WASHINGTON -- Garlic supplements, often taken in hopes of lowering cholesterol, can seriously interfere with drugs used to treat the AIDS virus, a new federal study concludes.
The study makes garlic the second popular herbal remedy found to interact dangerously with prescription drugs.
NIH researchers recruited 10 healthy volunteers who did not have HIV and gave them doses of an AIDS drug a protease inhibitor, which is a class of potent drugs credited with helping thousands of patients battle HIV and live longer lives.
The volunteers took the drug for three days, after which researchers tested the drug's level in their bloodstream. Then they took both the drug and garlic supplements for three weeks.
Blood levels of the medication dropped 51 percent when it was taken with garlic, the researchers reported. A drop that big in an HIV patient could cause treatment failure.