Polypharmacy raises the issue of adverse drug interactions and complementary medicines must be taken into account when assessing this risk.
Adverse drug reactions are a constant concern for all practitioners, and reasonably so. Increasingly we are faced with potentially conflicting data in terms of who needs what medications and at what cost. Add to this the fact that many patients prefer to use ‘natural’ agents, as opposed to the so-called manmade, synthetic alternatives and we have a potential catastrophe. The magnitude of the problem seems massive; however, there are some simple ways that practitioners can reduce the risks of adverse drug interactions in a practical and relatively simple way. The problem rests with the patient’s mistaken belief that complementary medicines are more natural and therefore safer.