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< class="article__title title"> Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions: Does Lion's Mane Interact With Medications?>
Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions: Does Lion's Mane Interact With Medications?
Jul 21, 22
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions: Does Lion's Mane Interact With Medications?

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

Do you take medication? If yes, have you ever wondered if there are any potential interactions between your medications and natural supplements like lion’s mane? In this article, we investigate the potential drug interactions between lion’s mane and a variety of medications. Keep reading to learn more!

It's easy to see why so many people are attracted to Lion’s mane mushroom supplements: it is a super-nootropic functional food with many touted health benefits. However, there are also some risks associated with medicinal mushrooms along with other herbal remedies. It is always wise to be aware of it. 

The risks of functional mushrooms are usually higher for those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications for any existing health conditions. Like many mushroom supplements and extracts, drug interactions with Lion's mane is something to watch out for.

Although the mushroom is safe when taken with other drugs, there are concerns about Lion's mane interactions with medications like blood thinners or the ones that lower blood sugar.

So, if you are someone using these medications for the treatment of a pre-existing condition, you have landed on the right page. For those who don’t, keep reading to find out about other medications that may cause similar reactions. Understanding the possible risks of drug interactions can help you decide if Lion’s Mane is right for you.  

Keep reading below to explore Lion's mane mushroom drug interactions!

Do Lion’s Mane Mushrooms React With Any Medications?

There is no adequate information available at the moment regarding Lion’s mane drug interactions. However, it is still an area of concern and caution should be exercised when you are consuming both medicine and Lion's mane mushrooms. 

You should also talk to your health care provider if you want to start Lion’s mane or currently using the mushroom, especially if you already take one or more medications. This applies to people who are using medications to manage Alzheimer's disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer cells, dementia, high blood pressure, and others. 

While Lion's mane medicinal mushroom helps with Parkinson's disease, it would be a good idea to talk to a health professional before taking advantage of the benefits offered by Lion's mane supplement when it comes to treating cognitive impairment. This is especially if you are leveraging other medications to treat the condition. 

We will identify some of the specific medications that may react with Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, though these may also possibly interact with many functional mushrooms and herbal remedies.

Lion’s mane mushroom or Hericium Erinaceus may interact with the following medications:

  • Anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs—These medications help users slow blood clotting.
  • Medications that lower blood sugar—Lion's mane may interact with medications often used by diabetic people.
  • Anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs—Hericium Erinaceus extracts have shown that they have a positive impact on depression and anxiety. You may want to know whether you should expect Lion's mane med mushrooms to interact with other meds taken for the conditions. 

Below, we will be taking a closer look at Lion's mane interactions with drugs and what the available research has to say. 

However, one thing we would like to note is that irrespective of the medicines you are taking currently—they could be medications for chemotherapy or medicines to protect you from heart disease—always talk to a healthcare professional before using Lion's mane. The same case applies to women who would like to use Lion's mane during pregnancy

1. Lion’s Mane Extract And Medications That Slow Blood Clotting

Pairing Lion’s mane mushroom with medications that slow or interfere with blood clotting may not be a good idea. The mushroom may have a similar impact on the body, and pairing the fungi with these medications may increase the chance of bleeding and bruising. 

Therefore, before using Lion's mane recipes to enjoy the various health benefits offered by Lion's mane, always talk to your doctor if you are taking medications that help with blood clotting. 

The mushroom has also been known to interfere with the activity of platelets(1) in the blood. These are tiny, disc-shaped pieces of cells that are found in the blood and help form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding. They also help wounds heal.

Platelets rush to the wound whenever you get cut. To stop the bleeding, they become sticky, bind together, and form a clump.

But this stickiness (or aggregation) of platelets inside the blood vessels will lead to the formation of blood clots, clogging them. It then predisposes to various vascular diseases like myocardial infarction and stroke.

Hericenone B, in Lion’s mane mushroom, has a strong antiplatelet activity, which inhibits platelet aggregation and the formation of blood clots.

While this should not be an issue for normally healthy individuals and maybe even beneficial for them, it should be a matter of concern for those that are already taking antiplatelet drugs.

Since both the mushroom and the drugs slow the clotting of blood, the effects are going to compound. You may then experience issues such as more bruising, nose bleeding, increased bleeding (for instance when you cut yourself), and slower wound healing.

It is worth noting that whether you are using Lion's mane pre-workout or you are taking lion's mane for spiritual benefits, the mushroom products will still affect your blood clotting. Before you get a go-ahead from a healthcare professional—who should help you figure out the ideal Lion's mane dosage for your situation—it may not be the right time to take Lion's mane if you are also using blood clotting meds. 

