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Dear BD: Can I take Effexor, 5-HTP, and St. John’s Wort at the same time?

May 14, 2011 10:37 am

Hmmm. Interesting question, from the search terms someone used to find my site. Well, I s’pose you can do anything you want to, as long as you’re not too particular about the outcome. But just for kicks, and out of a sense of professional duty, let me give you some feedback off the top of my head:

  1. Consult your doctor or nurse practitioner, please!
  2. Too many serotonergic (substances that increase available serotonin, such as everything you mentioned) drugs in the mix poses a real danger of a Serotonin Storm, with symptoms that include
    • headache
    • shivering
    • sweating
    • agitation
    • muscle twitching
    • high blood pressure
    • rapid heart rate
    • nausea
    • diarrhea
    • tremors
    • mental confusion
    • hyperthermia, which can give you
      • a fever of 106°F
      • excess acid in your system (↓ cognitive function, ↑ abdominal pain) (this is called metabolic acidosis)
      • breakdown of skeletal muscles (this is called rhabdomyolysis)
      • seizures
      • kidney failure
      • blood clots in some parts, uncontrolled bleeding in other parts (this is called disseminated intravascular coagulopathy)
    • hallucinations
    • coma
    • death
  3. Why are you not asking your doctor or nurse practitioner about this? Please, go, now!
2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2011 4:31 am 4:31 am

    Ooh gosh, no, person in question, you shouldn’t take St John’s Wort with ANY antidepressants. It should say that on your little information sheet. I’m assuming it’s the same with 5-HTT.

    • May 15, 2011 11:29 am 11:29 am

      Thanks for saying the same thing I said only in a much snottier tone, “Sir.” I can tell you’re going to be a helpful addition to my stable of commenteurs.

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