Background Alternative treatments (AT) such as homeopathy (H) and/or medicinal herbs (MH) are used concomitantly with medical treatment by some patients to relieve and/or improve the symptoms of a disease. Pharmaceutical care consultations (PCC) are held in order to respond to pharmacotherapeutic needs in outpatients.
Purpose To analyse the concomitant use of H and MH with medical treatment in outpatients who come to PCCs in the Pharmacy service.
Material and methods Observational study of outpatients who came for the first time to collect medicines from the PCC during the first week of September 2014. The information was obtained during the pharmaceutical interview with the patient, using a survey that included type of AT used and the source that had recommended it.
Results 42 new patients (21 men, 21 women) were attended in the PCC, 11 of whom admitted taking some type of AT (7 were male and 4 females, mean age 43.3 years). According to the medical treatment: we had: 2 patients with antiretroviral treatment, 2 with anti-TNF alpha, 2 with oral cytostatics, 1 with somatotropin, 1 with drugs for hepatitis virus C, 1 with coagulation factor, 1 with epoetin beta and 1 with glatiramer. About the type of AT used: 8 patients were taking homeopathy and 4 medicinal herbs. The recommendation to use any of these was by a family member/friend in 5 patients, 3 patients took AT on their own initiative and in 3 patients a community pharmacist had recommended the AT.
Conclusion A quarter of the patients who come to the PCC, are concomitantly using an AT with the medical treatment and mostly without medical or pharmaceutical recommendation. Therefore the safety and efficacy of medical treatments collected in the consultations should be closely monitored.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.