I have heard time and again about taking milk thistle for lots of liver issues/health, and in my case , Hep C. Always wondered about taking it with methadone.
Saw a post on a support group for HepC and wanted to share it here.....
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From Liver Support News
To learn about milk thistle, its value to an impaired liver and its
suspected side effects and drug interactions – click below:http://emm.natural-wellness.comr.ht..
Milk Thistle Concerns
As with any consumable that exerts a strong effect on the body, there are several caveats to be aware of when supplementing with silymarin:
• Loose Stool – Despite being virtually devoid of side effects, milk thistle’s stimulation of liver and gallbladder activity can have a mild laxative effect in sensitive individuals. If this is the case, experts suggest backing off on the dosage until normal bowel movements are restored.
• Birth Control – Milk thistle may be capable of reducing the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. One constituent of milk thistle may inhibit an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which is involved in the activity of oral contraceptives. Thus, women on oral contraceptives who take milk thistle supplements may want to include a barrier method into their pregnancy prevention plans.
• Liver Enzyme Inhibition – Certain medications metabolized through the hepatic cytochrome P-450 (especially the enzyme CYP3A4) may be affected by milk thistle. Studies suggesting milk thistle interferes with some drugs have delivered inconsistent results. However, University of Pittsburgh researchers published their findings in 2000 that silymarin inhibits cytochrome P-450. Their finding implies that drugs metabolized by these enzymes remain in the blood longer with milk thistle than they otherwise might.
This lone study is the basis for most of the concern about drug interactions with silymarin. Although many practitioners believe otherwise, some suspect that the following medications may stay in the blood longer in those who also use milk thistle:
• Heart drugs – Tambocor (flecainide), Rythmol (propafenone)
• Antibiotics – Erythromycin, Rifampin
• Anti-seizure drugs – Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
• Antidepressants – St. John’s wort, Zyban/Wellbutrin (bupropion), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxetine) Serzone (nefazodone), Zoloft (sertraline), Effexor (venlafaxine)
• Antihistamines – Hismanal (astemizole), Seldane (terfenadine)
• Antifungals – Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
• Gastrointestinal motility agents – Prepulsid (Cisapride)
• Ergot drugs – Ergonovine, Ergomar (ergotamine)
• Anti-psychotics – Clozaril (clozapine), Orap (pimozide)
• Sedatives/sleeping pills – Ambien (zolpidem), Halcion (triazolam), Versed (midazolam)
• HIV medications – Indinavir (Crixivan)
• Lipid-lowering drugs (statins) – Lescol (fluvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin), Baycol (cerivastatin)
• Transplant drugs – cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), ProGraf (tacrolimus)
Nonetheless, those on any of these (or another drug metabolized via hepatic cytochrome P-450) are wise to discuss their silymarin supplementation plans with their physician. Many physicians recognize that the evidence suggesting milk thistle interferes with certain medications is tenuous, and that there are great benefits of milk thistle for someone with chronic liver disease. To account for the possibility of interference with cytochrome P-450, physicians often advise periodic blood tests to determine drug levels instead of skipping silymarin.
When a substance is potent enough to have real benefits to the human body, it may harbor the potential to do harm under just the right conditions. Despite its stellar safety profile, milk thistle is no exception.