What herb-drug combinations should I avoid?

From MAYS 2012-07-16 10:45:12 -0500 No Comments

There are common herb interactions you should be aware of to ensure your safety

What you should know:
•Keep well informed on the herb-drug combinations you should avoid
•Contact a CVS pharmacist if you have any questions

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Remember those high school chemistry experiments in which you mixed two harmless chemicals and got a bizarre reaction? You may be performing a similar experiment on yourself every time you take two medications at the same time. Certain drugs react strongly when taken with others, often causing serious side effects. In rare cases, drug interactions can even be deadly…Read More: http://bit.ly/aCcQ8k
•Drug-Herb Interactions
Herbal supplements are popular these days, but very few people have given up on mainstream medicine. Most of us still pop aspirin, see our physicians regularly, and pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy. Mixing herbs with traditional medicines can be the best of two worlds — as long as you mix wisely… Read More: http://bit.ly/dhQK26

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Transcript
Hi, I'm Greg Collins and I'm a CVS pharmacist. Be sure to always tell your doctor and pharmacist about any herbal supplements you are taking. There are common herb interactions you should be aware of to ensure your safety.
Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, feverfew, pure licorice, ginger, garlic, and kava kava are blood thinners so don't take them with blood thinners such as warfarin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and aspirin. Ginkgo biloba can hamper the effectiveness of anti-seizure medications and the effects of insulin. Also, it should not be combined with thiazide diuretics or antidepressants. Saint John's Wort shouldn't be combined with antidepressants; seizure medications; sedatives; oral contraceptives; heart, anti-HIV, and cancer medications; diabetic medications; and any drugs given after a rejected organ transplantant, because it can interfere with the effectiveness of each. Pure licorice may offset the actions of immunosuppressive drugs, reverse the effects of blood-pressure medications, worsen the side effects of the heart medication digoxin, and should not be taken with diuretics due to potassium depletion. Ginseng may cause headaches, tremors, and manic episodes in patients taking certain antidepressants. Ginger can interfere with cardiac, diabetes, or blood pressure drug therapy. Garlic, outside of general seasoning, should be avoided if you're on any anti-HIV or diabetes medication. Kava kava and valerian root can amplify the effects of sedatives, so avoid combination with alcohol or any other sedative drugs.
Keep well informed on the herb-drug combinations you should avoid. If you have any questions, talk to a CVS pharmacist. We're here to help.

Source: CVS Caremark Health Resources

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