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Many people who take pharmaceutical medication also want to take some herbal remedies. However, there can be difficulties with this as the chemicals in the two preparations can interact – changing the effect of the pharmaceutical drugs and the herbs. If you are taking medical drugs you need to be aware of potential interactions with herbs. Herbs can in many instances provide a safer alternative to pharmaceutical medication (especially when other measures to improve health are also undertaken). However, because of the potential for interactions it is wise to be under the supervision of a health professional as you make changes.

The following is a list of common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs.

o Anti-hypertensive dugs – used to lower blood pressure.
Grapefruit juice may enhance the effect by reducing their metabolic breakdown. Vitamin B3, magnesium and calcium can also enhance the effect of anti-hypertensives.

o Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). NSAIDs are known to irritate the gastrointestinal linking and are linked to the development of intestinal ulcers. This means that they, for preference, need to be avoided. However, if you are taking NSAID then avoid anything else that is likely to increase the irritation of the intestinal lining. This includes all alcohol, coffee Arabica and uva-ursi.

o Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone. These drugs are used for their anti-inflammatory effects and in having this effect they are immune suppressing. Using with immune stimulating herbs such as astragalus, echinacea, licorice root, alfalfa sprouts, and zinc lozenges may offset the immunosuppressive effects.

o Cyclosporine – sandimmune (an antibiotic). Grapefruit juice may cause increased cyclosporine levels and St. John’s wort may decrease levels.

o Digoxin – lanoxin (a heart drug). Some herbs are digoxin like and have the same effect as the medical drug. Taking these herbs together with digoxin is like taking an overdose. There herbs include hawthorn berry, foxglove, senticosus and Siberian ginseng. Aloe vera, taken in large doses, can irritate the intestine and cause a purgative effect. If this is severe enough – with the loss of sufficient fluid there can be a decrease in serum potassium levels and problems with the heart beat. Also avoid use with quinine, which may increase digoxin levels. (Quinine is found in tonic water.) Avoid use with the herb licorice root (this is the herb and not the candy), as its diuretic effect can result in low potassium levels and toxicity. Fibers, such as psyllium, decrease digoxin absorption, within two hours of taking medication.

o Diuretics – acetazolamide, thiazides (fluid tablets). There are many herbs that have a diuretic effect. These include artichoke, goldenseal, celery seeds, and dandelion. These herbs will increase the diuretic effect of the medical drugs.

o Hypoglycemic agents – glucotrol, glucophage, diabeta, insulin. (Used to control blood sugar levels). There are herbs that contain hyper or hypoglycemic components. These include: broom, buchu, dandelion, juniper, karela and the minerals chromium, vanadium and magnesium. Some of these improve glucose tolerance.

o Phenobarbital – ancalixir, barbital, solfoton, luminal sodium. Herbs containing thujones and vitamin B6 may lower seizure threshold. Wormwood may potentiate phenobarbital effects.

o Lithium – Butcher’s broom, buchu, dandelion and juniper may enhance the effect of lithium and cause possible toxicity.

o Phenytoin – dilantin, phenytex. Ayurvedic preparation shankapulshipi diminishes anti-epileptic effect.

o Thyroid medication – synthroid. Large quantities of horseradish may depress thyroid function. Kelp contains iodine, which may result in excess thyroid levels when taken with thyroid replacement medications.

o Warfarin, coumadin, sofarin (blood thinners). There are many herbs that act as blood thinners and these taken with the medical drugs can result in increased bleeding. Some of these herbs include cayenne, feverfew, garlic, ginger, white willow bark (aspirin), St John’s wort, alfalfa and ginkgo biloba. Taking over 1000 IU of vitamin E or the papaya enzyme papain may also result in increased bleeding.

High doses of herbs such as dong quai, quinine and devil’s claw may cause decreased blood thinning activity. High doses of vitamin C, A and K may also result in lessened anticoagulant effect.

The list above contains some of the common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs. There are potentially many more. This does not mean that you shouldn’t use herbs if you are taking medical drugs. You should however understand the potential effects.

