Three Drugs Shown to Interact ‘Highly’ with Herbal Supplements – Warning

The supplement industry has grown exponentially over the past decades, in part because supplements are not subject to the same rules as other pharmaceuticals. This can create problems, especially when combining herbal remedies with powerful drugs. Red sage, which is one of the most widely used roots in herbal Chinese medicine, has been found to interact dangerously with three commonly used heart medications.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Danshen supplements can interact strongly with some heart medications.

The health authority warns that it can interact with blood thinners, causing bleeding, which can also happen in people taking warfarin or aspirin.

Blood pressure medications are also known to interact dangerously with Danshen as blood pressure may drop too low.

The Mayo Clinic explains: “Danshen can lead to too low blood pressure if you take Danshen with a blood pressure lowering drug.

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“An example of a blood pressure medication is the calcium channel blocker diltiazem (Cardizem).”

The third cardiac drug to avoid is digoxin, as Danshen can aggravate some of the drug’s effects.

The Mayo Clinic states: “Digoxin is used to treat many heart conditions. It can also raise the risk of an irregular heartbeat, also called an arrhythmia.”

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Danschen is a root traditionally used in Chinese medicine in combination with other herbs such as ginseng.

Also known as red sage root, it is mainly used to improve the functioning of the body and treat bleeding or abnormal periods.

However, more recent uses of the supplement have included the treatment of blood vessels and heart disease.

In fact, the benefits of Danshen supplements appear to be somewhat effective in preventing circulatory problems such as stroke, according to RxList.

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To date, most of the drawbacks of supplements have been attributed to a class of compounds known as tanshinones.

These molecules are believed to be responsible for enhancing the effects of certain drugs.

Other popular herbal supplements that may require caution are garlic and evening primrose oil, as they can also increase the effects of certain medications.

When taken along with painkillers, these supplements carry the risk of bleeding, which can be fatal.

Healthline notes that there are few studies examining the side effects of red sage, meaning that many of the risks may still be undocumented.

As a precaution, the body recommends that anyone under the age of 18 and anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking the medicine.

The Mayo Clinic adds: “If your healthcare provider tells you it’s okay to use an herbal supplement along with medication, be careful.

“Follow the directions for how much medication to take. Watch for any symptoms that may be associated with drug interactions, such as increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure.”

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