What is it?
Panax ginseng is an herbal medicine used to increase physical and mental well being. It may also be used to treat tiredness, weakness, and mild depression.
Other names for Panax ginseng include: Asiatic ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Japanese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Oriental ginseng, Jintsam, Ninjin, and Panax.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
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 diabetes or problems with hyperactivity (14,15).
- have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease (6).
Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about how much Panax ginseng you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Panax ginseng. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more Panax ginseng 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 Panax ginseng without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:
- Blood thinning medicine (anticoagulants, examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)); aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix(R))) (7,16,23)
- Medicine to treat diabetes (hypoglycemics, examples: insulin; glyburide; glipizide; metformin (Glucophage(R))) (14,17,18)
- Nifedipine (Adalat(R), Procardia(R)) (13)
- Medicine to treat high blood pressure or swelling (water pills or diuretics, examples: furosemide (Lasix(R)); torsemide (Demadex(R))) (3)
- Caffeine or other mild stimulants (15)
- Alcohol, including medicines that contain alcohol (such as cough and cold medicines) (19)
- Medicines for depression or Parkinson's disease (monoamine oxidase inhibitors, examples: phenelzine (Nardil(R)); selegiline (Eldepryl(R), Emsam(R), Zelapar(R)); isocarboxazid (Marplan(R)); tranylcypromine (Parnate(R))) (20,21)
- Hormone replacement therapy (estrogen, examples: conjugated estrogens (Premarin(R)); estradiol (Alora(R), Climara(R), Depogen(R)); esterified estrogens (Estratab(R), Menest(R)); estropipate (Ogen(R), Ortho-Est(R)); ethinyl estradiol (Estinyl(R)) (5,10,22)
- Medicine used to treat pain (codeine; hydrocodone (Vicodin(R)); oxycodone (Percocet(R), Roxicodone(R)); morphine) (2)
- Before taking Panax ginseng, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Before having any surgery or medical procedure, tell your doctor that you take ginseng. Ginseng may cause bleeding problems, so you may need to stop taking ginseng before surgery (7).
- Panax ginseng may cause ginseng abuse syndrome. Symptoms may include high blood pressure, nervousness, trouble sleeping, morning diarrhea (loose stools), and skin itching and rash. Any of these symptoms may occur 1 to 3 weeks after using 3 grams of ginseng root per day (11).
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
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.
- Diarrhea, nausea
- Feeling much happier or having much more energy than usual
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Nervousness or trouble sleeping
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Vaginal bleeding
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Last Updated: 10/4/2010