Dr Jenny Tylee is an experienced health professional who is passionate about health and wellbeing. She believes that health is not just absence of disease and seeks to actively promote vitality and wellness through empowering others. She encourages people to improve their health by quit smoking, cleansing their body, taking essential vitamin and mineral supplement and many other methods, including herbal remedies. She also own http://www.healthproductssite.com which has quality, non-contaminated supplements and other health products

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr_Jenny_Tylee/107235

Many people who take pharmaceutical medication also want to take some herbal remedies. However, there can be difficulties with this as the chemicals in the two preparations can interact – changing the effect of the pharmaceutical drugs and the herbs. If you are taking medical drugs you need to be aware of potential interactions with herbs. Herbs can in many instances provide a safer alternative to pharmaceutical medication (especially when other measures to improve health are also undertaken). However, because of the potential for interactions it is wise to be under the supervision of a health professional as you make changes.

The following is a list of common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs.

o Anti-hypertensive dugs – used to lower blood pressure.
Grapefruit juice may enhance the effect by reducing their metabolic breakdown. Vitamin B3, magnesium and calcium can also enhance the effect of anti-hypertensives.

o Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). NSAIDs are known to irritate the gastrointestinal linking and are linked to the development of intestinal ulcers. This means that they, for preference, need to be avoided. However, if you are taking NSAID then avoid anything else that is likely to increase the irritation of the intestinal lining. This includes all alcohol, coffee Arabica and uva-ursi.

o Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone. These drugs are used for their anti-inflammatory effects and in having this effect they are immune suppressing. Using with immune stimulating herbs such as astragalus, echinacea, licorice root, alfalfa sprouts, and zinc lozenges may offset the immunosuppressive effects.

o Cyclosporine – sandimmune (an antibiotic). Grapefruit juice may cause increased cyclosporine levels and St. John’s wort may decrease levels.

o Digoxin – lanoxin (a heart drug). Some herbs are digoxin like and have the same effect as the medical drug. Taking these herbs together with digoxin is like taking an overdose. There herbs include hawthorn berry, foxglove, senticosus and Siberian ginseng. Aloe vera, taken in large doses, can irritate the intestine and cause a purgative effect. If this is severe enough – with the loss of sufficient fluid there can be a decrease in serum potassium levels and problems with the heart beat. Also avoid use with quinine, which may increase digoxin levels. (Quinine is found in tonic water.) Avoid use with the herb licorice root (this is the herb and not the candy), as its diuretic effect can result in low potassium levels and toxicity. Fibers, such as psyllium, decrease digoxin absorption, within two hours of taking medication.

o Diuretics – acetazolamide, thiazides (fluid tablets). There are many herbs that have a diuretic effect. These include artichoke, goldenseal, celery seeds, and dandelion. These herbs will increase the diuretic effect of the medical drugs.

o Hypoglycemic agents – glucotrol, glucophage, diabeta, insulin. (Used to control blood sugar levels). There are herbs that contain hyper or hypoglycemic components. These include: broom, buchu, dandelion, juniper, karela and the minerals chromium, vanadium and magnesium. Some of these improve glucose tolerance.

o Phenobarbital – ancalixir, barbital, solfoton, luminal sodium. Herbs containing thujones and vitamin B6 may lower seizure threshold. Wormwood may potentiate phenobarbital effects.

o Lithium – Butcher’s broom, buchu, dandelion and juniper may enhance the effect of lithium and cause possible toxicity.

o Phenytoin – dilantin, phenytex. Ayurvedic preparation shankapulshipi diminishes anti-epileptic effect.

o Thyroid medication – synthroid. Large quantities of horseradish may depress thyroid function. Kelp contains iodine, which may result in excess thyroid levels when taken with thyroid replacement medications.

o Warfarin, coumadin, sofarin (blood thinners). There are many herbs that act as blood thinners and these taken with the medical drugs can result in increased bleeding. Some of these herbs include cayenne, feverfew, garlic, ginger, white willow bark (aspirin), St John’s wort, alfalfa and ginkgo biloba. Taking over 1000 IU of vitamin E or the papaya enzyme papain may also result in increased bleeding.

High doses of herbs such as dong quai, quinine and devil’s claw may cause decreased blood thinning activity. High doses of vitamin C, A and K may also result in lessened anticoagulant effect.

The list above contains some of the common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs. There are potentially many more. This does not mean that you shouldn’t use herbs if you are taking medical drugs. You should however understand the potential effects.

Digitek is a generic form of Digoxin, a drug taken in pill form that is used primarily to treat congestive heart failure, as well as atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder of the atria (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Digitiek works by slowing the ventricle rate during atrial fibrillation, and by regulating cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that occurs when the heart beats too fast, too slow, and in an irregular manner.

