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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  • Recent Comments

    St. John’s wort drug interactions

    In a pharmacy continuing education newsletter (InetCE 221-999-05-056-H01), Dr. Mary Chavez states, “St. John’s wort is the most studied herbal, and has the most evidence for significant interactions with medications.”

    From her article, documented herbal-drug interactions based on reliable case reports, case series, or clinical investigations are presented below. I listed only generic drug names. A useful link to identify brand names from generic names is found here. Dr. Chavez includes more detailed information in the newsletter.

    When taken with St John’s wort the effects of the following drugs decrease: alprazolam, amitriptyline, chlorzoxazone, cyclosporine, digoxin, fenoxfenadine, imatinib, indinavir, irinotecan, mephytoin, nevirapine, omeprazole, oral contraceptives, phenprocoumon, ritonavior, rosiglitazone, simvastatin, tacrolimus, theophylline, venlafaxine, verapamil, voriconazole, warfarin.

    When taken with St John’s wort the effects of the following drugs increase, with the risk of toxicity: buspirone, loperamide, methadone, nefazodone, paroxetine, sertraline, trazodone, trazodone.

    Dr. Chavez concludes, “Pharmacists and other healthcare providers must take an active role in learning about herbals and other dietary supplements to make informed decisions.” Actually, consumers taking St John’s wort will benefit from this article as well. Table 4 is worth the time to download and match the herbal medicine you are taking (she lists 18 herbals) to prescription drugs in order to see if there is a potential interaction.

    To read the article, go here and then click the PDF icon next to the title “Herbal-Drug Interactions”.

    6/30/06 22:49 JR

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