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What Are the Herbs I Should Avoid While Taking Lamictal?

by
author image Emma Watkins
Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.
What Are the Herbs I Should Avoid While Taking Lamictal?
Avoid opium poppy seeds. Photo Credit lindavostrovska/iStock/Getty Images

In medicine, herbs are botanical remedies made of a plant’s seeds, leaves, roots, bark, berries or blossoms. Lamictal is the brand name for the synthetic drug lamotrigine, prescribed for bipolar I disorder and epileptic seizures. The medicine may interact adversely with different botanical drugs. Check with your doctor before taking them while on Lamictal.

Evening Primrose

Manufacturers extract the oil from evening primrose for its fatty acid. Promoters claim the oil treats skin inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as premenstrual, menstrual and menopausal discomfort. According to the information website Drugs.com, some health professionals believe the fatty acids interfere with Lamictal’s therapeutic properties and may induce seizures.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo is a traditional Chinese medicine also prescribed in the West by providers in the alternative health field. Ginkgo leaf extract is used for respiratory problems, exhaustion and ringing in the ears. Ginkgo also has the reputation of helping to ease memory loss, sexual dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Some herbal formulas containing ginkgo, however, have a substance that affects your nervous system. Gingko supplements may neutralize Lamictal's action on your nerves, allowing seizures to occur.

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Valerian

Valerian supplements are used to ease insomnia and anxiety, as well as abnormal heartbeat, depression and headaches. These benefits are a result of valerian’s depressant effect on the nervous system. Lamictal affects your nerves in a similar manner. Taking both substances concurrently may diminish the strength of activity in the nervous system and disrupt communication between your brain and other areas of your body.

Opium

Opium derives from the plant known as opium poppy. Its tincture is indicated as a diarrhea treatment. Like Lamictal, opium depresses your nervous system, slowing its function. Using both substances at the same time may impair your mental and motor function.

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