Part of A Practical Guide to Herbal Therapies for People Living With HIV
When herbal therapies and drugs (prescription or non-prescription medications) are used together, they can interact in your body, causing changes in the way the herbs and/or the drugs work. Such changes are called herb-drug interactions.
Herb-drug interactions can impact your health and the effectiveness of your treatments. For example, some herbal therapies might:
Likewise, prescription and non-prescription drugs can alter the way your body reacts to herbal therapies.
Listing all of the herb-drug interactions, which potentially impact people living with HIV/AIDS, is not possible. Here are only a few important interactions of which you should be aware.
PHAs should be cautious about mixing herbs and drugs in any of the following situations:
Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)
The following combinations should not be taken together
The following combinations might alter levels of antiretroviral drugs in the blood
Many PHAs are taking other medications in addition to HAART. These can include antibiotics, medications for high blood pressure, depression, heart conditions and diabetes, to name a few. The following herb-drug combinations have the potential for significant interactions. This list is not exhaustive.
When combining herbal therapies with other medications, it is important to watch for potential interactions. Informing all your health care providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists and complementary practitioners) about all the herbal therapies and medications you are taking can help reduce the risk of harmful interactions. For more information on herb-drug interactions, please read CATIE's fact sheet called Herb-Drug Interactions, available at www.catie.ca or by calling 1-800-263-1638.
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.