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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is derived from the maidenhair tree and has been used to treat circulatory disorders and sexual dysfunction. The mechanism is thought to involve antioxidant activity and inhibition of platelet aggregation. Side effects include headache, GI upset, allergic reactions, and bleeding reactions. It may produce additive anticoagulant activity with agents such as warfarin or herbs with antiplatelet activity, such as ginger, garlic, and feverfew. A recent meta analysis of ginkgo evaluating its effect on intermittent claudication showed that it increases maximum walking distance as well as pain-free walking distance.

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Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, BCPS, FASCP, CDE, BC-ADM
November 24, 2001

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