Effects of Herbal Supplements on Clinical Laboratory Test Results

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Walter de Gruyter, May 26, 2011 - Medical - 135 pages

Herbal supplements are available without prescription in many countries throughout the world and accounting for over $30 billion U.S dollar in sale. A majority of U.S population (25-40%) use herbal supplements while alternative medicines are major forms of therapy in third world countries used by as much as 80% population. Contrary to the popular belief that herbal remedies are safe and effective, many herbal supplements have known toxicity and unexpected laboratory test results may be the early indications of such toxicity. In addition, some herbal products such as St. John’s wort can interact with many Western drugs causing increased clearance of such drugs and hence treatment failure. This monograph would provide information on how herbal supplements affect laboratory test results thus patient’s safety. This monograph would provide a comprehensive and concise practical guide for laboratory professionals, physicians and other health care professionals. The emphasis of this monograph is to provide clinically relevant information rather than discussing in detail mechanisms of such effect, although brief explanations would be provided for such unexpected test results.

 

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Contents

1 Commonly used herbal supplements
1
2 Abnormal liver function tests due to use of herbal supplements
19
3 Kelp and thyroid panel tests
29
4 Interferences in digoxin immunoassays by various herbal supplements
37
5 Interaction of St Johns wort with various drugs
45
6 Herbs to avoid with warfarin therapy
59
7 Interaction of ginseng ginkgo garlic and ginger supplements with various drugs
67
clinical impact
75
9 Heavy metal toxicity due to use of Oriental and Ayurvedic medicines
83
10 Contamination of herbal supplements with Western drugs
95
11 Toxic and dangerous herbs
103
Appendix
115
Index
119
Color plates
123
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About the author (2011)

Amitava Dasgupta, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, USA.

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