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Managing the risk from interactions with herbal medicines

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Earlier this year, national newspapers reported that people being treated for cancer or heart disease were at risk of life-threatening interactions between herbal remedies and conventional medicines.1,2 The articles were informed by a study that reviewed herb-drug interactions reported in clinical trials, case-control studies and case reports published between 2001 and 2017.3 The study’s authors found relatively few reports of herb-drug interactions in the literature, with 15 cases of adverse reactions from 49 case reports and two observational studies. The majority of the patients had a history of cardiovascular disease, cancer or renal transplantation and were being treated with drugs that included warfarin, alkylating agents, kinase inhibitors …

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