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PUBLIC PAGE
Sep 1 9:08am

When medicines and supplements don’t mix

By Joey Keillor, @joeykeillor

shutterstock_1578880042

 

What happens when you mix herbs with prescription or nonprescription medications? The truth is, we often don’t know. Researchers are studying this question and hopefully we’ll have a better understanding of these interactions in the future. For the time being, the best advice is to think twice before mixing any herb with a prescription or nonprescription drug.

Certain supplements have been recognized as having a high risk of interactions with certain medications. You don’t want to mix medications with these particular herbs without your doctor’s approval because of potential risks. Some supplements of concern include:

  • Black cohosh
  • Dong quai
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo
  • Ginseng
  • Hawthorn
  • Kava
  • St. John’s wort
  • Yohimbe

 

Alternative medicine, home remedies and more in Mayo Clinic's Integrative Guide to Good Health.

What do you recommend for a 67 yr old woman suffering from chronic pain 24/7 whoo has severe anxiety & depression. I'm unable to find a dr. who will prescribe anything for anxiety saying it's dangerous to take it with pain meds. I've taken Clonazapam for years with Norco & the only side affect is I'm able to sleep, I have less falls & I don't pass out as often. I think about killing myself everyday, but as a Christian, I just can't do it. I don't understand why doctors won't listen to me when I tell them I don't care if taking Norco with Clonazapam could shorten my life? Whatever time I have left I would love to feel more comfortable & be able to actually live my life as opposed to just existing.

COMMENT

Hi cb772, Please, Please retrain your thoughts about killing yourself–you are very important to many people and especially to God! Have you tried meditation for the anxiety? Also light exercise is great for anxiety and depression and if there are any support groups in your area for Depression/Anxiety I urge you to please seek them out and go. Check with your local Mental Health Association and see if there are any available. I facilitated a support group for 6 years and the people who came, helped each other so much. 67 is pretty young and if you get the right direction, you should have several more years to have a happy life. There is an exercise program on a PBS TV station weekday mornings "Functional Fitness" and the instructor and her helper(s) give 2 to 3 variations of exercises that most anyone can do and I urge you to check this out. Sending you a big hug to hope you feel better. BAZ

COMMENT
@cb772

What do you recommend for a 67 yr old woman suffering from chronic pain 24/7 whoo has severe anxiety & depression. I'm unable to find a dr. who will prescribe anything for anxiety saying it's dangerous to take it with pain meds. I've taken Clonazapam for years with Norco & the only side affect is I'm able to sleep, I have less falls & I don't pass out as often. I think about killing myself everyday, but as a Christian, I just can't do it. I don't understand why doctors won't listen to me when I tell them I don't care if taking Norco with Clonazapam could shorten my life? Whatever time I have left I would love to feel more comfortable & be able to actually live my life as opposed to just existing.

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@cb772 I completely agree with @baz10. I'm also glad to see that you have connected with members in the Chronic Pain group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/pain/) and the Depression & Anxiety group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/depression-anxiety/).

I think you may be interested in these specific discussions:
– Depression and Anxiety at an older age https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/depression-and-anxiety-at-an-older-age/
– Pain and depression, the one two punch. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pain-and-depression-the-one-two-punch/

COMMENT

I was surprised to see garlic listed here as a possible problem supplementing medications. Does that include cooking with garlic which I frequently do as I like garlic in my pasta recipes.? I wonder about that.

COMMENT
@cb772

What do you recommend for a 67 yr old woman suffering from chronic pain 24/7 whoo has severe anxiety & depression. I'm unable to find a dr. who will prescribe anything for anxiety saying it's dangerous to take it with pain meds. I've taken Clonazapam for years with Norco & the only side affect is I'm able to sleep, I have less falls & I don't pass out as often. I think about killing myself everyday, but as a Christian, I just can't do it. I don't understand why doctors won't listen to me when I tell them I don't care if taking Norco with Clonazapam could shorten my life? Whatever time I have left I would love to feel more comfortable & be able to actually live my life as opposed to just existing.

