wild yam

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wild yam

Generic Name: wild yam (WHY uld YAM)
Brand Names:

What is wild yam?

The use of wild yam 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.

Wild yam is also known as Dioscorea villosa, China root, Mexican yam, colic root, devil"s bones, rheumatism root, yuma, and rheumatism root.

Wild yam has been used for menstrual cramps or pain, menopausal symptoms, rheumatic conditions, and gallbladder complaints. Wild yam is sometimes suggested as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. While components of wild yam are chemically manufactured into the hormones progesterone or estrogen, the body is unable to use wild yam in the same way.

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

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

What is the most important information I should know about wild yam?

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

Who should not take wild yam?

Before taking wild yam, 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. Wild yam may not be recommended in some situations.

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

How should I take wild yam?

The use of wild yam 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 wild yam, 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 wild yam with a full glass of water.

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

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, and others) of wild yam 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 wild yam.

Store wild yam as directed on the package. In general, wild yam should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of wild yam. 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 wild yam overdose are not well known but might include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking wild yam?

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

Wild yam side effects

Although rare, allergic reactions to wild yam may occur. Stop taking wild yam 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.

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 wild yam?

Interactions between wild yam 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 wild yam 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 wild yam.

  • 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: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:08:21 PM.




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