Each week we will aim to bring out a concise email that provides 4-5 key pieces of information addressing a specific issue in clinical therapeutics.
This week: Complementary and Alternative Medicines (part 2)
Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) are widely used across sectors of society. These products are commonly sourced from places such as health food shops, homeopathic clinics, and traditional medicines practitioners from various cultural backgrounds, as well as conventional pharmacies.
- Simply because these products have not been prescribed by a medical practitioner or have not necessarily been supplied by a pharmacy does not necessarily mean that they are pharmacologically inert, or even universally safe.
- CAMs can exert significant pharmacological effects and the potential for this should always be taken into account when considering a person’s treatment regimen. It is important that when CAM products are in use, this should be made known to all prescribers, nurses and pharmacists involved with the person’s medication management. Under no circumstances should the use of these products be undisclosed, as this may create potential for serious harm
- CAMs can also produce significant adverse effects (side effects) and drug interactions (including interactions with other CAMs)
- As is the case with other medicines, when using CAMs it is important to strictly adhere to the directions, and to notify a doctor if a possible side effect becomes apparent.
Please consider these issues when preparing or interpreting RMMR reports or education sessions. Contributions of content or suggested topics are welcome and should be sent directly to email@example.com.