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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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