[The interaction of Rhodiola rosea and antidepressants. A case report]

Neuropsychiatr. 2015;29(1):36-8. doi: 10.1007/s40211-014-0124-8. Epub 2014 Nov 21.
[Article in German]


Objective: Rhodiola rosea (Russian Rhodiola/Golden Root) is a high mountain plant from the arctic regions of Europe and Asia which has the active substance phenylpropanoide. It has sedative, anti-depressive, drive-enhancing and stress-modulated properties stimulating the distribution of dopamine and serotonin; in combination with other drugs, an increase of side effects and risk profile has to be expected.

Methods: A case report is presented in order to illustrate the interaction between Rhodiola rosea and antidepressants.

Results: We report the case of a 68-year-old female patient with recurrent moderate depressive disorder with somatic syndrome (ICD-10 F33.11) who developed vegetative syndrome, restlessness feeling and trembling since she began to ingest Rhodiola rosea in addition to paroxetine.

Conclusions: Prescribing Rhodiola rosea with paroxetine, pharmacokinetic and -dynamic interactions have to be assumed. The symptoms of the patient can be interpreted as a serotonergic syndrome. Because of its different effects, the plant is widely used. An increase of clinical relevant risks should be considered in the add-on treatments.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Herb-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Paroxetine / adverse effects*
  • Paroxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rhodiola*
  • Self Medication
  • Serotonin Syndrome / chemically induced*
  • Serotonin Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Serotonin Syndrome / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology


  • Plant Extracts
  • Paroxetine