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Risk of Drug interactions and side effects due to using Herbal remedies alongside anticancer treatment

Thursday, 29th March 2018

RISK OF DRUG INTERACTIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS DUE TO USING HERBAL REMEDIES ALONGSIDE ANTICANCER TREATMENT

This communication is to remind you about the possible risk of interactions and side effects when you take herbal remedies alongside your cancer treatment without medical advice.


Herbal remedies are used to alleviate symptoms of cancer but you need to seek advice from your doctor before you take these herbal remedies alongside your anticancer medicine.


Cancer is a disease that is caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Some herbal medicines can make your condition worse for example ginseng can stimulate cell growth in a human breast cancer cell and so should not be used by women with oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Herbal remedies can also interfere with conventional treatment for example St John's Wort has been shown to speed up the time that the body takes to get rid of the anti-cancer treatment, Imatinib by 44% when the drug and herb are used together.


Just like any other medicine, herbal remedies can also interact with your cancer medication and make you sick or render your cancer treatment less effective. They can also cause side effects which can make your condition worse.


Patients are advised by NDA to:


1.    Declare any herbal medicine you are using to your doctor and to follow his/her guidance on what herbal remedies you can use and what you cannot use.

2.    Avoid buying herbal medicine from hawkers because you may not be able to trace them for consultation in case of any problems.

3.    Report any side affects you experience when using herbal remedies to NDA by email at druginfo@nda.or.ug or Tel 0414-255665 or Whatsapp 0791415555.


Thank you for your continued cooperation.

Yours sincerely,
Helen Byomire Ndagije

DIRECTOR PRODUCT SAFETY



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