Digitek is derived from the Digitalis plant, most commonly known as Foxglove. The chemicals used to make Digitek are extracted mainly from the leaves of the Digitalis plant, and can be referred to as either digoxin or digitoxin. This plant contains several deadly chemicals, making the slightest change in dosage extremely toxic, and could potentially cause death.

Consumed in the appropriate prescribed amount and under careful conditions, Digitek can effectively help to make the heart beat stronger, and with a more regular rhythm. However, some serious side effects have been reported, such as an irregular heart rate, blurred or jaundiced vision, confusion, and hallucinations. Less serious side effects reported include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and headaches. There is also an incomplete list of other medications that can cause complications when taken during the same period as Digitek.

Digitek was recalled by its manufacturer, Actavis, after the discovery of the tablets being twice as thick as intended for consumption. This increased potency was severely dangerous, and at least three Actavis facilities were shut down after the recall. According to a statement made by Actavis, none of the improperly manufactured drugs reached the public, however, data collected by public health experts and the FDA indicate that Digitek still may have been on the market for months, and may have caused serious problems.

Consumer Injury Lawyers is a consumer advocacy group that provides information about Digitek recalls.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Kelly_Knapp/23402

Many people who take pharmaceutical medication also want to take some herbal remedies. However, there can be difficulties with this as the chemicals in the two preparations can interact – changing the effect of the pharmaceutical drugs and the herbs. If you are taking medical drugs you need to be aware of potential interactions with herbs. Herbs can in many instances provide a safer alternative to pharmaceutical medication (especially when other measures to improve health are also undertaken). However, because of the potential for interactions it is wise to be under the supervision of a health professional as you make changes.

The following is a list of common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs.

o Anti-hypertensive dugs – used to lower blood pressure.
Grapefruit juice may enhance the effect by reducing their metabolic breakdown. Vitamin B3, magnesium and calcium can also enhance the effect of anti-hypertensives.

o Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). NSAIDs are known to irritate the gastrointestinal linking and are linked to the development of intestinal ulcers. This means that they, for preference, need to be avoided. However, if you are taking NSAID then avoid anything else that is likely to increase the irritation of the intestinal lining. This includes all alcohol, coffee Arabica and uva-ursi.

o Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone. These drugs are used for their anti-inflammatory effects and in having this effect they are immune suppressing. Using with immune stimulating herbs such as astragalus, echinacea, licorice root, alfalfa sprouts, and zinc lozenges may offset the immunosuppressive effects.

o Cyclosporine – sandimmune (an antibiotic). Grapefruit juice may cause increased cyclosporine levels and St. John’s wort may decrease levels.

o Digoxin – lanoxin (a heart drug). Some herbs are digoxin like and have the same effect as the medical drug. Taking these herbs together with digoxin is like taking an overdose. There herbs include hawthorn berry, foxglove, senticosus and Siberian ginseng. Aloe vera, taken in large doses, can irritate the intestine and cause a purgative effect. If this is severe enough – with the loss of sufficient fluid there can be a decrease in serum potassium levels and problems with the heart beat. Also avoid use with quinine, which may increase digoxin levels. (Quinine is found in tonic water.) Avoid use with the herb licorice root (this is the herb and not the candy), as its diuretic effect can result in low potassium levels and toxicity. Fibers, such as psyllium, decrease digoxin absorption, within two hours of taking medication.

o Diuretics – acetazolamide, thiazides (fluid tablets). There are many herbs that have a diuretic effect. These include artichoke, goldenseal, celery seeds, and dandelion. These herbs will increase the diuretic effect of the medical drugs.

o Hypoglycemic agents – glucotrol, glucophage, diabeta, insulin. (Used to control blood sugar levels). There are herbs that contain hyper or hypoglycemic components. These include: broom, buchu, dandelion, juniper, karela and the minerals chromium, vanadium and magnesium. Some of these improve glucose tolerance.

o Phenobarbital – ancalixir, barbital, solfoton, luminal sodium. Herbs containing thujones and vitamin B6 may lower seizure threshold. Wormwood may potentiate phenobarbital effects.

o Lithium – Butcher’s broom, buchu, dandelion and juniper may enhance the effect of lithium and cause possible toxicity.

o Phenytoin – dilantin, phenytex. Ayurvedic preparation shankapulshipi diminishes anti-epileptic effect.

o Thyroid medication – synthroid. Large quantities of horseradish may depress thyroid function. Kelp contains iodine, which may result in excess thyroid levels when taken with thyroid replacement medications.

o Warfarin, coumadin, sofarin (blood thinners). There are many herbs that act as blood thinners and these taken with the medical drugs can result in increased bleeding. Some of these herbs include cayenne, feverfew, garlic, ginger, white willow bark (aspirin), St John’s wort, alfalfa and ginkgo biloba. Taking over 1000 IU of vitamin E or the papaya enzyme papain may also result in increased bleeding.

