(February, 1999)

Tegison and Donating Blood
from Cathy M.

Hi Ed - I just read Jane J.'s mail to you about being denied the opportunity to donate blood because she had taken Tegison [see link at end]. I recall the literature that came with that medication stating that one shouldn't donate blood for three years after discontinuation of treatment, but after that it's OK. My blood is also O-negative and much in demand, but my three years haven't yet passed, so I haven't tested it.

By the way, I wrote you several months ago that I suspected a connection between St. John's Wort and a remission in my P [see link at end]. You had asked that I let you know if the remission continued. It didn't. Oh well, hope springs eternal. -Cathy M.


Ed's Response: Thanks for checking back in, Cathy. And for the news about Tegison and blood donating. I guess that answers our question by verifying Jane J.'s report last month. Both Jane and I were surprised to find the drug prohibited blood donations. That should teach us to read the fine print, eh? More to the point, docs who prescribe these meds should tell us these things. Now, I wonder if the blood banks know three years from treatment is the demarcation point? Jane didn't mention whether or not the "three year" business was brought up in her interview at the blood bank. In fact, I think she was of the impression having taken Tegison means she can NEVER give blood again.

Sorry to hear your St. John's Wort experience didn't continue positively. Your e-mail was propitious as, just last night, Clara and I were waiting to pick up a prescript at the pharmacy and she saw some St. John's Wort on an impulse display. She asked, "What does this stuff do, anyway?" I said, "It inhibits bed wetting, helps people feel less depressed, and some people say it helps their psoriasis." Now I'll have to add: "For P it's a temporary fix at best, but just learning about it has curbed my bed wetting significantly!" -Ed

Turned Down as Blood Donor Because of Tegison®
St. John's Wort for Depression Helped P

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