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Rhodiola Rosea and birth control pills?

paula

New Member
#1
I know that SJW interacts with birth control pills, making them less effective. This is why I've never been able to use SJW even though I've wanted to.

Recently, I've been researching alternatives like RR and 5-HTP and I'm wondering if there are any known drug interactions. I haven't been able to find any in my online reading, but I don't claim to have read everything out there either.

Does anyone know? Will RR make birth control pills less effective?
 

Rainier

Regular Member
#2
Drug Interaction

I have not read of any drug interactions with RR and the label on mine only says "do not use if pregnant or nursing". If there were significant interactions the label would add "or if you are using any prescription medications". This is what SJW states, and also adds the disclaimer about photo sensitivity. SJW interacts with many medications because one of the main active ingredients (Hyperforin) is a potent inducer of the P glycoprotein enzyme, which is involved in metabolizing about 50% of the drugs on the market. This leads to medicines being metabolized by the body more quickly, decreased serum levels of these medications and reduced efficacy. I know because I take 2nd generation non-sedating antihistamines, which also become much less effective when on SJW.

Like Ginseng, RR is derived from a root, not an herb. Although RR was fairly obscure until recently, it is supposed to be stronger and have a much more profound effect than Ginseng and there have been medical studies showing its efficacy in reducing anxiety and improving mood. Furthermore, it is classified as an "adaptogen", loosely meaning that it helps the body adapt to physical, emotional and intellectual stress.
 

paula

New Member
#3
Beginning Rhodiola Rosea today...

Thanks for that information! I really appreciate it.

I am beginning to take Rhodiola Rosea today. It is the Solaray brand (500 mg with 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides). The cashier in the store told me that she takes one of these a day and she hasn't been sick once this year and has increased energy.

I looked everywhere in town, but couldn't find any other brands with salidrosides in it (I kind of wanted to start at a lower dose...but this is all I could find). GNC did not have one with that in it. I was a little surprised at how expensive it was!

Does anyone take one without salidrosides in it? Do you think it is working?
 
#4
Paula, I haven't had any success with RR, but that means nothing. A lot of people get good results with it.

What I did want to point out to you is that your selection of products is much, much better online than in any b/m store. The prices are a lot better too. I'm paying about half for some of the things I usually take anyway from iherb. The selection is extensive and the shipping is fast. I have NO affiliation with them whatsoever. If you do look at their site, most products have customer reviews as well, which I find helpful.

You should find a much wider selection of RR there.

HTH
 
#5
BelleKelle;6026 said:
Paula, I haven't had any success with RR, but that means nothing. A lot of people get good results with it.

What I did want to point out to you is that your selection of products is much, much better online than in any b/m store. The prices are a lot better too. I'm paying about half for some of the things I usually take anyway from iherb. The selection is extensive and the shipping is fast. I have NO affiliation with them whatsoever. If you do look at their site, most products have customer reviews as well, which I find helpful.

You should find a much wider selection of RR there.

HTH
If you don't have success with RR then maybe you should try SJW + RR + 5-HTP B-vitamins + fish oils + other herbs and supplements?

= no more depression :p
 
#6
Thanks but no thanks to SJW. It caused me the most debilitating fatigue I've experienced since I had mono as a child. It seems a number of people have experienced SJW exacerbating their depression symptoms (eg, anxiety), and for me, that was fatigue. I already felt horribly tired when I started SJW, but I had no idea just how tired I could get.

I'm still tired, but not as bad as I was while on that.

As for 5-HTP, from what I've read here, that's not for me at this time. It too causes drowsiness. What I need is something to give me back my energy, which is why I tried rhodiola.

Incidentally, out of pure frustration today, I took FIVE 250 mg rhodiola capsules (Nature's Way), felt nothing, just same old tiredness. But! When I decided to call an end to a disappointing day? I felt like I'd had a lot of coffee, so I'm inclined to think that even if I did not have this tired, fatigued symptom, rhodiola just wouldn't do it for me.

I started sam-e about ten days ago and I've gotten decent results. Today was one-off, but I'm not giving up on this stuff.

I think it's all just more proof that just as no one can proclaim that one certain rx AD is the best, no one can insist that there is one certain formula to the "natural" AD question either. All depression, apparently, is not equal.

edited to add: I also take omega-3's (2000 mg EPA per day), along with b vitamins, sublingual b12 and folic acid, along with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Paula: My RR does have the salidrosides in it (or however it's spelled). It didn't work for me, but that does not at all mean that it won't or cannot work for you. If you read through all the sections of this site/forum, you'll see that many people have to try several different remedies before they find one that works for them. I'm convinced that there is no **right** treatment. There are different types of maladies that fall under the large umbrella that we call "depresson" and "anxiety." See what I mean?

