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Is Vitex Safe?

If you are thinking about taking vitex, precautions of the supplement should be reviewed with your healthcare provider. For example, you may not be able to safely use vitex if you have infertility or hormone-sensitive conditions (such as cancer, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis). Vitex warnings and precautions also extend to people with certain allergies and to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Is Vitex Safe? -- An Overview

When used appropriately, vitex (chasteberry) is probably safe for many people. However, some people may be more likely to experience problems due to vitex. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking it if you have:
  • Hormone-sensitive conditions, such as:

 

    • Cancer
    • Uterine fibroids
    • Endometriosis 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Safety Warnings and Precautions With Vitex

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of vitex include the following:
  • Vitex can affect hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. It is not clear how vitex may affect hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis. If you have any of these conditions, check with your healthcare provider before taking vitex.
  • Although vitex is often used to treat infertility, do not take vitex without checking with your healthcare provider, especially if you are already being treated for infertility. Theoretically, vitex might interfere with other infertility treatments.
  • Theoretically, vitex may interact with a number of medications (see Vitex Drug Interactions).
  • As an herbal supplement, vitex is not as closely regulated as prescription (or non-prescription) drugs. It can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is safe or effective. Make sure to look for vitex products from a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
  • If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including vitex.
  • It is unknown if vitex is safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding (see Vitex and Pregnancy and Vitex and Breastfeeding).

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‣ Final Thoughts
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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