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Considering switching from St. John's Wort to Lexapro
cammi70 posted:
Have been taking St. John's Wort for about 3 years. It has helped a lot most of the time. Lately, I'm taking it on and off. In the past, I have not tolerated side effects from SSRIs. When I got some Lexapro, the literature said to be off Saint John's Wort for 14 days before taking Lexapro. This has been difficult because I get so moody or worried without it. I plan on taking a tiny dose. I'm taking it for OCD. So I was wondering if anyone would support me in this endeavor. People have told me that an SSRI may make a really positive difference.
I was also wondering if I could just wait maybe about 5 days.
Thanks for any thougths.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
There are really good reasons why you should not be taking even OTC products while you are on a prescription medication. Primarily this is because there can be problems with the liver not being able to properly metabolize both the prescription medication and the OTC product. This can lead to serious complications.

I'm not an M.D., but I do know that this is the case and I would suggest that you make whoever is prescribing your medication aware that you are taking the St. John's wort. Please also look up the side effects for this OTC product since there are some side effects that need to be considered.
cammi70 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Dr. Farrell,
Thank you for your reply.
I may not have been clear when I typed this. I definitely do not plan to take St. John's Wort with an SSRI. What I was saying is that it will be difficult to wait 2 weeks without the St. John's Wort before taking the SSRI. Regardless of how bad some people think Saint John's Wort is, I found it to be very helpful.
Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to cammi70's response:
I understand now. Yes, if you did find that the St. John's Wort was working well for you I can certainly understand how difficult it would be to wait two weeks without it for a new medication.

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