Ipriflavone
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
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Ipriflavone Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth.

Safety Issues

About 3,000 people have used ipriflavone in clinical studies, and in all but two, no significant adverse effects were seen. 1 However, these trials (a 3-year, double-blind trial of almost 500 women, as well as a small study) found worrisome evidence that ipriflavone can reduce levels of white blood cells called lymphocytes. 2 For this reason, anyone taking ipriflavone for the long-term should have periodic measurements taken of white blood cell count.

In addition, ipriflavone should not be used by anyone with immune deficiencies, such as HIV, or by those who take drugs that suppress the immune system, except under physician supervision. There are other potential risks as well. Because ipriflavone is metabolized by the kidneys, individuals with severe kidney disease should have their ipriflavone dosage monitored by a physician. 3 Individuals with ulcers should also avoid ipriflavone. 4 Also, although ipriflavone itself does not affect tissues outside of bone, some evidence suggests that if it is combined with estrogen, estrogen's effects on the uterus are increased. 5 This might mean that the risk of uterine cancer would be elevated over taking estrogen alone. It should be possible to overcome this risk by taking progesterone along with estrogen, which is standard medical practice. However, this finding does make one wonder whether ipriflavone-estrogen combinations raise the risk of breast cancer too, an estrogen side effect that has no easy solution. At present, there is no available information on this important subject.

Additionally, ipriflavone may interfere with certain drugs by affecting the way they are processed in the liver. For example, it may raise blood levels of the older asthma drug theophylline. 6 It could also raise levels of caffeine, meaning that if you drink coffee while taking ipriflavone you might stay up longer than you expect. Ipriflavone could also interact with tolbutamide (a drug for diabetes), phenytoin (used for epilepsy), and Coumadin (a blood thinner). 7 Such interactions are potentially dangerous, especially since phenytoin and Coumadin cause osteoporosis, and some people might be tempted to try taking ipriflavone at the same time.

Interactions You Should Know About

If you are taking:

  • Theophylline , tolbutamide , phenytoin (Dilantin) , warfarin (Coumadin) , or any other drug metabolized in the liver: Ipriflavone might change the levels of that drug in your body.
  • Estrogen : Ipriflavone might help it strengthen your bones even more. However, it might also increase the risk of uterine cancer.
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids , methotrexate , or cyclosporine : Do not use ipriflavone except under medical supervision.

References

  1. Agnusdei D, Bufalino L. Efficacy of ipriflavone in established osteoporosis and long-term safety. Calcif Tissue Int. 61 Suppl 1():S23-7.
  2. Agnusdei D, Bufalino L. Efficacy of ipriflavone in established osteoporosis and long-term safety. Calcif Tissue Int. 61 Suppl 1():S23-7.
  3. Agnusdei D, Bufalino L. Efficacy of ipriflavone in established osteoporosis and long-term safety. Calcif Tissue Int. 61 Suppl 1():S23-7.
  4. Matsuoka M, Yoshida Y, Hayakawa K, Fukuchi S. Gastrojejunal fistula caused by gastric ulcer. J Gastroenterol. 33(2):267-71.
  5. Petilli M, Fiorelli G, Benvenuti S, Frediani U, Gori F, Brandi ML. Interactions between ipriflavone and the estrogen receptor. Calcif Tissue Int. 56(2):160-5.
  6. Takahashi J, Kawakatsu K, Wakayama T, et al. Elevation of serum theophylline levels by ipriflavone in a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [letter]. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992;43:207-208.
  7. Monostory K, Vereczkey L, Lévai F, Szatmári I. Ipriflavone as an inhibitor of human cytochrome P450 enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 123(4):605-10.
 
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