Danger of Ginkgo Biloba &
Ginkgo Biloba being new
in market makes people doubt "Is Ginkgo Biloba harmful?"
There are some Ginkgo Biloba side effects but these are very mild and
have no importance as compared to the benefits
Ginkgo Biloba provides.
Though Ginkgo Biloba falls under the category of herbal remedies but still
it needs the supervision of a doctor when being administered.
Make sure your doctor knows what other medicines you are taking, when
you started taking Ginkgo Biloba extract, in which form
you are taking it and for what purpose you are taking the
Ginkgo Biloba extracts?
Biloba extracts tend to have anti clotting effect and
it increases the circulation, so care should be taken when
using it along the blood diluting drugs such as Warfrin,
Heparin, Aspirin or any other medicine.
If used along these serious adverse effects
can happen like intracranial hemorrhage. Pregnant and breastfeeding
women should avoid using ginkgo preparations.
There can be serious bleeding at the
time of delivery so Ginkgo Biloba is not advised in pregnancy
and lactation phases. In addition, ginkgo use should be
discontinued at least 36 hours prior to surgery due to the
risk of bleeding complications. Do not ingest Ginkgo Biloba
fruit or seed. Many human toxic reactions are reported if
the leaves or the fruit has been ingested.
Usually minor side effects do happen
but for initial few days. These side effects are gastrointestinal
upset, headaches, skin irritations, minor rashes and dizziness.
There are certain drug reactions that need to be taken care
of when taken along, or should be avoided if possible. The
list of the medicines that tend to react is as follows:
High doses of Ginkgo could decrease
the efficacy of anticonvulsant therapy, such as Carbamazepine
or Valproic acid, in controlling seizures.
Taking ginkgo along with selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) antidepressants, including Fluoxetin,
Sertraline, Paroxetine, and Escitalopram may cause serotonin
syndrome. This condition is characterized by rigidity, tachycardia,
hyperthermia, restlessness, and diaphoresis.
Ginkgo may decrease
blood pressure, so use of ginkgo along with prescription
antihypertensive medications should be monitored by a health
care provider. There has been a report of an interaction
between Ginkgo and Nifedipine which is a calcium channel
blocking drug used for blood pressure and arrhythmias.
Anti coagulating medications
Ginkgo has blood-thinning properties
and therefore should be avoided with aspirin, Clopidogrel,
Dipyridamole, Heparin, Ticlopidine, or Warfarin. There has
been bleeding in the brain reported when using a ginkgo
product and ibuprofen a known NSAID.
Blood sugar lowering medications
Ginkgo increases insulin levels in healthy
subjects and to decrease insulin levels in diabetic patients.
Use ginkgo supplements under the supervision of a health
care provider if you are diabetic and taking insulin or
oral blood sugar lowering drugs.
Ginkgo Biloba may help protect the cells
of the body during treatment with the immunosuppressive
Although there has been one literature
report of increased
blood pressure associated with the use of ginkgo during
treatment with Thiazide diuretics, this interaction has
not been verified by clinical trials. Nevertheless, you
should consult with your health care provider before using
ginkgo if you are taking Thiazide diuretics.