Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto

Last updated on 19/10/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Saw Palmetto



DRUG CLASS: Supplements

SUB CLASS: 5-alpha reductase inhibitors

USED FOR: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

– 160mg, 320mg (capsules)

What is Saw Palmetto for?

Saw Palmetto is the name of a palm-like plant that grows in the southeast US. The berries are then extracted to use for medicinal purposes, as it has been found to be effective in lowering a male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male hormone commonly found in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male hair loss. Saw palmetto works by inhibiting an enzyme to lower the concentration of DHT in the body. It may be helpful to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, probably in combination with other drugs like Tamsulosin.

How to use it?

Saw palmetto is available as capsules. The recommended dosage is 160 mg twice daily or 320 mg once daily, taken at the same time of the day.

What are the side effects of Saw Palmetto?

Saw Palmetto is likely safe and only causes some mild side effects in rare cases, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, and dizziness. Also, it may cause lower abdominal pain, especially when taken on an empty stomach.

Who should not take Saw Palmetto?

People who are allergic to Saw Palmetto or any component of the formulation.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Saw Palmetto is a supplement and should not be solely used after the diagnosis of BPH. The first-line treatment should be an alpha blocker like Tamsulosin.
– Do not take more than the recommended dose, as it may cause more unwanted side effects.
– It is not recommended for use under 18 years of age and pregnant women.
– If you have to undergo an elective surgery, discontinue Saw palmetto at least 2 weeks prior to that.

Common dosing schedule:
Take 320 mg Saw Palmetto per day at the same time of the day.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Saw Palmetto may interact with:

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Saw Palmetto in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Saw Palmetto is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Saw Palmetto in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.