Friday, August 29, 2008

Drug & Herb Conflicts - (re: Heath Ledger)

One of my Reader's Writes About Drug And Herb Conflicts, Heath Ledger & My Blurb on St. John's Wort

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After one of my earlier Teplitz Reports this year (March, 2008), reader Beth Terry wrote me about more drug and herb contraindications.

What she said was so good that I asked Beth if I could share some of it with readers.

She said yes.

“You opened a good discussion that didn't go far enough. You brought up the contraindications factors with St. John's Wort, but could have gone a little further.

Given the recent death of Heath Ledger, contraindicated drug combinations is an important topic. People think that because they bought an Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicine, it's safe to take with anything. "

Even though most mothers know about not giving kids aspirin in certain situations, a lot of people don't think about mixing medicines. 

Though I'm a fan of homeopathic and complementary medicine, I know enough to look at Mindell's Herb Bible or Consumer Labs to see if I should be mixing it with anything else. (I swear by ConsumerLabs.com -- they are a rich resource for any kind of supplements or OTC meds. They just found that high numbers of pills containing Turmeric have high levels of lead. Good to have as a resource).

Here are some examples for people to watch out for:

   *  An OTC containing dextromethorphan or antihistamine can cause or increase drowsiness when combined with alcohol.

   * It may not be safe to take an OTC sleep medication if you are taking a prescription sedative or tranquilizer.

    * It may be dangerous to take an OTC that contains aspirin if you are taking a prescription blood thinner, or if you have diabetes or gout.”

If you’d like to know more about the effects of St. John’s Wort, Beth shared a link to http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort .

Finally, Beth wrote “It is important to inform your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.”

Beth, I agree completely and thanks for taking the time to expand on this important topic. ~Jerry

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1 comment:

Charles said...

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