Why should I talk to my doctor about the herbal remedies, vitamins, and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines I take, along with my regular prescriptions?

Many people use herbal remedies, vitamins, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat their ailments. But, did you know that some medications and traditional remedies can interact in a harmful way with one another? Some supplements have been shown to reduce the effects of regular prescriptions, while others have been shown to increase the effects of regular prescriptions, including the occurrence of unwanted side effects. Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of information or sufficient data about how medicines and supplements might interact with each other. As a result, more research and clinical studies are required in order to prevent mishaps from occurring. Here are a few reasons why you should notify your doctor if you are taking any other medications in addition to your regular prescription.


So,why should I tell my doctor about this?


1.Can cause drug-to-drug interactions


Since the ancient Greeks, St. John’s wort, a yellow-flowering plant, has been used in traditional European medicine.A wide variety of medications interact with St. John’s wort.Most of the time, it accelerates the processes that convert the drug into inactive substances, resulting in a decrease in drug levels in your body. However, St. John’s wort can interact with certain drugs, including antidepressants, and cause harmful side effects.Pregnant or lactating mothers should avoid this drug because insufficient clinical research has been done.


2.Can lead to drug-induced liver injury


People suffering from osteoarthritis tend to take more painkillers, particularly paracetamol. Over-the-counter pain relievers should be used with caution. According to the research, taking too much paracetamol in comparison to the recommended dose can cause liver toxicity. To avoid this issue, keep track of the timing of your doses and double-check when they were last taken before taking them again. Please wait at least 6 hours between doses or use modified-release tablets, which deliver the dose over a longer period of time. 

3.May increase bleeding tendency


Evening primrose oil aids in the maintenance of hormonal balance and has been shown to be effective in the reduction of menstrual cramps, bloating, water retention, breast tenderness, and irritability that occur as a result of hormonal shifts during a woman’s monthly cycle. In contrast, if you are also taking an anticoagulant such as aspirin, clopidogrel, or warfarin, evening primrose may increase your risk of bleeding even further.Following that, ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. The leaves were used to treat a variety of ailments including brain and circulatory problems as well as respiratory problems. Ginkgo biloba should not be taken if you have a bleeding disorder or are pregnant. It is possible that the supplement will increase your risk of bleeding. If you intend to have surgery, please notify your health-care providers as soon as possible.



4.Can cause allergic reactions

Honey is a natural sweetener produced by honeybees from nectar collected by flowering plants. Honey, while primarily composed of sugar, also contains amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Honey is a natural healing treatment because of these ingredients. It’s a common cough remedy.While honey does have some natural health benefits, some people may experience an allergic reaction to it. Are you aware that it is not recommended for infants under the age of 12 months to consume honey? Honey may contain the bacteria Clostridium. It is a component of dirt and dust. If Clostridium is ingested by young children, they can have infant botulism. Though it is uncommon, it can result in life-threatening complications. These include muscle weakness and difficulty breathing. Additionally, it can be fatal too.


Next,when taking herbal remedies, vitamins, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications in addition to your regular prescription, it is critical to inform your health-care providers in order to avoid any serious complications. The World Health Organization developed the Med Safe app, which serves as a tool to educate patients and the general public about the five critical moments when action can be taken to reduce the risk of medication-related harm. The app is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Its principles encourage you to ask important questions of your health care professional and to organize the answers in a structured manner so that you can better manage your medications.You can take a look at the diagram below for further information.

Diagram 1 : The five moments for medication safety


These 5 key moments for medication safety will be helpful steps in enhancing patients’ understanding of their medications.Remember,education is the most powerful weapon.


Last but not least,when you visit your health-care provider, it is critical that you inform them of all of the medications and supplements that you are taking. It’s best to bring a written list of everything you consume, including how often you consume it and the doses you consume.Please visit the link if you have any more questions.