High doses of herbs such as dong quai, quinine and devil’s claw may cause decreased blood thinning activity. High doses of vitamin C, A and K may also result in lessened anticoagulant effect.

The list above contains some of the common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs. There are potentially many more. This does not mean that you shouldn’t use herbs if you are taking medical drugs. You should however understand the potential effects.

Digitek is a generic form of Digoxin, a drug taken in pill form that is used primarily to treat congestive heart failure, as well as atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder of the atria (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Digitiek works by slowing the ventricle rate during atrial fibrillation, and by regulating cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that occurs when the heart beats too fast, too slow, and in an irregular manner.

Digitek is derived from the Digitalis plant, most commonly known as Foxglove. The chemicals used to make Digitek are extracted mainly from the leaves of the Digitalis plant, and can be referred to as either digoxin or digitoxin. This plant contains several deadly chemicals, making the slightest change in dosage extremely toxic, and could potentially cause death.

Consumed in the appropriate prescribed amount and under careful conditions, Digitek can effectively help to make the heart beat stronger, and with a more regular rhythm. However, some serious side effects have been reported, such as an irregular heart rate, blurred or jaundiced vision, confusion, and hallucinations. Less serious side effects reported include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and headaches. There is also an incomplete list of other medications that can cause complications when taken during the same period as Digitek.

Digitek was recalled by its manufacturer, Actavis, after the discovery of the tablets being twice as thick as intended for consumption. This increased potency was severely dangerous, and at least three Actavis facilities were shut down after the recall. According to a statement made by Actavis, none of the improperly manufactured drugs reached the public, however, data collected by public health experts and the FDA indicate that Digitek still may have been on the market for months, and may have caused serious problems.

Patients suffering from obesity and diabetes are often the same ones who take other various medications. Concerned individuals have predicted that the people who are likely to use the drug are probably taking other drugs too because these people have more probability of having other health illnesses and complications. Even a normal person who will take the drug might take it with other drugs such as drugs for head ache and fever.

Women also take oral contraceptives. The chemical effect of rimonabant on the performance of other drugs in the body is one of the primary concerns of authorities. This issue should not be taken granted because a drug failure can create serious adverse effects on the individual. For instance, if a woman’s contraceptive was prohibited from working due to taking rimonabant drugs, some negative consequences may happen like an unplanned pregnancy. People do not want this to happen. To clear this matter, several studies were conducted to test the effect of rimonabant on the performance of other drugs when these are taken simultaneously.

Studies on this matter were presented in the annual meeting of American College of Clinical Pharmacology. The studies showed that rimonabant do not have adverse effects on the performance of other drugs when taken simultaneously. The drugs that were discussed in the presentation were digoxin, midazolam, warfarin and oral contraceptives. These drugs underwent scientific experiments to assess their chemical performance with rimonabant. These drugs were chosen because they are the likely ones to be used by patients who take rimonabant.

Digoxin is a congestive heart failure drug. The study on this drug included twenty three healthy young males. The researchers gave them 0.5 milligrams of digoxin on the first day and 0.25 milligram of digoxin for the next six days. After that, 40 milligrams of rimonabant drug were added to the medication for eight days. At the end of the experiment, the researchers concluded that rimonabant has no effect on the performance of digoxin drug; therefore, it is safe for use.

Warfarin is an anti-coagulant drug. This drug is very important because misspecification on its doze may lead to complications and even death. The study on this drug included twenty three healthy and young men. They were given 30 milligram doze of warfarin and 40 milligram doze of rimonabant. The result showed that rimonabant drug has no effect on warfarin drug performance.

For the midazolam drug, twenty five young and healthy men were included in the study. They were given 0.03 mg/kg doze of midazolam and 40 milligrams doze of rimonabant drug. The result showed that rimonabant drug has no adverse effects on the performance of midazolam drug.

