Question

Aloe

How does aloe vera interact with other medications and foods?

A Answers (2)

  • Aloe vera, when taken orally, can interact with oral diabetes medications and cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). When taken orally for prolonged periods with diuretics or digoxin, it can lead to low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia) due to diarrhea. Aloe vera used topically at the same time as hydrocortisone may cause more intense anti-inflammatory reactions. When combined with sevoflurane, an inhaled general anesthetic used in surgery, aloe vera may cause excessive bleeding during the surgery due to its anti-platelet effect. Aloe latex taken orally can cause diarrhea, which decreases the amount of other medications in your system, affecting the absorption of these medicines and decreasing their effectiveness. It increases the effects of the blood thinner warfarin and can cause excessive bleeding. Aloe vera taken with other stimulant laxatives can lead to diarrhea that causes electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

  • Aloe taken by mouth may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when taken with medications that may also lower blood sugar, including insulin preparations or glibenclamide. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or injection should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

    Because aloe contains estrogen-like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered.

    Aloe may also interact with absorption of foods and agents taken by mouth, antiarrhythmic agents (including cardiac glycosides), anticancer drugs, antifungals, anti-inflammatories, antivirals, corticosteroids taken by mouth, gastrointestinal drugs, hormonal agents, hydrocortisone (taken by mouth or applied to the skin), laxatives, non-potassium-sparing diuretics (loop, thiazide), radioprotective drugs, sevoflurane, steroids, sunscreen, thyroid hormones, water-soluble drugs, or zidovudine (AZT).

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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Who should not take aloe vera?