Lion's Mane is a functional mushroom known for its potential cognitive, nerve regeneration, and immune system benefits. While it is generally considered safe, it may interact with certain medications.
Known drug interactions include blood-thinning medications (e.g., warfarin), which may increase the risk of bleeding; antihypertensive medications (e.g., lisinopril), which may lead to additive blood pressure-lowering effects; diabetes medications (e.g., metformin), potentially causing hypoglycemia; and sedatives or anxiolytics (e.g., diazepam), which may result in enhanced sedative effects.
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
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 Lions 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)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Apixaban (Eliquis)
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
- Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
- Fondaparinux (Arixtra)
2. Antidiabetic Medications
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)
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 the rejection of transplanted organs (liver, heart, kidney, etc.) or treat autoimmune disorders.
Research has shown(4) that Lions 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)
Boost Your Brain Health With Our 100% Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom Powder - Claim Your 10% Discount Now!
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?
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 the safety 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.
How to Take Lion's Mane Mushrooms Safely
Lion's Mane mushrooms, or the medicinal mushroom Hericium Erinaceus, have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes throughout history. In modern alternative medicine, Lion's mane extract is often consumed as a dietary supplement to fight mild cognitive impairment and promote nerve regeneration. Despite its numerous health benefits, it's essential to be cautious to avoid mushroom side effects.
Consult With a Healthcare Professional
Before consuming Lions Mane, consult a healthcare professional, particularly if you're on medications. Lion's mane drug interactions may affect blood clotting and blood sugar levels and cause other complications.
Your healthcare provider can assess the risks and help you decide whether to take Lion's Mane or avoid taking Lion's Mane altogether.Moreover, if you have had an allergic reaction to other med mushrooms, talk to your doctor before taking Lions Mane mushrooms.
Start with a Low Dose and Monitor for Side Effects
If you're new to Lion's mane or mushroom supplements in general, starting with a low dose is advisable to minimize the risk of side effects or allergic reactions.Then, gradually increase the dose as you monitor your body's response, ensuring you remain within the recommended Lion's Mane dosage range.
Be particularly cautious if you have a history of blood clotting disorders or are taking blood thinners or any medication that slows blood clotting. For example, Lion's Mane has been found to slow blood clotting and potentially interfere with collagen-induced platelet aggregation.
Disclose All Medications and Supplements to Healthcare Providers
Understanding how mushroom supplements interact with your current medications is crucial to prevent adverse Lion's Mane drug interactions. Always inform your healthcare provider about all medicines and supplements, including over-the-counter products or herbal remedies.
Lion's Mane has demonstrated both antiplatelet and antihyperglycemic effects, which can lead to potential drug interactions. For example, if you're taking medication to lower blood sugar levels, Hericium Erinaceus intake might further lower blood sugar, resulting in hypoglycemia.
By disclosing your full medical history and supplement use, your healthcare provider can help you safely navigate the alternative medicine route and determine whether incorporating the effects of Lion's Mane into your regimen is appropriate.
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?
Consuming Lion's Mane with other vitamins may be a good idea. 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 essential.
Can You Take Lion's Mane With Antidepressants?
It is generally safe to use 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, which 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, consulting with a healthcare professional before taking Lion's Mane or other supplements is essential 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 essential to remember that excessive alcohol consumption can adversely affect 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.
Many mushroom supplements can interact with various medications. For example, Lion's mane medicinal mushroom interacts with antidiabetic medications, anticoagulants (blood thinners), antihypertensive 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 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 mane mushroom.
- Inhibitory effect of hericenone B from Hericium erinaceus on collagen-induced platelet aggregation, (1) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20637576/
- Characterization of α-glucosidase inhibitory constituents of the fruiting body of Lion's mane mushroom ( Hericium erinaceus ), (2) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874120330798
- Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake, (3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20834180/
- Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28266682/