Do natural remedies and prescribed medicines mix?

Could natural remedies and prescribed medicines taken together be harmful?

Assorted medicines on wooden spoona nd spilling over

Many people are turning to natural remedies to help manage health conditions or improve their wellbeing, but how do you determine whether they have any dangerous interactions with prescribed medicines?

Q. June
I was wondering if you know of a website I can contact regarding possible interaction of taking prescribed medicines with herbal/natural remedies?

A. People often don't consider the impact natural and herbal remedies can have on prescription medicines, assuming that natural or herbal means everything will be fine. However, in some instances natural remedies can affect the way in which medicines are absorbed, reduce their effectiveness or cause some unpleasant side effects.

If you’re already taking prescribed medicines, you should consult with your pharmacist. As they hold a record of your medicines and dosages, as well as being trained professionally in how medicines react to other treatments, they should be able to advise you what you can and can’t take. You may also wish to consult your doctor to find out if such natural remedies can actually have a negative effect on any conditions you have.

In regards to checking the known interactions on a website, this should only be done as a means of gathering information. You can screen for known interactions, as well as ratings of interactions at Your GP or pharmacist should verify any information you collect.



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    1st Dec 2016
    One would need to be careful to find out if the pharmacist or doctor has a bias against herbal medicines, many doctors certainly have, - herbal medicines may threaten their livelihoods, and if the pharmacist does not sell a wide range of herbal medicines, likewise they threaten his livelihood also.

    1st Dec 2016
    Combined drug toxicity should be more of a concern than it usually is. Sickness and death can be, and ARE, issues with many natural (herbal) and manufactured (chemical) drugs when taken together. If you are unsure, ask a medical professional.
    1st Dec 2016
    My Doctor annually organises a Pharmacist (of my choice) to visit my house and show all medications I'm taking. I find it quite useful she actually found one of my medications to be the cause of ankle and foot swelling (too high a dose)
    1st Dec 2016
    Not just interactions of health remedies and prescribed medications... I understand that if you take rosuvastatin for cholesterol issues then GRAPEFRUIT is a definite no-no.

    Maybe prescribed med's should come with a list showing what commonly eaten/swallowed items are contraindicated....
    1st Dec 2016
    The medical term for medicines that cannot be taken because they interact adversely with another medicine, is contraindications, pronounced contra-indications.

    In old age a person can end up with a handful of medications to be taken every day and that's not counting vitamins and natural remedies in tablet form.

    I have a lot of tablets that I could take but I don't, unless I feel that something is not working properly. Surely a handful of chemical powder is not as good as real food. Taking it only leads to another pill, thats for constipation.
    27th Jul 2017
    The website you recommend to check drug interactions costs money to subscribe to.Boo. There are plenty of free
    - and reputable - websites to collect information from before discussing it with your GP. Doctors can't know everything and mine is always fascinated/ interested in learning more about interactions between conventional and natural medicines.

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