Echinacea and other herbal remedies
Aug 4, 2006
I received a vague warning to watch out for herbal remedies and was told that, for instance, echinacea may interfere with the effectiveness of HIV medication. Can you confirm that, and, are there other herbal remedies that have been proven to reduce the effectiveness of the drugs or have a negative impact on the immune system in people with HIV/AIDS?
Response from Dr. Henry
Echinacea can usually be taken with most HIV regimens. St John's wort and garlic are 2 commonly used herbal remedies that have been shown to decrease the levels of some HIV medications through interaction with liver enzymes. Most herbal remedies have not been well studied regarding safety issues in the context of a variety of HIV regimens so there is a general caution to be careful and inform your HIV specialist of what drugs you are taking so unusual interactions can observed when properly monitored. KH
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