Felix W S Wong
Chi Eung Danforn Lim
Australian patients spend large sums of money on complementary
medicine and therapy each year. General practitioners are often
asked questions about whether prescribed medications will interact
with complementary medications. What current internet resources
can be accessed to assist in answering these questions?
This article looks at current internet resources that can assist GPs to
answer patient questions about interactions between prescribed and
Many of the websites found in this study provided limited information
and limited searchability. We found seven webistes out of 100 that
met our selection criteria. A web portal, with risk categorisation of
mild, moderate and severe for drug-herb interactions, can assist
doctors in clinical decision making. Maximum benefits could be
obtained by working corroboratively with the Therapeutic Goods
There are misconceptions that most herbs are ‘natural’ and ‘safe’.1 It is not surprising, given this misconception of safety, that potentially up to billions of dollars are spent by patients on complementary medicines (CM).2 All herbs have actions that may interact with drugs patients may be taking. The risk of drug and herb interactions may be especially severe for the elderly, frail or those taking multiple medications for chronic diseases. There are many reports, papers and websites that discuss information on drug and herb interactions.
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