Ginkgo Biloba Interactions and Medications
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most well-known dietary supplements in the world for improving mental health and preventing from large numbers of disorders such as anxiety, dementia and migraines. Although Ginkgo biloba is considered safe and healthy, you should take precautions with all herbal treatments. Ginkgo biloba may interact with different some drugs and medications (Giftson et al., 2018). Some of the possible interactions are given below:
- Anticonvulsants-Seizure medications
Higher dosage of ginkgo biloba may interact with anti-seizure drugs and cause them not to work effectively. These drugs include valproic acid and carbamazepine (Patel et al., 2015).
- Medication for high blood pressure
Ginkgo biloba lower the blood pressure when it is consumed. Therefore, taking it with blood pressure medications causes the blood pressure to drop quickly very low. A study has also been reported an interaction between ginkgo and nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker used for the treatment of blood pressure and heart-related problems (Wu et al., 2014).
- Blood-thinning medications
Those patients who are taking blood thinning medications such as clopidogrel, warfarin and aspirin are especially at risk as ginkgo biloba may interact with these medications and increase the risk of bleeding (smith et al., 2018). It has been reported that intracerebral hemorrhage occurred in patients who are taking ginkgo biloba and warfarin and spontaneous bleeding from the iris into the eye interior chamber occurred in patients taking aspirin and ginkgo biloba.
- Interaction with anti-depressants
Ginkgo biloba also interact with an antidepressant such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and increase the risk of serotonin syndrome (a life threatening condition). Moreover, taking ginkgo with an antidepressant may strengthen their positive as well as negative effects.
- Interactions with blood pressure medications
Ginkgo biloba may increase or decrease the level of insulin levels as well as blood sugar levels by interacting with medications and drugs.
- Interactions with Thiazide diuretics
A study has been reported that a person who took thiazide diuretic and ginkgo biloba developing high blood pressure. If you are taking diuretics medicine, always ask your doctor or physicians before taking ginkgo biloba (Choi et al., 2016).
- Interaction with Alzheimer’s medication
Taking ginkgo biloba together with Trazodone (Desyrel), an antidepressant medication, may undergo into the coma or unconscious state (Izzo et al., 2016).
- Allergic reactions
Ginkgo biloba leaves extract also become highly allergic as it contains long-chain alkylphenols. Therefore, a person who is allergic to plants alkylphenols should completely avoid taking ginkgo biloba (Gavrilova et al., 2014).
It is important to take proper care to avoid possible interactions with other drugs or medications, which can lead to serious complications. The prescribing physician should be consulted before using ginkgo biloba or any other herbal remedy in connection with drugs or medications. Always stick to the recommended dosage of ginkgo biloba and mention to your physicians if you are preparing for surgery, taking other prescription or fighting any chronic disorders. In this way, the patient becomes protected from suffering these dangerous interactions.
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Choi, J. G., Eom, S. M., Kim, J., Kim, S. H., Huh, E., Kim, H., ... & Oh, M. S. (2016). A comprehensive review of recent studies on herb-drug interaction: a focus on pharmacodynamic interaction. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22(4), 262-279.
Gavrilova SI, Preuss UW, Wong JW, Hoerr R, Kaschel R, Bachinskaya N, et al. Efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in mild cognitive impairment with neuropsychiatric symptoms: Arandomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-center trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2014;29:1087-95.
Izzo, A. A., Hoon‐Kim, S., Radhakrishnan, R., & Williamson, E. M. (2016). A critical approach to evaluating clinical efficacy, adverse events and drug interactions of herbal remedies. Phytotherapy Research, 30(5), 691-700.
Patel, S., & Lalwani, K. (2015). The Scary Side of Ginkgo biloba Is No Match for an Anesthesia Superstar: Seizures. In A Case Approach to Perioperative Drug-Drug Interactions (pp. 925-927). Springer, New York, NY.
Rajarajan, G., Priyadorshoni, S. P., & Geetha, R. V. (2018). A review on the medicinal properties of Ginkgo biloba. Drug Invention Today, 10.
Smith, M. R., Faingold, C., & Mellinger, J. D. (2018). Possible Drug-Nutraceutical Interaction Leading to Unexpected Sequelae After Inguinal Hernia Repair. The American journal of case reports, 19, 836.
Wu Y, Wang L, Dai C, Ma G, Zhang Y, Zhang X, et al. Neuroprotection by platelet-activating factor acetyl hydrolase in a mouse model of transient cerebral ischemia. Neurosci Lett 2014;558:26-30.