Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions: Improve Your Health and Avoid Side Effects When Using Common Medications and Natural Supplements Together

Overview

Know the Side Effects and Protect Your Health

If you’re among the millions of people taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as vitamins and natural medicines, you need to know which combinations are potentially helpful and which can be extremely dangerous. The A–Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions is an essential resource to understanding the interactions that may affect your health.

From the experts at Healthnotes, this ...

See more details below
Paperback (Revised Edition)
$16.61
BN.com price
(Save 27%)$23.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $4.93   
  • New (8) from $13.47   
  • Used (12) from $4.93   
Sending request ...

Overview

Know the Side Effects and Protect Your Health

If you’re among the millions of people taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as vitamins and natural medicines, you need to know which combinations are potentially helpful and which can be extremely dangerous. The A–Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions is an essential resource to understanding the interactions that may affect your health.

From the experts at Healthnotes, this revised and updated edition contains the newest information on thousands of drugs and supplements, based on studies published in the leading medical journals. Reliable and easy to use, this book is sure to become a trusted reference in your home.

MORE THAN 18,000 DRUG-HERB-VITAMIN INTERACTIONS

Find out about:

• Drugs that can deplete your body’s nutrients

• Supplements that can interfere with drug absorption

• Side effects of common drug-herb-vitamin combinations

• Supplements that can help your prescriptions work better

• Combinations that should never be taken together

• With a foreword by Dr. Bob Arnot

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This comprehensive review of drug-nutrient interactions—by far the most exhaustive of its kind—is an invaluable tool for consumers and professionals, integrating the worlds of conventional and alternative medicine.”—Julian Whitaker, M.D., editor of Health & Healing newsletter

“An essential resource.”—Joe Graedon, M.S., author of The People’s Pharmacy

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307336644
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 252,106
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Part 1

Interactions by Drug

Some interactions may increase the need for the herb, other interactions may be negative and indicate the herb should not be taken without first speaking with your physician or pharmacist. Others may require further explanation. An asterisk (*) next to an item in the summary indicates that the interaction is supported only by weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence. Refer to the individual drug entry for specific details about an interaction. The following list only includes the generic or class name of a medicine—to find a specific brand name, use the index.

Accuretic

Contains the following ingredients:

Hydrochlorothiazide (page 000)

Quinapril (page 000)

Acebutolol

Common names: Sectral

Combination drug: Secradex

Acebutolol is used to treat high blood pressure and certain forms of heart arrhythmia, and is in a family of drugs known as beta-adrenergic blockers (page 000).

Summary of Interactions for Acebutolol

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

Avoid: Reduced drug absorption bioavailabilityFood

Avoid: Adverse interactionHigh-potassium foods*

Pleurisy root*

Potassium supplements*

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Supportive interactionNone known

Interactions with Dietary Supplements

Potassium

Some beta-adrenergic blockers (called “nonselective” beta blockers) decrease the uptake of potassium from the blood into the cells, leading to excess potassium in the blood, a potentially dangerous condition known as hyperkalemia. People taking beta-blockers should therefore avoid taking potassium supplements, or eating large quantities of fruit (e.g., bananas), unless directed to do so by their doctor.

Interactions with Herbs

Pleurisy root

As pleurisy root and other plants in the Aesclepius genus contain cardiac glycosides, it is best to avoid use of pleurisy root with heart medications such as beta-blockers.

Interaction with Foods and Other Compounds

Taking acebutolol with food slows the rate of absorption and reduces the maximum blood levels of the drug, though overall absorption is not affected. However, the blood level of an active breakdown product of acebutolol is reduced. Though the activity of acebutolol is affected by food, people taking the drug on a daily basis are not likely to experience a reduction in the effectiveness of the drug if it is taken with a meal.

Acetaminophen

Common names: 222 AF, Abenol, Acetab, Acet, Alisphene Forte, Alvedon, Anadin Paracetamol, APAP, Apo-Acetaminophen, Artritol, Atasol, Boots Children’s Pain Relief Syrup, Boots Cold Relief Hot Blackcurrant, Boots Cold Relief Hot Lemon, Boots Infant Pain Relief, Calpol 6 Plus, Calpol Infant, Calpol Pediatric, Calpol, Cephanol, Children’s Acetaminophen, Children’s Feverhalt, Cupanol Over 6, Cupanol Under 6, Disprol, Dom-Acetaminophen, Fanalgic, Fennings Children’s Cooling Powders, Hill’s Balsam Flu Strength Hot Lemon Powders, Infadrops, Lem-Plus Powders, Medinol, Novogesic, Pain Aid Free, Paldesic, Panaleve 6+, Panaleve Junior, Pandol, Panodol Baby and Infant, Paracetamol, Paracets, Paraclear, Paramin, Pediatrix, PMS Acetaminophen, Resolve, Robigesic Elixir, Rounox, Salzone, Tantaphen, Tempra, Tixymol, Tramil 500, Trianon, Tylenol, WestCan Extra Strength Acetaminophen, WestCan Regular Strength Acetaminophen