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Hello. Anxiety and depression can be caused by external things ( events, trauma, etc) or physical reasons, and sometimes by medication.
I’ve seen many times, people who are depressed, started on medications to make them “ feel better” or sleep due to insomnia.
Many medications can have side effects which complicate their problem. Opioids, benzodiazepines( Valium, Xanax) and antidepressants can lead to dependence as well. These must be tapered under a physicians care. It is dangerous to stop suddenly.
It is important instead of treating symptoms, to deal with what is causing your anxiety and depression.
Many times traumatic events, loneliness, and a feeling of lack of self worth happens to people who retire. Some let work define them. Some people( especially during this time) find social isolation depressing. It is important to keep contacts through other means( FaceTiming, phone calls, etc). I see you are an animal lover and that is a good thing!!
Medications can relieve symptoms, and cause side effects. Not getting enough sleep can open a Pandora’s box of problems. Not getting true sleep cycles which refresh your brain, get it into balance, another downfall. I will add that because of post menopausal issues, our sleep hormones, such as melatonin and others are not as great as they used to be. So feeling tired, getting to sleep, and staying asleep is sometimes harder at our age. Read about something called sleep hygiene when you can.
I would first see a good physician, and discuss why you feel anxious and sad. When did it start, did an event cause it, or is it linked to physical reasons.
Perhaps a good start. There are physical, psychological, and medications that can cause what you are feeling. First, find out why. It is better to treat a cause than a symptom. Make sense?
Talking out your feelings is a very healthy way to start. Many people share your feelings.
There are many solutions to one problem. Feeling overwhelmed can make the solutions seem unattainable, and bring about a hopeless feeling.
You are not hopeless. Please start with a good physician. Talk about what you are feeling. Never stop medications without professional help.
Feeling self worth comes from within. Take an inventory of your life and write the things you have accomplished and feel good about. I’ll bet your list is long. The list will grow as you find your perspective change.
Be your own advocate. See an excellent physician. Start at square one. Tell them everything you are feeling.
Finally, everyone’s life is valuable and priceless. It is never too late to realize that.
A great philosopher once said, in order to move a mountain, you must do it one stone at a time.
Start with one stone…..

COMMENT

@equestrian2020 I appreciate your comment. However, I disagree with it. You write about Opioids & Benzos like a person who hasn't or doesn't deal with 24/7 chronic pain. I'd love to taper off my meds but that isn't an option. My overall pain level on meds is 7, depending on how painful my feet are (I have severe neuropathy with pain in both feet). Mobility is limited, but doable with a walker & chairs positioned strategically in the house. Off meds, the level is 8-9 & my mobility is limited to none. I've been dealing with low back pain since 1996. Everything changed when I nearly died in 2007 after my 3rd back surgery. I ended up in ICU with D. I. C., MRSA & other inflections and never got any rehab. Pain & anxiety meds aren't the perfect way of controlling pain & anxiety but they're the only things that help me, out of everything I've tried, since I'm unable to walk well.

COMMENT

Hi back. I’m so sorry about your not feeling well. I do hope you find a way to improve your pain and mobility. It sounds like you have dealt with pain a while, and have run the marathon. Spine surgery is no picnic.
Actually, I do have chronic pain. Bad back. I deal with it without medication, and have minimal procedures to keep me on my feet. But everyone is different. What works for one may not work for the other.
Everyone has the right to disagree.
I wish you the best…

COMMENT
@equestrian2020

Hi back. I’m so sorry about your not feeling well. I do hope you find a way to improve your pain and mobility. It sounds like you have dealt with pain a while, and have run the marathon. Spine surgery is no picnic.
Actually, I do have chronic pain. Bad back. I deal with it without medication, and have minimal procedures to keep me on my feet. But everyone is different. What works for one may not work for the other.
Everyone has the right to disagree.
I wish you the best…

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@equestrian2020, than you for your reply. The only good thing to come out of my 3 back surgeries is that I've been able to discourage others from surgery on their backs or to at least get a 2nd opinion. There are other ways of getting relief of back pain like deep tissue massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc. Thank you for expressing your insights. Knowledge is always a good thing.

COMMENT

Equestrian2020, my pain doctor whom I saw 2 years ago was a former orthopedic surgeon. (We moved so he is not available to me now.) He told me this, "Don't have back surgery no matter what. All it takes is one slip of the knife and you'll be paralyzed." I didn't want to ask him if he had accidentally done this long ago, but I take that advice seriously. Now i can't take opioids any more (they are toxic to me for some reason now) and am on blood thinners, so I will try the things you have suggested. Glad you posted as I was unsure if I would try that. Now I won't.

Liked by cb772

COMMENT
@maryflorida

Equestrian2020, my pain doctor whom I saw 2 years ago was a former orthopedic surgeon. (We moved so he is not available to me now.) He told me this, "Don't have back surgery no matter what. All it takes is one slip of the knife and you'll be paralyzed." I didn't want to ask him if he had accidentally done this long ago, but I take that advice seriously. Now i can't take opioids any more (they are toxic to me for some reason now) and am on blood thinners, so I will try the things you have suggested. Glad you posted as I was unsure if I would try that. Now I won't.

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@maryflorida I should of said this is what I take for fibro The ingredients I checked out don't interfer with my meds but do look and make sure they don't interfer with what you take from Dr. The website for Fibrorelief has the ing. In you can check then with the Integrative Guide that is in a post at top of page here I did see where there is a new Advil Tylenol med that may help with your pain

COMMENT
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