Laurence Lee

July 1, 2022 in Supplements

If you’re looking into nootropics for memory, mood, or cognitive function, you definitely want to know if the supplement will interact with your medications. Whether it’s blood-thinner, pain medication, or especially antidepressants.

I’ll break down a few ingredients to look out for in your nootropics, and which may or may not interact with your prescription medications. But in the end, the best advice is to ask your physician. If you’re taking any prescription antidepressant, you need to consult a doctor before introducing new supplements or medications.

Ingredients to Look Out For

Some common nootropic medications are highly effective for their purpose. Whether it’s Green Tea Extract for brain function, L-Theanine for stress and mood, or Ginkgo for memory, every ingredient in a good nootropic has its uses and benefits. But some of them also have their drawbacks.

Below is a list of ingredients and how they may or may not react with antidepressants.

  • Ginkgo Bilboa: unfortunately, this is at the top of the list of things to look out for. According to the Mayo Clinic, taking Ginkgo may decrease the effectiveness of certain antidepressants.
  • Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: this traditional medicine has been suggested to have an excellent positive effect on depressive disorders. The only negative interaction I could find was with some blood clotting medications.
  • Choline/Citicoline: a compound related to acetylcholine, or ACT, this supplement has been included under its generic and brand names in a number of popular nootropics. Good news–according to the authorities, it has no known drug interactions.
  • Bacopa Monnieri: this herb has been used for centuries for a number of ailments and benefits. According to one website, there were no reported interactions with antidepressants.
  • Asian/Red Ginseng: unfortunately, according to St. Luke’s Hospital, ginseng has negative reactions with blood thinners, heart medications, and yes, antidepressants. Specifically, it may increase anxiety in users of monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs. If you’re not sure if your antidepressant is an MAOI, consult your physician.

Bottom Line

From the research I’ve done, the two biggest things to look for are Ginkgo and Ginseng. That’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it seems that the large proportion of nootropic ingredients are safe.

The bad news is that Ginkgo and Ginseng are both very common ingredients. No matter what, it’s best to consult your physician before buying or taking any supplement if you’re on prescription medication. Take a list of ingredients for your chosen nootropic, and discuss them with your doctor.

Last word, if you’re considering taking a supplement, of any kind, and you cannot find an ingredient list for them, do not take them.

About the author 

Laurence Lee

Lee is a neuroscientist who has dedicated his career to understanding the inner workings of the brain. He has seen firsthand the power of these supplements in improving cognitive function and believes that more people should be aware of their benefits. In his articles, Lee shares his extensive knowledge on the subject and provides unbiased reviews of different products.

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