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Watch Bleeding in Patients on Ginkgo, Anticoagulants. (Antiplatelet Activity).

NEW YORK -- Ginkgo biloba extract, which is nown for enhancing memory and cognition, places patients taing anticoagulants at additional ris for bleeding, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman said at a meeting on botanical medicine sponsored by the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Gingko's reputation for enhancing memory and cognition has resulted in its use among older peopleuthe same patient population most liely to be taing anticoagulants.

Ginkgo increases small-vessel and cerebral artery blood flow and interferes with platelet function. Reports have lined the herb with cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage and subdural hematoma. Intracerebral hemorrhage has been reported in patients taing gingo and warfarin, and hyphema has been reported in patients taing gingo with aspirin.

Extracts of the herb also exert an antagonistic action on platelet activating factor (Antioxid. Redox. Signal. 1[4]:469-80, 1999). Platelet effects, rather than interference with the coagulation cascade, are responsible for gingos anticoagulant activity, said Dr. Pugh-Berman of George Washington University, Washington. This is important because you wont pic up problems with gingo with prothrombin time or partial thromboplastin time testing. You have to do platelet function tests or measure bleeding time, she said at the meeting, which was also sponsored by the University of Arizona.
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Author:Walsh, Nancy
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Previous Article:St. John's Wort Raises the Risk of Rejection in Transplant Patients. (Interferes with Cyclosporine).
Next Article:Three 'Mis-es' Responsible for Unsafe Herbal Use Among Patients. (Misuse, Misrepresentation, Mislabeling).

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