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< class="article__title title lions-mane-drug-interactions-you-should-know-for-safety"> Lion's Mane Drug Interactions You Should Know for Safety>
Lion's Mane Drug Interactions You Should Know for Safety
Jul 21, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion's Mane Drug Interactions You Should Know for Safety

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    A rising star in the holistic health field, Dr. Sony Sherpa has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Although she started writing on Nature’s Rise one year ago, her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine.

  • |
  • 11 min read

The health benefits of Lion's mane mushroom result from several bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides, beta-glucans, hericenones, erinacines, and ergothioneine. 

The polysaccharides and beta-glucans in Lion's Mane may stimulate the immune system, potentially interfering with the activity of immunosuppressant medications.  Moreover, Lion's Mane anticoagulant effects may interact with blood thinning drugs, and the mushroom's ability to lower blood sugar levels could interact with diabetes medications.

Here, we will examine how Lion's Mane interacts with different medications. Remember that the key to avoiding dangerous interactions is to talk to your doctor before introducing this traditional Chinese medicine or supplement to your diet.

5 Medications That Interact with Lion's Mane Mushrooms

5 Medications That Interact with Lion's Mane Mushrooms

1. Anticoagulants

Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus) interferes with the activity of blood platelets(1). These are tiny, disc-shaped pieces of cells that form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding. Platelets rush to the wound whenever you get cut, become sticky, bind together, and create a clump to stop the bleeding.

But this stickiness (or aggregation) of platelets inside the blood vessels can lead to the formation of blood clots, clogging them. It then predisposes to vascular diseases like myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart conditions. Therefore, people at risk of blood clots in their blood vessels often take anticoagulants to reduce the risk of vascular diseases. 

Hericenone B, in Lion's mane mushroom, has a solid antiplatelet activity, inhibiting platelet aggregation and blood clot formation. Since anticoagulants and Lion's mane slow blood clotting, the effects will compound. You may then experience more bruising, nose bleeding, increased bleeding when injured, and slower wound healing.

Some of the most common anticoagulant medications used in the United States include:

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

2. Antidiabetic Medications

Studies in animals and humans(2) have shown that Lion's Mane treats diabetes, lowering blood sugar levels.

When combined with antidiabetic medications (which also lower blood glucose levels), Lion's mane powder, fruiting bodies, or supplements could cause blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low. This may be a cause of concern as severe hypoglycemia can cause injuries, accidents, and coma and may even prove fatal. 

You can still take Lion's Mane supplements while using antidiabetic medications. But you must work closely with your healthcare provider to adjust dosing, timing, and blood sugar monitoring—this will help you avoid Lion's mane side effects. 

Below are some of the most common diabetes medications used in the United States that may cause Lion's mane interactions:

  • Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet)
  • Insulin (multiple brand names)
  • Sulfonylureas (Glipizide, Glyburide)
  • DPP-4 inhibitors (Sitagliptin, Saxagliptin)
  • GLP-1 receptor agonists (Liraglutide, Dulaglutide)
  • SGLT2 inhibitors (Canagliflozin, Dapagliflozin)

3. Anti-Anxiety And Antidepressant Medication

There are no recorded significant Hericium Erinaceus mushroom extracts interactions with antidepressants. However, due to the mushroom's ability to fight depression and anxiety, combining the mushroom with antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds tends to compound the benefits. 

Lion's mane research studies involving humans and animals (mice and rats) have shown that participants using Lion's mane extracts report fewer signs of depression after four weeks(3) of using the mushroom. Interestingly, however, no studies currently suggest that Hericium Erinaceus mycelium or fruiting body can increase or reduce the effects of anxiety and depression medications. 

Read More: See how Lion's mane extract fights depression.

Some of the most commonly used depression and anxiety medications in the United States include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Atypical antipsychotics such as quetiapine (Seroquel) and aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate)

4. Immunosuppressants

Lion's mane mushroom may interact with immunosuppressant medications because it contains bioactive compounds that may stimulate the immune system. Immunosuppressants suppress the immune system to prevent rejection of transplanted organs (liver, heart, kidney, etc.) or treat autoimmune disorders. 

Research has shown(4) that Lion's Mane has immunomodulatory effects, generally improving immune function. However, if you take Lion's Mane with immunosuppressants, the fungus could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the medication and increase the risk of rejection or worsening of autoimmune symptoms. 

Some of the most commonly used immunosuppressant medications in the United States include:

  • Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf)
  • Tacrolimus (Prograf, Astagraf XL, Envarsus XR)
  • Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept)
  • Azathioprine (Imuran)
  • Prednisone (multiple brand names)
  • Belatacept (Nulojix)
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • Everolimus (Afinitor, Zortress)

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5. Blood Pressure Medications

Lion's mane mushrooms may interact with blood pressure medications because they have potential hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering) effects. 

Taking Lion's Mane with blood pressure medications could potentially enhance the effects of the drug and lower blood pressure too much, leading to hypotension. This may cause symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.

