Herbal medicines are so easy to procure that they are being used indiscriminately with self-medication. Mixing herbal medicines with prescription drugs can have far-reaching consequences and be harmful to health. Herbal drug interactions are quite common.
Some of the herbal medicines can cancel the effect of a prescription drug, while some others may reduce it or some could even exaggerate it.
The problem arises when people do not tell their doctors that they are taking herbal medicines. Herb drug interactions are not predictable and possible if the person takes a range of prescriptions and herbal remedies. Various herb drug interactions include:
Dong Quai which is taken for control of symptoms of menopause should not be mixed with warfarin and antibiotics like sulfonamides and quinolones.
Echinacea that is taken as an immune booster to prevent cold and flu should not be mixed with heart medications, antifungal medications, HIV and anti-anxiety medications.
Ephedra, a powerful decongestant, contains ephedrine that open up bronchial passages and can raise blood pressure and cause insomnia. This herb should not be mixed with medications for high blood pressure, glaucoma and thyroid problems.
Feverfew that is taken to reduce the severity of migraines should not be taken with migraine medications. The combination may raise heart rate and blood pressure.
Garlic capsules increase blood thinning if you take them along with anti-coagulants.
Ginseng that is used to reduce stress, boost energy and improve stamina should not be taken along with prescription drugs prescribed for high blood pressure.
Hawthorn that is effective in helping reduce angina attacks by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels should not be taken with digoxin, a heart medication.
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