St. John's Wort and Birth Control- Are Women Aware of the Effects?
the MPR take:
The UK Medicinal Products and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has issued a warning to women that taking the herbal supplement St. John’s wort can interact with hormonal contraceptives and decrease their effectiveness. While this contraindication is listed on St. John’s wort package inserts in the U.K., this specific warning may be absent from U.S. products. The prescribing information for hormonal contraceptive products in the U.S. does contain a warning about this interaction. St. John's wort antagonizes the effects of hormonal contraceptives because it is a CYP3A4 enzyme inducer. Because herbal supplements are not as stringently regulated in the U.S. as they are in the U.K. it is important for patients to tell their clinicians about any supplements they may be taking.
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