Checking medicine interactions

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 Naturalmedicines.therapeuticalreasearch.com. Your GP or pharmacist should verify any information you collect.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

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