Warfarin Patients Often Unaware of Risks from Herbs,
MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Warfarin patients who use
herbal and dietary supplements are often unaware that combining
them with the blood thinner may make it ineffective and even
dangerous, new research suggests.
The observation is based on a survey of 100 patients currently
taking the anti-clotting medication. Forty-seven percent of the
patients combined the herbal supplements with high-risk medicines,
exposing themselves to hazardous drug-herb combinations without
In addition, more than two-thirds reported using herbal and/or
dietary supplements, but only a third said their health care
provider had questioned them about supplement use.
The poll results are slated to be presented Monday by study
author Jennifer Strohecker, a clinical pharmacist with
Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, at the American
Heart Association's annual meeting in Chicago.
Most of the patients surveyed reported that they did not consult
their doctors before using a supplement, but depended on
information from friends or online sources. However, 92 percent
said they would be happy to disclose their supplement use with
their physician if asked.
Strohecker and her colleagues warned that findings reveal a
serious "communication gap" between physicians and patients that
compromises patient safety and puts people on warfarin at risk for
internal bleeding or stroke.
The researchers advised improving education and patient-provider
dialogue on the subject, while suggesting that supplements carry
labels warning patients of potentially hazardous interactions with
For more on warfarin use, visit the
American Heart Association.
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