Herbal medicines can have adverse effects too

There is a popular misconception that herbal medicines, because they are natural and can be bought without a prescription, do not have any side effects.

The popular herbal remedy St. John’s Wort, which is commonly used for treating depression, has been found to cause the same sort of adverse reactions as prescription antidepressants in a study conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Herbal medicines can have side effects too

According to the study St. John’s Wort can produce dangerous increases in body temperature and blood pressure, similar to adverse reactions seen with the prescription medicine fluoxetine, and serious side effects can occur if the two drugs are taken together.

Often adverse reactions from herbal medicines go unreported because they are not widely used or because they are not considered drugs. You should start thinking of St John’s Wort, and other herbal medicines, as medicines and seek advice from your pharmacist to be sure you can use them safely.