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Wednesday, 1 March, 2000, 13:39 GMT
St John's Wort: the advice
St John's Wort
Advice issued on St John's Wort
The government has issued advice on the use of St John's Wort with prescription medicines. BBC News Online outlines the guidance.




For people currently taking a St John's Wort preparation, but not taking any medicine.

If you buy a medicine from a pharmacy or are prescribed a medicine by your doctor you must tell your pharmacist or doctor about the St John's Wort preparation.

People already taking medicine who would like to start taking a St John's Wort preparation.

You must not take a St John's Wort preparation until you have checked with your pharmacist or doctor that it is safe for to do so.

People on anti-convulsants for epilepsy or fits, theophylline for asthma or bronchitis, warfarin for blood clots, digoxin for a heart condition, or cyclosporin following a transplant, who are also taking a St John's Wort preparation.

You will need to stop taking the St John's Wort preparation as it may stop your medicine from working properly. However, you should see your pharmacist or doctor before doing so as the dose of your medicine may need to be altered to prevent side effects.

Women using the contraceptive pill who also take a St John's Wort preparation.

You should stop taking the St John's Wort preparation as it may stop your pill from working. Continue to take your contraceptive pill as normal.

There is no need to see your pharmacist or doctor urgently, however, mention it when you next consult your doctor or are dispensed a medicine.

People taking treatment for migraine or depression who are also taking a St John's Wort preparation.

You should stop taking the St John's Wort preparation as it may stop your medicine from working. There is no need to see your pharmacist or doctor urgently, however, mention it when you next consult your doctor or are dispensed a medicine.

People who are HIV positive and on treatment and are also taking a St John's Wort preparation.

You should stop taking the St John's Wort preparation and see your doctor who may suggest you have your HIV viral load checked.

People taking both a St John's Wort preparation and a prescribed medicine not mentioned above.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor that you are taking a St John's Wort preparation when you are next dispensed a medicine, or consult your doctor.

It is important to always tell your pharmacist or doctor about any herbal remedy or over the counter medicine you are taking.

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01 Mar 00 |  Health
St John's Wort warning
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