dong quai (generic name)

an herbal product - treats Angina pectoris / coronary artery disease, Glomerulonephritis, Menstrual migraine headache, Dysmenorrhea, Arthritis,...
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Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Dong quai may increase the risk of bleeding due to anticoagulant and anti-platelet effects, and 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 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

It remains unclear if Dong quai has the same effects on the body as estrogens, if it blocks the activity of estrogens, or has no significant hormonal effects. It is not known if taking Dong quai increases or decreases the effects of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy such as Premarin®, which contains estrogen, or the anti-tumor effects of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as tamoxifen.

Chemicals in Dong quai may cause increased sun sensitivity with a risk of severe skin reactions (photosensitivity), and Dong quai should be avoided with other drugs that cause photosensitivity, such as tretinoin (Retin-A®, Renova®), and some types of anti-depressants, cancer drugs, antibiotics, or anti-psychotic medications. Patients taking medications should check with their doctor or pharmacist before starting Dong quai.

Based on laboratory research, Dong quai may increase the effects of drugs that affect heart rhythms, such as digoxin, beta-blockers such as metoprolol (Lopressor®, Toprol®), calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine (Procardia®), or other anti-arrhythmic drugs.

Based on laboratory research, some compounds in Dong quai may increase the effects of anti-cancer drugs and antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

In theory, due to anticoagulant and anti-platelet effects, components of 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.

It remains unclear if Dong quai has the same effects on the body as estrogens, blocks the activity of estrogens, or has no significant hormonal effects. The effects of agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered.

Chemicals in Dong quai may cause increased sun sensitivity with a risk of severe skin reactions (photosensitivity), and Dong quai should not be taken with products containing Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) or capsaicin, which are also reported to cause photosensitivity.

Based on laboratory research, some compounds in Dong quai may increase the effects of anti-cancer herbs or supplements and antidepressants.

Dong quai may increase the effects of antioxidants.

Attribution

This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Ethan Basch, MD, MSc, MPhil (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Sefah Bediakoh, PharmD (Northeastern University); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Cynthia Dacey, PharmD (Northeastern University); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jen Woods, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Monica Zangwill, MD, MPH, (Tufts University School of Medicine).

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