June 03, 2022 6 min read

Lion’s Mane is the miracle mushroom that everyone is touting as a super-nootropic, meaning it may have a positive impact on cognition and energy levels. It’s easy to see why so many people want in on the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane, but it’s important to remember that all herbal remedies and functional mushrooms come with some level of risk. Those risks are usually higher for those who take prescription or over-the-counter medications since there is some possibility of Lion’s Mane drug interactions.

No worries, though! Understanding the possible risks of drug interactions can help you decide if Lion’s Mane is right for you, and can give you the foundation you need to have a discussion with your doctor about how Lion’s Mane may interact with your daily medication routine.

Table of Contents
About Lion’s Mane
Drugs That Interact With Lion’s Mane
How to Identify Adverse Interactions
Who Shouldn’t Take Lion’s Mane?
How to Choose a High Quality Supplement
Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions FAQs
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Lion’s Mane is generally thought to be safe for most people who do not have a mushroom allergy.
  • Certain medications may increase the risk of adverse reactions, especially those designed to manage blood pressure, blood clotting, or blood sugar levels.
  • In many causes, you may still be able to safely pair Lion’s Mane with other medications with the help of your doctor.
A full grown lion's mane mushroom attached to the side of a hardwood tree before harvested and used to make Lion's Mane supplements

About Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane mushrooms is well-known in several areas of the world as an “exotic” delicacy, sought after for it’s tender texture and seafood-like flavor. More importantly, thought, it’s considered an adaptogen and a nootropic, meaning it may have a beneficial impact on the way the body handles stress and could improve certain neural functions to enhance cognition. For that reason, people not only eat the mushroom as part of a regular diet, but seek out high-quality Lion’s Mane supplements to work into their daily wellness routine.

Lion’s Mane research is currently limited, but you can find both human and animal trials in which the supplement is generally well tolerated. In fact, the mushroom was not found to produce any adverse effects in rodents, even when used in high doses. Even though no serious health effects have been linked to Lion’s Mane supplementation, everyone's experience with Lion’s Mane will be different.

Although rare, some people can experience an allergy or digestive sensitivity to Lion’s Mane. The most common cause for adverse reaction, however, is an adverse drug interaction. In any case, you should discontinue use and talk to your doctor if you experience any adverse reactions after taking Lion’s Mane. You should also talk to your doctor before beginning Lion’s Mane, especially if you already take one or more medications.

Let’s dive into the possible drug interactions associated with Lion’s Mane to help you better understand the risks and how they may impact your wellness routine:

Drugs That Interact With Lion’s Mane

To date, there hasn’t been much research regarding possible drug interactions for Lion’s Mane mushroom, but it is still an area of concern and caution should be taken when combining any herbal supplements with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

We will identify some of the specific medications that may have adverse interactions with Lion’s Mane down below, but these are the types of medications that are known to possibly interact with many herbal remedies or functional mushrooms:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Thyroid medications
  • Blood pressure medications

More specifically, drugs that may not be safe to combine with Lion’s Mane include:

Diabetes Medications

Some sources suggest that Lion’s Mane may lower blood sugar. When combined with antidiabetes medications designed to lower blood sugar, it could cause the blood sugar levels to drop too low, which could be cause for concern.

You may still be able to take Lion’s Mane while taking antidiabetes medications, but you’ll need to work closely with your doctor to monitor your blood sugar.

Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet Medications

Medications that are designed to thin the blood or slow blood clotting may also be unsafe to pair with Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane may have a similar impact on the body, and combining these medications may increase the chance or bruising or bleeding.

It's always best to talk to your doctor before adding new supplements to your wellness routine, especially if you already take prescription medications. In general, there are no definitive answers to whether Lion's Mane interacts with any particular medications, so you may be able to work with your doctor and pay close attention to your Lion's Mane Dosage and possible side effects while creating your dosing regimen.

