A recent study had pointed out the fact that herbal preparations and over the counter alternative medicines may react badly when taken along with medication for rheumatic arthritis.
The study points out that herbal preparations and alternate medicines are widely used by people suffering from rheumatic arthritis. Most of these preparations are exempted from the government regulations that guide the conventional drug manufacturers leading to poor quality control. Often safety factor is also severely compromised with. When taken with conventional medication, these may have bad side effects on the health of the patient.
Ingredients like gingko biloba, devil's claw, ginger, garlic etc in these medications may cause anti coagulant effects and hemorrhage. These when used with corticosteroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
105 of 238 patients who went treatment for rheumatic arthritis in an outpatient clinic under study had taken herbal medication at some point of time. Some commonly taken alternative remedies were cod liver oil, glucosamine, chondroitin, and evening primrose oil. 28 of them had taken a form of medication that may interact adversely with the conventional medication taken simultaneously.
Scientists have stressed the fact that the patients should be encouraged by the physicians to disclose all the details regarding alternate forms of medication taken so as to minimize the detrimental effects of the alternate therapy.