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Pharmacy and Medications

Drug Interaction

03/23/2010

Question:

Is it ok to take aspirin,metoprolol,plavix,lescol and beta prostrate together.

Answer:

Super Beta Prostate is an herbal product whose main ingredient is beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol has been used for lowering cholesterol and improving urine flow in men with enlarged prostates (benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH). The exact way beta-sitosterol works is unknown; however, it is thought to interfere with the way the body makes cholesterol and decreases inflammation in the prostate.

A few studies have been performed to assess the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol in treating BPH. The data suggest that symptoms of BPH may be reduced by 35% when taking beta-sitosterol when compared to placebo. The trials used doses of 60-195mg daily of beta-sitosterol. Super Beta Prostate contains 250mg per capsule, and the recommended dose is 2 capsules per day. This higher dose may lead to an increased risk for side effects such as upset stomach and diarrhea. The longest study conducted on beta-sitosterol was only 26 weeks. This does not allow us to know what the long term safety of the product is.

There are many prescription only products that are prescribed for BPH such as terazosin, doxazosin, Avodart and Flomax. No trials have been conducted to compare the currently prescribed medications and beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol will only treat the symptoms of BPH (such as difficulty urinating, increased frequency of urination, etc) and will not decrease the size of the prostate. There are no currently known drug interactions with Super Beta Prostate and the other drugs listed above.

The potential for two minor drug interactions was found with the combination of the above medications. The first is an interaction between aspirin and Plavix. Both drugs decrease the body’s ability to clot properly which may lead to an increased risk of bleeding. The patient should notify their physician if they notice any abnormal bleeding.

The second is an interaction between Plavix and Lescol. Plavix may interfere with the way the body gets rid of Lescol which may increase the levels of the drug in the body. Increased drug levels may lead to an increased risk for side effects, such as upset stomach, abdominal pain, nausea, and muscle weakness. If a patient experiences these reactions they should report it to their physician.

The interactions between these drugs are, for the most part minor, and the drugs may be safely used in combination under the guidance of a physician and proper patient education.

Submitted by Anne Kellogg, PharmD candidate, University of Cincinnati

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Response by:

Jan Scaglione, MT, PharmD, D.ABAT
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati