Does Lion's Mane Interact With Medications? What You Need to Know

Does Lion's Mane Interact With Medications? What You Need to Know

Natural medicinals like functional mushrooms offer myriad benefits for our health and well being, and are generally found to be well tolerated, without the added chemicals and potential dangers or side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. But when it comes to functional mushrooms like lion’s mane and prescription medications, is it safe to take them together? 

With centuries of successful use in traditional medicinal practices and countless stories of its positive impact, lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has an impressive track record of health and wellness applications. From boosted focus and memory to neural and mental health benefits, many find it to be a game changing addition to their wellness regimen. 

If you’re looking to harness the powerful benefits of lion’s mane but wondering if it will interact with your current prescription meds, here’s everything you need to know.    


Should I Consult My Doctor?


Before beginning any dietary supplement, consulting your healthcare provider is recommended. Because every body and journey are different, your doctor will be able to provide in-depth information regarding your unique personal health needs and goals, monitor your response to new supplements, and provide tailored guidance.  

Your doctor will also likely encourage you to select the highest quality lion’s mane supplement available to ensure safety and efficacy. This means paying careful attention to a supplement’s dosage and ingredients, choosing a product with well-documented sourcing processes and transparent, third-party testing practices for quality assurance. 

In the case of high quality lion’s mane supplements, be sure to look for a full spectrum option that utilizes the entire fungus, as beneficial bioactive compounds like erinacenes and hericenones are found in both the mycelium and fruiting body of the mushroom.   

And of course, if you find yourself with a mushroom allergy, lion’s mane and other mushroom supplements should be avoided. 


Possible Lion’s Mane Drug Interactions

So, does lion’s mane interact with medications? 

While potential drug interactions are not well documented regarding prescription drugs taken in tandem with lion’s mane supplements, observations have suggested that particular caution should be used with medications in the below categories. 

Blood Thinners

One of the compounds in lion’s mane, hericenone B, has demonstrated potential to slow blood clotting. While this effect can be of benefit to some, for individuals taking blood thinning anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications, which already serve to prevent blood from clotting easily, caution may be recommended. Combining lion’s mane with these medications could mean increased chances of bruising or bleeding. These medications commonly include drugs such as:

  • Warfarin
  • Heparin
  • Aspirin

This precaution includes prescription medications, but also refers to over the counter medicines with antiplatelet properties like aspirin. And because certain supplements can sometimes affect clotting or increase chances of bleeding, like fish oil or melatonin, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before combining these ingredients as well.   

Antidiabetic Medications

One of the many potential benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms is its potential to help manage blood sugar levels and the conditions to which high levels of glucose contribute. In a 2015 study of mice with diabetic nerve damage, lion’s mane was found to increase antioxidants and reduce blood sugar and nerve pain, suggesting that it may be of therapeutic use to diabetic patients experiencing related pain in their hands and feet. 

However, for people already taking prescription antidiabetic meds, this could mean running the risk of blood sugar dropping below optimal levels. Antidiabetic medications commonly include drugs such as: 

  • Metformin
  • Short- and Long-Acting Insulin
  • Glitazones
  • Statins 

If you’re considering supplementing medications for diabetes with lion’s mane mushroom, make sure your blood sugar levels are being closely monitored.   



This class of medications is used to inhibit the body’s immune response in situations where doing so can help treat certain conditions. For recipients of organ and tissue donation, immunosuppressants can be of use in preventing the body from rejecting life-saving transplants. Immunosuppressants are also used in the treatment of some inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. These medications commonly include drugs such as:

  • Corticosteroids like Prednisone
  • Biologics like Humira
  • Protease inhibitors like Amprenavir

Because lion’s mane mushroom can increase immune system activity, it's possible that taking it alongside an immunosuppressant drug could impact the effectiveness of the medication. In transplant or “allograft” patients, taking lion’s mane could potentially increase the risk of organ rejection.   

Lion’s Mane and Mental Health Medications

Lion’s mane has shown promise as a therapy for those facing mood and mental health struggles, demonstrating nootropic and antidepressant capabilities. But is it safe to take with prescription medications for conditions like depression and ADHD?

Most likely. There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest otherwise, but as with the medications mentioned above, the addition of lion’s mane as a supplement should be monitored. 

ADHD Medications

As an effective natural nootropic – or cognitive enhancer– lion’s mane has been shown to support cognitive function, promoting brain health and stronger neural connections to help direct focus and hold concentration.

For people managing neurodivergent conditions of inattention like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), prescription nootropics with benefits similar to lion’s mane are often prescribed. These commonly include stimulant medications such as:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Vyvanse

Adderall, perhaps the most prolific medication offered for ADHD, appears to have no negative interactions with lion’s mane. Some individuals have even reported turning to lion’s mane supplements during recent increasingly frequent shortages of the drug. 

While not conducted specifically for the study of ADHD, a 2018 study showed that taking lion’s mane led to an increase in dopamine in mice. Considering that most prescription medications for the disorder operate by increasing dopamine levels, this could partially explain the positive indication of lion’s mane for ADHD symptoms.   


In the same 2018 study mentioned above, in addition to increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the mushroom was found to help boost serotonin levels. Low levels of these two neurotransmitters are significantly linked to depression, and most antidepressants work to stimulate their activity, giving rise to studies demonstrating the possibility of lion’s mane as a natural therapeutic option. Antidepressant medications commonly include drugs such as:

  • SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft
  • NDRIs like Wellbutrin and Zyban
  • SNRIs like Cymbalta and Effexor 

Antidepressants may also work by affecting production of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that promotes the growth, development, and survival of brain cells. Two of the important compounds in lion’s mane (erinacines and hericenones) are known to affect the production of NGF, which may account in part for the mushroom’s antidepressant properties.

As both tradition and scientific study have shown, lion’s mane is a potent functional mushroom with the power to positively impact both body and mind. While there is little scientific documentation of potential interactions between lion’s mane and various prescription medications, it’s wise to consider the potential risks of simultaneous use when taking blood thinners, antidiabetic medications, and immunosuppressant drugs, and to approach responsibly in the case of mental health medications as well.     

For the greatest benefits of the high achieving lion’s mane mushroom, always look for a premium quality, full spectrum supplement. And, be sure to check in with your body and your healthcare provider before beginning new treatments and to monitor how you’re responding to any medicines, natural or otherwise. 

Supplements are not intended as replacements for physician-recommended medications. When combining dietary supplements with any prescription or OTC medication, whether for conditions mentioned above or otherwise, it is recommended to review all potential interactions and contraindications with your doctor before use.

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