University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)891-905
JournalDrugs & Aging
Journal publication date1 Dec 2017
Volume34
Early online date1 Dec 2017
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2017

Abstract

The use of herbal medicinal products (HMPs) is common among older adults. However, little is known about concurrent use with prescription drugs as well as the potential interactions associated with such combinations.
Objective
Identify and evaluate the literature on concurrent prescription and HMPs use among older adults to assess prevalence, patterns, potential interactions and factors associated with this use.
Methods
Systematic searches in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, Web of Science and Cochrane from inception to May 2017 for studies reporting concurrent use of prescription medicines with HMPs in adults (≥65 years). Quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute checklists. The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) three stage approach to mixed method research was used to synthesise data.
Results
Twenty-two studies were included. A definition of HMPs or what was considered HMP was frequently missing. Prevalence of concurrent use by older adults varied widely between 5.3% and 88.3%. Prescription medicines most combined with HMPs were antihypertensive drugs, beta blockers, diuretics, antihyperlipidemic agents, anticoagulants, analgesics, antihistamines, antidiabetics, antidepressants and statins. The HMPs most frequently used were: ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, St John’s wort, Echinacea, saw palmetto, evening primrose oil and ginger. Potential risks of bleeding due to use of ginkgo, garlic or ginseng with aspirin or warfarin was the most reported herb-drug interaction. Some data suggests being female, a lower household income and less than high school education were associated with concurrent use.
Conclusion
Prevalence of concurrent prescription drugs and HMPs use among older adults is substantial and potential interactions have been reported. Knowledge of the extent and manner in which older adults combine prescription drugs will aid healthcare professionals can appropriately identify and manage patients at risk.

Notes

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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