Health Guide

Devil's claw

What is it?

Devil's Claw is an herbal medicine used for arthritis and pain. It is also used to treat nausea (upset stomach).

Other names for Devil's Claw include: Harpagophytum, Grapple Plant, and Woodspider.

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 breastfeeding
  • have stomach ulcers or upset
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Devil's Claw you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Devil's Claw. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 Devil's Claw without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)), clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), aspirin, enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)), dalteparin (Fragmin(R)))


  • Before taking Devil's Claw, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not use if you have stomach ulcers
  • Do not take Devil's Claw if you have gallstones

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

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.

  • Headache, ringing in your ears, stomach upset, and allergic reactions have been reported


1. Anon: Harpagophyti Radix, Devil's Claw. European Scientific Cooperative oh Phytotherapy (ESCOP) Monographs On the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs. European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy. Exeter, United Kingdom; 1996.

2. Newall CA, Anderson LA & Phillipson JD: Herbal Medicines, A Guide for Health-care professionals. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, UK; 1996.

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

4. Brinker F: Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Eclectic Medical Publications, Sandy, OR; 1998.

5. Borcea V et al: Alpha lipoic acid decreases oxidative stress even in diabetic patients with poor glycemic control and albuminuria. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 1999; 22(11-12):1495-1500.

6. Schulz B, Reichel G, Huettl I et al: Zur Wirksamkeit der Thioctsaeuretherapie bei Typ-I-Diabetikern. Med Reihe der Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universitaet, Greifswald 1986; 35(2):48-50.

7. Fachinformation: Thioctacid (R), alpha-Liponsaeure. Asta Medica AG, Frankfurt, Germany; 1996.

8. Norred CL & Brinker F: Potential coagulation effects of preoperative complementary and alternative medicines. Alt Ther 2001; 7(6):58-67.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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