Herb Interaction with Antidepressive Drugs?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Fiona
Posted on: May 9, 2001

I was wondering if you could help with the following query. A relative of mine is on Lustral but would like to take one of the above herbs: Ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, Damiana, Dong Quai or Muira-Puama. She wants to know if any of these herbs interact with Lustral or reduce its effectiveness.

Lustral is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used in depression, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. It is not to be used concurrently with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, alcohol or warfarin.

Potential interaction:

SSRI’s may increase the effect of blood thinners such as warfarin. Ginkgo biloba is a circulatory stimulant that may act by thinning the blood. I suggest that you consult with a natural health practitioner who is knowledgeable about your relative’s condition and the interactions of drugs with herbs.

I don’t know of any studies that have been done exploring the interactions of SSRI’s with the herbs that you mention. As far as I know, the other herbs that you mention do not have MAO inhibitor or warfarin-like activities. St. John’s wort is the herb to avoid if you are self-medicating, because recent studies suggest that there is a potential of drug interaction with anti-depressives.

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