Ginseng, Panax

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How does Ginseng, Panax work?

Panax ginseng contains many active substances. It is often referred to as a general well-being medication, because it affects many different systems of the body.

Are there safety concerns?

Panax ginseng is safe when taken by mouth for most adults when used for less than 3 months. The most common side effect is trouble sleeping. Less commonly people have menstrual problems, breast pain, increased heart rate, high or low blood pressure, headache, loss of appetite, diarrhea, itching, rash, dizziness, mood changes, vaginal bleeding, and many others.

Uncommon side effects that have been reported include severe rash called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, liver damage, and severe allergic reactions.

Panax ginseng cream, made with other ingredients for impotence, seems to be safe when applied to the penis and removed after one hour. It might cause mild pain, irritation or a burning sensation, and delayed ejaculation. It is not known if this cream is safe with repeated, long-term use.

Panax ginseng is UNSAFE for infants and children. It may not be safe in pregnancy. One of the chemicals in Panax ginseng has been linked to possible birth defects.

Do not take Panax ginseng if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have a bleeding disorder.
  • You have a heart condition.
  • You have low or unstable blood pressure.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have hormone sensitive cancers such as breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer.
  • You have hormone sensitive conditions such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
  • You have insomnia or difficulty sleeping.
  • You have had an organ transplant.
  • You have a mental condition called schizophrenia.
  • You have an immune system disorder such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other immune system conditions called "autoimmune disease."

Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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