Hot Flashes in a Young Girl: A Wake-up Call Concerning Serenoa repens Use in Children

    November 2012 in “Pediatrics
    Marco Miroddi, Antonio Carnì, Carmen Mannucci, Mariacarla Moleti, Michele Navarra, Gioacchino Calapai
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    TLDR Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) may cause side effects like hot flashes in children and needs more research for safety in pediatric use.
    The document described the case of an 11-year-old girl who developed hot flashes after taking a food supplement containing Serenoa repens (S repens) to treat telogen effluvium. The hot flashes stopped when the supplement was discontinued. The girl also experienced her first menstrual period with abnormal duration and volume of blood loss four months after starting S repens and 45 days after stopping it. Using the Naranjo adverse drug reaction probability scale, a probable relationship between the hot flashes and S repens intake was determined with a score of 6. Although a direct correlation between S repens use and the onset of menarche was not confirmed, it was not ruled out. The authors concluded that while S repens is usually well tolerated in adult males, its effects on children, particularly for unapproved uses such as hair disorders, need to be more thoroughly assessed due to the risk of adverse effects.
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