Collin County Living Well Magazine November/December 2017 - Page 58

Herb-Prescription INTERACTIONS By Dr. Donna Barsky, PharmD P eople are buying herbal remedies for everything from migraines to memory preservation to depres- sion. Where once you had to see an herbalist or naturopath to get the daily dose of herbs for what ails you, herbal products are now widely available on the Internet, drugstores and health food stores, making the ability to self-medicate greater than ever. But with op- portunity comes a warning: mixing herbal remedies and prescription drugs could be harmful to your health. Just like drug-drug and drug-food interactions, herb-drug interac- tions are very common. Some herbal medicines may cancel the effect of a prescription drug, while others may reduce or exaggerate it. man who’d been taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack and had spontaneous bleeding into the eye from the iris within a week of taking a daily dose of ginkgo. Many fail to mention to their physician or pharma- cist they are taking an herbal medicine and this can create problems with their prescription medication routine. Some of the more common products used and their effects follow. Dong Quai is taken for menopausal symptom control. Do not mix Dong Quai with warfarin (anti-coagulants), St. John’s Wort and some antibiotics such as sulfon- amides, quinolones. Echinacea is mostly taken as an immune boost to prevent cold and flu. Do not mix Echinacea with some heart medi- cations, antifungal medications, HIV medications and anti- anxiety medications. Garlic is thought to help lower cholesterol and prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to heart attacks. Garlic capsules may increase blood thinning if you are al- ready on anti-coagulants. Do not take with diabetes medi- cation because it may cause decrease in blood sugars. Ephedra is a powerful decongestant that contains ephed- rine, which can open up bronchial passages. It is controver- sial because it’s a powerful stimulant that can raise blood pressure, cause insomnia and high blood pressure. Do not mix with heart medications or if you are being treated for high blood pressure, glaucoma or thyroid problems. Ginseng is used to help reduce stress, boost energy and improve stamina, and may also help lower cholesterol. Can cause nervousness and excitation, and overuse can lead to headaches, insomnia and heart palpitations. Can increase blood pressure. Should not be used if you are taking pre- scriptions for high blood pressure or coumadin. Feverfew is taken to reduce the severity of ZYܘZ[\ˈ›ZH]\ZYܘZ[HYYX][ۜ\]X^HZ\BHX\]H[\\K]\]\H[BX[XX]\\[[KXY[[[ܙX\[B[[و ]ܛ\Z[YYHYX]H[[[YXH[B[H]XH\[\\H[\\][ˈ[HZ[]Y[HX\YYXKB[ۋHZ^X^H\X\]H]X [[ܙX\\[\[][ۈY]BK[[[[\ݙHY[[ܞKX^H[\X][KXY[[YYX][ۜX\\\[[XY[\\[[\\[]\[H[]X [ݛHH\[\YY[\ܙ\H\ܝ[B][[\[وYYX[H\ܚX\H\HوBMSSH][[XY^[HՑSPTPSPT M’]H\\YX][Y]K]\[\Y[Y]H[B[XH[\\ۙ\ˈZH]HY[H]HB\ܞHو]\؛[\ˈ[Z^][Y\\B[Y]]\[Z^]H][ XܚXH\\YX]Y[\X[\˂Y\[XY[ܙX\Y\\K]\