If you’re thinking of trying Saw Palmetto you should be aware of any potential side effects. Many claim that there are no significant side effects from Saw Palmetto other than perhaps a mild stomach ache. However, there are some precautions you should take and one particular consequence that you should definitely be aware of.
Saw Palmetto berries have alpha-adrenergic blocking activity and may alter the effects of the following medications: prazosin, terazosin, doxazosin mesylate, tamsulosin.
Saw Palmetto may also have an additive effect if it is taken with anti-androgen drugs that reduce the levels of male sex hormones, such as finasteride (Prosca, Propecia) or flutamide (Eulexin).
It is remotely possible that it could interfere with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy in women as well. If you’re taking any of these drugs, check with your doctor or naturopathic physician before taking saw palmetto.
Now, another important, but little known, possible consequence of taking Saw Palmetto is its affect on a PSA test. The PSA or prostate-specific antigen test is used for early detection of prostate cancer. Some doctors have warned that Saw Palmetto may mask PSA levels and thereby reduce the ability of the test to detect prostate cancer. You can find that warning HERE.
Some studies have shown that Saw Palmetto doesn’t seem to have a significant effect upon PSA levels but to be on the safe side you should definitely tell your doctor if you are taking Saw Palmetto so that they will be aware of any possible influence it may have on your PSA test.