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Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium grandiflorum; herbal supplement)

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage

Horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum L.) is a herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Horny goat weed

Uses

What is horny goat weed used for?

How does it work?

Clinical trial data is currently lacking, therefore the exact mechanism of action of this herb is unknown. Based on several animal studies, the active ingredients of horny goat weed include flavonoids and phytoestrogens. It seems to promote the release of nitric oxide in erectile tissue and blood vessels, which contributes to lower blood pressure and improved blood flow to the male genitalia and the heart. It also demonstrates inhibitory action against the HIV virus and viral myocarditis.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using horny goat weed?

Before using this herb, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Special precautions & warnings

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this herb during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it is likely unsafe to take due to increased risk of bleeding and its phytoestrogen content. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from horny goat weed?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Arrhythmias
  • Sweating

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What interactions may I have with horny goat weed?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with possible interactions:

  • Antihypertensive agents
  • Fertility medications

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

At this time, there is no established dose of horny goat weed. Available supplements on the market are usually in dosage strengths of 250 to 500 mg. It should be taken once or twice a day, with meals.

What is the dose for a child?

There is no established pediatric dose. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What form does horny goat weed come in?

Horny goat weed may be available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Food supplement powder

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Sexual Enhancement Products for Sale Online: Raising Awareness of the Psychoactive Effects of Yohimbine, Maca, Horny Goat Weed, and Ginkgo biloba https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082836/ Accessed July 12, 2021

Horny Goat Weed https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=hn-4391000 Accessed July 12, 2021

Epimedium https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/epimedium Accessed July 12, 2021

Epimedium grandiflorum – C.Morren. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epimedium+grandiflorum Accessed July 12, 2021

Horny Goat Weed. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed July 12, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jul 13
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