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.

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    No interaction between danshen and theophylline

    Danshen (Radix Salviae Miltiorrhiza Bge, Salvia Root P.E.) extract is used to treat and prevent heart disease and senility in Asia, according to researchers from China. In some cases, patients might take danshen combined with theophylline (used to treat asthma).

    Since they are both metabolized by the same liver enzyme system (CYP1A2), this study was conducted to determine the risk of a drug interaction.

    First, the details.

    • 12 volunteers took 100 mg of theophylline on day 1 and 15 of the study.
    • From day 2 to 15 they received danshen tablets 3 times daily.
    • On day 15 they were given 4 danshen with 100 mg of theophylline.

    And, the results.

    • There were no changes in any pharmacokinetic parameters.
      • Peak blood levels, the rate of elimination, time to peak blood levels of theophylline were not changed by danshen.

    The bottom line?
    There is no pharmacokinetic interaction between danshen and theophylline.

    However, the limitation of a study of this type is that it does not rule out the potential for a therapeutic interaction where the pharmacologic effects of one drug might enhance or diminish the response to either drug.

    2/4/08 17:08 JR

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