Factors in consuming ginseng with prescription drugs for those suffering from menopause symptoms
Ginseng is consumed by many people all over the world to cure a variety of maladies including the symptoms of menopause. The National Institute of Health has taken particular note of this due to ginseng being consumed as a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements consist of 1 or more dietary ingredients, which can include: vitamins, herbs or amino acids. Among this herb element, ginseng sometimes comprises. Closer attention paid to the ginseng inclusive consumption of dietary supplement has come through the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The survey has noted that up to 19% of Americans use such dietary supplements. Such a statistic sees noticeable fluctuations between age, race and sex and is of particular interest to those on prescription medicine, many of which may be women suffering from the symptoms of menopause. As a phytoestrogenic herb, ginseng already carries with it a plethora of side effects. When consumed with prescription drugs however, the risks for those consuming the combination of medication can prove particularly dangerous.
Dietary supplements are consumed by a wide age group, including women who suffer from the symptoms of menopause. For this reason it is difficult for many doctors practitioners to know which patients are most at risk from consuming their prescribed medicine alongside such supplements. In addition this any noted complications are observed via case reports or clinical observations. Very few clinical studies have been monitored in relation to the dangers of consuming ginseng based dietary supplements and prescribed medication.
One study however monitored at the results of subjects consuming dietary supplements which could include ginseng and prescription drugs. One supplement known as St John's wort has been shown to lessen the effect of prescription drugs, including: warfarin, tacrolimus and digoxin. Dietary supplements that include ginseng are amongst the most popular, alongside those that contain ginkgo, Echinacea and garlic. Such analysis on this issue is necessary because dietary supplements that contain ginseng are commonly used by those with non-life threatening but chronic conditions. This includes the symptoms of menopause and gastrointestinal conditions amongst others.
Despite some of the noted risks of consuming ginseng based dietary supplements alongside prescription medicine, many across the world still continue the practice. This is particularly prevalent amongst people with non-life threatening, but chronic disorders such as those suffering from some of the debilitating symptoms of menopause. Such ginseng based supplements have been proven to reduce the healing capacity of some prescriptions drugs.
JAMA - The Journal of the American Medical Association - Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1968-1974.