Are there any interactions between mushrooms and medicine I am taking?

In the vast majority of cases there are no reported interactions with prescription medication. Indeed mushroom extracts are routinely prescribed alongside prescription drugs, especially chemotherapeutic agents, in China and Japan.

There is also evidence from research on the combination of Maitake D-fraction (10mg/kg/day) and vancomycin (10mg/kg/day) in the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in mice that mushroom polysaccharides can improve the effectiveness of antibiotics with an increased survival rate in mice given both the antibiotic and the polysaccharide extract1.

One report of an HIV patient being treated with Trametes versicolor biomass and Chinese herbs indicated deterioration of immune parameters during administration of a broad spectrum antibiotic and it may be that an intact intestinal flora is important for the efficacy of biomass products with the bacteria in the intestines helping to break them down and increase their bioavailability2.

If you are taking blood-thinning medication such as Warfarin then you are probably better avoiding mushrooms which have been shown to affect blood clotting, ie. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Wood Ear (Auricularia auricula/Auricularia polytricha) and Snow Fungus (Tremella fuciformis).

1. Addition of Maitake D-fraction reduces the effective dosage of vancomycin for the treatment of Listeria-infected mice. Reese T.A, Liang H, Tager A.M, Luster A.D, Van Rooijen N, Voehringer D, Locksley R.M, Kodama N, Yamada M, Nanba H. Jpn J Pharmacol. 2001;87(4):327-32
2. The clinical use of Coriolus versicolor supplementation in HIV+ patients and the impact on CD4 count and viral load. Pfeiffer M. 3rd

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