Health Guide


What is it?

Hops is an herbal medicine used to treat insomnia (sleeplessness), nerve pain, nervousness, and anxiety.

Other names for Hops include: Humulus lupulus and Strobile.

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 a history of breast cancer or other estrogen responsive cancers, or if you experience depression
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Hops you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Hops. 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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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 Hops without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Medicines for seizures or migraine headaches (examples: phenobarbital (Luminal(R)), butalbital (Fioricet(R), Fiorinal(R))


  • Before taking Hops, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not use Hops if you have depression (3,4), breast cancer, or other estrogen-responsive cancers (ask your health care provider if unsure) (8). Large doses may lead to confusion, memory changes, hallucinations, seizures, and even death (6,10).
  • Do not use Hops if you drink alcohol or use medicines containing alcohol (1,3,4)

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.

  • There have been cases of allergies, causing rashes and difficulty breathing from handling Hops (5)
  • Nervousness, depression, and irregular menstrual cycles (periods) have also been reported (10, 11)


1. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD: Herbal Medicines. A Guide for Health-care Professionals. Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996.

2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al: The Complete Commission E Monographs; Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

3. Reynolds JEF, editor: Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 29th edition. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1989.

4. Mills SY: The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. Thorsons, Wellingborough, UK; 1985.

5. Newmark FM: Hops allergy and t erpene sensitivity: An occupational disease. Ann Allergy 1978; 41:311-312.

6. Blumenthal M: Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Integrative Medicine Communications, Newton, MA; 2000.

7. Bradley PR, editor: British Herbal Compendium, Vol 1. British Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, UK; 1992.

8. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999:332-334.

9. Anon: Herbal medications, nutraceuticals, and anxiety and depression. In: Miller LG & Wallace WJ (eds). Herbal Medicinals: A Clinician's Guide, Pharmaceutical Products Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press Inc, Binghamton, NY; 1998:213-214.

10. Anon: Gynecological and obstetric concerns. In: Miller LG & Wallace WJ (eds). Herbal Medicinals: A Clinician's Guide, Pharmaceutical Products Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press Inc, Binghamton, NY; 1998a:282-284.

11. Salvador RL: Hops. Can Pharmaceutical J 1984; 5:203-5.

Last Updated: 4/4/2018
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