One of the things I mention in my disclaimer is to do your own research. One reason for that is ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own health. Your health care provider can’t know everything and can’t keep up with all the research that is constantly presented. You should, of course, tell him/her all prescriptions, herbs and supplements you are taking, but the provider may not know how they all interact.
Herbs, supplements and to some extent, even food interact with each other and with drugs. You need to understand what those interactions and side effects could be. A personal example…
Under the supervision of my cardiologist, I take a prescription anticoagulant (Plavix) along with one full-strength aspirin per day to minimize the possibility of a clot causing another heart attack or a stroke. In researching how I could improve my health, I decided I needed to increase my intake of vitamin C and E. I also was advised by my cardiologist to start taking pharmaceutical-grade fish oil.
In researching the interactions of those vitamins and supplements I found that each is also a “blood thinner.” I found that while taking all of them, I bruised VERY easily. Even the slightest bump would cause a large bruise.
My cardiologist did not indicate that there would be any problem with the supplements I was taking.
I decided to drop the vitamins C and E other than what was in my multivitamin. Fish oil also is a “blood thinner.” So I backed off on the amount of fish oil I take. The bruising seemed to get better.
Maybe I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, but I don’t want to thin my blood to the point that I’m in danger of a hemorrhagic stroke.
Once again, each of us is ultimately responsible for our own health and needs to inform our health care providers
of all supplements we are taking along with the prescription drugs, but also we need to do our own research.
Here are a couple of sites that I’ve found useful for researching interactions and side effects.
http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/index.html (layperson’s version of Physician’s Desk Reference)
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