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.