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All about: fennel

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Generic Name: fennel (FEH nell)
Brand Names:

What is fennel?

The use of fennel in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Fennel is also known as Foeniculum vulgare, large fennel, sweet fennel, wild fennel, fenkel, bitter fennel, carosella, Florence fennel, finocchio, and garden fennel.

Fennel has been used to treat cough, bronchitis, stomach discomfort, flatulence, and sinus congestion. Fennel has also been used to stimulate lactation.

Fennel has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of fennel may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Fennel may also have uses other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about fennel?

Do not take fennel without first talking to your doctor if you have epilepsy or another seizure disorder or if you take any medication to treat seizures. Fennel may increase the risk of seizures.

Fennel has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of fennel may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using fennel?

Do not take fennel without first talking to your doctor if you have epilepsy or another seizure disorder or if you take any medication to treat seizures. Fennel may increase the risk of seizures.

Before taking fennel, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have allergies (especially to celery or other plants), have any medical condition, or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. Fennel may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take fennel without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether fennel will harm an unborn baby. Fennel has been used to stimulate lactation. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional before taking fennel if you are breast-feeding a baby. There is no information available regarding the use of fennel by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take fennel?

The use of fennel in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take fennel, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Take the pill forms of fennel with a full glass of water.

To ensure the correct dose, measure the liquid forms of fennel with a dropper or a dose-measuring spoon or cup.

Some forms of fennel can be brewed to form a tea for drinking.

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, teas, and others) of fennel at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of fennel.

Store fennel as directed on the package. In general, fennel should be protected from light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of fennel. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a fennel overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking fennel?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking fennel, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Fennel side effects

Although rare, allergic reactions to fennel may occur. Stop taking fennel and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Rash and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight has also been reported with the use of fennel. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect fennel?

Do not take fennel without first talking to your doctor if you take a medication to treat seizures such as
  • phenytoin (Dilantin);

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitol) or oxcarbazepine (Trileptal);

  • gabapentin (Neurontin);

  • valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex sodium (Depakote);

  • felbamate (Felbatol);

  • tiagabine (Gabitril);

  • levetiracetam (Keppra);

  • topiramate (Topamax);

  • lamotrigine (Lamictal);

  • zonisamide (Zonegran);

  • ethosuximide (Zarontin);

  • and others.

Fennel may increase the risk of seizures.

Interactions between fennel and other prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal/health supplements may also occur. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional before taking fennel if you are taking any other medicines or supplements.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about fennel.

  • Consultation with a licensed health care professional is advisable before using any herbal/health supplement. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous. Remember, keep this and all other prescription drug products, over-the-counter drug products, and herbal/health supplements out of the reach of children.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:08:29 PM.

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