Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Herbal Remedies May Be Risky With Heart Drugs

Researchers Say Some Supplements Should be Avoided by Patients Taking Heart Drugs

Older Patients Most at Risk continued...

Not all interactions identified by the researchers involved herbal or alternative remedies.

Jahangir says taking heart medications with grapefruit juice is a common cause of drug toxicity.

For almost two decades, researchers have known that grapefruit juice can increase dosages of some drugs to toxic levels by inhibiting a key enzyme in the intestine that breaks down medications.

He says patients on cholesterol-lowering statins who take the drugs with grapefruit juice may end up with blood statin levels that are three to four times higher than intended.

"I think it is a good idea for anyone taking medication to avoid grapefruit juice because the effects can last as long as 24 hours," he says.

The Mayo researchers conclude that there is a clear need for increased regulation to protect the public from herbal and alternative supplements that can harm them.

Supplement Industry Reaction

A spokesman for the dietary supplement industry's leading trade group was highly critical of the claim and the research analysis in general in a written statement released today.

Council for Responsible Nutrition Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Douglas MacKay, ND, writes that the analysis represents a "biased, poorly written and contrived attack on herbal supplements," which contained "sweeping generalizations, often not backed by relevant citations, and copious factual errors."

He faults the researchers for not acknowledging recent changes in federal law that require dietary supplement manufacturers to report serious adverse events to the FDA.

According to MacKay, in the first full year the law was in effect, the FDA reported 1,080 adverse events linked to the use of vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal, sports, and weight loss supplements. A total of 672 adverse events were considered serious.

"For the same year, FDA received over 526,000 adverse event reports related to drugs and biologic products, overn 300,000 of which were considered serious, including close to 50,000 deaths," he writes.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure