Stinging Nettle Drug Interactions
A number of medications can interfere with stinging nettle, such as blood pressure medications, diabetes medicines, lithium, or warfarin. Drug interactions with stinging nettle could affect your blood sugar, cause dangerously low blood pressure, or affect the drug levels in your system.
Even though it is a natural product, stinging nettle can potentially interact with medications. In particular, it is thought that stinging nettle could theoretically interact with the following medicines:
- Blood pressure medications
- Diabetes medications
- Lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®)
- Warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
The following sections explain in detail the potentially negative interactions that can occur when stinging nettle is combined with any of the drugs listed above.
Blood Pressure Medications
Theoretically, combining stinging nettle with a blood pressure medicine could cause dangerously low blood pressure (hypotension). Be sure to watch for signs of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
There is conflicting information about how stinging nettle might affect blood sugar. Some sources suggest that stinging nettle may increase blood sugar, while others state that the herb can decrease blood sugar. If you have diabetes, check with your healthcare provider before taking stinging nettle. You may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely to see exactly how the herb affects you.
Because stinging nettle may have diuretic effects, it may interact with lithium. It could possibly increase the level of lithium in the blood, increasing the risk of lithium side effects. If you take lithium, check with your healthcare provider before taking stinging nettle.