Is Saw Palmetto Safe with Coumadin?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: September 16, 2004

Is it safe to take saw palmetto for prostate while on coumadin?

Based on the actions of saw palmetto, it should not interfere with coumadin. Herbs, foods and drugs are listed as risks for causing harmful interactions based on their actions in relation to the action of the drug. Coumadin thins the blood to decrease blood clotting. Herbs that affect blood clotting, the heart, or blood circulation should not be taken unless advised by a qualified health practitioner. Herbs that interfere with the liver’s ability to metabolize coumadin should be avoided. The only herb known to have an effect on drug metabolism is St. John’s wort. All prescription drugs must be reported to your doctor because they cause extra work for the liver, and so affect the speed at which other drugs are broken down by the liver. If drugs need to wait until the liver is free to break them down, the drugs remain in the blood stream, causing overdose symptoms. Saw palmetto does not have an effect on blood clotting, heart function, blood circulation or liver function.

There was a case of a so-called herbal remedy for prostate enlargement causing a negative interaction with a blood thinning drug. It was later found that the “herbal” remedy contained drugs known to cause blood thinning.

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