Dan Shen

DanShen is another Chinese herb prepared from the root of the Chinese medicinal plant Salvia miltiorrhiza. This drug has been used in China for many years in the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases including angina pectoris and is readily available in the USA through Chinese herbal stores. More than 20 diterpene quinones known as tanshinones have been isolated from DanShen (109). These compounds have structural similarity with digoxin. Feeding DanShen to mice caused digoxin-like immunoreactivity in sera (110). However, the extent of DLIS activity was less remarkable than observed in mice after feeding with Chan Su and interference of DanShen in serum digoxin measurement using the FPIA should be considered as low to modest, and other digoxin assays such as Tina-Quant (Roche) and Beckman assay (on Synchron LX analyzer) are completely free from the interference of DanShen (88). The digoxin-like immunoreactive components of DanShen are strongly protein bound, and monitoring free digoxin eliminates interference of DanShen in digoxin measurement using FPIA (111). The effects of different complementary and alternative medicines in serum digoxin measurements using immunoassays are summarized in Table 2.

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