Some antiplatelets that may interact with Lion’s mane include:

  • Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin, Entrophen, Asaphen, Novasen).
  • Prasugrel (Effient).
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • Ticagrelor (Brilinta).

Similar interactions may also be seen with other types of drugs that interfere with blood clotting. Some anticoagulants that may interact with Lion’s mane are:

  • Heparin.
  • Warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox).
  • Fondaparinux (Arixtra).
  • Dabigatran (Pradaxa).
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto).
  • Apixaban (Eliquis).
  • Edoxaban (Savaysa).

Note that this list does not include all the drugs that slow blood clotting and would interact with the bioactive compounds in Lion's mane mushrooms. To protect yourself from the side effects of using Lion's mane together with a medication that slows blood clotting, talk to your doctor first. 

Let the doctor know you are planning to use lion's mane for its testosterone benefits—or other benefits—and then let him know the other meds you are using. With this information, your doctor should show you how to use Lion's mane without suffering from interactions.  

2. Lion’s Mane And Anti-Diabetic Medications

Lion’s mane mushrooms are known for their ability to lower blood sugar of a person with diabetes. Studies(2) on mice, rats, and humans have shown that fruiting bodies found in lion’s medicinal mushroom had an α-glucosidase inhibitory activity, meaning that they exhibited the potential to lower blood sugar levels.

When combined with anti-diabetic medications (which also work to lower blood glucose), lion's mane supplements could cause blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low. This may be a cause of concern as severe hypoglycemia can cause injuries, accidents, coma, and may even prove fatal. 

Before getting fatal, low blood sugar often causes mild cognitive impairment which can make the affected person incoherent and unable to handle tasks. If, say, you are on the road driving after taking lion's mane and your antidiabetic drugs and you end up with low blood sugar levels, the results could be devastating. The effects of lion's mane on top of the effects of the anti-diabetic drugs could result in an accident. 

We don’t want to alarm you unnecessarily. But you should know these are serious and rare side effects that occur when Lion’s mane and anti-diabetic medications are taken at the same time without supervision. 

It does not matter whether you are using Lion's mane for neurogenesis or your goal is to use Lion's mane for brain fog—if you are also using anti-diabetic meds, ask your doctor questions before using Lion's mane in any way. 

The simple act of talking to your doctor before taking advantage of the health benefits of Lion's mane can easily save your life. As noted earlier, extremely low blood sugar levels are one of the things that can put your life at risk. As such, taking precautions is important. 

You may still be able to take Lion’s Mane supplements while taking anti-diabetic medications. But you’ll need to work closely with your healthcare provider to adjust dosing, timing, and monitoring of your blood sugar.

Some diabetes medications that may interact with Lion’s mane include:

  • Insulin (Novolin, NovoLog,Novolin N, Tresiba).
  • Metformin (Glucophage,Glumetza,Fortamet).
  • Bromocriptine (Cycloset).

Note that some anti-diabetic medication producers may have their numerous brand names for their drugs. Therefore, do not just conclude that now you can use Lion's mane for anxiety because your drug's name is not mentioned above. 

Before using Lion's mane for depression, talk to a health care professional to determine if there are any warnings about the properties of the medication that may interact with lion's mane mushroom extracts. 

Keep in mind that you should stop taking lion's mane mushroom if you are also using diabetes medications and experiencing numerous cases of low blood sugar. 

Since you can't stop taking diabetes prescription drugs without getting a word from the doctor who prescribed you the medications, stop taking the edible mushroom until you have talked to your doctor and determined how you can benefit from Hericium Erinaceus ingestion without suffering side effects. 

Your doctor may even advice you to lower your dosage for antidiabetic medications to accommodate as a holistic solution that offers antihyperglycemic effects.

3. Anti-Anxiety And Antidepressant Medication

Anti-Anxiety And Antidepressant Medication

Another question that we frequently get asked is can you take Lion's Mane with antidepressants? When it comes to depression, the benefits of lion's mane medicinal mushrooms are numerous. 

However, if you are worried about how Lion's mane mushroom supplements interact with antidepressants, you may want to know what you are getting into when using Hericium Erinaceus mushroom extracts together with depression meds. 

There are no recorded significant Hericium Erinaceus mushroom extracts interactions with antidepressants. Lion's mane mushroom is one of the best mushrooms for brain health. The mushroom’s brain health benefits are noted in its ability to ease depression and anxiety. 

Lion's mane research studies have shown that participants using lion's mane extracts obtained from the fruiting body of Hericium Erinaceus report fewer signs of depression just after 4 weeks(3) of using the mushroom. 

