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Related to Serenoa repens: Pygeum africanum
American Dwarf Palm Tree(trade name),
Cabbage Palm(trade name),
Palmier Nain(trade name),
Sabal Fructus(trade name),
Saw Palmetto Berry(trade name),
Serenoa repens(trade name)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
ClassificationTherapeutic: benign prostatic hyperplasia bph agents
Exerts antiandrogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties in prostate tissue resulting in improvement in BPH symptoms such as frequent urination, hesitancy, urgency and nocturia.
Comparable in efficacy to finasteride but may be less effective than prazosin.
Decreased urinary symptoms of BPH.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
|PO||1–2 mos||unknown||48 wk (longest studied treatment duration)|
Contraindicated in: Pregnancy and lactation.
Use Cautiously in: Prior to surgery (discontinue 2 weeks before to prevent bleeding).
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
Central nervous system
- constipation and diarrhea
InteractionsHormonal action may interfere with other hormonal therapies (testosterone, hormonal contraceptives ).Avoid use with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs (may ↑ bleeding risk).Concomitant use with herbs that affect platelet aggregation such as ginger, garlic, gingko, and ginseng may ↑ bleeding risk.
Oral (Adults) Lipophilic extract (80–90% fatty acids)—160 mg twice daily or 320 mg once daliy. Whole berries—1–2 grams daily. Liquid extract from berry pulp—1–2 mL three times daily. Tea (efficacy is questionable due to lipophilicity of active constituents)—1 cup three times daily. Tea is prepared by steeping 0.5–1 gram dried berry in 150 mL boiling water for 5–10 minutes.
Lipophilic extract (80-90% fatty acids): OTC
Whole berries: OTC
Liquid extract: OTC
- Assess patient for symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) (urinary hesitancy, feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, interruption in urinary stream, impairment in size and force of urinary stream, terminal urinary dribbling, straining to start flow, dysuria, urgency) before and periodically during therapy.
- Rectal exams prior to and periodically throughout therapy to assess prostate size are recommended.
Potential Nursing DiagnosesImpaired urinary elimination (Indications)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)
- Take on a full stomach to minimize GI effects.
- Advise patients to start therapy with this herbal supplement only after evaluation by a health care professional who will provide continued follow up care.
- Inform patients that saw palmetto does not alter the size of the prostate but still should relieve the symptoms associated with BPH.
- Tell patients that taking this herbal supplement with food should reduce the GI effects and make it easier to tolerate.
- Decrease in urinary symptoms of BPH.