Feverfew

(BANM, rINNM)

💊 Chemical information

Pharmacopoeias.

In Eur. and in US. US also describes Powdered Feverfew.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Feverfew). The dried, whole or fragmented aerial parts of Tanacetum parthenium. It contains not less than 0.2% of parthenolide (C 15 H 20 O 3 = 248.3), calculated with reference to the dried drug. It has a camphoraceous odour. Protect from light.

USP 31

(Feverfew). It consists of the dried leaves of Tanacetum parthenium (Asteraceae), collected when the plant is in flower. Store in a dry place. Protect from light.

💊 Adverse Effects and Precautions

Mouth ulceration and soreness have been reported following ingestion of feverfew, and may be due to sensitisation; if they occur feverfew should be withdrawn. Contact dermatitis has been reported. Feverfew is reputed to have abortifacient properties and it is suggested that preparations should not be used in pregnancy.

Effects on the blood.

There have been suggestions that feverfew may increase the risk of bleeding during surgery or in patients taking anticoagulants. However, although inhibition of platelet aggregation has been reported in vitro or in animals a review1 of clinical studies noted that feverfew did not appear to affect haematological safety parameters.
1. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Available in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; Issu
1. Chichester: John Wiley; 2004 (accessed 27/04/05).

💊 Interactions

It has been suggested that feverfew may enhance the effects of anticoagulants (but see Effects on the Blood, above).

💊 Uses and Administration

Feverfew consists of the dried leaves of the plant Tanacetum parthenium (Asteraceae). It is a traditional herbal remedy used in the prophylaxis of migraine. Its effects have been attributed to the plant’s content of sesquiterpene lactones, notably parthenolide. A preparation of the dried leaf powder, which has been standardised to provide a minimum of 0.2% parthenolide, is available in some countries. A suggested oral dose is 250 mg daily; a lower dose of 100 mg daily has also been given..

Migraine.

Feverfew is a traditional herbal remedy used in the prophylaxis of migraine. Studies of standardised preparations of the freeze-dried powdered leaf have produced variable results in preventing or ameliorating migraine attacks, and systematic reviews1,2 suggest that its effectiveness in preventing migraine remains to be established.
1. Vogler BK, et al. Feverfew as a preventive treatment for migraine: a systematic review. Cephalalgia 1998; 18: 704–8
2. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Available in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; Issu
1. Chichester: John Wiley; 2004 (accessed 27/04/05).

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Feverfew has been used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of arthritis but although it has antiinflammatory activity in vitro, a clinical trial1 found it to be ineffective in rheumatoid arthritis.
1. Pattrick M, et al. Feverfew in rheumatoid arthritis: a double blind, placebo controlled study. Ann Rheum Dis 1989; 48: 547–9.

💊 Preparations

Proprietary Preparations

Austral.: Herbal Headache Relief†; Braz.: Tanaceto; Tenliv; Canad.: Ta n acet; UK: Migraherb; Tanacet. Multi-ingredient: Austral.: Albizia Complex; Extralife Arthri-Care; Extralife Migrai-Care; Guaiacum Complex†; Ital.: Neuralta Migren.
Published October 20, 2018.