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Embargoed materials for Complementary & Integrative Medicine Conference

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This survey suggests that pharmacists are encountering reportable adverse events in patients using natural health products, but many are not reporting these events.

The investigators conclude that the current system of passive surveillance is likely not adequate. "Whether this lack of reporting is an issue with regards to knowledge about the reporting system or due to other constraints, is unknown," the authors wrote. The majority (92%) of pharmacists surveyed felt that more education on natural health products was needed on this subject.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, just because an herbal supplement is labeled "natural" does not mean it is without any harmful effects. For example, the herbs kava and comfrey have been linked to serious liver damage. In addition, some herbal supplements are known to interact with medications in ways that cause health problems.

Abstract 326 Survey of community pharmacists reporting of adverse drug reactions associated with natural health products
Charrois TL, Hill R, Vu D, Foster B, Boon H, Cramer K, Vohra S

ORAL PRESENTATION 366
May 15, 2006 at 9:45AM
Salon 9

Author: David Eisenberg, MD
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Integrative Care Combining Conventional and Complementary/Alternative Medicine Offers Benefits to Patients with Low Back Pain

While Western medicine and complementary/alternative medicine often seem to be at odds, a multidisciplinary care approach which combines the two may be effective. Researchers set out to evaluate the potential of such integrative care that combines conventional and complementary/alternative medicine for the treatment of sub-acute low back pain in a hospital setting. The results of their study will be presented at The North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine h
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25-May-2006


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