Author(s): Bush TM, Rayburn KS, Holloway SW, SanchezYamamoto DS, Allen BL,
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Abstract CONTEXT: Patients often combine prescription medications with herbal and dietary substances (herein referred to as herbal medicines). A variety of potential adverse herb-drug interactions exist based on the pharmacological properties of herbal and prescription medications. OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of potential and observed adverse herb-drug interactions in patients using herbal medicines with prescription medications. DESIGN: Consecutive patients were questioned about their use of herbal medicines in 6 outpatient clinics. Patients reporting use of these products provided a list of their prescription medications, which were reviewed for any potential adverse herb-drug interactions using a comprehensive natural medicine database. Any potential adverse herb-drug interactions prompted a review of the patient's chart for evidence of an observed adverse herb-drug interaction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The rate of potential and observed adverse herb-drug interactions. RESULTS: Eight hundred four patients were surveyed, and 122 (15\%) used herbal medicines. Eighty-five potential adverse herb-drug interactions were found in 49 patients (40\% of herbal medicine users). Twelve possible adverse herb-drug interactions in 8 patients (7\% of herbal medicine users) were observed. In all 12 cases, the severity scores were rated as mild, including 8 cases of hypoglycemia in diabetics taking nopal (prickly pear cactus). CONCLUSIONS: A substantial number of potential adverse herb-drug interactions were detected and a small number of adverse herb-drug interactions observed, particularly in diabetics taking nopal. Screening for herbal medicine usage in 804 patients did not uncover any serious adverse interactions with prescription medications.
This article was published in Altern Ther Health Med
and referenced in Advances in Robotics & Automation