Turmeric and Ruxolitinib: I have been taking... - MPN Voice

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Turmeric and Ruxolitinib

Heather270240 profile image

I have been taking Turmeric Shots for sometime and found them a tremendous benefit in easing the inflammation for my OA. However in March I started taking Ruxolitinib and Pharmacy at Guys said I must stop taking the Turmeric. I'm gutted. I stopped about a month ago and the pain has returned big time. Does anyone taking Ruxolitinib also take Turmeric or perhaps someone may know what the reactions are.

36 Replies

In what form was the turmeric?

Liquid daily shots.

Hi Heather,I was thinking about taking tumeric tablets for problem of osteo arthritis,Itake Ruxolitnib,why is it not ok to take the both,were you told?Iwas going to ask my GP perhaps I had better.Best to you,we are similar in age by the way,been on Rux 3 years now.

Heather270240 profile image
Heather270240 in reply to Inca

I am under Guy's and before taking Ruxolitinib I had to tell them what supplements I Was taking. I was talking Garlic Oil and Turmeric. I had to stop both. When I googled interactions none showed up. Guy's just said I mustn't take any Meds including antibiotics without notifying them. No definite explanation. I Hope you get an answer from your GP. I Will be interested to know.

Inca profile image
Inca in reply to Heather270240

Oh dear,I suppose they are the experts in M P Ns. I Amin France & treated here ,I saw my consultant last week & forgot to ask himsurgery?

Inca profile image
Inca in reply to Inca

Sorry Heather my pad slipped & all went wrong.I saw my Consultant last week ,forgot to ask him re tumeric.He too is an Blood Cancer expert,has looked after me for 12 years.....my G P also.I have a R D V with him each month re blood tests so will ask ,just now I am unwell from 3rd Pfizer vac!!!!!Cant imagine Tumeric can make me worse than that.Will let you know when I get an opinion. Keep well as you can.

Are you feeling better on the Ruxolitinib? Did they also tell you to stop eating garlic and foods containing turmeric? How about you talk with your local pharmacist about interactions between these, as they are the experts on drugs. Perhaps there have been some studies that have researched possible interactions, you could try researching that. If you can’t find any studies, then what is the advice based on? I can guarantee that the doctors haven’t studied either garlic or tumeric. You could Email your haematologist for the evidence/ scientific study that he based his decision on.

This is why I consult with an Integrative Medicine doc. Most conventionally trained doctors are not familiar with drug-supplement interactions. They will often say "no" because they are not sure and do not want to take a risk. When it comes to taking a supplement it is not their decision. It is yours. They can advise you about your choices, but the decisions are up to you. Pain is bad. Many of the meds used to treat are far worse than Turmeric. You will have to decide what is best for you.

Unfortunately Hunter we don't have such people in this country but I agree with you the doctors and pharmacists do not know and therefore say no. I have recommenced my supplements as I feel quality of life is so important.

I think you are right about quality of life being the priority. I rely on Turmeric/Curcumin to manage the osteoarthritis. It is just one of a number of inflammatory conditions I experience. Managing the systemic inflammation associated with MPNs is a key part of our care. Curcumin works better than NSAIDs for e and is considerably safer. However, if something is biologically active enough to help you it can also hurt you and interact with things. It is unfortunate that so many providers lack knowledge bout complementary health. That is why expert consultation is so important.

There are Integrative or Functional Medicine docs in the UK. Here is a list of functional medicine providers if you are interested.


All the best.

Yes they gave me a list of foods etc which I shouldn't eat including garlicCitrus fruit and all my supplements. As for feeling better no I am not and my platelets have gone from 700 to 1043. Local pharmacist said he could see no interaction. I have asked for evidence but have never received an answer.

Heather - I was taking naproxen for erosive OA and had to stop when I was put on clopidogrel as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cannot be taken with anything that performs anti-platelet function. Unfortunately turmeric is an anti inflammatory - so that might be the reason. I was prescribed cocodamol instead but even half of the prescribed dose had me sitting smiling at the TV when it wasn’t even turned on! So like you, my OA pain has returned in a big way and I can’t seem to get anyone to find a solution.

I was also given cocodamal which does nothing for the pain. I now have weekly acupuncture and Reiki which seems to be helping. I'm looking forward to my session today.

Minu68 profile image
Minu68 in reply to Megabyte

Hi, I've been taking naproxen and my haematologist thinks it's fine, am on hydroxy to control my platelets. However, there are a few people on here saying how good turmeric is for helping with inflammation, and I have been considering taking it. I know there are lots of differences in what we are told by the medical experts treating us, they seem to each have their own views! Though I do feel that the team at King's are the top of the field, and hopefully we can get a view from there Mazcd?

Megabyte profile image
Megabyte in reply to Minu68

It was clopidogrel that was the problem with naproxen - it says in the details included with clopidogrel not to take with nsai meds.

