Cautions with St. John's Wort, others?

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Question from Susie: Are there any cautions that should be considered with St. John's Wort or any of the other complementary medications?
Answers - Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. We need to be very respectful of the body and the way it handles drugs. In addition, interactions with complementary therapies have been shown. For example, St. John's Wort, to use the example Dr. Benor gave, has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of irinotecan, a new chemotherapy agent.

In addition, ginko biloba is a blood thinner and may be ill-advised in some patients going to surgery or with a bleeding tendency. Don't hesitate to talk with your treating oncologist and surgeon about what you are taking, both prescription and non-prescription drugs, so that you can receive the best treatment from all of your providers.

On Wednesday, October 20, 2004, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Complementary and Holistic TechniquesDan Benor, M.D.,Larry Lachman, Psy.D., and moderator Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. answered your questions about the various complementary and holistic treatments that may benefit those with breast cancer.


The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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