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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Nuvaring and St John's Wort interactions

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Author Topic: Nuvaring and St John's Wort interactions
Kotori
Activist
Member # 17839

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Hey everyone,

I have recently been diagnosed with reactive clinical depression. I have tried psychotherapy and meditation but they have helped comparatively little. My psychotherapist suggested trying antidepressants as well, and I later saw a psychiatrist to get some info on them, but I wasn't convinced and honestly this psychiatrist's attitude felt somewhat pushy. I am not keen on the idea of taking antidepressants and have considered turning to perhaps some herbal supplement or vitamins instead, that might just give me that push I need everyday.

I have read good things about St John's Wort with some studies finding it as effective as Prozac. However I am on Nuvaring right now and have read that St John's Wort can interact with it. Does anyone here have any experience with this? Information online is unclear and frankly neither my doctors or this psychiatrist seem willing to help me find alternatives...

Thanks for any input, will be very appreciated

Posts: 80 | From: USA | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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Have you been able to find information online that is from medically reliable sources, such as well-known medical clinics or other well-known, well-vetted health organizations?

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kotori
Activist
Member # 17839

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I have found this info on the UK's National Health Service (NHS) site, health sites like Medline Plus (which as far as I know comes from the US NIH) and WebMD, the University of Maryland Medical Center, or the Mayo Clinic website. They all mention that the studies are still not so many and some are inconclusive, but some others suggest an efficacy as high as the most common antidepressants on the market, when treating mild-moderate depression.

(part of the reason I feel wary about taking antidepressants is actually that I am finding/receiving lots of contradictory information and this makes me uncomfortable. Some reliable sources mention controversy regarding trials and efficacy, plus bias in publishing of positive result trials vs negative result trials... and the fact that finding a good match to each person seems hard and not necessarily a given, ie, they might not work in all cases. Plus side-effects and withdrawal issues. However this psychiatrist told me they were all definitely very safe and very effective and would work)

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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I'll take a look and see what the scientific data on ST. John's Wort and hormonal birth control says, if you'd like another opinion. It might take me a day or two, and I'll also check with other Scarleteen staff and volunteers to see if they have any information on this.

Have you spoken with a pharmacist about this? Pharmacists are often (well, they're supposed to always be) up on the data regarding interactions between medications, which includes supplements if they've been studied.

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Robin

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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This is the one supplement that has been connected to some potential interactions with oral contraceptives, specifically. I'm not aware, however, of interactions specifically connected between it and other kinds of combined hormonal contraceptives like your ring.

Like Robin suggested, I'd say your best bet is to check with your pharmacist.

I would mention, though, that St. John's Wort effectively works in the same way medications like Prozac do. So, while yes, it's more "natural" in that it's not a synthetic compound, it's basically still an SSRI.

So, by all means, if you want to try it for a month or so to see if it works for you, I see no reason not to try unless the healthcare providers you have been seeing are urging you strongly against it or feel the treatment they are suggesting for your depression is a sounder choice for you.

And if you get a bunch of question marks about if it'll interact with your ring or not, you can just back up with condoms.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kotori
Activist
Member # 17839

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I have not spoken to a pharmacist yet but I will tomorrow. And indeed if I have even the slightest doubt I'll back it up with condoms - I just wanted to get my facts straight anyway.
Thanks for your answers Robin and Heather [Smile]

Posts: 80 | From: USA | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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