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Red Poppy Description - Side Effects and its Dosage

Taxonomic class

Papaveraceae

Common Trade Names

None known.

Common Forms

Available as capsules.

Source

Red poppy, Papaver rhoeas, is an annual plant that is native to Europe, North Africa, and temperate areas of Asia and has been naturalized in North America and South America. The bright red flowers are used.

Chemical Components

Red poppy contains many alkaloids, including papaverine, rhoeadine, and isorhoeadine. It has been reported that the alkaloid content is similar to that of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, which contains morphine, noscapine, and codeine. Controversy exists regarding the presence of significant pharmacologically active narcotic constituents. Other constituents of red poppy include meconic acid, mekocyanin, mucilage, and tannin.

Actions

The actions of the various components of red poppy have not been studied in animals or humans.

Reported Uses

Similar to opium poppy, red poppy is claimed to be mildly analgesic and sedative. It has been primarily used as a cough suppressant and expecctorant, but its effectiveness for any use has not been evaluated in Controlled clinical human trials.

Dosage

No consensus exists.

Adverse Reactions

CNS: potential CNS depressant effects.

Skin: allergic contact dermatitis .

Interactions

Analgesics, CNS depressants: Risk of additive effects of these drugs. Avoid administration with red poppy.

Contraindications and Precautions

Avoid using red poppy in pregnant or breast-feeding patients; effects are unknown. Also, avoid its use in patients who are hypersensitive to morphine or codeine. Use cautiously in patients with a history of allergic contact dermatitis.

Special Considerations

  • Advise the patient to consult a health care provider before using herbal preparations because a treatment that has been clinically researched and proved effective may be available.

  • Monitor CNS effects.

  • Advise the patient that few data exist with regard to red poppy.

Points of Interest

  • Members of the Papaveraceae family may contain potentially toxic alkaloids, such as morphine, codeine, papaverine, noscapine, and the baine. Because red poppy contains unknown quantities of these substances, toxic doses of red poppy cannot be estimated.

Commentary

Unlike opium poppy, little information is available about the red poppy. Its components are not well characterized, and the actual quantities contained are unknown. Red poppy has not been demonstrated to be therapeutically useful, and its toxic potential is unclear. Therefore, its use cannot be recommended.

   

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