Rhubarb

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Are there any interactions with medications?



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rhubarb is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).



Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications for inflammation can decrease potassium in the body. Rhubarb is a type of laxative that might also decrease potassium in the body. Taking rhubarb along with some medications for inflammation might decrease potassium in the body too much.

Some medications for inflammation include dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (Deltasone), and others.



Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rhubarb is a laxative. Laxatives can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs. Decreasing how much medicine your body absorbs can decrease the effectiveness of your medication.



Medications that can harm the kidneys (Nephrotoxic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Taking rhubarb might harm the kidneys in some people. Some medications can also harm the kidneys. Taking rhubarb with medications that can harm the kidneys might increase the chance of kidney damage.

Some of these medications that can harm the kidneys include cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); aminoglycosides including amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin, Gentak, others), and tobramycin (Nebcin, others); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, others), indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene); and numerous others.



Stimulant laxatives
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rhubarb is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives speed up the bowels. Taking rhubarb along with other stimulant laxatives could speed up the bowels too much and cause dehydration and low minerals in the body.

Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.



Warfarin (Coumadin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rhubarb can work as a laxative. In some people, rhubarb can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin, do not take excessive amounts of rhubarb.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rhubarb is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking rhubarb along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.

Some "water pills" that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing considerations for Rhubarb.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For treatment of cold sores: a cream containing 23 mg/gram each of rhubarb extract and sage extract applied every 2 to 4 hours while awake, with treatment starting within one day of symptom appearance and continuing for 10 to 14 days.

Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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