Drug interactions with herbal products and food are an evolving knowledge base. Recent examples of protease inhibitors and St John's wort provide compelling evidence of the necessity of adequate pharmacovigilance in ascertaining heretofore unanticipated but preventable drug-herbal interactions. Clinical pharmacology studies of potential significant interactions in phase 1 and phase 2 trials, as well as phase 3 trials, will require a heightened awareness of possible herbal product usage by patients and consumers in the intended study population. Ultimately, better mechanisms are needed to encourage communication among patients and physicians about dietary supplements and, in particular herbal drug and food interactions. Patients whose current prescription regimens do not provide complete symptomatic relief are study populations likely to use supplemental herbal products. Such patient populations might include those with cancer, persistent pain, and other refractory long-term diseases. Drug development study protocols, as well as postmarketing risk assessments, are needed to maintain a high level of alertness to potential drug and food interactions and manage patient risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)