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Health Guide

Avocado

What is it?

Avocado is an herbal medicine used to treat cancer, high cholesterol (fat in blood), arthritis, and gum disease.

Other names for avocado include: Aguacate, Ahuacate, and Alligator pear.

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 other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

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 Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need.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

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: bivalirudin (Angiomax(R)), fondaparinux (Arixtra(R)), warfarin (Coumadin(R))) (9)
  • Medicine for depression or Parkinsons disease (monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs, examples: phenelzine (Nardil(R)), selegiline (Eldepryl(R)), tranylcypromine (Parnate)) (10)
  • Medicine for infections (example: linezolid (Zyvox(R)) (10)

Warnings:

  • Before taking avocado, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You should not touch or eat an avocado if you are allergic to natural rubber latex

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.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but avocado may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by avocado.

  • Migraine headache with fever and drowsiness (3)
  • Nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up), belly pain, and inflammation (swelling, tenderness) of the large bowel (3)
  • Skin redness, swelling, and tenderness (3)
  • Dizziness, trouble walking or speaking (10)

References:

1. Ledesma RL, Frati Munari AC, Hernandez BC et al: Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Arch Med Res 1996; 27(4):519-523.

2. Colquhoun DM, Moores D, Somerset SM et al: Comparison of the effects on lipoproteins and apolipoproteins of a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids, enriched with avocado, and a high-carbohydrate diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 56(4):671-677.

3. Maheu E, Mazieres B, Valat JP et al: Symptomatic efficacy of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. Arthritis Rheum 1998; 41(1):81-91.

4. Blotman F, Maheu E, Wulwik et al: Efficacy of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. Rev Rhum Engl Ed 1997; 64(12):825-834.

5. Product Information: Parnate(R), tranylcypromine. Smith Kline & French Labs, Philadelphia, PA; 1996.

6. Brehler R, Theissen U, Mohr C et al: Latex fruit-syndrome: frequency of cross-reacting IgE antibodies. Allergy 1997; 52(4):404-410.

7. Ahlroth M, Alenius H, Turjanmaa K et al: Cross-reacting allergens in natural rubber latex and avocado. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995; 96(2):167-173.

8. DeGroot AC, Van DerMeeren HLM & Wheyland JW: Contact allergy to avocado oil in sunscreen. Contact Dermatitis 1987; 16(2):108-109.

9. Blickstein D, Shaklai M & Inbal S: Warfarin antagonism by avocado. Lancet 1991; 337(8746):914-915.

10. Product Information: Zyvox(R) IV injection, oral tablets, oral suspension, linezolid IV injection, oral tablets, oral suspension. Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, New York, NY, 2008.


Last Updated: 1/27/2017
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