Promoting rational herb-drug use through pharmacy-led advice and home visits in NCD patients

Main Article Content

Keywords

Medicine, Herb, Chronic disease, Herb-drug interaction, Knowledge, Behavior

Abstract

Introduction: There has been a considerable increase in the concurrent use of prescribed medicines and herbal products, but most users do not have any information about drug-herb interactions. Objective: Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effects of pharmacological advice by community pharmacists on promoting the rational use of prescribed medicines together with herbal products. Methods: The study was one group pretest-posttest experimental design, performed on a sample of 32 people who met the following criteria: aged ≥18 years, lived in an urbanized area, have NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, or cardiovascular disease, and have used prescribed medicines and herbal products concurrently. The participants were informed and practically advised on the rational use of herbal products simultaneously with prescribed medicines, the possibility of drug-herb interactions, and self-monitoring of possible adverse effects. Results: After implementing pharmacological advice, the participants showed a significant increase in knowledge of rational drug-herb use: from 5.8±1.8 to 8.4±1.6 out of a total of 10 (p<0.001), and their score in terms of appropriate behavior rose from 21.7±2.9 to 24.4±3.1 out of a total of 30 (p<0.001). Additionally, the number of patients with herb-drug interaction risk decreased statistically significantly (37.5% and 25.0%, p=0.031). Conclusion: Pharmacy-led advice on rational use of herbal products with prescribed NCD medicines is effective in terms of promoting increases in knowledge and appropriate behavior in these matters. This is a strategy for risk management of herb-drug interactions in NCD patients.

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