Many people with health problems find that even with their prescription medicines, they still need an extra boost. Many decide to turn to all natural health supplements that are made from plants. But caution must be used when this is done because of the risk of a dangerous drug interaction occurring. While most herbal supplements are completely safe, some of them can block the absorption of prescription medicines or reduce their effectiveness. Or worse yet, they can cause someone to become seriously ill. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid this from happening.
Do Your Research
Reputable all natural health supplement retailers have all of the ingredients listed on the label of their products. But many companies that sell herbal products don’t do, putting the well-being of their customers at risk. A person should never purchase products from a company that isn’t willing to tell them what is in them because it could make them very sick. Each ingredient has to be looked at to see if it will interact with a prescription medication, and this isn’t possible if someone does not know what ingredients a product has.
Prescription medications have a half-life. This means that they only last in the body for so many hours. Some of them have to be in the body constantly to be effective, and others are only needed for several hours a day. It is important to know the half-life of a medication because some herbal supplements should only be taken when they are completely out of someone’s system. Herbal supplements also have a half-life. So by understanding how long they both last in the system, a person can avoid a drug interaction.
Talk to Your Doctor
Often times, patients don’t feel the need to tell their doctor they are taking these products on a regular basis. But it is crucial that a doctor knows about them in case a person gets into an accident or becomes seriously ill and can’t speak for themselves. Patients should be able to speak freely about all of their health conditions with their doctor. Being open with your doctor is important and it is vital to consult your physician before adding natural supplements to your daily regime.
Ask Your Pharmacist
Pharmacists are knowledgeable in all types of medications and herbal supplements. They can tell someone right away if a medication and herbal supplement will interact. Pharmacists can also print out a list of benefits and potential side effects from taking them.