Some of the most commonly used blood pressure medications in the United States include:

  • ACE inhibitors (lisinopril, enalapril, ramipril)
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (losartan, valsartan, candesartan)
  • Beta-blockers (metoprolol, propranolol, atenolol)
  • Calcium channel blockers (amlodipine, diltiazem, verapamil)
  • Diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, spironolactone)
  • Renin-inhibitors (aliskiren)

Who Should Not Take Lion's Mane Mushroom?

Who Should Not Take Lion's Mane Mushroom?

While Lion's Mane treats Alzheimer's disease and dementia and boosts memory, helps fight cancer, enhances the benefits of chemotherapy, boosts weight loss, and promotes cholesterol balance, some people may be safer by avoiding it. Others will be safer if they use these traditional Chinese herbs after talking to their doctor and discussing dosage and the best time to use the mushroom. 

While Lion's mane mushroom is generally considered safe for most people, some individuals should avoid or use caution. These include:

  • People with mushroom allergies: People with known allergies to mushrooms should avoid Lion's mane medicinal mushrooms.
  • People taking blood-thinning medications: Lion's Mane may contain compounds with anticoagulant effects, so individuals taking blood-thinning medications should talk to their healthcare provider before taking Lion's Mane to avoid the risk of bleeding.
  • People with low blood pressure: Lion's Mane may lower it, so individuals with low blood pressure should use caution.
  • People with autoimmune disorders: As mentioned earlier, Lion's Mane may stimulate the immune system, potentially worsening autoimmune diseases.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is currently insufficient research to determine thesafety of Lion's Mane during pregnancy or for breastfeeding women. Therefore, these women must exercise caution if they plan to add Lion's Mane to their food. 
  • Those waiting for surgery: If you are waiting for liver surgery, kidney surgery, or any other type of surgery, stop using Lion's Mane at least two weeks before the surgery. This will reduce the risk of excessive bleeding. 

FAQs About Lion's Mane Drug Interactions

When Should You Not Take Lion's Mane?

Lion's Mane is generally considered safe, but there are some situations where you should avoid taking it. These include if you have a mushroom allergy, bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medication, are scheduled for surgery, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are a child. 

Consult with a healthcare professional before consuming Lion's Mane, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or take any medications.

Can You Take Lion's Mane With Other Vitamins?

Yes, you can generally take Lion's Mane with other vitamins. In addition, Lion's Mane supplements are often combined with other vitamins and minerals to enhance their overall health benefits. 

However, as with any supplement or medication, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Lion's Mane with other vitamins, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or take any medications. In addition, some vitamins or minerals may interact with medications or affect certain medical conditions, so getting personalized advice from a healthcare professional is important.

Can You Take Lion's Mane With Antidepressants?

It is generally safe to take Lion's Mane with antidepressants. In addition, some studies have shown that Lion's Mane may have antidepressant effects and may be used as adjunctive therapy to enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants. 

It's important to seek personalized advice from a healthcare professional because certain antidepressants may interact with other medications or supplements. Additionally, Lion's Mane should not be used as a substitute for antidepressants or other prescribed medications without the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Is Lion's Mane A Blood Thinner?

Some evidence suggests that Lion's Mane may have anticoagulant effects, meaning that it may help prevent blood clotting. However, more research is needed to determine the extent of this effect and how it may interact with other blood-thinning medications or medical conditions that affect blood clotting. 

Suppose you have a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medications such as warfarin or aspirin. In that case, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Lion's Mane or other supplements to avoid potential interactions or complications.

Can I Take Lion's Mane with Alcohol?

No evidence suggests that taking Lion's Mane with alcohol is harmful or dangerous. However, it is important to keep in mind that excessive alcohol consumption can have negative effects on health and may counteract the potential health benefits of Lion's Mane.

Additionally, alcohol can impair cognitive function and may reduce the effectiveness of Lion's Mane's potential benefits for brain health. Therefore, consume alcohol in moderation and avoid excessive alcohol intake when taking Lion's Mane or other supplements.

Key Takeaways

Many mushroom supplements can interact with various medications. The Lion's mane medicinal mushroom interacts with antidiabetic medications, anticoagulants (blood thinners), anti-hypertensive drugs, and immunosuppressants. The interactions between Lion's mane mushrooms and these prescription drugs may worsen some health conditions or cause adverse reactions. 

If you are considering Lion's mane supplementation and are currently taking prescription medications, talk to a healthcare professional before using Lion's mane extract. Also, if you regularly take over-the-counter medications, seeking medical advice should help you avoid the risks of drugs interacting with Lion's Mane. Your doctor can help you determine the best time to take Lion's Mane or the ideal Lion's mane dosage that will not cause side effects. 

Have you ever taken Lion's Mane Mushroom? What was your experience? Did you notice any interactions with medications? Let us know your experience with the medicinal mushroom.

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  1. Inhibitory effect of hericenone B from Hericium erinaceus on collagen-induced platelet aggregation, (1)
  2. Characterization of α-glucosidase inhibitory constituents of the fruiting body of Lion's mane mushroom ( Hericium erinaceus ), (2)
  3. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake, (3)
  4. Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (4)

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