Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Ephedra may raise blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that affect blood pressure.

Ephedra may lower blood sugar levels, although ephedra-caffeine combinations may increase blood sugar. Caution is advised when using medications that may also alter blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Ephedra may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood, and may cause altered effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. People using any medications should check the package insert, and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.

Ephedra may also interact with acidifying agents, agents eliminated by the kidneys, agents that affect the immune system, agents that affect the stomach or intestines, agents that alter heart rate, agents that cause muscle breakdown, agents that lower seizure threshold, agents toxic to the liver, alcohol, alkalinizing agents, anesthetics, antiadrenergic drugs (alpha blockers), antiadrogens, antiasthma agents, antidepressant agents (monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), antigout agents, anti-inflammatory agents, aspirin, cardiac glycosides, cholesterol agents, central nervous system stimulants, diuretics (increasing urine flow), ergot derivatives, hormonal agents, methylxanthines (theophylline, caffeine), oxytocics, phenothiazines, phenylpropranolamine, steroids, thyroid hormones, and weight loss agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Ephedra may raise blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that affect blood pressure.

Ephedra may lower blood sugar levels, although ephedra-caffeine combinations may increase blood sugar. Caution is advised when using herbs and supplements that may also alter blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

Ephedra may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may be altered in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.

Ephedra may also interact with anesthetics, antiadrenergic herbs and supplements (alpha blockers), antiadrogens, antiasthma herbs and supplements, antidepressant herbs and supplements (monoamine oxidase inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), antigout herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, appetite stimulants, caffeine-containing herbs and supplements, cardiac glycosides, cholesterol herbs and supplements, central nervous system stimulants, diuretics (increasing urine flow), herbs and supplements eliminated by the kidneys, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that affect the stomach or intestines, herbs and supplements that alter heart rate, herbs and supplements that cause muscle breakdown, herbs and supplements that change the urine pH, herbs and supplements that lower seizure threshold, herbs and supplements toxic to the liver, hormonal herbs and supplements, potassium, steroids, stimulant herbs and supplements, and weight loss herbs and supplements.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com