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Turmeric with Selzentry and Epzicom, is it a problem?
Jul 3, 2012

Hi Nelson, Currently HIV + and taking Selzentry 300mg twice a day along with one Epzicom once a day and doing very well on this mix of meds. Do you know if there is any issue with taking Turmeric pepper extract 350mg twice a day?? Could it interfere with my meds? I have 4 herniated discs in cervical spine and arthritis, and my chiropractor suggests it to help reduce inflamation. Would appredciate your input. Thank you.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Tumeric and black pepper are used as anti-inflammatory natural products. Herbal Therapies Used by People Living With HIV: Turmeric

Curcumin, the main active ingredient of turmeric, has been researched in the past in small lab pilot studies to treat HIV and inflammation. However, no studies in humans have been performed.Turmeric (curcumin) studies

Black pepper may be recommended by herbalists to stimulate digestion, improve blood circulation, and warm the body. It is also recommended to treat other health concerns, including arthritis, colic, diarrhea, flatulence, headache, indigestion, nausea and vertigo. I am yet to see studies that prove any of those claims, however.

Both turmeric and black pepper are inhibitors of P450 cytochrome in the liver, which slows down clearance of drugs. Maraviroc is boosted by P450 inhibitors (like norvir). High Maraviroc blood levels have been associated with low blood pressure episodes that could result in light hardheadedness. Be very careful!! Ask your physician to prescribe safe pain killers that do not interact with your HIV medications.

I am really concerned when people not educated in HIV medicine start recommending natural over the counter products that could interfere with HIV medications.

I go this information from the Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center ( ). No HIV drug is listed but you can read tumeric's effect on different

Herb-Drug Interactions

Anticoagulants / Antiplatelets: Turmeric may increase risk of bleeding, as it also has antiplatelet properties (54) (55).

Camptothecin: Turmeric inhibits camptothecin-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines in vitro (28).

Mechlorethamine: Turmeric inhibits mechlorethamine-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines in vitro (28).

Doxorubicin: Turmeric inhibits doxorubicin-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines in vitro (28).

Cyclophosphamide: Dietary turmeric inhibits cyclophosphamide-induced tumor regression in animal studies (28).

Norfloxacin: Pretreatment with curcumin resulted in increased plasma elimination half-life, thereby reducing the dosage of norfloxacin (56).

Amphotericin B: Curcumin may enhance the effect and decrease the toxicity of amphotericin B (57).

Drugs metabolized by CYP3A4 enzyme: Curcumin inhibits cytochrome 3A4 enzyme, altering the metabolism of some prescription drugs (26).

Drugs metabolized by CYP1A2 enzyme: Curcumin inhibits cytochrome 1A2 enzyme, affecting the metabolism of certain prescription medicines (27).

Drugs metabolized by CYP2A6 enzyme: Curcumin enhances cytochrome 2A6 enzyme, and can affect the metabolism of certain prescription drugs (27).

Celiprolol and Midazolam: Curcumin was shown to downregulate intestinal P-gp levels, thereby increasing the concentrations of celiprolol and midazolam (48).

Verapamil: Curcumin inhibited intestinal P-gp expression and function, thereby increasing concentrations of verapamil (47).

I hope this information helped you make an informed decision.

Nelson Vergel

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