Combination drugs: Alka-Seltzer Plus, Co-Proxamol, Coalgesic, Darvocet N, Distalgesic, Endocet, Excedrin PM, Fioricet, Lortab, Midrin, Nyquil, Nyquil Hot Therapy Powder, Percocet, Phrenilin, Propacet 100, Roxicet, Theraflu, Tylenol Allergy Sinus, Tylenol Cold, Tylenol Flu NightTime Maximum Strength Powder, Tylenol Multi-Symptom Hot Medication, Tylenol PM, Tylenol Sinus, Tylenol with Codeine, Vicodin, Wygesic

Acetaminophen is used to reduce pain and fever.

Unlike NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) (page 000), it lacks anti-inflammatory activity. Acetaminophen is available by itself or in nonprescription and prescription-only combination products used to relieve pain and the symptoms associated with colds and flu.

Summary of Interactions for Acetaminophen

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

May be Beneficial: Side effect reduction/preventionMilk thistle*

N-acetyl cysteine

May be Beneficial: Supportive interactionVitamin C*

Avoid: Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityHibiscus

Check: OtherSchisandra

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Interactions with Dietary Supplements

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

Hospitals use oral and intravenous N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) to treat liver damage induced by acetaminophen overdose poisoning. NAC is often administered intravenously by emergency room doctors. Oral NAC appears to be effective for acetaminophen toxicity.

An uncontrolled trial compared intravenous NAC with oral NAC in children with acetaminophen poisoning and found that both methods were equally effective in reversing acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity. However, acetaminophen toxicity is a potential medical emergency, and should only be managed by qualified healthcare professionals.

Vitamin C

Taking 3 grams vitamin C with acetaminophen has been shown to prolong the amount of time acetaminophen stays in the body. This theoretically might allow people to use less acetaminophen, thereby reducing the risk of side effects. Consult with a doctor about this potential before reducing the amount of acetaminophen.

Interactions with Herbs

Hibiscus

One small study found that hibiscus could decrease levels of acetaminophen if the drug was taken after the tea was consumed though it was not entirely clear if the decreases were clinically significant.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Silymarin is a collection of complex flavonoids found in milk thistle that has been shown to elevate liver glutathione levels in rats. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage, which is believed to involve glutathione depletion. In one study involving rats, silymarin protected against acetaminophen-induced glutathione depletion. While studies to confirm this action in humans have not been conducted, some doctors recommend silymarin supplementation with 200 mg milk thistle extract, containing 70–80% silymarin, three times per day for people taking acetaminophen in large amounts for more than one year and/or with other risk factors for liver problems.

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Gomisin A is a constituent found in the Chinese herb schisandra. In a study of rats given liver-damaging amounts of acetaminophen, gomisin A appeared to protect against some liver damage but did not prevent glutathione depletion (unlike milk thistle, as reported above). Studies have not yet confirmed this action in humans.

Interactions with Foods and Other Compounds

Food

Food, especially foods high in pectin (including jellies), carbohydrates, and large amounts of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and others) can interfere with acetaminophen absorption. It is unclear how much effect this interaction has on acetaminophen activity.

Alcohol

Moderate to high amounts of acetaminophen have caused liver damage in people with alcoholism.10 To prevent problems, people taking acetaminophen should avoid alcohol.

Acezide

Contains the following ingredients:

Captopril (page 000)

Hydrochlorothiazide (page 000)

Actonorm Gel

Contains the following ingredients:

Aluminium

Dimethicone

Magnesium

Peppermint oil

Acyclovir Oral

Common names: Virovir, Zovirax Oral

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug used to treat shingles, genital herpes, and chickenpox.

Summary of Interactions for Acyclovir Oral

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

May be Beneficial: Supportive interactionCitrus root bark*

Flavonoids*

Geum japonicum*

Rhus javanica*

Syzygium aromaticum*

Terminalia chebula*

Tripterygium wilfordii*

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Interactions with Dietary Supplements

Flavonoids

The flavonoids quercetin, quercitrin, and apigenin enhanced the antiviral activity of acyclovir in test tube studies. Controlled research is needed to determine whether taking quercetin or other flavonoid supplements would increase the effectiveness of acyclovir in humans.

Interactions with Herbs

Citrus species

The alkaloid citrusinine-1 from the root bark of citrus plants has been shown to enhance the antiviral activity of acyclovir. Further research is needed to determine whether taking citrus root bark would increase the effectiveness of acyclovir in humans.

Tripterygium wilfordii

Test tube studies show that triptofordin C-2 increases the antiviral activity of acyclovir against the herpes virus. Controlled human research is needed to determine whether taking tripterygium would increase the effectiveness of acyclovir in humans.