One more of the health benefits of lion's mane is that it may also make you feel more relaxed and help improve sleep symptoms—this is usually the case when people take Lion's mane before bed

A Japanese study looked at the effects of Hericium Erinaceus on anxiety and depression in post-menopausal women. Those who took the mushroom reported fewer symptoms of stress and anxiety. This showed that lion's mane may be an effective solution for both depression and anxiety. 

However, if you take lion's mane powder or lion's mane extract together with anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, will you experience any adverse effects? 

No studies currently suggest that Hericium Erinaceus mycelium or fruiting body can increase or reduce the effects of anxiety and depression medications

However, more research is still required to precisely determine the exact effect that Lion's mane mushroom supplements will have on someone using depression or anxiety meds. Nevertheless, if you want to take the superfood fungus in addition to your prescription medication, make sure you speak with your healthcare professional. 

Before using your Chaga and Lion's mane mushrooms, carry the mushroom product to the doctor who is helping you fix anxiety issues and get his/her input. Doctors should be able to offer patients advice that helps them experience the mind and memory benefits offered by Lion's mane without suffering from interactions between the mushroom and their meds. 

Who Should Not Take Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Hericium Erinaceus is a safe medicinal mushroom for most people. For obvious reasons, it should be avoided by anyone with a history of mushroom allergy. 

Some people should discuss this with their doctors before starting Lion's mane supplements. They are:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women (as there are not enough studies to prove the safety of Lion’s mane mushroom in such women)
  • Those with a history of bleeding disorders. 
  • Diabetic individuals. 
  • Anyone taking medications for the above condition
  • Those who are expecting surgery in the next two weeks (for risk of prolonged bleeding)

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Lion’s mane mushroom should also be avoided by those suffering from any type of thyroid disorder or on antihypertensive medications. 

There is only a limited amount of information available currently regarding this. Therefore, it would be wise to consult with your physician regarding this. 

FAQ

When Should You Not Take Lion's Mane?

You should not take Lion’s mane mushroom if you are diabetic and taking medications to lower blood sugar, or have a history of bleeding disorder and taking blood thinning medications. Both the drugs and the effects of Lion’s mane mushroom are similar which may further worsen the symptoms.

Can You Take Lion's Mane With Other Vitamins?

This is a very common question among people who are new to using Lion's mane. While vitamins can be mistaken for medications—especially when they are in tablet form—it is important to note that they are not medications. Therefore, when discussing lion's mane interactions with medications, vitamins are usually not part of the discussion. 

However, it is worth noting that overconsumption of a specific vitamin can cause side effects. Therefore, if you are using vitamins, talking to your healthcare professional before adding the mushroom's vitamins and minerals to your diet can help. Your doctor should help you figure out how to adjust your dosage to avoid lion's mane side effects and interactions with your vitamins. 

Can You Take Lion's Mane With Antidepressants?

When answering the question "does lion's mane interact with medications?" we noted that antidepressants are part of lion's mane interactions with drugs. However, this does not mean that you cannot combine Lion's mane and antidepressants. 

If you are wondering about the question "can you take lions mane with antidepressants?", talking to your doctor can give you the information you need to make a decision. The doctor will look at lion's mane and antidepressants you are using and then determine the dosage of the Lion's mane you can use without suffering lion's mane contraindications. 

Is Lion's Mane A Blood Thinner?

Lion's mane is not classified as a blood thinner. However, the mushroom does affect blood clotting. Therefore, one of the lion's mane mushroom interactions is with other drugs often used to keep blood from clotting. 

This means that if you are using a blood thinning medication, talk to a health professional before using the mushroom to avoid lion's mane drug interactions associated with blood clotting drugs. 

Final Thoughts

Many mushroom supplements can interact with other medications, potentially worsening some health conditions or even causing adverse reactions. It is always best to talk to your healthcare provider before adding Lion's mane (or any new supplements for that matter) to your wellness routine. 

This is especially true if you are already on prescription medications, such as antidiabetic drugs or medications to lower blood sugar. People taking anti-anxiety medications, antihypertensives, and those suffering from thyroid disorders should also be extra careful. 

You may be able to work with your wellness professional to create your dosage regimen and sort out the side effects as well as Lion's mane drug interactions to enjoy the benefits of this incredible mushroom.

Have you ever taken Lion’s Mane Mushroom? What was your experience? Did you notice any interactions with medications? We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below and let us know if lion’s mane mushroom has interaction with any of the medications you take. Until then, stay safe and healthy!

References

  1. Inhibitory effect of hericenone B from Hericium erinaceus on collagen-induced platelet aggregation, (1) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2010.05.004 
  2. Characterization of α-glucosidase inhibitory constituents of the fruiting body of lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus), (2) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113197
  3. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake, (3) https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.31.231

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