Herbal Products

Herbal Products plus prescription medications equal potentially dangerous combinations.

Tips on medications and supplements to avoid taking together.

A “natural” product does not mean that it’s safe or effective! Herbal medications are not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, the immunosuppressed, or elders on prescription drugs.

Diet / Herbal Supplement Medication Possible Interaction or Side Effect
AloeAntiarrhythmics, Corticosteroids, Diuretics, LanoxinMay lower potassium leading to excess drug effect and toxicity
Cayenne (Capsicum)Blood-thinners (Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid)Increased risk of bleeding
Dong QuaiBlood-thinners (Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid)Increased risk of bleeding
EchinaceaImmunosuppressants (Cyclosporine)Decrease effectiveness leading to organ rejection
Ephedra (MaHuang)Antihypertensives, Stimulants (Caffeine), Hypoglycemics, Lanoxin, MAOI’sInterfere with drug effect: raising blood pressure or heart rate, elevate blood sugar, cause seizures or strokes
Garlic clove, tabletsBlood-thinners (Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix,Ticlid)Increased risk of bleeding
Garlic clove, tabletsHypoglycemicsIncreased effect-may lead to severe blood sugar lowering
Garlic clove, tabletsHIV medications, CyclosporineDecrease effectiveness leading to drug resistance or organ rejection
Garlic clove, tabletsOral ContraceptivesDecrease effectiveness leading to pregnancy
Ginkgo leaf, BilobaBlood-thinners (as above), Thiazide diureticsIncreased risk of bleeding, elevated blood pressure (BP)
Ginkgo leaf, BilobaSeizure lowering drugs,Trazodone (Desyrel)Decrease effectiveness, possible seizures, coma
Ginseng (American, Panax, Siberian)Blood-thinners (as above)Conflicting evidence but may increase risk of bleeding
Ginseng (American, Panax, Siberian)HypoglycemicsIncreased effect may lead to extreme blood sugar lowering
Ginseng (American, Panax, Siberian)Immuno suppressants (Cyclosporine)Decrease effectiveness, possible organ rejection
Ginseng (American, Panax, Siberian)Diuretics (Lasix)Decreased effectiveness leading to elevated BP
GlucosamineHypoglycemicsIncreased insulin resistance leading to altered blood sugar
GoldensealSedativesMay see additive effects intensifying sedation
HawthornCardiovascular Drugs, DigoxinConflicting evidence but may interfere with effectiveness or increase digoxin effect
Kava-KavaCNS Depressants (Alcohol, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines-Ativan, Valium, Xanax)May see additive effects intensifying sedation and increased risk of liver damage
St. John’s WortCrixivan (Indinavir), Cyclosporine, Coumadin, Digoxin, Tegretol, TheophyllineIncrease metabolism leading to reduced drug effectiveness & potential worsening of disease
St. John’s WortAntidepressants including: Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, MAOI’sAdditive serotonin elevation leading to fever, muscle rigidity, altered mental status
St. John’s WortOral ContraceptivesIncreased metabolism-leading to pregnancy
ValerianCNS Depressants (Alcohol, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines)Additive effects may intensify sedation