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CAM Lecture on 'Reverse Herbology,' Oct. 26 in Masur
What happens when people taking prescription medications also use herbal supplements? There is increasing evidence that herbs have pharmaceutical properties; they can enhance, cancel out or adversely affect the clinical efficacy of prescription drugs, sometimes with life-threatening consequences.
One notable example is the well-known herbal St. John's wort, which many people take to treat depression, anxiety or sleep disorders. Research has found that St. John's wort promotes the metabolism of many drugs including the immunosuppressant cyclosporine, the HIV protease inhibitors indinavir and nevirapine, the cancer drug irinotecan, the anticoagulant warfarin and even oral contraceptives. St. John's wort, taken with these drugs, can reduce their concentrations to dangerously low levels and make the drugs ineffective.
Kliewer will present recent findings regarding activation of PXR by St. John's wort and other herbs and will discuss how this knowledge can be applied to predict and prevent harmful interactions between herbs and prescription drugs.
All are invited to attend the lecture. It will also be webcast at http://videocast.nih.gov. For reasonable accommodation, contact Terence Hope at (301) 402-9686, or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.
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