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All about: peppermint

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Generic Name: peppermint (PEH per mint)
Brand Names:

What is peppermint?

The use of peppermint 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.

Peppermint is also known as Mentha piperita, brandy mint, and lamb mint.

Peppermint has been used for liver and gallbladder complaints, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, respiratory infections, menstrual cramps, toothache, the common cold, cough, and fever. Topically, peppermint has been used for muscle and nerve pain and as an antiseptic.

Peppermint has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of peppermint 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.

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

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

Do not take peppermint without first talking to your doctor if you have a blockage of the gallbladder or bile ducts, gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, or liver damage.

Peppermint has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of peppermint 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 peppermint?

Do not take peppermint without first talking to your doctor if you have a blockage of the gallbladder or bile ducts, gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, hiatal hernia, or liver damage.

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

Do not take peppermint without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether peppermint will harm an unborn baby. Do not take peppermint without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is also not known whether peppermint will harm a nursing infant. There is no information available regarding the use of peppermint by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take peppermint?

The use of peppermint 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 peppermint, 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 peppermint with a full glass of water.

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

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

Topical forms of peppermint are intended for external use only. Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, teas, and others) of peppermint 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 peppermint.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of peppermint. 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 peppermint overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking peppermint?

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

Peppermint side effects

Although rare, allergic reactions to peppermint may occur. Stop taking peppermint 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.

Highly concentrated peppermint products may also cause mouth irritation or ulcerations. Stop using peppermint if you experience mouth discomfort or sores in the mouth.

Worsening of gallstone or hiatal hernia symptoms may occur in individuals with those conditions.

Other less serious side effects have not been reported, although they may occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect peppermint?

Interactions between peppermint and other prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal/health supplements have not been reported. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional before taking peppermint 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 peppermint.

  • 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 4:08:26 PM.

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