Potential health risks of complementary alternative medicines in HIV patients.

Ladenheim, D; Horn, O; Werneke, U; Phillpot, M; Murungi, A; Theobald, N; Orkin, C; (2008) Potential health risks of complementary alternative medicines in HIV patients. HIV medicine, 9 (8). pp. 653-9. ISSN 1464-2662 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1293.2008.00610.x

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and purpose of complementary alternative medicines (CAMs) use in people receiving treatment for HIV infection. To identify and quantify potential health risks of CAM use in this population and to explore options for improved pharmacovigilance. METHODS: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 293 patients receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy at three specialist HIV out-patient clinics in central London, UK. The use of herbal medicines and supplements was explored, and potentially adverse side effects or significant drug interactions with conventional therapies were identified. RESULTS: Of the 293 patients included, 61% (n=179) were taking herbal remedies or supplements and 35% (n=103) were using physical treatments. Twenty-seven per cent (n=80) used a combination of both. Twenty per cent (n=59) potentially compromised their HIV management through using CAM therapy. Ten per cent (n=29) were advised to stop their CAMs and 15% (n=43) were made aware of potential drug interactions and adverse effects and were advised to monitor their care. CONCLUSIONS: There are potentially significant health risks posed by the concomitant use of CAMs in patients taking ARV therapy. Medical practitioners need to be able to identify CAM use in HIV-positive patients and recognize potential health risks. Patients should be encouraged to disclose CAM use to their clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 18631258
Web of Science ID: 259236500007
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/6925


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