The risks of using astragalus while pregnant are not known since this herb has not been studied in such women. Many pregnant women mistakenly believe that natural products are automatically safe, but these products can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that they are either safe or effective. If pregnancy occurs while you are taking astragalus, notify your healthcare provider.
Is Astragalus Safe During Pregnancy?
Astragalus is an herbal supplement used for a number of different uses, such as stimulating the immune system. At this time, little information is available about the potential risks for pregnant women taking astragalus.
Herbal Supplements and Pregnancy
It should never be assumed that natural products are automatically safe for pregnant women. This is a mistake many pregnant women make. Pregnancy often limits the prescription and nonprescription drugs that a woman can take. As a result, pregnant women often seek safe alternatives, sometimes assuming that herbal supplements are always safe. This is simply not the case. Herbal supplements can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that they are safe (or even effective) for anyone, including pregnant women.
There is simply not enough evidence to know if astragalus is either safe or unsafe for use during pregnancy. The risks are unknown.
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including astragalus. This is very important, even if you think your healthcare provider will not understand your choice or will discourage the use of alternative medicines.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 24 2009.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: astragalus (April 2008). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/astragalus/. Accessed March 24, 2009.
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