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Fwd: Re: [IP] St John's Wort

I searched the FDA site on Dietary Supplements and found this precautionary 
statement about mixing St. John's Wort with some other medications, 
specifically indinavir, a protease inhibitor used to treat HIV infection:


Based on this study and reports in the medical literature, St. John's wort 
appears to be an inducer of an important metabolic pathway, cytochrome 
P450. As many prescription drugs used to treat conditions such as heart 
disease, depression, seizures, certain cancers or to prevent conditions 
such as transplant rejection or pregnancy (oral contraceptives) are 
metabolized via this pathway, health care providers should alert patients 
about these potential drug interactions to prevent loss of therapeutic 
effect of any drug metabolized via the cytochrome P450 pathway.
All health care professionals are encouraged to report any serious adverse 
event associated with the concomitant use of prescription drugs and St. 
John's wort products to the FDA's MedWatch program at 1-800-FDA-1088 (fax 

My opinion is that you should be cautious in taking any non-regulated 
dietary supplement.  You don't know what's in it.  You don't know how much 
active ingredient it contains, or even sometimes what the active ingredient 
is.  You don't know whether the manufacturing is done cleanly.  And, 
finally, you don't know about any drug interactions that may exist.

Just because something is natural does not mean it is good for you, or even 
safe.  Think about Deadly Nightshade and ephedrine, tobacco and cocaine.


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