In the event that you have gotten the go ahead from your doctor to take Lion’s Mane alongside your regular medication, let’s talk about how to identify a possible adverse reaction and what you should do when they arise:

How to Identify Adverse Drug Interactions

Adverse reactions, especially those caused by drug interactions, vary person to person. In general, you should discontinue use and talk to your doctor if you experience any adverse effects after taking your Lion’s Mane dose. Some of the most common ways that these reactions present include:

  • Allergic reaction:Mild mushroom allergies can present as a skin rash, digestive upset, or fatigue. More severe allergic reactions requiring immediate emergency care usually present as swelling of the mouth, nose, throat, or face or trouble breathing.
  • Upset stomach:Some people may experience digestive upset due to the fiber in Lion’s Mane mushroom. This is usually not cause for alarm, but may mean you need to adjust your dose or your diet to better meet your needs.
  • Fatigue: Extreme sleepiness can indicate hormone issue, especially if you already have a diagnosed thyroid condition or take a thyroid medication. General fatigue could be normal, especially during the first few weeks of your Lion’s Mane routine, since your body’s adrenal systems need to adjust. Still, you should discuss any changes to your energy levels with your doctor.
  • Dysregulated blood sugar or blood pressure: If your blood sugar or blood pressure suddenly spikes or drops after starting Lion’s Mane, discontinue use and talk to your doctor. This is more likely in people who take medications to control blood sugar or blood pressure.

Read “Lion’s Mane Side Effects” to learn more.

Who Shouldn’t Take Lion’s Mane?

Generally speaking, Lion's Mane is safe for most people. It should be avoided by anyone with a mushroom allergy, and some people should definitely discuss Lion's Mane supplementation with their doctor first, including:

  • Those with bleeding disorders
  • Diabetics
  • Those expecting surgery in the next two weeks
  • Anyone with a thyroid disorder
  • Anyone taking blood pressure medication
  • Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
A bowl filled with Lion's Mane capsules, a popular form of Lion's Mane supplements.

How to Choose a High Quality Lion’s Mane Supplement

As with all wellness supplements, it’s important to consider the quality of the Lion’s Mane you choose. Since supplements are not regulated as strictly as pharmaceuticals in the U.S., you’ll need to look for a supplement that meets certain quality standards to ensure the safety and efficacy or your Lion’s Mane dose. Here are some things to consider:

  • Look for Lion’s Mane made by a responsible manufacturer that provides lab testing for the final product batch. Products should be free of contaminants like mold, pesticides, and other potentially harmful chemicals used during manufacturing.
  • Choose a product with a low starting dose, or go for a Lion’s Mane powder so that you can easily adjust your dosage as you work out your dosing routine.
  • Choose a product that is easy to work into your daily routine, whether its a capsule, tea, or another form of Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane is most effective when taken daily.
  • Always keep track of your dosage and reactions for the first few weeks of any new supplement routine. Having a record of when you took Lion’s Mane, how much you took, and how you felt afterwards can help you and your doctor adjust your dosage more effectively.

Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions FAQ's

What can you not mix with lion's mane?

You should not take Lion’s Mane with medications that slow blood clotting or decrease blood sugar sicne Lion’s Mane may increase these reactions. This may include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Effient), dipyridamole (Persantine), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and others.

Do mushroom supplements interact with medications?

All functional mushroom supplements are different, but they may interact with medications designed to mange blood pressure, blood sugar, hormone levels, or blood clotting.

Does lion's mane affect blood pressure?

Lion’s Mane contains over 70 bioactive compounds that have a variety of positive interactions in the body. Although evidence is limited, some sources suggest that it may help to lower blood pressure.

Can I take reishi and lion's mane together?

In general, yes, you can take Lion’s Mane and Reishi at the same time. Many people consider the synergistic benefits of a functional mushroom blend to be more beneficial than any one mushroom taken on its own.

Resources

1. “Haematological, biochemical and histopathological aspects of Hericium erinaceus ingestion in a rodent model: A sub-chronic toxicological assessment” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27816657/

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