It has been reported that combining ginseng with caffeine (or any other stimulants) may have an additive stimulatory effect. It has also been reported that ginseng may decrease the effectiveness of furosemide (Lasix®), a diuretic. Combining ginseng with phenelzine (Nardil®) has been reported to cause problems such as insomnia, headaches, and manic symptoms.
It is thought that ginseng could interfere with immune-suppressing drugs, such as those used to prevent organ transplant rejection. If you take an immunosuppressant, check with your healthcare provider before taking ginseng.
Final Thoughts on Ginseng Drug Interactions
Not every drug interaction with ginseng was discussed in this article. Therefore, you should talk with your pharmacist or healthcare provider about the ginseng interactions that may apply to you. Be sure to let each of your healthcare providers know that you take ginseng, especially any time you start (or stop) a new medication.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 11, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: Asian ginseng (September 2005). NCCAM Web site. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/. Accessed March 11, 2008.
Kiefer D, Pantuso T. Panax ginseng. Am Fam Physician 2003;68:1539-42.
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