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Thread: Ginseng?

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    Ginseng?

    Does anyone have any information or experience with taking ginseng while taking one of the 2nd generation (atypical) antipsychotics? I occasionally take a ginseng supplement but have stopped since I began taking Seroquel (very low dose). I have read that ginseng can raise or lower blood pressure ... raising it would be nice! ... but haven't found anything more specific. I did use the med/supplement checker, but I'm none the wiser for having pored over the section on ginseng.

    TIA for any feedback

    Phb

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    Re: Ginseng?

    Phoebe,

    Please check with your pharmacist or doctor for a complete analysis in your particular case.

    Based on the NIH Medline Supplement/Drug Interaction Checker for American ginseng, interactions can occur with Coumadin (warfarin) a blood thinner, MAOI's a specific group of antidepressants that have a high potential for interaction with a variety of medications, and finally medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

    Additionally, the same source warns of the following:

    Trouble sleeping (insomnia): High doses of American ginseng have been linked with insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping, use American ginseng with caution.

    Schizophrenia (a mental disorder): High doses of American ginseng have been linked with sleep problems and agitation in people with schizophrenia . Be careful when using American ginseng if you have schizophrenia.
    Why would you want to raise blood pressure?

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    Re: Ginseng?

    On top of all that, the research with ginseng shows that it really doesn't do anything useful. You're basically taking another placebo which may interact with your medications in uncertain ways. Why take the risk?

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    Re: Ginseng?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Phoebe,

    Please check with your pharmacist or doctor for a complete analysis in your particular case.

    Based on the NIH Medline Supplement/Drug Interaction Checker for American ginseng, interactions can occur with Coumadin (warfarin) a blood thinner, MAOI's a specific group of antidepressants that have a high potential for interaction with a variety of medications, and finally medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

    Additionally, the same source warns of the following:

    Trouble sleeping (insomnia): High doses of American ginseng have been linked with insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping, use American ginseng with caution.

    Schizophrenia (a mental disorder): High doses of American ginseng have been linked with sleep problems and agitation in people with schizophrenia . Be careful when using American ginseng if you have schizophrenia.
    Why would you want to raise blood pressure?
    Last question first: my BP is very low, and Seroquel lowers it further. I've struggled (unsuccessfully) for years to get it up out of my ankles.

    I did look up possible interactions with ginseng (specifically panax/Asian, which is the only kind I take) and saw the cautions listed. I don't take it often, but prefer to err on the side of caution, and what caught my eye was a reference to blood pressure. Since Seroquel lowers my BP, it seemed to me there might be a chance that ginseng could make it worse. On the other hand, if it were to raise my BP, it would balance out the Seroquel effect. But that's a gamble I'm not prepared to take at this time; I've decided to put the ginseng on hold til I can speak with my pharmacist. I wouldn't bother raising the question with my dr; he's hopelessly uninformed regarding drug side effects or contraindications. If I took his every word as gospel, I'd be long since dead

    Thanks

    Phb

    ---------- Post added at 01:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter View Post
    On top of all that, the research with ginseng shows that it really doesn't do anything useful. You're basically taking another placebo which may interact with your medications in uncertain ways. Why take the risk?
    Erm, well, I suppose it depends on a person's experience. I experience benefits. Yes, it may be placebo effect, but under normal circumstances I would be prepared to live with that possibility

    However, for the time being it's moot; reading these responses has helped me decide to follow my instinct, which is to hold off at least until I've had a chance to speak with my pharmacist.

    Now if only there were something which could make me lose weight by sheer power of suggestion (aka placebo effect), but alas ...



    Thanks

    Phb

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