Consumption of herbal remedies and dietary supplements amongst patients hospitalized in medical wards

Lee H. Goldstein, Mazen Elias, Gilat Ron-Avraham, Ben Zion Biniaurishvili, Magali Madjar, Irena Kamargash, Rony Braunstein, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Ahuva Golik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: Herbal remedies may have adverse effects and potentially serious interactions with some commonly prescribed conventional medications. Little is known about consumption of herbal remedies and dietary supplements by hospitalized patients. The aim was to evaluate the rate of consumption and characterize the patients hospitalized in internal medicine departments who consume herbal remedies and dietary supplements. Also, to assess the medical teams' awareness and assess the percentage of patients with possible drug-herb interactions. Methods: Patients hospitalized in the medical wards of two hospitals in Israel were interviewed about their use of herbal remedies or dietary supplements. The medical records were searched for evidence that the medical team had knowledge of the use of herbal remedies or dietary supplements. Results: Two hundred and ninety-nine hospitalized medical patients were interviewed. Of the participants, 26.8% were herbal or dietary supplement consumers (HC). On multivariate analysis the only variates associated with herbal or dietary supplement consumption were the hospital [odds ratio (OR) 2.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29, 6.52], income (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.15, 1.05), smoking habits (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.05, 0.55) and benign prostatic hypertrophy (OR 4.64, 95% CI 1.3, 16.5). Ninety-four percent of the patients had not been asked specifically of herbal consumption by the medical team. Only 23% of the hospital's medical files of the HC patients had any record of the use of herbal or dietary supplements. Seven possible drug-herbal interactions were encountered (7.1%). The most serious was an interaction between camomile tea and ciclosporin. Conclusions: Herbal remedy consumption is common amongst patients hospitalized in internal medicine wards and is often overlooked by the medical team. Patients and doctors should be more aware of the possible adverse effects and of the potential of herb-drug interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Dietary supplements
  • Drug interactions
  • Herb-drug interactions
  • Herbal medicine
  • Inpatients
  • Internal medicine

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