Let us know how you're doing. Even though I found that RR did nothing for me, I'm certainly interested in hearing how it works for you. And of course, I hope that you find success, no matter what you're taking. I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. :smile:
 
#7
If you get rid of your depression and anxiety, but just have fatigue that's still progress. Your GP could then prescribe you a stimulant, or you could try ginseng, and a higher dose of RR.

BelleKelle;6030 said:
Thanks but no thanks to SJW. It caused me the most debilitating fatigue I've experienced since I had mono as a child. It seems a number of people have experienced SJW exacerbating their depression symptoms (eg, anxiety), and for me, that was fatigue. I already felt horribly tired when I started SJW, but I had no idea just how tired I could get.

I'm still tired, but not as bad as I was while on that.

As for 5-HTP, from what I've read here, that's not for me at this time. It too causes drowsiness. What I need is something to give me back my energy, which is why I tried rhodiola.

Incidentally, out of pure frustration today, I took FIVE 250 mg rhodiola capsules (Nature's Way), felt nothing, just same old tiredness. But! When I decided to call an end to a disappointing day? I felt like I'd had a lot of coffee, so I'm inclined to think that even if I did not have this tired, fatigued symptom, rhodiola just wouldn't do it for me.

I started sam-e about ten days ago and I've gotten decent results. Today was one-off, but I'm not giving up on this stuff.

I think it's all just more proof that just as no one can proclaim that one certain rx AD is the best, no one can insist that there is one certain formula to the "natural" AD question either. All depression, apparently, is not equal.

edited to add: I also take omega-3's (2000 mg EPA per day), along with b vitamins, sublingual b12 and folic acid, along with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Paula: My RR does have the salidrosides in it (or however it's spelled). It didn't work for me, but that does not at all mean that it won't or cannot work for you. If you read through all the sections of this site/forum, you'll see that many people have to try several different remedies before they find one that works for them. I'm convinced that there is no **right** treatment. There are different types of maladies that fall under the large umbrella that we call "depresson" and "anxiety." See what I mean?

Let us know how you're doing. Even though I found that RR did nothing for me, I'm certainly interested in hearing how it works for you. And of course, I hope that you find success, no matter what you're taking. I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. :smile:
 
#8
Definitely no on more RR. I realized yesterday that it had affected me like a big dose of caffeine.

I would like to know more about ginseng. I haven't seen anything in these forums about that one. Maybe it's too 70's???

I'm wondering what kind of rx drugs there are as for stimulants. Even so, I'm not sure about taking anything like that. If it's just going to be like speed, I can't take it. I cannot stand that feeling. It's never made me feel motivated, just restless, anxious and unable to sleep.

I don't know where you got the idea that I've got anxiety problems. I haven't had any of that in the last few months. Strange for me, yes, but it's been gone for a while.

This might be better taken to a different thread. Paula's original question was about birth control pills.
 

Rainier

Regular Member
#9
How did the 500 mg dose work?

That would probably be a high dose to start at for some individuals. The standard dosage is about 100-200 mg once or twice a day (100-400 mg/ day). Also, some people need to start even lower and make gradual increases.

I bought the Rhodax brand by Pinnacle which suggests taking two 170mg capsules a day for a total of 340mg...one before breakfast and the other before lunch. However, upon taking the first 170mg capsule I knew that I was going not going to be able to handle the full 340mg all at once. It can have kind of a "speedy" effect on you initially. What I did was open up the capsules and pour out about half the dose, which after a day or two was already not enough. Now I take a full capsule and don't feel any unwanted stimulating or sedating effects. I've only taken a max of about 200mg, but feel like I could probably take both capsules now. The point is that you build up a tolerance very quickly. The other point is that if you have capsules you can open them up and adjust the dosage. What I do is pour the extract powder into a cup with hot water and make a fairly decent tasting tea.

The negative side effect I've had both with the tea and the capsule form is stomach discomfort. At first it was mild nausea, but that has gone away. Taking it with food seems to help, although the instructions say to take it on any empty stomach. I already have stomach issues and am bothered by stimulants such as caffeine. Although Rhodiola is technically an "adaptogen" and not a stimulant...it seems to have both some interesting stimulating and sedating qualities. At first I would feel overly excited for a good portion of the afternoon and then get really tired in the early evening. Now I don't feel too much except for somewhat relaxed but lucid all the time and I definitely have less anxiety. However, the lining of my stomach is still perpetually irritated by RR. Also, it's strange that SJW lists this as a possible side effect, but SJW never bothered my stomach at all. However, SJW is more sedating and also interacts with about 50% of the drugs out there. The other strange thing is that I can't really find any information on the net listing this as a possible side effect of RR.
 
