Hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata oral dosage forms

What is hawthorn?
HAWTHORN (Faros® 300) also known as Crataegus laevigata or Crataegus oxyacantha, is a dietary supplement (a herbal remedy) that that is being promoted for its ability to help support heart function. However, due to the fact that heart-related symptoms could be serious if not properly diagnosed by a health care provider, self-treatment of heart conditions with hawthorn is not recommended. Consult your health care professional prior to use of this herb.

What should my health care professional know before I use hawthorn?
It is important for you to tell your prescriber or other health care professional that you are using hawthorn. Some herbs exert potent effects and may interact with other drugs you are taking.

You should discuss hawthorn with your health care professional BEFORE taking it if you have any of these conditions:

  • angina
  • chest pain or pressure
  • heart disease, irregular heart-beat, or palpitations
  • high or low blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to hawthorn, other herbs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?
Hawthorn is administered as a tablet or liquid extract that should be taken orally (i.e., swallowed). It is recommended that hawthorn be taken with meals and followed with a full glass of water or other fluid. Follow the directions on the package labeling or talk to your health care professional.

Hawthorn is not recommended for use in children.

What if I miss a dose?
Missing a dose is probably not harmful. If you miss a dose, simply resume taking it on your previous schedule. Do not take double doses to catch up, however.

What drug(s) may interact with hawthorn?

  • cisapride
  • digoxin
  • isosorbide dinitrate or isosorbide mononitrate
  • nitroglycerin
  • medicines used to treat irregular heart-beats
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • other medicines for heart conditions

For many herbs, interactions with other medications are unknown. That is why you should always be careful when mixing herbal remedies with traditional medications.

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from using hawthorn?
Seek medical attention immediately if you have chest pain that occurs suddenly, lasts greater than 20 minutes, wakes you from sleep, or that occurs at rest.

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing
  • dizziness
  • fainting or falls
  • irregular heartbeat or palpitations
  • itching
  • low blood pressure
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • skin rash
  • swelling of any area of the face, throat, or tongue
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • mild drowsiness
  • nausea

What should I watch for while taking hawthorn?
Consult a health care prescriber if symptoms continue without improvement within 6 weeks of beginning this herb. Seek medical attention immediately if you have chest pain that occurs suddenly, lasts greater than 20 minutes, wakes you from sleep, or that occurs at rest. You should also seek medical attention if you develop shortness of breath or fluid starts to appear in your legs or ankles.

Since hawthorn is derived from a plant, allergic reactions are possible. Stop using this herb if you develop a rash. Take care not to get liquid forms of hawthorn on the skin, as these extracts may cause skin irritation.

Different brands of hawthorn contain different amounts of active ingredient so be careful to use the same brand. It is recommended that you use a brand from a reliable manufacturer and one that has been standardized. A standardized product is more likely to contain the same amount of herb from dose to dose. Your health care professional or pharmacist can assist you in finding a standardized product.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or health care professional that you are taking hawthorn.

Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature; do not freeze. Throw away any unused hawthorn after the expiration date on the label.

Dietary supplements include amino acids, vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, and other plant-derived substances, and extracts of these substances. These products are easy to identify as they must state “Dietary Supplement” on the label. A “Supplement Facts” panel is provided on the label for most products. Supplements are not drugs and are not regulated like drugs. You should note that rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. Big differences in potency and purity of these products can occur. Scientific data to support the use of a dietary supplement for a certain disease or ailment may not be available. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:

  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • “Natural” doesn’t mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products containing ingredients with the “USP” notation. This indicates the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements produced or distributed by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls as these companies have standards in place for their other products. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.