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

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

Hepatitis Health Center

Font Size

Hep C and Supplements: Help or Hurt?

Licorice Root

The findings from early studies in mice suggest that licorice root, part of many Chinese herbal remedies, can slow the growth of liver cancer, which can happen to people with hep C. No studies have shown clear benefits for people, though. Also, the active ingredient in licorice root, glycyrrhizin, can raise blood pressure, among other harmful effects.

Colloidal Silver

Not only is this compound unhelpful if you have hepatitis C, it can actually be harmful. It's made of small particles of silver floating in liquid. It can cause lasting side effects, including a skin condition called argyria (when your skin turns blue). It can also keep some medicines from working and cause kidney, liver, and nerve problems.

St. John’s Wort

Better known as a treatment for depression, this herb can make some hepatitis C medications stop working, says Douglas Dieterich, MD, professor at Mt. Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. There’s no firm evidence that the supplement harms the liver, but Dieterich says it’s best to avoid it, especially when you’re trying new hep C drugs.


It's best to get your vitamins and minerals from your diet, one that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, Prasad says. Still, some new evidence shows that certain vitamins may help people with hep C. Vitamins B12 and D, for example, may make some standard hepatitis drugs work better.

When you’re thinking of taking a dietary or herbal supplement, remember that the government doesn’t regulate them in the same way as drugs and food. Ingredients and dosing can be misleading. Make sure any products you buy have "GMP" or "Good Manufacturing Practice" on the label.

1 | 2
Reviewed on March 18, 2015

Today on WebMD

Hepatitus C virus
Types, symptoms and treatments.
liver illustration
Myths and facts about this essential organ.
woman eating apple
What you need to know.
doctor and patient
What causes it?
Hepatitis C Treatment
Syringes and graph illustration
liver illustration
passport, pills and vaccine
Scientist looking in microscope
Fatty Liver Disease
Digestive Diseases Liver Transplantation
Picture Of The Liver
Image Collection