Other herbs

Animal studies have shown that other herbs, including Geum japonicum, Rhus javanica, Syzygium aromaticum, and Terminalia chebula enhance the antiviral activity of acyclovir. Controlled human studies are needed to determine whether taking these herbs would increase the effectiveness of acyclovir in humans.

Acyclovir Topical

Common names: Aciclovir Topical, Boots Avert, Herpetad, Soothelip, Viralief, Virasorb, Zovirax Topical

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug applied to the skin to treat the first outbreaks of genital herpes as well as herpes infections in people with poor immune systems. Topical application of acyclovir speeds up the healing process and the duration of pain.

Summary of Interactions for Topical Acyclovir

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Supportive interactionNone known

Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Adapalene

Common names: Differin

Adapalene is a vitamin A–related drug that is applied to the skin to treat acne.

Summary of Interactions for Adapalene

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Supportive interactionNone known

Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Interaction with Foods and Other Compounds

Topical application of adapalene may cause skin irritation in some individuals. This irritation can be worsened when alcohol, astringents, spices, and lime are also applied to the area. Sensitive individuals should use caution when using adapalene and other topical compounds.

Adcortyl with Graneodin

Contains the following ingredients:

Gramicidin

Neomycin (page 000)

Triamcinolone (page 000)

Adgyn Combi

Contains the following ingredients:

Estradiol (page 000)

Norethisterone

Advanced Formula Di-Gel Tablets

Contains the following ingredients:

Calcium carbonate

Magnesium hydroxide (page 000)

Simethicone (page 000)

Albuterol

Common names: Aerolin, Airomir, Albuterol Inhaled, Alti-Salbutamol Sulfate, Asmasal, Asmavent, Gen-Salbutamol, Novo-Salmol, Nu-Salbutamol, PMS-Salbutamol, Proventil, Rho-Salbutamol, Salbutamol, Salmol, Ventodisks, Ventolin, Volmax

Combination drug: Combivent

Albuterol is a short-acting, beta-adrenergic bronchodilator drug used for relief and prevention of bronchospasm. It is also used to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm. While albuterol is available in tablet form, it is most commonly used by oral inhalation into the lungs.

Summary of Interactions for Albuterol

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

May be Beneficial: Depletion or interferenceCalcium*

Magnesium*

Phosphate*

Potassium*

May be Beneficial: Supportive interactionColeus*

Check: OtherDigitalis

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Interactions with Dietary Supplements

Minerals

Therapeutic amounts of intravenous salbutamol (albuterol) in four healthy people were associated with decreased plasma levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. Decreased potassium levels have been reported with oral, intramuscular, and subcutaneous albuterol administration. How frequently this effect occurs is not known; whether these changes are preventable through diet or supplementation is also unknown.

Interactions with Herbs

Digitalis (Digitalis lanata, Digitalis purpurea)

Digitalis refers to a family of plants (commonly called foxglove) that contain digitalis glycosides, chemicals with actions and toxicities similar to the prescription drug digoxin (page 000).

In a small study of salbutamol (albuterol) in people receiving digoxin, albuterol was associated with decreased serum digoxin levels. No interactions between albuterol and digitalis have been reported. Until more is known, albuterol and digitalis-containing products should be used only under the direct supervision of a doctor trained in their use.

Coleus

A test tube study demonstrated that the bronchodilating effects of salbutamol (albuterol) were significantly increased by the addition of forskolin, the active component of the herb Coleus forskohlii. The results of this preliminary research suggest that the combination of forskolin and beta-agonists such as albuterol might provide an alternative to raising the doses of the beta-agonist drugs as they lose effectiveness. Until more is known, coleus should not be combined with albuterol without the supervision of a doctor.

Interactions with Foods and Other Compounds

Food

Albuterol may be taken with food to prevent stomach upset.

Aldactazide

Contains the following ingredients:

Hydrochlorothiazide (page 000)

Spironolactone (page 000)

Aldoclor

Contains the following ingredients:

Chlorothiazide (page 000)

Methyldopa (page 000)

Aldoril

Contains the following ingredients:

Hydrochlorothiazide (page 000)

Methyldopa (page 000)

Alendronate

Common names: Alendronic Acid, Biophosphonates, Fosamax

Alendronate is a member of the bisphosphonate family of drugs used to treat/prevent osteoporosis. It is also used to treat some bone diseases and some cases of cancer that have spread to bones.

Summary of Interactions for Alendronate

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

Check: OtherCalcium

Magnesium

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Supportive interactionNone known

Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Interactions with Dietary Supplements

Calcium

Calcium supplements may interfere with alendronate absorption. However, one researcher suggested that addition of large amounts of supplemental calcium to alendronate therapy in patients with bone metastases (with evidence of osteomalacia) related to prostate cancer might improve the clinical outcome. Moreover, both calcium and alendronate are commonly used in the treatment of osteoporosis in the same people. To prevent potential interactions, alendronate should be taken two hours before or after calcium

supplements.

