Factors associated with potential medication-herb/natural product interactions in a rural community.

Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
Alternative therapies in health and medicine (Impact Factor: 1.14). 01/2009; 15(5):26-34.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Use of both conventional medicines and herbs/natural products are increasing in the United States. Consequently, individuals are more likely to be exposed to potentially harmful interactions between these products.
To examine the use of both herbs/natural products and conventional medications in a rural community, examine the prevalence of potential interactions between herbs/natural products and conventional medications, and identify factors associated with exposure to such interactions.
Population-based epidemiological study.
Data for this paper were collected between 1999 and 2004 as part of the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project.
Limited to civilian, noninstitutionalized, white or African American residents, aged 45 years or older, of Johnston County, North Carolina. Data used in this paper are from 2523 individuals who completed face-to-face interviews.
Prevalence of herb/natural product use and exposure to potential interactions between these products and conventional medications.
Nineteen percent (n=488) of participants used at least 1 herb/natural product. Among those who used both conventional medications and herbs/natural products, more than 1 in 5 (97 [21.9%]) were using a combination of products associated with a potential interaction. Odds of exposure to a potential interaction were lower among people who had health insurance and increased with the number of products used.
Many people are exposed to potential interactions between herbs/natural products and conventional medications. Research is needed to better understand the effect such interactions may have on patient care.

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