiting
  • Do not take aloe by mouth if you have abdominal (stomach) pain that your a doctor has not treated
  • Children under age 12 years should not take aloe

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 hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
  • Chest pain or discomfort or unusual heartbeats

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.

  • Fever, chills, or low back pain
  • Dizziness, weakness
  • Itching, redness, pain, or a rash when aloe gel is used on the skin
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea if you take aloe by mouth
  • Weight loss


1. Bisset NG (ed): Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1994.

2. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): Aloe. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

3. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al (eds): Aloe. The Complete German Commission E Monographs, 1st ed. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

4. Leung AY: Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. Wiley, New York, NY; 1980.

5. Reynolds JEF (ed): Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 28th edition. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, England; 1982.

6. Morrow DM, Rapaport MJ & Strick R: Hypersensitivity to aloe. Arch Dermatol 1980; 1126:1064-1065.

7. Lee A, Chui PT, Aun CST et al: Possible interaction between sevoflurane and Aloe vera. Ann Pharmacother 2004; 38:1651-1654.

8. Product Information: COUMADIN(R) oral tablets, IV injection, warfarin sodium oral tablets, IV injection. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ, 2007.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved