Common herbal supplement can cause dangerous drug interactions with prescription drugs

June 30, 2014 –  St. John’s wort  (hypercoas), the leading complementary and alternative treatment for  depression  in the United States, can be dangerous when taken along with many commonly prescribed medications, according to a study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Researchers reported that herb supplementation can reduce the concentration of numerous drugs in the body, including oral contraceptives , anticoagulants,  cancer chemotherapeutics, and  blood pressure medications , resulting in impaired efficacy and treatment failure.

“Patients can have a false sense of security with so-called ‘natural’ treatments such as St. John’s wort,” said Dr. Sarah Taylor, assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study. “And it’s crucial for clinicians to know the dangers of ‘natural’ treatments and communicate the risks to patients effectively.”

The study is published in the current online edition of the scientific journal “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine”.

To determine how often St. John’s wort was being prescribed or taken with other medications, the team performed a retrospective analysis of nationally representative data collected by the National Ambulatory Health Care Survey between 1993-2010. The research team found the use of the plant in potentially harmful combinations in 28% of the cases analyzed.

Possible drug interactions may include serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes high levels of serotonin to build up in the body, heart disease due to poor blood pressure medication effectiveness, or unintended pregnancy due to contraceptive failure Taylor said.

The limitations of the study are that only physician-registered medications were analyzed.​ However, she said that the rate of St. the plant but did not inform their doctor.

“Information on the labels of helpful supplements such as St John’s wort needs to provide the proper precautions and risk information,” said Taylor, adding that France has banned the use of St John’s wort products João; other countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada, are in the process of adding drug interaction warnings to St. John’s wort products.

“Doctors also need to be trained to always ask if the patient is taking any supplements, vitamins, minerals and herbs, especially before prescribing any of the more common medications that can interact with St. John’s wort.”

In Brazil, supplements are commonly sold in the form of 100 mg and 300 mg capsules in drugstores and pharmacies. There is also a species called St. John’s wort ( Ageratum conyzoides , also known as “mentrasto” and “picão-roxo”), which is not the same plant and does not have any similarity in form, botanical classification or characteristics. therapeutic properties.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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