#10
I think it's important to acknowledge that what works for one person will not always or even necessarily work for another. In fact, I would venture a guess that is the reason there are so many things and combinations that people try--and discuss on this board.

RR works well for many people. I am not one of them. I have had some success with SAMe, but not everyone responds the same way that I have with it. SJW works well for some, but causes anxiety for many others (and eye problems). It did not work for me because it caused extreme fatigue.

The list is extensive. For me RR is not an option because it does not work.
 

Rainier

Regular Member
#11
Good for headaches too.

That's a very good point, and not everyone uses them for the same reasons either. I personally experience chronic daily headaches for which the typical prophylactic treatment involves either antidepressants or anti-seizure medications. Additionally, only the older tricyclic antidepressants seem to work well for tension headaches. In a nutshell, the default drugs are Amitriptyline for tension type headache and "Dopamax" for migraines, but other drugs such as muscle relaxers have come in and out of vogue. I don't need to list the myriad side effects of these drugs. Although I am not depressed per se, the headaches are certainly exacerbated by stress and anxiety and it is thought that serotonin plays a key role as well. In any case, I have had a moderate amount of success with both SJW and RR...as these are both probably broader spectrum than your average SSRI (ie: their mechanism is more complex than just bombarding your brain with serotonin).
 
#12
Yeah prescription stimulants are cocaine, amphetamines, and related drugs, usually indicated for ADHD, narcolepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome etc. Coca tea is something you could try - it only contains a small amount of cocaine amongst other alkaloids. Ginseng is a great aptogen, you may want to Wiki it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginseng

Cocaine is obviously unlikely to be prescribed as a stimulant.

BelleKelle;6033 said:
Definitely no on more RR. I realized yesterday that it had affected me like a big dose of caffeine.

I would like to know more about ginseng. I haven't seen anything in these forums about that one. Maybe it's too 70's???

I'm wondering what kind of rx drugs there are as for stimulants. Even so, I'm not sure about taking anything like that. If it's just going to be like speed, I can't take it. I cannot stand that feeling. It's never made me feel motivated, just restless, anxious and unable to sleep.

I don't know where you got the idea that I've got anxiety problems. I haven't had any of that in the last few months. Strange for me, yes, but it's been gone for a while.

This might be better taken to a different thread. Paula's original question was about birth control pills.
 

Rainier

Regular Member
#13
Give RR a chance

RR only gives you that caffeine feeling for the first few days. After that you might feel slightly more relaxed and energized at the same time, but ideally you would want to gradually work your way up to the dosage indicated on the bottle (ie: start at around 75-100 mg once a day and work up to around 300-400 mg daily...which can be split up). I was very sensitive to RR the first couple days, to the point of experiencing nausea, feeling anxious, etc. Also, it then make me extremely tired when it wore off at about 5 pm. However, I cut back the dosage and have worked my way up to about 250 mg a day. I have been on it less than 2 weeks, and at this point I don't feel any noticeable stimulation or sedation when I take fairly decent sized doses. What I do notice is that I'm not stressed all the time like I used to be. I've also ordered the liquid extract, so as to be able to taper the dosage easier. Also, keep in mind that RR is not an actual stimulant...it is considered an adaptogen like ginseng, siberian ginseng, etc. However, in Asian medicine they think of panax ginseng (Korean ginseng) as the most "heating", whereas RR is much more "cooling". American and Siberian ginseng are also more "cooling". Regular ginseng is basically more stimulating in higher doses, whereas RR can be somewhat stimulating in lower doses but becomes more sedating at higher doses. Also, RR is considered to be a "second generation" adaptogen, in that it was discovered to have many advantages to older adaptogens such as ginseng. Namely that ginseng can be overly stimulating in high doses and also can cause headaches and other problems. I've also read that panax ginseng has an "estrogenic" effect in high doses...increasing estrogen in the body (which sounds strange if you are a man). Finally, the mechanism by which RR works is different than for the other adaptogens...increasing dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin (up to 30% increase) and beta endorphins in the brain. The other thing about adaptogens is that they don't send your body into withdrawal like drugs like caffeine, amphetamines, nicotine and cocaine. By the way, coca tea is very mild and unlike cocaine...but it's expensive and hard to find and possibly illegal to have. By the way, there are also 2 other families of stimulants available through prescription: norepinephrine dopamine uptake inhibitors (like Wellbutrin) and a family called Ampakines (see Modafinil). I haven't taken either of these, but my impression is that Wellbutrin has much less potential for abuse due to the extended release mechanism. Ampakines such as Modafinil are supposed to increase alertness without the addiction, tolerance, abuse potential.
 
