Drug information of Tanacetum parthenium , Feverfew

Tanacetum parthenium , Feverfew

Drug group: medicinal herbs

Feverfew is primarily known for use in prophylactic treatment of migraine headaches and associated nausea and vomiting

Mechanism of effect

Sesquiterpene lactones, include. parthenolide: inhibit release of arachidonic acid

Inhibit platelet and leukocytes secretion of serotonin, histamine

Feverfew has numerous pharmacological actions, including inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, blockage of platelet granule secretion, effects on smooth muscle, antitumor activity, inhibition of serotonin release, inhibition of histamine release, and mast cell inhibition

Drug indications


Prevention, control of migraine prophylaxis

Allergies, arthritis, fevers, headaches, menstrual irregularities, psoriasis, tinnitus, vertigo, cancer


Feverfew is generally given for migraine headaches at a daily dosage of 50 to 150 mg of dried leaves, 2.5 fresh leaves with or after food, or 5 to 20 drops of a 1:5, 25% ethanol tincture. Though optimal doses of feverfew have not been established, an adult dosage of parentholide 0.2 to 0.6 mg/day is recommended for the prevention of migraine. However, parthenolide has not been confirmed as a major active principle for migraine. Numerous feverfew products are commercially available; most are standardized to parthenolide 0.7% in tablet or capsule dosage forms

Drug contraindications

pregnancy , Breast feeding

-Feverfew is contraindicated in patients allergic to other members of the Asteraceae family, such as aster, chamomile, chrysanthemum, ragweed, sunflower, tansy, and yarrow. Due to its potential antiplatelet effects, it is not recommended for use in patients undergoing surgery. Patients with blood-clotting disorders should consult their health care provider prior to using products containing feverfew.

-Lactation, pregnancy, ragweed allergies

Side effects

Insomnia , Diarrhea , Headache , abdominal pain , dyspepsia , anxiety , flatulence , mouth ulcers , allergic reactions

Abdominal pain

Allergic reaction




Mouth ulcers


Anxiety (chronic use)

Headache (chronic use)

Insomnia (chronic use)

Muscle/joint stiffness (chronic use)

Aceclofenac-acemetacin-agrimony-alfalfa-alteplase-American ginseng-antithrombin alfa-antithrombin III-argatroban-aspirin-aspirin rectal-aspirin/citric acid/sodium bicarbonate-bemiparin-bivalirudin-celecoxib-choline magnesium trisalicylate-cinnamon-cordyceps-dabigatran-dalteparin-diclofenac-diflunisal-dong quai-enoxaparin-epoprostenol-etodolac-fenbufen-fennel-fenoprofen-flurbiprofen-fondaparinux-forskolin-garlic-ginger-ginkgo biloba-heparin-horse chestnut seed-ibuprofen-indomethacin-ketoprofen-ketorolac-lornoxicam-meclofenamate-mefenamic acid-meloxicam-mistletoe-nabumetone-naproxen-nettle-oxaprozin-panax ginseng-parecoxib-pau d'arco-phenindione-phytoestrogens-piroxicam-protamine-reishi-reteplase-salicylates (non-asa)-salsalate-Siberian ginseng-sulfasalazine-sulindac-tenecteplase-tolfenamic acid-tolmetin-vitamin K1 (phytonadione)-warfarin


No studies of chronic toxicity have been performed on the plant. The safety of long-term use has not been established.

Pregnant women should not use the plant because the leaves possess potential emmenagogue activity

Points of recommendation

Quality of products vary widely; depends on content of parthenolide

Minimume parthenolide content should be 0.2

Patients with blood-clotting disorders should consult their health care provider prior to using products containing feverfew

Pregnancy level

Avoid use because of documented adverse effects. Pregnant women should not use the plant because the leaves possess emmenagogue activity (ejection of the placenta and fetal membranes) and may induce abortion

Breast feeding warning

  It is not recommended for breast-feeding mothers or for use in children younger than 2 years of age.

Drug forms

altamisa, bachelor button, camomille grande, chrysanthemum parthenium, featherfew, featherfoil, flirtwort midsummer daisy, midsummer daisy, Santa Maria, tanacetum parthenium

Ask a Pharmacist

User's questions
    No comments yet.