Which Supplements Should People Living With HIV Avoid?
May 22, 2013
Is it ok to have anything with echinacea in it while on this medicine?
Response from Dr. Young
Hi and thanks for posting.
It's important to be mindful of possible negative interactions between HIV medications and other drugs, supplements and herbs. The most significant interactions are between St. John's wort and HIV meds, especially those (like PIs) that are metabolized by the liver cytochrome P450 system.
There are scant well designed studies to examine the herb-drug interactions of echinacea. The best of the lot is this study looking at Echinacea and the NNRTI etravirine- the results of which convincingly show no significant interaction. It's reasonable to extrapolate (though it's just that, an extrapolation) to the NNRTI rilpivirine in Complera. One would not expect interactions with the NRTIs (tenofovir and FTC).
When taking supplements and herbs, one should also be mindful that there's often little good science to support the safety or effectiveness of the product. I recommend looking at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine webpages for the most balanced and up to date review.
I hope that helps, BY www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Meds/Q229639.h
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