Darrell Hulisz, RPh, PharmD; Melissa Lagzdins, RPh, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2008;33(9):HS11-HS20. 

In This Article

Dietary Supplements

Ginseng is generally recognized as safe and has been associated with few serious side effects. Because it can have a mild stimulant effect, use with other stimulants in patients with cardiovascular disease should be cautioned. A type of ginseng abuse syndrome, characterized by diarrhea, hypertension, nervousness, dermatologic eruptions, and insomnia, has been described.[36] This syndrome may be exhibited after single high doses or prolonged periods of use. Other supplements that may increase arterial pressure include natural licorice and yohimbine.[37] Generally, all patients with hypertension should discuss use of dietary supplements with their pharmacist or physician beforehand. The effects of most supplements on blood pressure have not been adequately characterized.


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