Taking Herbs with a Seizure Drug?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: June 24, 2006

I am a 60 year old male who has began having anxiety attacks and problems sleeping at night. My chiropractor suggested than I have a cup of ginger root tea before going to bed. I take Carbatrol which is the same as Tegretol but is supposed to break down in your system more evenly. Do you know if ginger root tea would be safe to take with Carbatrol? It has been suggested that I have a cup of Sleepytime tea. This is billed as 100% natural herb tea. Its ingredients: chamomile, spearmint, lemon grass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn berries, and rosebuds. Do you know if this would be safe to take with Carbatrol? Does your expertise cover the suggestions from naturopaths?

Carbatrol, a carbamazepine medication used for seizures and trigeminal neuralgia, may cause drowsiness. It comes with a warning against taking other medications that cause drowsiness. If you are taking the sleepytime tea only at night, this should not cause you a problem. The only herb that is specifically contraindicated is St. John’s wort.

In both anxiety and insomnia, it is often more effective to take herbal remedies throughout the day, rather than only at night. If it doesn’t interfere with your productivity, take a nerve-calming tea three times a day.

Ginger root tea should be safe to take with carbatrol. Ginger is a herb used to improve digestion and blood circulation. Perhaps your health care provider has one of these uses in mind for the ginger.

Please see other items for insomnia and anxiety on our website at www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "insomnia" for one search, and "anxiety" for a second search.

Regarding your question about whether I am qualified to comment on a naturopath’s recommendations: Yes, a medical or clinical herbalist has a similar training to a naturopath, in that we take a full medical curriculum. We specialize in herbs, so study each herb in depth, including its effects of on all parts of the body and its applications in all health problems. A naturopath studies herbs as one of many modalities of healing, that usually include acupuncture and homeopathy.

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