Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

Re: St. John's Wort and ADD Meds

Re: St. John's Wort and ADD Meds2011-01-24T22:00:02+00:00

The Forums Forums Medication St. John's Wort and ADD Meds Re: St. John's Wort and ADD Meds


Post count: 14413

because it increases serotonin levels and is broken down in your liver, you should make sure that a medical professional has ok-ed it for you to use st johns wort with your ADHD meds- or any other meds- before using them. you’ll need to discuss it with your doctor, or a pharmacist. they might wish to supervise you more closely, or suggest alter the dosing or frequency of a medication you receive.

i’ve used a high quality st johns wort tincture (under a doctors care) while discontinuing effexor- to minimise the discontinuation syndrome symptoms, (which include dizziness, electric-shock zap feelings in your head, tremor, nausea, sleeping problems- and really suck) and it was very effective for me. i wasn’t being medicated for ADHD at the time.

there are suggestions that st johns wort can make symptoms of ADHD worse in some people- (it can have the side effects of increasing restlessness and anxiety, causing trouble sleeping, etc) especially in those using methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Methylin)- and it is strongly advised that the two should not be combined.

when used along with drugs that increase seratonin levels (like SSRIs, SNRIs, etc) you risk ending up with too much seratonin, which can cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, anxiety, irritability, and so on. not something you want to mess about with. some medications for depression also increase sunlight sensitivity- as does st johns wort- and sunburn, blistering, rashes, etc aren’t fun at all either.

there is also concern that st johns wort can cause problems for people using drugs that are broken down or changed by the liver, and cause them to be broken down too quickly, which makes them less effective.

st johns wort could also bring on mania or psychosis in some people pre-disposed to those things- those with bi-polar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, etc- and may increase the speed at which they cycle between mania and depression.

i’m glad you’ve recognised that st johns wort is still a drug, even though its a ‘natural product’- a lot of people don’t realise that many phamacutical drugs are plant based or derived- and that products from pharmacies and supplements from the shelf can both be extremely dangerous- if misused alone, and/or when combined.

st johns wort is actually banned in France, because it has been found by the french health product safety agency to have significant interactions with some medications.- including very commonly used ones like the contraceptive pill, allergy, cough and cold meds like dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM) and antihistamines, as well as drugs for HIV and AIDS, narcotics, cancer medications…. etc.

it is serious stuff, that little flowering herb. :)