Watch out for supplements, drugs

advertisement | advertise on newsday

You may think "natural" herbal supplements are benign and safe, but for those taking some common prescription medications, they could create a danger.

A study in the current issue of the medical publication International Journal of Clinical Practice found that several herbal and dietary supplements such as St. John's Wort, ginkgo and Echinacea may cause "potentially harmful drug interactions" when taken by those who also take some widely prescribed medications. Among the prescription drugs with the most interactions were insulin and the blood-clot fighters warfarin and ticlopidine.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Researchers said combining medicines and supplements can cause "major interactions," including heart problems, chest pains and abdominal pain.

The study recommends that physicians always ask their patients about supplements they are taking. Patients should bring a list of over-the-counter drugs and supplements they use when visiting their doctor.

Get the scoop on events, nightlife, day trips, family fun and things to do on Long Island.

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: