Dietary Supplements Might Trigger Dangerous Side Effects When Taken Along With Regular Medication

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Some herb-based natural products, also known as herbal remedies or dietary supplements, are commonly administered along with incompatible drugs, according to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP). That habit exposes consumers to more potent side effects of regular medications they take in combination with supplements.

Taofikat Agbabiaka of the University of Hertfordshire and her colleagues sent questionnaires to 400 people aged 65 and over. Of these, 149 responded. One-third of these 149 participants had used herb-based dietary supplements, or herbal remedies purchased over-the-counter with or without medical prescription.

These dietary supplements ingredients are most commonly producing side effects when taken with regular medication

The researchers reported 55 plant-drug combinations and complement-drugs. Half of these combinations were safe, three were seriously dangerous, three were potentially dangerous, and for 21 of those combinations, additional research is required.

The plants and dietary supplements ingredients involved in dangerous interactions with regular medication are:

  • flax seeds;
  • evening primrose oil;
  • St. John’s Wort;
  • peppermint;
  • senna;
  • echinacea;
  • hawthorn;
  • green tea;
  • ginkgo;
  • glucosamine;
  • cod liver oil;
  • omega 3 fish oil;
  • calcium carbonate;
  • multivitamin supplements;

The researchers recommended health professionals to ask patients about their dietary supplements consumption before prescribing medication

The majority of the potentially dangerous interactions identified involved risks of alterations in drug concentration or effect, including calcium channel blockers (antihypertensive), statins (anti-cholesterol) and aspirin. Interactions that are known to be dangerous could have implications related to increased blood glucose levels, the risk of bleeding and the reduction of the efficacy or bioavailability of a drug.

“The potential risk of interactions between certain combinations of prescription drugs, herbal remedies, and dietary supplements indicates the need for health professionals to regularly ask questions about the use of other drugs and non-prescription products,” the researchers concluded.

In conclusion, according to this new study, dietary supplements or herbal remedies might increase the potency of regular medications’ side effects when taken together.

Vadim Ioan Caraiman

Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.