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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Agavaceae

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Interactions with Drugs

Steroid hormone precursors are obtained from agave leaves. Caution is advised when taking agave with other steroidal agents.

Contraceptive and anti- fertility effects have been reported with the use of agave. In theory, caution is advised when taking agave with other contraceptive agents, such as birth control pills.

Agave may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Steroid hormone precursors are obtained from agave leaves. Caution is advised when taking agave with other herbs with steroidal properties.

Agave may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also alter blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.


This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer- reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ( Nicole Giese, MS (Boston University); Dana A. Hackman, BS (Northeastern University); John S. Markowitz, PharmD (University of South Carolina); Adam McLean, MPharm (University of Nottingham); Steven G. Ottariano, RPh (VA Medical Center); Chris Tonelli, MA (Emmanuel College); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shannon Welch, PharmD (Northeastern University).


DISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence- based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

Argote- Espinosa RM, Flores- Huerta S, Hernandez- Montes H, et al. [Plasma clearance of ethanol and its excretion in the milk of rural women who consume pulque]. Rev Invest Clin 1992;44(1):31- 36.

Arizaga S, Ezcurra E, Peters E, et al. Pollination ecology of Agave macroacantha (Agavaceae) in a Mexican tropical desert. II. The role of pollinators. Am J Bot 2000;87(7):1011- 1017.

Backstrand JR, Goodman AH, Allen LH, et al. Pulque intake during pregnancy and lactation in rural Mexico: alcohol and child growth from 1 to 57 months. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004;58(12):1626- 1634.

Borup LH, Meehan JJ, Severson JM, et al. Terminal spine of agave plant extracted from patient's spinal cord. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2003;181(4):1155- 1156.

Brazzelli V, Romano E, Balduzzi A, et al. Acute irritant contact dermatitis from Agave americana L. Contact Dermatitis 1995;33(1):60- 61.

Cherpelis BS, Fenske NA. Purpuric irritant contact dermatitis induced by Agave americana. Cutis 2000;66(4):287- 288.

Crabbe P. Mexican plants and human fertility. UNESCO Cour 1979;7:33- 34.

de la Cueva P, Gonzalez- Carrascosa M, Campos M, Leis V, Suarez R, Lazaro P. [Contact dermatitis from Agave americana] Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2005 Oct;96(8):534- 6.

Gonzalez- Ortiz M, Pascoe- Gonzalez S, Kam- Ramos AM, et al. Effect of tequila on homocysteine, insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and metabolic profile in healthy men. J Diabetes Complications 2005;19(3):155- 159.

Hackman DA, Giese N, Markowitz JS, et al. Agave (Agave americana): an evidence- based systematic review by the natural standard research collaboration. J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):101- 22.

High WA. Agave contact dermatitis. Am J Contact Dermat 2003;14(4):213- 214.

Kerner J, Mitchell J, Maibach HI. Irritant contact dermatitis from Agave americana L. Incorrect use of sap as "hair restorer". Arch Dermatol 1973;108(1):102- 103.

Narro- Robles J, Gutierrez- Avila JH, Lopez- Cervantes M, et al. [Liver cirrhosis mortality in Mexico. II. Excess mortality and pulque consumption]. Salud Publica Mex 1992;34(4):388- 405.

Ricks MR, Vogel PS, Elston DM, et al. Purpuric agave dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol 1999;40(2 Pt 2):356- 358.

Shatoian I, Golomozenko VF. [Contact dermatitis caused by agave used for therapeutic purposes]. Vestn Dermatol Venerol 1987;(2):63- 64.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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