Sample Book – Herbal-Drug Interactions 2017-10-23T06:03:18+00:00

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An Overview of Herb-Drug Interactions

 

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All About Herb-Drug Interactions

Herbal medicines are an integral part of the healthcare and healing practices in many ethnic and cultural communities today.  In addition, a growing number of people are turning to herbal medicines when pharmaceutical medicines do not meet their needs.

A problem arises for physicians and pharmacists when they are unaware of herbal medicines that patients are taking, and prescribe pharmaceutical drugs as part of treatment.  Unexpected interactions between medicines can occur.  Even if the medical professional is aware of the patient’s use of herbal medicines, s/he is rarely knowledgeable about the interaction of these two types of medicines.

While a significant number of reference documents exist which identify medicinal plants and their uses, there is no comprehensive resource tool that compiles information regarding interactions between herbal medicines and pharmaceutical drugs.

To address this need for immediate information on herbal-drug interactions, the Multicultural Program of the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) and Prairie Deva College, in collaboration with the Pharmacy Department of the RAH, worked together to produce this reference handbook. The existing literature and research on herbal medicine and pharmaceutical drug interactions was compiled and cross-referenced to provide easily accessible information.

We hope that this handbook will contribute to safe practices in prescribing and using both herbal and pharmaceutical medicines.

How to Use the Handbook

The more than 100 herbal medicines most commonly used in North America are referenced in the handbook. Interactions are listed in alphabetical order of the herbal medicine. Beside each herbal medicine, classes of drugs for which research has been done are listed.  The third column describes the type of interaction that occurs between the herbal medicine and the drug type. An index of pharmaceutical drugs appearing in the handbook is located at the back of the handbook, so that one can look up potential interactions with only the name of the pharmaceutical drug.

Each entry has a footnote that explains the reference source of the information if further information is required. A bibliography of these sources is included at the end of the handbook.

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