Interactions with Drugs
Dong quai may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Caution is advised when using medications that may lower blood sugar. People taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Dong quai may affect blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
Dong quai may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
Dong quai may also interact with acetaminophen, agents that increase sun sensitivity, agents that stimulate or treat disorders of the nervous system, agents that treat abnormal heart rhythms, agents that treat muscle spasms, agents that treat stomach and intestine disorders, agents that widen blood vessels, antibiotics, anticancer agents, antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs), birth control, bleomycin, calcium channel blockers, disulfiram (Antabuse®), hormonal agents, laxatives, lung agents, metronidazole (Flagyl®), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), and pain relievers.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Dong quai may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Dong quai may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
Dong quai may affect blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Dong quai may interact with antibacterial herbs and supplements, anticancer herbs and supplements, antidepressant herbs and supplements (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs), antioxidants, birth control, herbs and supplements that affect or treat disorders of the central nervous system, herbs and supplements that increase sun sensitivity, herbs and supplements that prevent muscle spasms, herbs and supplements that treat abnormal heart rhythms, herbs and supplements that treat stomach and intestine disorders, hormonal herbs and supplements, laxatives, pain relievers, St. John's wort, and vitamin E.
This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration