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Belgium Valerian(trade name),
Common Valerian(trade name),
Fragrant Valerian(trade name),
Garden Heliotrope(trade name),
Garden Valerian(trade name),
Indian Valerian(trade name),
Mexican Valerian(trade name),
Pacific Valerian(trade name),
Valeriana officinalis(trade name),
Valerianae radix(trade name),
Valeriana rhizome(trade name),
ClassificationTherapeutic: antianxiety agents
May increase concentrations of the inhibitory CNS transmitter GABA.
Improvement in sleep quality.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
|PO||30–60 min||2 hr||unknown|
Contraindicated in: Pregnancy and lactation.
Use Cautiously in: Alcohol use (may have additive sedative effects); Surgery (discontinue use 2 weeks prior to elective procedures).
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
Central nervous system
- dry mouth
- Benzodiazepine-like withdrawal symptoms with discontinuation after long-term use
InteractionsAdditive CNS depression with alcohol, antihistamines, anesthetic agentssedative hypnotics and other CNS depressants.Alcohol-containing preparations may interact with disulfiram and metronidazole.Additive sedative effects can occur when used with herbal supplements with sedative properties such as kava, l-tryptophan, melatonin, SAMe, and St. John's wort.
Oral (Adults) Tea—1 cup tea 1–5 times daily. Tea is made by steeping 2–3 g root in 150 mL boiling water for 5–10 min then straining. Tincture—1–3 mL 1–5 times daily. Extract—400–900 mg up to 2 hours before bedtime or 300–450 mg divided tid.
- Assess degree of anxiety and level of sedation prior to and periodically throughout therapy.
- Assess sleep patterns.
- Assess response in the elderly population where drowsiness and loss of balance may pose a significant risk for injury.
Potential Nursing DiagnosesAnxiety (Indications)
Risk for injury (Side Effects)
- Take one to two hours before bedtime if used for nighttime hypnotic.
- Administer orally three to five times daily to control anxiety.
- Encourage patients to avoid stimulants such as caffeine and to provide an environment that promotes restful sleep.
- May cause drowsiness. Caution patient to avoid driving or other activities requiring alertness until response to drug is known.
- Caution patient to avoid use of alcohol and other medications or herbals that have a sedative effect; may increase drowsiness.
- Advise patients to discontinue 2 weeks prior to elective surgical procedures.
- Inform patients not to take this herbal supplement if pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Notify patients that dependence with withdrawal symptoms may develop with prolonged use.
- Decreased anxiety level.
- Improvement in sleep with a feeling of restfulness without drowsiness upon awakening.
A widely cultivated valerian (Valeriana officinalis) having clusters of small, fragrant, purplish, pink, or white flowers and strong-smelling rhizomes used medicinally as a sedative.
A perennial herb that contains alkaloids, actinidine, choline, glycoside, resins, tannins, valepotriates, valerenic acid and volatile oils (including limonene); it is antispasmodic, antitussive, and sedative, and may act on the central nervous system. Valerian has been used for anxiety, colic, dandruff, dyspepsia, headaches, hypertension, insomnia, menstrual cramping, nervousness, stress and tachyarrhythmias.
Valerian should not be given to infants, and should be used with caution in pregnant women; in excess, it may cause headaches, irritability and blurred vision.