St. John's Wort is the supplement with the most documented drug interactions. Although herbal supplements may come from plant or herbal sources, the active ingredients can still be potent chemicals. Because of this, herbal supplements can have drug interactions, including with each other or with food or alcohol.
Unfortunately, these products aren't usually labeled with safety warnings and it's hard for a consumer to know if an interaction might occur. Third, different populations may have different types of potential interactions, probably with different levels of severity. Within our patient population, most of the possible interactions occurred with Ginkgo biloba, garlic, and ginseng. Other patient cohorts may use many different supplements, with different levels of incidence and severity of potential interactions.
For example, possible interactions between drugs and dietary supplements have been documented with kava supplements, 39,40 These potential interactions were not seen in our respondents who were taking prescription drugs concurrently, but could be found in other patient groups. Therefore, the overall incidence of possible interactions between drugs and dietary supplements in the general population or among patients treated in several primary care facilities may differ from our results. Several online resources allow you to check interactions between medications and the supplements you're taking. Information on drug-supplement, drug-food interactions is also available on several sites, although it is less comprehensive.
The challenge is that with age, more medical conditions arise. And those conditions come with more healthcare providers to treat them. Unless patients ensure that all providers have an up-to-date list of drugs and supplements, providers may not know precisely what patients are taking or tell them about the risks related to those drugs and supplements. As people take more and more medications and supplements, the chances of interactions increase.
While many outpatients used dietary supplements concurrently with prescription drugs, only 5 to 6% of potential interactions between drugs and dietary supplements could result in a serious adverse clinical effect. Therefore, to explore the occurrence of potentially significant interactions between drugs and dietary supplements within a defined population, we surveyed 458 outpatients visiting general medicine clinics at 2 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Herbal supplements may pose a risk to polypharmaceutical patients because they can also affect the metabolism of a drug or other supplements. Finally, it's important that healthcare providers take responsibility for informing the FDA about potential interactions and adverse effects on patients taking dietary supplements to help monitor the safety of these products.
Contact your healthcare provider if you discover that there may be a possible drug interaction between the medications and the herbal products you use. The Medscape drug interaction checker allows you to check interactions between drugs, supplements, and supplements. Self-reported dietary supplement use was compared to each patient's prescription drug list, and potential interactions were identified from several tertiary sources and medical literature searches. It also comes in herbal supplement form in capsules, liquids, and even gummies and gum at the point of sale.
Methods: A survey was conducted on the use of dietary supplements in 458 veteran outpatients currently taking prescription drugs. These online resources can be useful for avoiding the most common interaction problems, but they can overlook problems with less common supplements or herbs. While the amount of potassium found in over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements is unlikely to cause significant interactions, the pharmacist should warn patients of the possibility of an interaction, especially if the patient is at risk of kidney failure. Possible interactions between drugs and dietary supplements were identified from several tertiary references,12-14, which were the main sources for identifying possible interactions.
We found that the use of dietary supplements is very common among Virginia patients who receive prescription drugs and are followed up in general medicine clinics, and 43% are currently taking at least one type of dietary supplement. However, information on drug-drug, drug-supplement, and supplement-supplement interactions is incomplete. .