The effect of rimonabant drug on the performance of oral contraceptives was examined by studying fifteen healthy and young women. These women have been using oral contraceptives for at least three months. They took oral contraceptives with 40 milligrams doze of rimonabant. The result showed the same result as with the other drugs mentioned above.

The separate studies conclude that the rimonabant drug is safe for use to the public even with other drugs. The drug indeed cooperates with other drugs to give the maximum boost to your health.

Thank you for reading my article. Please visit Mikasa Dinnerware [http://mikasadinnerware.org] for more information on Mikasa Tableware [http://mikasadinnerware.org/mikasa-tableware].

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jes_B/436894

Many people who take pharmaceutical medication also want to take some herbal remedies. However, there can be difficulties with this as the chemicals in the two preparations can interact – changing the effect of the pharmaceutical drugs and the herbs. If you are taking medical drugs you need to be aware of potential interactions with herbs. Herbs can in many instances provide a safer alternative to pharmaceutical medication (especially when other measures to improve health are also undertaken). However, because of the potential for interactions it is wise to be under the supervision of a health professional as you make changes.

The following is a list of common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs.

o Anti-hypertensive dugs – used to lower blood pressure.
Grapefruit juice may enhance the effect by reducing their metabolic breakdown. Vitamin B3, magnesium and calcium can also enhance the effect of anti-hypertensives.

o Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). NSAIDs are known to irritate the gastrointestinal linking and are linked to the development of intestinal ulcers. This means that they, for preference, need to be avoided. However, if you are taking NSAID then avoid anything else that is likely to increase the irritation of the intestinal lining. This includes all alcohol, coffee Arabica and uva-ursi.

o Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone. These drugs are used for their anti-inflammatory effects and in having this effect they are immune suppressing. Using with immune stimulating herbs such as astragalus, echinacea, licorice root, alfalfa sprouts, and zinc lozenges may offset the immunosuppressive effects.

o Cyclosporine – sandimmune (an antibiotic). Grapefruit juice may cause increased cyclosporine levels and St. John’s wort may decrease levels.

o Digoxin – lanoxin (a heart drug). Some herbs are digoxin like and have the same effect as the medical drug. Taking these herbs together with digoxin is like taking an overdose. There herbs include hawthorn berry, foxglove, senticosus and Siberian ginseng. Aloe vera, taken in large doses, can irritate the intestine and cause a purgative effect. If this is severe enough – with the loss of sufficient fluid there can be a decrease in serum potassium levels and problems with the heart beat. Also avoid use with quinine, which may increase digoxin levels. (Quinine is found in tonic water.) Avoid use with the herb licorice root (this is the herb and not the candy), as its diuretic effect can result in low potassium levels and toxicity. Fibers, such as psyllium, decrease digoxin absorption, within two hours of taking medication.

o Diuretics – acetazolamide, thiazides (fluid tablets). There are many herbs that have a diuretic effect. These include artichoke, goldenseal, celery seeds, and dandelion. These herbs will increase the diuretic effect of the medical drugs.

o Hypoglycemic agents – glucotrol, glucophage, diabeta, insulin. (Used to control blood sugar levels). There are herbs that contain hyper or hypoglycemic components. These include: broom, buchu, dandelion, juniper, karela and the minerals chromium, vanadium and magnesium. Some of these improve glucose tolerance.

o Phenobarbital – ancalixir, barbital, solfoton, luminal sodium. Herbs containing thujones and vitamin B6 may lower seizure threshold. Wormwood may potentiate phenobarbital effects.

o Lithium – Butcher’s broom, buchu, dandelion and juniper may enhance the effect of lithium and cause possible toxicity.

o Phenytoin – dilantin, phenytex. Ayurvedic preparation shankapulshipi diminishes anti-epileptic effect.

o Thyroid medication – synthroid. Large quantities of horseradish may depress thyroid function. Kelp contains iodine, which may result in excess thyroid levels when taken with thyroid replacement medications.

o Warfarin, coumadin, sofarin (blood thinners). There are many herbs that act as blood thinners and these taken with the medical drugs can result in increased bleeding. Some of these herbs include cayenne, feverfew, garlic, ginger, white willow bark (aspirin), St John’s wort, alfalfa and ginkgo biloba. Taking over 1000 IU of vitamin E or the papaya enzyme papain may also result in increased bleeding.

