alexa Use of herbal remedies by patients in a health maintenance organization
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta

Author(s): Bennett J, Brown CM

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To examine the use of and experiences with herbal remedies among a group of patients enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO). Self-administered questionnaire. Central Texas city. 135 HMO patients. Not applicable. Patients' self-reported use of herbal remedies. Almost 40% of patients indicated they had used herbal remedies. The majority had used herbal remedies to treat or prevent a health condition (e.g., common cold). The remedies most frequently used were garlic, aloe gel, cranberry, and echinacea. Most respondents gathered their information on herbal remedies from the popular media, and most based their use decisions primarily on the recommendations of friends and/or relatives. Although most were unsure of the quality of the products, they felt they were safe and somewhat effective, and few had experienced any direct side effects they attributed to the herbal remedies. Most patients used the products without the knowledge of their physician or pharmacist. Herbal remedies were most often used in place of prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications and most frequently purchased in health food stores and mass merchandizer/grocery stores. Herbal remedies were sometimes used along with prescription or OTC medications. Given that patients are using herbal remedies for a variety of health conditions without medical supervision, pharmacists need to actively and consistently obtain information about herbal remedy use to effectively advise patients and monitor outcomes. More research is needed on herbal remedy use among patient populations and on outcomes in patients who use herbal remedies to treat primary health conditions.

This article was published in Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta

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