Most of us have had to fill out paperwork before having surgery. They always want you to list your medications, including herbal supplements. Have you ever wondered why?
Just as our prescription medication does a certain job, so the herbal supplements do a certain job. I want to urge you to look through your medications, including the herbal supplements, and find out if there may be some interaction between them.
There are other sites that offer this service, but I trust WebMD. If you are unable to find a drug or herbal supplement on here, please write down the name of it and contact your pharmacist about possible interactions.
While we should not discount the use of herbal supplements, I do think we should be aware of what they are capable of doing before just popping them because sister so-and-so has had great results with them.
Here are just a few drug interactions that I’m aware of. In most cases, the herbal supplement basically does the same job as the prescription medication – so it’s like getting too much of a good thing – which is not always good.
- An anticoagulant prescribed by the doctor should not be combined with Chamomile, Ginger or Ginseng. Large amounts of cranberry juice or a cranberry supplement should not be taken. Green tea has a blood-thinning quality and could cause problems. Coenzyme Q10 and Feverfew also thin blood.
- An anti-depressant prescribed by the doctor should not be combined with St. John’s Wort, Yohimbe, or Goldenseal.
- An anti-seizure medication prescribed by the doctor should not be combined with Ginko Biloba or Evening Primrose Oil.
- An oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy should not be combined with Saw Palmetto.
- If you ingest much caffeine, Echinacea should not be used. It slows digestion of the caffeine, causing headaches.
- Acetaminophen interacts with Black Cohosh.
- Pain medications interact with Valerian.
- Buprenorphine interacts with Kava.
Obviously, this is not a complete list. Of course, if you have more concerns, talk to your pharmacist. 🙂