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Biomed Pharmacother. 2016 Oct;83:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jun 17.

Review on mechanisms and interactions in concomitant use of herbs and warfarin therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Products, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Products, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Electronic address: rocastilho40@gmail.com.

Abstract

The effectiveness of warfarin, an oral anticoagulant originally derived from a plant, is strongly affected by patient's characteristics such as the age, presence of comorbidities, and concomitant use of another drug. Warfarin has the potential to interact with many drugs, medicinal plants, and food, which increases the risk of adverse events. A critical analysis of scientific literature was conducted to assess the interferences of medicinal plants with blood haemostasis and then with warfarin anticoagulation. We found 58 different plants that may alter the blood haemostasis and anticoagulation with warfarin. The herbs that showed the greatest potential to interact with warfarin include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, St. John's wort, and ginseng, i.e. plants normally consumed as food and also used for therapeutic purposes. The interactions between drugs and herbs are varied because of the complex chemical matrix of plants. Mainly coumarins, quinones, xanthones, terpenes, lignans, and vitamin K showed significant influence on warfarin treatment. In general, these plants can potentiate the effect of warfarin by stimulating anticoagulation in multiple ways, and the clinical outcome associated with this interaction is the increase of bleeding risk. Moreover, potential interactions between herbal products and drugs are a safety concern, especially for drugs with a narrow therapeutic index or for patients receiving drug treatment for chronic diseases, and both of these apply to warfarin pharmacotherapy. Therefore, this review article summarises the data on the influence of medicinal plants on warfarin treatment and analyses this information in view of the interaction targets. The relevant plants were categorised according to their target, and their effects are discussed in order to organise the isolated information and to highlight the need of further discussion and new studies on the safety of herbal medicines and warfarin.

KEYWORDS:

Anticoagulants; Blood coagulation; Drug-herb interaction; Medicinal plants

PMID:
27470545
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopha.2016.06.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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