Ginseng Drug Interactions
Ginseng Interactions With Diabetes Medications
Theoretically, combining ginseng with diabetes medications (including oral or injected diabetes medications) may increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you have diabetes, check with your healthcare provider before taking ginseng. If you decide to take ginseng, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more frequently for a while.
Ginseng Interactions and Liver Enzymes
Many medications are metabolized (broken down) by enzymes in the liver. There are several different types of these enzymes. Research suggests that ginseng may inhibit the activity of one of these enzymes (known technically as the CYP 2D6 enzyme). This means that ginseng could increase the level of medications that are normally metabolized by this enzyme, perhaps making them more toxic.
Some of the medications that may interact with ginseng based on changes in liver enzymes include:
- Amitriptyline (Elavil®)
- Clozapine (Clozaril®)
- Desipramine (Norpramin®)
- Donepezil (Aricept®)
- Fentanyl (Abstral®, Actiq®, Duragesic®, Fentora®, Lazanda®, Onsolis®, Subsys®)
- Flecainide (Tambocor®)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®)
- Meperidine (Demerol®)
- Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor®, Toprol-XL®)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa®) or olanzapine and fluoxetine (Symbyax®)
- Ondansetron (Zofran®, Zuplenz™)
- Tramadol (Rybix™ ODT, Ryzolt®, Ultram®, Ultram® ER) or tramadol/acetaminophen (Ultracet®)
- Trazodone (Desyrel®) or trazodone ER (Oleptro™).
Check with your healthcare provider before combining ginseng with any of these medications.