Dec
09
2009

CAN I COMBINE ST JOHN’S WORT WITH OTHER ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS?

As I have already mentioned, it is possible to administer St John’s Wort with a variety of other anti-depressants and other medications in general. A survey of European colleagues who have treated collectively several hundred patients with St John’s Wort revealed no drug interactions noted to date except for potential problematic interactions with the MAOIs as noted above. At one point it was thought that St John’s Wort might itself be an MAOI and might exert its anti-depressant effects by that mechanism. If that were the case, it would be potentially dangerous to combine St John’s Wort with other anti-depressants. Fortunately this does not appear to be the case to any significant degree and St John’s Wort can be used freely with other anti-depressants. Furthermore, you need not worry that you will develop the extremely uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous high blood pressure reaction after eating cheese or drinking red wine, as can occur with those who are on an MAOI. There are no dietary restrictions whatsoever when you are on St John’s Wort.

As I mentioned above, you might be best off moving more gradually with dosages if St John’s Wort is used in combination with other anti-depressants or stimulants as these medications all act on the nerve cells in the brain and can enhance one another’s effects. While this is one of the desired goals of the exercise, namely to induce a more powerful anti-depressant effect than would be obtained on any of the medications alone, it is also a reason to increase dosages gradually to avoid the development of exaggerated and unduly unpleasant side-effects.

*90/75/2*

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