High doses of herbs such as dong quai, quinine and devil’s claw may cause decreased blood thinning activity. High doses of vitamin C, A and K may also result in lessened anticoagulant effect.

The list above contains some of the common potential interactions between medical drugs and herbs. There are potentially many more. This does not mean that you shouldn’t use herbs if you are taking medical drugs. You should however understand the potential effects.

Digitek is a generic form of Digoxin, a drug taken in pill form that is used primarily to treat congestive heart failure, as well as atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder of the atria (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Digitiek works by slowing the ventricle rate during atrial fibrillation, and by regulating cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that occurs when the heart beats too fast, too slow, and in an irregular manner.

Digitek is derived from the Digitalis plant, most commonly known as Foxglove. The chemicals used to make Digitek are extracted mainly from the leaves of the Digitalis plant, and can be referred to as either digoxin or digitoxin. This plant contains several deadly chemicals, making the slightest change in dosage extremely toxic, and could potentially cause death.

Consumed in the appropriate prescribed amount and under careful conditions, Digitek can effectively help to make the heart beat stronger, and with a more regular rhythm. However, some serious side effects have been reported, such as an irregular heart rate, blurred or jaundiced vision, confusion, and hallucinations. Less serious side effects reported include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and headaches. There is also an incomplete list of other medications that can cause complications when taken during the same period as Digitek.

Digitek was recalled by its manufacturer, Actavis, after the discovery of the tablets being twice as thick as intended for consumption. This increased potency was severely dangerous, and at least three Actavis facilities were shut down after the recall. According to a statement made by Actavis, none of the improperly manufactured drugs reached the public, however, data collected by public health experts and the FDA indicate that Digitek still may have been on the market for months, and may have caused serious problems.

Patients suffering from obesity and diabetes are often the same ones who take other various medications. Concerned individuals have predicted that the people who are likely to use the drug are probably taking other drugs too because these people have more probability of having other health illnesses and complications. Even a normal person who will take the drug might take it with other drugs such as drugs for head ache and fever.

Women also take oral contraceptives. The chemical effect of rimonabant on the performance of other drugs in the body is one of the primary concerns of authorities. This issue should not be taken granted because a drug failure can create serious adverse effects on the individual. For instance, if a woman’s contraceptive was prohibited from working due to taking rimonabant drugs, some negative consequences may happen like an unplanned pregnancy. People do not want this to happen. To clear this matter, several studies were conducted to test the effect of rimonabant on the performance of other drugs when these are taken simultaneously.

Studies on this matter were presented in the annual meeting of American College of Clinical Pharmacology. The studies showed that rimonabant do not have adverse effects on the performance of other drugs when taken simultaneously. The drugs that were discussed in the presentation were digoxin, midazolam, warfarin and oral contraceptives. These drugs underwent scientific experiments to assess their chemical performance with rimonabant. These drugs were chosen because they are the likely ones to be used by patients who take rimonabant.

Digoxin is a congestive heart failure drug. The study on this drug included twenty three healthy young males. The researchers gave them 0.5 milligrams of digoxin on the first day and 0.25 milligram of digoxin for the next six days. After that, 40 milligrams of rimonabant drug were added to the medication for eight days. At the end of the experiment, the researchers concluded that rimonabant has no effect on the performance of digoxin drug; therefore, it is safe for use.

Warfarin is an anti-coagulant drug. This drug is very important because misspecification on its doze may lead to complications and even death. The study on this drug included twenty three healthy and young men. They were given 30 milligram doze of warfarin and 40 milligram doze of rimonabant. The result showed that rimonabant drug has no effect on warfarin drug performance.

For the midazolam drug, twenty five young and healthy men were included in the study. They were given 0.03 mg/kg doze of midazolam and 40 milligrams doze of rimonabant drug. The result showed that rimonabant drug has no adverse effects on the performance of midazolam drug.

The effect of rimonabant drug on the performance of oral contraceptives was examined by studying fifteen healthy and young women. These women have been using oral contraceptives for at least three months. They took oral contraceptives with 40 milligrams doze of rimonabant. The result showed the same result as with the other drugs mentioned above.

The separate studies conclude that the rimonabant drug is safe for use to the public even with other drugs. The drug indeed cooperates with other drugs to give the maximum boost to your health.

