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Pharmaceutical Drugs that Interact with VALERIAN

Some pharmaceutical drugs react with the herb valerian.  Please use caution when using the herb if you are prescribed the following medications:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)

    Valerian can decrease how quickly the liver breaks down Alprazolam.  Taking valerian along with Alprazolam might increase the effects and side effects of Alprazolam, such as drowsiness. 

  • Sedatives such as Benzodiazepines

    Benzodiazepines interact with valerian and when taken together, may cause too much drowsiness.

  • Some benzodiazepine medications are alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), among others.

  • Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants
  • Valerian is a CNS depressant.  Taking other CNS depressants with valerian may case too much drowsiness.  Taking valerian with sedatives during surgery might cause prolonged sedation.  For this reason, stop using valerian two weeks prior to scheduled surgeries.

    Some medications that depress the CNS are pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), thiopental (Pentothal), fentanyl (Duragesic, Sublimaze), morphine, propofol (Diprivan), among others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) are medications that are changed by the liver.

  • The body breaks down some medications to get rid of them. The liver helps break down these medications and valerian might decrease how quickly some medications are changed by the liver, increasing how well the medication works in the body, thus increasing the side effects of some medications.

    Some of these medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), among many others.