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Black cohosh safety/efficacy review

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Health Canada is taking a "precautionary approach" and reviewing black cohosh safety and efficacy, even though "case reports of liver damage are rare, and the link between black cohosh and liver toxicity is unclear," the regulator states in an Aug. 18 release, which additionally notes that "the quality of the black cohosh products involved in these cases is not known." The review follows on the heels of the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's recent decision to add warnings to black cohosh products about the risk of liver disorders (1"The Tan Sheet," July 24, 2006, p. 14). Australia's Therapeutics Goods Association mandated a warning label on products containing the herb in February. Health Canada advises consumers to exercise caution in the use of black cohosh until the review is completed. Additionally, consumers should discontinue use if they have unusual fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, or if they develop symptoms suggestive of liver injury such as yellowing of the skin, Health Canada states...
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