As I have become more involved in using functional nutritional therapy in my practice, I have come to realize that many people are still confused about the safety and effectiveness of various dietary supplements. Because these products are “natural”, many feel they are always safe to use. Although supplements and herbs can be safer than pharmaceutical drugs, they can still function as drugs in the body and should be used with caution and respect.

It is estimated that over 80% of the world’s population and 60 million Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, although many believe CAM compliments their current traditional healthcare, most do not inform their physicians that they are taking these products. And, many providers don’t ask or discuss CAM use with their patients, although one survey of 181 cardiologists found that half of them took antioxidant vitamins, themselves.

What many people don’t realize is that there is no regulatory agency in charge of the supplement industry. Herbal products are not tested for purity, effectiveness and safety as drugs are. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was enacted that requires the FDA to prove beyond any doubt that a supplement is unsafe before removing it from the market. Other than regulating what can be included on the label, they are unable to enforce any other regulation.

There is no incentive for supplement companies to conduct research because they are unable to patent ‘natural’ products. Those marketing herbs and other supplements save millions of dollars not spent on research, or worse, yet, conduct their own “research”, which often does not include rigorous controls. Although there are many excellent and reputable supplement companies on the market, the typical consumer is unlikely to know who the credible ones are. Many independent sales representatives only know what the company tells them, and are as unaware as the consumer.

Even if the supplements are pure and not harmful by themselves, problems arise when combined with drugs. Dietary supplements may compete with drugs, leading to toxicity or treatment failure of that drug. An estimated 4 million people are at risk for herbal-prescription drug interactions. Here is a list of the most common interactions between supplements and drugs:

* Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to prevent blood clotting for those at risk for deep vein thrombosis, stroke, or heart attack. Supplements that can change bleeding time controlled by this drug include flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements, goldenseal, saw palmetto, feverfew, garlic, ginseng, and willow bark, just to name a few.

* Digoxin is another heart medication. Ginseng has been noted to falsely elevate blood digoxin levels. Some herbs that will affect drug effectiveness include senna, licorice, aloe, cascara, hawthorne, foxglove, goldenseal and guar gum.

* Phenytoin is a drug used for seizures. Herbal interactions to be aware of include ginkgo biloba, white willow, lemon balm, skull cap, kava kava, and valerian root, to name a few. It is also important to know that Folate supplementation is necessary with Phenytoin, but excess Folate can be harmful.

* It’s important to take calcium supplements and vitamin D two hours apart from taking either Phenytoin or Digoxin in order to not interfere with these drug’s effects.

Of particular concern are interactions with the herb St. John’s Wort, which is taken by 7.5 million Americans as a depression remedy. This herb can cause serious consequences when taken with drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil, as well as warfarin, cyclosporine, and oral contraceptives. This herb may also interact with Digoxin, chemotherapy drugs, and other drugs, causing treatment failure. Some of these interactions are serious enough that if St. John’s Wort were a drug, the government would restrict marketing, make it a prescription-only item, or require label warnings.

So, what can one do??

Anyone taking a dietary supplement should first do their homework. Know exactly what the purpose of a particular supplement is for and learn all known interactions. There are many excellent informational websites on the internet. A good rule of thumb is to look for a site that does not offer products for sale!

It’s also important to inform your healthcare professional what supplements you are taking, in order to avoid potential supplement-drug interactions that could put you at medical risk. Although many credible professionals sell products, there are just as many who sell products but don’t really understand the physiology of the human body and are just out to make money. Supplement sales is a very popular ‘easy’ way to make money today!

It’s just as important to do one’s homework when looking for a complementary care practitioner. Although this is only one set of criteria, the best recommendation is to look for one or any of these: A pharmacist or registered dietitian who is educated in medicinal herbs, a physician who specializes in functional medicine, or an MD, OD, ND, DC, PharmD or RD who also has the CCN credential.

Don’t be afraid to take supplements. They serve a very beneficial purpose. But do know why you’re taking each supplement, just as you should know why you take any prescription medications. Be an informed consumer and take responsibility for your health and wellbeing.

Marjorie Geiser has been teaching health, fitness and nutrition since 1982. She is a nutritionist, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. As the owner of MEG Fitness, Marjorie¬ís goal for her clients is to help them incorporate healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. To learn more about the services Margie offers, go to her website at www.megfit.com [http://www.megfit.com] or email her at [email protected]

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