Magnesium

Absorption of tiludronate, a drug related to alendronate, is reduced when taken with magnesium (page 000) and/or aluminum (page 000)-containing antacids. This interaction has not yet been reported with alendronate. Until more is known, alendronate should be taken two hours before or after magnesium and/or aluminum-containing antacids (page 000).

Interactions with Foods and Other Compounds

Food

Food, coffee, and orange juice significantly reduce absorption of alendronate.

Alendronate should be taken with a large glass of plain water, upon arising in the morning, and 30 minutes or more before any food, beverages, supplements, or other medications. People taking alendronate should remain upright (do not lie down) for 30 minutes after taking the drug.

Alfuzosin

Common names: UroXatral

Alfuzosin is used to treat the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH. There are currently no reported nutrient or herb interactions involving alfuzosin.

Alka-Seltzer

Contains the following ingredients:

Aspirin (page 000)

Citric acid

Sodium bicarbonate (page 000)

Alka-Seltzer Plus

Contains the following ingredients:

Acetaminophen (page 000)

Pseudoephedrine (page 000)

Chlorpheniramine (page 000)

Allegra-D

Contains the following ingredients:

Fexofenadine (page 000)

Pseudoephedrine (page 000)

Allopurinol

Common names: Apo-Allopurinol, Caplenal, Cosuric, Lopurim, Rimapurinol, Xanthomax, Zyloprim, Zyloric

Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor used to prevent gout and to lower blood levels of uric acid in certain people taking drugs for cancer.

Summary of Interactions for Allopurinol

In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized interactions.

May be Beneficial: Supportive interactionL-tryptophan

Check: OtherL-carnitine

Vitamin D

Depletion or interferenceNone known

Side effect reduction/preventionNone known

Reduced drug absorption/bioavailabilityNone known

Adverse interactionNone known

Interactions with Dietary Supplements

Vitamin D

Individuals with gout have low blood concentration of the active form of vitamin D (1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol), and allopurinol corrects this problem.1

L-carnitine

People who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy have low levels of L-carnitine in their muscles. Allopurinol restores L-carnitine to normal levels, resulting in improved muscle strength. Whether L-carnitine supplementation might improve this effect of allopurinol has not been investigated.

L-tryptophan

In a preliminary study, seven of eight individuals with severe mental depression showed improvement when they took L-tryptophan and allopurinol; of these seven, five experienced full remission. Controlled research is necessary to determine whether this combination might be more effective for severe depression than standard treatment.

Interactions with Foods and Other Compounds

Food

Allopurinol may be taken with food to prevent stomach upset.

Protein

Compared with people on high-protein diets, people on low-protein diets excrete less allopurinol, resulting in a threefold increase in the time it takes for the drug to be removed from the body. Vegetarians and those who eat low-protein diets (20 grams of protein a day or less) should discuss this possible interaction with their healthcare practitioner before taking allopurinol.

Alcohol

According to animal research, alcohol reduces the activity of antioxidant systems involving vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium, leading to tissue damage in the cerebellum; however, allopurinol reverses this effect. Drinking alcoholic beverages also increases the removal of allopurinol from the body, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the drug. Therefore, people taking allopurinol should avoid alcohol.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2009

    Better than your doctor and your pharmicist put together!

    Every home should have this book, especially with more and more people using alternative medicines. I found you can't rely solely on your doctor's knowledge, you have to take control of your health first. By that I mean knowing what prescription drugs should not be used together. I personally was put on Lipitor and then on Niaspan, 1,500 mg at the same time. It nearly killed me. It made me so depressed I actually was thinking of ways to end my life since I knew I could not live like the way I was for another 40 years. The doctor that did that was my cardiologist. I had the strength and conviction to take myself off the Niaspan after being on it for almost three months. My doctor's reaction when I told him I was "better now that I took myself off the Niaspan" was: "Yeah, most people can't handle that." Needless to say I have a new cardiologist, one that I love and trust.

    This book is very easy to navigate and I like the way it's cross-referenced almost on each page. It will have a front spot on the top shelf of my barrister bookcase for all my medical reference books.

    Francesca48

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    An excellent resource to have in your own library

    The Dr. Alan Gaby's goal of this book was to "pursue the truth Re: natural medicine". It is a very well researched and well organized book which is therefore easy to use. Drugs are listed in alphabetical order in the table of contents and by brand name in the index section with a page number of where you can obtain information on the drug interactions with vitamins and herbs. Did you know Gabapentin can decrease the blood levels of Biotin, Calcium, Vitamin D deficiency, L-carnitine, folic acid, etc.? A must read for all Physicians and individuals who care about optimizing their health.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)