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Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Ailments, Ailments A-F, Childhood Ailments, Childhood Ailments A-F | 0 comments

ADHD-Herb-Drug Interactions

  Herbal remedies are generally well-tolerated and safe when used according to informed practice guidelines. It is important, nevertheless, that parents, patients and professionals who employ herbal therapies be aware of the potential for side-effects and drug interactions.

The use of tonic and stimulating herbs for ADHD may potentiate the effects of stimulant medication causing side-effects, or necessitate a reduction in the effective dose. The list below includes some common precautions (Brinker):


  1.  Coffee (caffeine):


    •  Possible contraindications (aggravated by excessive dosing):


      • High-grade inflammation
      • Restless insomnia
      • Heart palpitations
      • Anxiety states


    • Drug interactions (aggravated by excessive dosing):


      • Ephedrine (drug, or herbal ephedra: ma huang) with excessive caffeine may cause:
        • weight loss
        • agitation
        • tremors
        • insomnia


      • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs):
        • may cause hypertensive crisis (when combined with excessive caffeine)


  2. Ginseng:


    • Drug interactions:


      • Phenelzine:
        • Concurrent use of phenelzine has resulted in manic-like symptoms


  3. Kava-Kava:


    • Possible contraindication:


      • Endogenous depression (due to its sedative activities)


    • Drug interactions:


      • Sedatives, Tranquilizers:
        • May potentiate CNS depressant action


  4. Ma Huang:


    • Possible contraindications:


      • Anorrhexia (due to its appetite suppressing effects)
      • Insomnia
      • Suicidal tendencies (may aggravate anxiety, tension, and apprehension)
      • High blood pressure
      • Diabetes (due to its hyperglycemic effects)


    • Drug interactions:


      • Coffee, tea, stimulants (caffeine, methylxanthines, theophylline):
        • potentiates stimulating effects
        • may accelerate undesired weight loss and loss of appetite
      • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs):
        • toxicity in combination
        • wait two weeks after discontinuing MAOI drugs before considering Ma Huang

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