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COLD-FX and HIV Meds - interaction ?
Jan 3, 2009

My name is Arnold, 43 Years old, 19 years HIV-positive with overall good health and labwork.

I moved to Canada 8 years ago, where I discovered an OTC product called "Cold FX" that helps me tremedously whenever I feel the symptoms of a "common cold" coming on.

The product is North American Ginseng in pill-formula, dosed in a tightly controlled manner.

Here is what their health info has to say: "Each capsule of COLD-fX has been certified [...] to contain 200 mg of CVT-E002, a unique proprietary aqueous extract containing greater than 80% poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides from Panax quinquefolius (North American ginseng, root)."

(Yeah that's a lot of biochemistry that I do not really understand...)

My question: Is there a possibility of Cold-FX interacting with HIV Meds?

Should I be careful using it?

I know that St. John's Worth and Echinacea, as well as grapefruit juice have shown interaction with HIV Meds, so I stay away from those supplements/products.

Would Cold-FX pose the same risks?

Thanks for your answer

Arnold, Montreal


Also, I would like to to take the occasion to thank the entire crew for their ongoing commitment and time to make the invaluable resourse that it is. I have been checking in and reading up regularly over the last 10 years and there is always important information to find.

A Happy New Year to all of you!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello Arnold and thanks for your post and very kind words.

I'm not aware of the product that you discuss, but based on what you've described, I don't know of any obvious drug-drug interactions with typical HIV medications. One essential point about interactions is that you (I) need to know what the other medications are- there are very specific and sometimes different interactions with each HIV medication.

So, it's not as simple as to say that there either are- or aren't interactions; rather that we'd like to know the entire list of prescription and non-prescription medications before deciding.

In my view, when in doubt (especially when it comes to generally non-proven supplements), I tend to avoid anything (or any interaction) that is untested, rather than risk decreasing the potency of your life-saving HIV medications.

Happy new year to you,


PEP question

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