Diosmin is derived from hesperidin, which originates in citrus plants and belongs to the flavonoid group of substances. Pharmaceutical manufacturers commonly combine both hesperidin and diosmin into one formulation as a phlebotropic drug, meaning the substance benefits vascular structure. Companies partially convert hesperidin to diosmin and sell a combination that usually contain 90% diosmin and 10% hesperidin. While these formulations require a prescription in parts of Europe, these substances retail as dietary supplements in other parts of the world.
Researchers believe that hesperidin and diosmin interfere with arachidonic acid metabolism and histamine release. The flavonoids also inhibit thromboxane and prostaglandin activation. These actions prevent inflammatory responses from occurring, and some believe that the substance may minimize allergic reactions. Physicians commonly prescribe hesperidin and diosmin for patients who are troubled by hemorrhoids. Patients experience decreased pain, swelling and itching while taking the combination formula.
One study suggests that diosmin increases cellular sensitivity to calcium, which reportedly improves vascular tone. Some research led physicians to believe that venous insufficiency and valve failure were partially caused by inflammatory conditions. Individuals also use the herbal derivative to treat varicose veins. Along with anti-inflammatory effects, benefits of diosmin include vascular protection by preventing cellular adhesion to vessel linings, which improves circulation and minimizes endothelial wall damage. Some physicians use hesperidin and diosmin preparations for the treatment of vascular insufficiency and venous stasis.
Physicians claim that the improved circulatory effects of hesperidin and diosmin enhance the rate of healing in patients diagnosed with venous stasis ulcers. Health care providers offer the combination preparation for improving circulation in patients suffering from lymphedema, secondary to breast cancer surgery. Certain studies suggest that the benefits of diosmin include the ability to scavenge free radicals, thus providing antioxidant activity.
Health care providers generally prescribe hesperidin and diosmin combinations for six months or less. Patients diagnosed with hemorrhoids initially take 1,500 milligrams (1,350 milligrams diosmin/150 milligrams hesperidin) two or three times a day for four days. They then take 1,000 milligrams (900 milligrams diosmin/100 milligrams hesperidin) twice a day for three days. A dose of 500 milligrams (450 milligrams diosmin/50 milligrams hesperidin) twice a day for up to two months is prescribed to prevent hemorrhoid recurrence. Patients suffering from circulatory problems take physician recommended daily doses of the combination formulation for two to six months.
Physicians advise that patients confer with a health care provider before beginning any herbal supplement. Reported side effects of diosmin/hesperidin combinations are generally mild. Some patients experience abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and headaches. Physicians do not recommend the herbal supplement for patients taking anticoagulant medications that include aspirin or warfarin, as hesperidin and diosmin may increase the effects of these drugs. The bioflavonoid also interferes with the action of calcium channel blocking medications. Individuals should not take the herbal supplement while taking tamoxifen.