I have been taking both for some time now. I could not find any interactions anywhere. I did read that turmeric contains more salicylic acid than aspirin so maybe it’s interaction between those two that we need to know more about.

I think you'll find that turmeric interferes with blood's clotting properties and so can cause bleeding. It is contraindicated for use with many drugs.

Hi HeatherI have never heard of any interaction between Rux and Turmeric, I am on both since 4 years and no problems, maybe it’s just specific to you. Why not ask Guys why they said that,sometimes hospitals can be a bit gung ho about stopping all supplements sometimes because they don’t understand them. I would be very interested to hear Clair Harrison’s view on it, was it her who told you. Prob best to follow there advice until your sure otherwise

Claire Harrison referred me to the Pharmacy at Guy's who told me to discontinue it. I did enquire why and was told it stopped Ruxolitinib from having it's full effect. I have since asked the Haematologist when she phoned recently but she didn't know. I think it's their lack of knowledge of such supplements. Many thanks for your msg.

HeatherI am going to try to check that with a few expert Haems who I consult with from time to time. I will post what I find


Hi Ainslie. That's very kind of you. Many thanks.

Hi Heather I admit to being a serious maverick, but my first reaction would be that if my supplements are enhancing the effect of a drug, then I would take less of the drug. Using this approach in the past, I kept my husband off statins, anticoagulants and more for over a decade.But seriously, that pharmacy covers the whole of the hospital and I wouldn't automatically expect any one pharmacist there to have a detailed understanding of all our individual MPNs. I would go back to Professor Claire's team.

If you're unable to continue with the Turmeric, try Curcumin, that's known for it's inflammation properties. I take 2 tablets every day, a good quality one too. Once I'm off Pred for PMR no doubt the pain from OA will appear again.

But isn't curcumin the active ingredient in turmeric? ..... yup, looks like it: "Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by plants of the Curcuma longa species. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric" ... but that is just from Wikipedia. I do remember picking up turmeric in a French health shop and it was labelled curcuma, or similar.

You know more than I do....can't see any of these herbs doing us any harm, can you ? Not sure if it's the Pred that's responsible for my now very low markers (2 for ESR and 2.9 CRP) or, it could be the curcumin that's helped too. Whatever it is may it continue.

Just googled it Daisy and yes you'r right. Turmeric is a natural herb that is commonly used as a spice in a wide variety of food. It's a plant that is originally from India. Turmeric is also called Curcumin, which is the active ingredient in the spice. I will continue to take it...hope you do too. We need at some point to get off the Pred and if these supplements help with inflammation I'm all for them.

Oh yes indeed. I always look to supplements before medication with good organic vegan unprocessed nutrition underpinning everything.Not that there isn't a place for medication. I was delighted to learn yesterday that after 3 months on Peg my platelets have virtually halved, down to 527, so it looks as tho I am at last on course to get my hip replacement in a few months' time. Long overdue.

Interesting that you also have PMR. I do as well also GCA. Lost my sight in left eye 11 years ago. Now on 18mg pred due to a flare in GCA. I'm assuming you also have an MPN.

Morning, Sorry Heather, what's MPN ? I'm not up on all the abbrevs. Did you lose your sight due to GCA ? Lost sight in my left eye due to meningitis back in 1994, so naturally petrified of GCA. How long have you had PMR/GCA ?


Hi Anne. Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, blood cancer, of which there are many forms. I have had PV for 4 years. Yea GCA caused my sight loss. Miss diagnosed by GP. It happened 10 years ago. Heather

Crickey, you poor thing....what a lot to contend with. I wish you well Heather X

Heather, I have never been told this about Turmeric before as a supplement and patients on Ruxolitnib. I have been on Rux since 2016. I stopped taking Turmeric capsules because a Nutrition expert who presented at an MPN conference at the Mayo Clinic said there was no evidence that it helped with inflammation. I'm unsure as to whether the shots might interact in a way with the Jak2 inhibitor. I can say that I have been going to an acupuncturist who does trigger point injections and while those don't help inflammation, they do help with muscle soreness. The best solution I have found for decreasing inflammation in the body is to eat a Mediterranean Diet. But this requires abstinence from sugar and refined carbs. That said, it is very effective as a way of eating against inflammation.

Many thanks for replying. I too have acupuncture, in fact I had a session today. He also does Reiki which is amazing. I feel so good after a session with him.

I am taking turmeric instead of aspirin for a fractured skull, pressure on the brain etc, scared of the aspirin reacting with my other medical conditions/medications, it seems to have worked as pressure has lessened, I could not shake or even move my head suddenly or bend down to the ground/get up suddenly, slight headaches also lessened. Should be interesting as they seemed to have picked me for their favourite lab. rat, various obscure medical inspections lined up for me, definitely patient of the month, it's only 8th October? 🙄😗🕵️‍♂️Halloween??🙃🤪😆

Glad to hear Turmeric has been of benefit for you. Good luck.

Although I do have an itchy scalp, which can be very annoying, just the process of healing I suppose?😗

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