The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Getting specific about CAM-drug interactions

    Dr. Philip Hansten from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy has spent more than 30 years chronicling and documenting drug interactions.

    In an article in Pharmacy Times, he and Dr. John Horn focus on the risks for people with diabetes or taking blood thinners.

    In patients taking warfarin (Coumadin): CAMs associated with an increased risk of bleeding?

    • Cayenne
    • Willow bark
    • St. John’s wort
    • Ginger
    • Coenzyme Q10
    • Chitosan

    Increased risk of drug-CAM interactions in diabetes

    • Nopal (prickly pear cactus) combined with oral hypoglycemic agents metformin (Glucophage) or glyburide (Diabeta)

    The risk when using blood sugar test strips containing the enzyme glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinolinequinone (GDH-PQQ) such as the Free- Style and Accu-Chek systems:

    • Galactose: Usually combined with glucose in dairy products.
    • Xylose: Sometimes used to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal tract cancers and lower blood cholesterol.

    The bottom line?
    Most support for these interactions comes from reports of individual patient experiences. Few detailed studies are available.

    People using these combinations should consult their healthcare provider for guidance.

    An online registry has been established to collect reports of altered warfarin response due to CAM therapy.

    1/4/08 21:32 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.