Information for consumers taking St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort is an ingredient in complementary medicines which are available without prescription from pharmacies, health food shops, supermarkets, complementary medicine practitioners and other sources. St John’s Wort preparations taken by mouth (eg, tablets, capsules or liquids) may interact with some prescription medicines, stopping them from working properly.

Transplant: I am taking medicine following an organ transplant and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.

HIV: I am HIV positive and on treatment and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.

Heart condition: I am taking digoxin for a heart condition and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.

Blood clots: I am taking warfarin to thin my blood and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.

Asthma or chronic bronchitis: I am taking theophylline tablets for my chest or breathing and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.

Advice for patients with any of these conditions: You should see your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible to discuss your use of St John’s Wort.

Epilepsy or fits: I am taking medicine for epilepsy/fits and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.
Advice: St John’s wort affects the way some epilepsy medications work. Consult your doctor.

Migraine: I take a prescription treatment for migraine and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.

Depression: I am on treatment for depression and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.
Advice: These preparations may cause side effects when they are taken together. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Oral contraceptive pill: I am on the pill and I am also taking a St John’s Wort preparation.
Advice: St John’s Wort may interfere with the working of your contraceptive pill. Continue to take your contraceptive pill as normal. There is no need to see your doctor or pharmacist urgently, but mention it when you next consult your health professional.

Other: I am currently taking both a St John’s Wort preparation and a prescribed medicine not mentioned above.
Advice: St John’s Wort affects the way some prescription medicines work. Consult your doctor.

I am currently taking a St John’s Wort preparation, and I am not taking any medicine(s).
Advice: There is no cause for concern. If you are prescribed a medicine in future, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking St John’s Wort.

I am already taking medicine(s) but I would like to start taking a St John’s Wort preparation.
Advice: St John’s Wort affects the way some prescription medicines work. Consult your doctor.

* It is important to tell any health professional about all your medications, including complementary, over the counter medicine and prescription medicines.

(By Australian Department of Health and Ageing Therapeutic Goods Adminstration, TAG, September 2000)
Article URL: http://www.tga.gov.au/docs/html/sjwinfo.html

 

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