Author(s): Walker JB
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Abstract STUDY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the ability of seven widely known herbal references and electronic databases to answer questions about herbal products asked at drug information centers. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Five academic and institutional drug information centers. METHODS: Fifty-seven herbal-related questions were obtained from academic and institutional drug information centers. Seven herbal references and electronic databases were evaluated for their ability to answer these 57 questions: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, 1st edition; Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) for Herbal Medicines, 2001 edition; Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, 4th edition; The Lawrence Review of Natural Products, 2001; Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (electronically updated, 2001); The Natural Pharmacist (electronically updated, 2001); and AltMedDex (electronically updated, 2001). RESULTS: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database outperformed all other products evaluated, providing direct answers to 61\% of questions. AltMedDex and The Natural Pharmacist performed similarly to one another, answering 49\% and 44\% of questions, respectively. The Lawrence Review of Natural Products, PDR for Herbal Medicines, The Complete German Commission E Monographs, and Tyler's Honest Herbal were the least helpful in providing direct answers to the questions (24\%, 21\%, 11\%, and 9\%, respectively). CONCLUSION: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, AltMedDex, and The Natural Pharmacist outperformed all other evaluated herbal references and electronic databases in their ability to answer questions about herbal products posed in clinical practice.
This article was published in Pharmacotherapy
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics