Melissa Kaplan's
Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases
Information on CFS, FM, MCS, Lyme Disease, Thyroid, and more...
Last updated January 1, 2014

Drug, Herb and Supplement and Food Interactions & Contraindications

Just because it is "natural" doesn't mean it can't have toxic effects on its own or when mixed with other things you are taking - or being given.

Melissa Kaplan, Compiled August 2004

Are you taking garlic supplements as part of your healthy heart routine? If so, stop taking them a week before you are scheduled for surgery. Garlic's blood thinning properties may cause a problem for your surgical team if something happens, and may complicate things a bit if you're having dental procedures done.

Are you taking low doses of aspirin as part of your healthy heart routine? Be sure you talk this over with your physician and surgeon before you keep--or stop--taking aspirin in the days before, and after, surgery.

Did you know that:

... immune modulators, such as echinacea, can alter the effect of immunosuppressive drugs given to cancer and organ transplant patients?

... high doses of vitamin C are so effective at detoxifying various chemicals that your daily dose may cause some of your general or local anesthesia drugs to wear off---while you are still being operated on?

... consuming high amounts of soy in any form can interfere with your iodine uptake--and your thyroid medication?

... that many of the "calcium-rich" dark leafy greens that are recommended for healthy eating can interfere with your body's ability to get all the calcium it would otherwise be able to from your food and supplements?

As people take more things in the effort to get or stay healthy, or stave off the effects of aging, we are creating a chemical mixture in our bodies that could, at worst, pose a serious threat to our health; at least, render virtually ineffective something else we are taking or our body is producing in the normal course of daily functioning.

We cannot rely on our health care providers to keep track of everything we are taking. Along with medications they may individually prescribe us (while not being aware of what medications have been prescribed by other doctors we are seeing), most of us take a wide range of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as allergy pills, cough syrups, headache medicines, as well as have shelves full of vitamins, minerals, herbs, teas, tinctures and more from a variety of sources for a number of different reasons.

The only one who can be fully responsible for making sure you don't mix the wrong things together, or take things at the wrong time, is you.

Keeping Track
Here are some forms I've developed - feel free to use them as is, or as the basis to create your own forms better suited to your own needs. (PDF reader required)

Prescription & OTC Drug Record
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Supplements Record
Food, Drugs & Supplements Interactions

Some other forms available online:
Your Medicine: Play It Safe


Resource Sites for Research
Remember that not all sites will contain all information on all interactions...and that information on any given site will change as new research reveals new information on adverse interactions and contraindications (which drugs should not be prescribed with certain other drugs). So, make it a point to look up all new drugs on several sites, as well as periodically review all the drugs, vitamins, minerals herbs and other supplements you take in case you need to make some changes based on new information. Interactions Checker
HealthLine Drugs, Medications & Supplements
Mayo Drug & Herbal Interactions
MedlinePlus Drug Information
Memorial-SloanKettering About Herbs & Botanicals
Vitamin & Herb University
WebMD Drug Database

Pill Identifiers

Related Articles
Anesthesia, Surgery and CFS/FM/MCS
Herbal Medicine & Anesthesia
Intra-Operative Awareness
Effects of Vitamin C on Anesthetics


More drug-related information and resources...




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