turmeric extract (generic name)

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Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Based on laboratory and animal studies, turmeric may inhibit platelets in the blood and increase the risk of bleeding caused by other drugs. 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®).

Based on animal data, turmeric may lower blood sugar and therefore may have additive effects with diabetes medications.

In animals, turmeric protects against stomach ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as indomethacin (Indocin®) and against heart damage caused by the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (Adriamycin®).

Turmeric may lower blood pressure levels and may have an additive effect if taken with drugs that also lower blood pressure.

Turmeric may lower blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol). Thus, turmeric may increase the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as lovastatin (Mevacor®) or atorvastatin (Lipitor®).

Based on animal studies, turmeric 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 increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a healthcare professional or pharmacist about possible interactions.

When taken with indomethacin or reserpine, turmeric may help reduce the number of stomach and intestinal ulcers normally caused by these drugs. However, when taken in larger doses or when used for long periods of time, turmeric itself can cause ulcers.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Based on animal studies, turmeric 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, some cases with garlic, and fewer cases with saw palmetto.

Based on animal data, turmeric may lower blood sugar. Individuals taking other herbs or supplements or diabetes medications should speak with a healthcare professional before starting turmeric.

Turmeric may lower blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol). Thus, turmeric may increase the effects of cholesterol-lowering herbs or supplements such as fish oil, garlic, guggul, or niacin.

Based on animal studies, turmeric 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 become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.

Turmeric may lower blood pressure and may therefore have an additive effect if taken with herbs that also lower blood pressure.

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): Winnie Abramson, ND (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); E-P Barrette, MD (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine); Ethan Basch, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Michael Bodock, RPh (Massachusetts General Hospital); Heather Boon, B.Sc.Phm, PhD (University of Toronto); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Sadaf Hashmi, MD (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health); Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); George Papaliodis, MD (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary); Michael Smith, MRPharmS, ND (Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Mamta Vora (Northeastern University); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).

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