[Potential risks, adverse effects and drug interactions associated with herbal medicine in dental patients]

A Zlotogorski Hurvitz, M Littner
Journal of the Israel Dental Association 2004, 21 (2): 25-41, 97
Herbal medicine is an increasingly common form of alternative therapy in the United States. Most herbal products are considered dietary supplements and thus are not regulated as medicines. They are marketed without prior approval of their efficacy and safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some herbal medications have potentially harmful side effects as well as adverse interactions with conventional drugs. The adverse reactions involve all systems, age groups and severity. It is important for dentists and other health care providers to obtain adequate information as to what herbal medications their patients are taking. It is also necessary for professionals to acquire knowledge regarding herbal medications as to their use and to educate their patients about the risk-benefit and potential interactions these medications may have with over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The purpose of this article was to review the literature on the potential risks of commonly used herbal medications: Ginkgo Biloba, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, Garlic, Kava and Ephedra.

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