Before you start taking non-prescription herbal supplements such as feverfew, safety precautions for the product should be thoroughly reviewed. At this time, it is not known whether it is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take feverfew, for example. More information is needed to fully determine the effectiveness and safety of feverfew.
Feverfew is a supplement often used for migraine prevention, although it is sometimes used for other purposes. You may not be able to take feverfew safely if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of feverfew include the following:
- Although the herbal supplement was once used traditionally to prevent miscarriages, it should not be taken during pregnancy. Feverfew can cause uterine contractions, which may actually increase the risk of miscarriage or premature labor (see Feverfew and Pregnancy).
- Feverfew supplements may interact with some medications (see Feverfew Drug Interactions).
- It is not known if feverfew is safe for breastfeeding women (see Feverfew and Breastfeeding).
- People who are allergic to plants from the daisy family, including ragweed and chrysanthemums, may also be allergic to feverfew.
- If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or less of the featured ingredient than the label states. Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your feverfew is trusted and reputable. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal or National Formulary (NF) seal, which usually means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.