#14
If you are referring to me ( give it a chance), I can assure you, I've been taking RR for about three or four weeks. The reason I took such a big dose the other day is because I was desperate to get rid of the fatigue and to feel something from the RR.

I'm not going to take RR once this bottles runs out.

One more time, folks. Not all things work for all people. There are plenty of people who do not notice RR improving things for them. Until I took those five capsules, I had never noticed one thing negative or positive from RR. I maintain that it does not work for everyone and I am one of those.

On a lighter note, sam-e does seem to work for me. I reduced my dosage and it seems I'm back where I was about a week and a half ago, feeling better. I'm still not 100%, but I'm feeling better, and I know it doesn't have anything to do with RR.

Mark, thanks for the idea to ask for cocaine from my GP. I'll talk to him about next time I see him :dance:

I've taken wellbutrin before. As an AD it gave me very good results. I"m just not willing to do liver damage to myself in the quest to feel normal. I will if I feel like I'm not getting over this, however. It's a good AD, and I cannot see any reason to abuse it, as it does not make you high.
 
#15
They're talking about stimulants here.

BelleKelle;6056 said:
If you are referring to me ( give it a chance), I can assure you, I've been taking RR for about three or four weeks. The reason I took such a big dose the other day is because I was desperate to get rid of the fatigue and to feel something from the RR.

I'm not going to take RR once this bottles runs out.

One more time, folks. Not all things work for all people. There are plenty of people who do not notice RR improving things for them. Until I took those five capsules, I had never noticed one thing negative or positive from RR. I maintain that it does not work for everyone and I am one of those.

On a lighter note, sam-e does seem to work for me. I reduced my dosage and it seems I'm back where I was about a week and a half ago, feeling better. I'm still not 100%, but I'm feeling better, and I know it doesn't have anything to do with RR.

Mark, thanks for the idea to ask for cocaine from my GP. I'll talk to him about next time I see him :dance:

I've taken wellbutrin before. As an AD it gave me very good results. I"m just not willing to do liver damage to myself in the quest to feel normal. I will if I feel like I'm not getting over this, however. It's a good AD, and I cannot see any reason to abuse it, as it does not make you high.
 
#16
Very cool. Erowid.org is always a fun site to hang out on for a contact high too! I love reading about people tripping on peyote and doing MDMA. :wobblyeyes:

To think this thread started out with someone asking about RR and birth control pills? :rolleyes:
 
#18
I can tell you that what I've read here and elsewhere is that it is more stimulating than SJW. My understanding is that it acts on more than just serotonin (dopamine?), and is therefore more stimulating.

My biggest problem/symptom is fatigue, and SJW made that so much worse and I had to stop. I've still got tired feelings while using sam-e, but I'm not overwhelmed with fatigue like I had been.

There's a long thread on here called "the SAMe thread" if you're interested in reading what others' experiences with it have been. I'm going to update my experiences in the thread that I started on it. It doesn't seem like there are many users of SAMe on this board at this time, and first-hand accounts are not easy to find.
 
#19
Too much...too much...I took too much!

Whew...500 mg was way too much for my little frame. The first day I did NOT feel well. I was so anxious I actually paced back and forth around my house for awhile. It felt like I had drank more than a couple cups of coffee and it gave me a headache. I think I'll try a lower dose once my semester is over. I know I should give it longer to see its effects, but I can't afford any days like that right now.

BelleKelle- Thanks for the iherb info.

What about 5-HTP? Does it interact with birth control pills? What about Sam-E?
 
#20
BelleKelle;6090 said:
I can tell you that what I've read here and elsewhere is that it is more stimulating than SJW. My understanding is that it acts on more than just serotonin (dopamine?), and is therefore more stimulating.

My biggest problem/symptom is fatigue, and SJW made that so much worse and I had to stop. I've still got tired feelings while using sam-e, but I'm not overwhelmed with fatigue like I had been.

There's a long thread on here called "the SAMe thread" if you're interested in reading what others' experiences with it have been. I'm going to update my experiences in the thread that I started on it. It doesn't seem like there are many users of SAMe on this board at this time, and first-hand accounts are not easy to find.
Have you considered taking bupropion?
 
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