Drugs A - Z

Valerian Oral capsule

It is promoted to help relaxation, sleep and stress

Generic Name: valerian

Brand Names: Valerian Root

What is this medicine?

VALERIAN (vuh LEER ee uhn) is an herbal or dietary supplement. It is promoted to help relaxation, sleep and stress. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

This supplement may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • emotional illness like anxiety, depression
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • sleeping problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to valerian, herbs, plants, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this supplement by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling, or take as directed by your health care professional. If this supplement upsets your stomach, take it with food. Do not take this supplement more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician regarding the use of this supplement in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Check with your doctor or healthcare professional if you are taking any of the following medications:
  • alcohol
  • barbiturate medicines for sleep or seizures
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic pain medicines

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

See your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine.

If you are scheduled for any medical or dental procedure, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this supplement. You may need to stop taking this supplement before the procedure.

Herbal or dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines. Rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. The purity and strength of these products can vary. The safety and effect of this dietary supplement for a certain disease or illness is not well known. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • Natural does not mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products that include USP after the ingredient name. This means that the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements made or sold by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.


Last Updated: September 14, 2009
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