Agnus Castus

(rINN)

💊 Chemical information

Agni Casti; Agni casti fructus; Agnocasto; Chaste Tree Fruit; Chasteberry; Drmkový plod; Gattilier, fruit de; Keuschlamm; Mönchspfeffer; Monk’s Pepper; Munkpeppar; Owoc niepokalanka zwyczajnego; Sauzgatillo; Siveydenpuunhedelmä; Zerolo.

Pharmacopoeias.

In Eur. and US.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Agnus Castus Fruit). The whole, ripe, dried fruit of Vitex agnus castus. It contains a minimum 0.08% of casticin calculated with reference to the dried drug. Protect from light.

USP 31

(Chaste Tree). The dried ripe fruits of Vitex agnus-castus (Verbenaceae). It contains not less than 0.05% of agnuside and not less than 0.08% of casticin, calculated on the dried basis.

💊 Profile

Agnus castus is reported to affect the secretion of luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and prolactin by the pituitary. Both inhibition and stimulation of prolactin secretion have been reported, and may be dose-dependent. Agnus castus is included in herbal preparations for the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including mastalgia; it has also been used for menstrual cycle irregularities or menopausal disorders, but should be avoided in patients receiving exogenous sex hormones, including oral contraceptives.

Homoeopathy.

Agnus castus has been used in homoeopathic medicines under the following names: Vitex agnus-castus; Agn. cast.
1. Houghton P. Agnus castus. Pharm J 1994; 253: 720–1
2. Christie S, Walker AF. Vitex agnus-castus L.: (1) a review of its traditional and modern therapeutic use; (2) current use from a survey of practitioners. Eur J Herbal Med 1997; 3: 29–45
3. Schellenberg R. Treatment for the premenstrual syndrome with agnus castus fruit extract: prospective, randomised, placebo controlled study. BMJ 2001; 322: 134–7
4. Chrubasik S, Roufogalis BD. Chaste tree fruit for female disorders. Aust J Pharm 2001; 82: 156–7.

Adverse effects, precautions, and interactions.

The adverse effects of agnus castus are reported to be mild and reversible, with acne, erythematous rash, headache, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual disorders, nausea, and pruritus being the most frequently reported. Toxicity data for use of agnus castus during pregnancy and breast feeding are sparse, but in view of its pharmacological actions, use is not recommended. There is a theoretical possibility of drug interactions between agnus castus and dopamine antagonists.1
1. Daniele C, et al. Vitex agnus castus: a systematic review of adverse events. Drug Safety 2005; 28: 319–32.

💊 Preparations

Proprietary Preparations

Austral.: Premular; Austria: Agnofem; Agnucaston; Agnumens; Braz.: Lutene; Nalle; Regulatum†; Tenag; Vitenon; Vitex; Cz.: Agnucaston; Evana†; Ger.: Agno-Sabona†; Agnolyt; Agnucaston; Agnufemil†; Biofem; Castufemin; Cefanorm; Femicur N; Feminon A; Femisana mens; Gynocastus; Hevertogyn; Kytta-Femin†; Sarai; Strotan; Valverde Monchspfeffer bei Menstruationsbeschwerden†; Hung.: Agnucaston; Cefanorm; PreMens; Indon.: Agnu Gyne; Agnucaston; Mex.: Cicloplant; Philipp.: Ascof; Pol.: Agufem; Castagnus; Rus.: Agnucaston (Агнукастон)†; Cyclodynon (Циклодинон); Spain: Dismegyn; Femiplante; Switz.: Agnolyt; Emoton; Oprane; Prefemine; PreMens; Thai.: Agnucaston†; Turk.: Agnucaston; Biofem; UK: Herbal Premens; Premherb. Multi-ingredient: Austral.: Dong Quai Complex; Feminine Herbal Complex; Lifesystem Herbal Formula 4 Women’s Formula†; PMT Complex†; Women’s Formula Herbal Formula 3†; Canad.: Natural HRT; Ger.: Femisana†; Hong Kong: Phytoestrin†; Indon.: Herbalacta; Singapore: Phytoestrin.
Published November 18, 2018.