Cardiac Patients’ Herbal Supplement Use Deserves More Careful Investigation

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 by Kelley Luckstein

Consider this clinical scenario: an elderly patient with strong risk factors for heart disease takes a daily aspirin as a preventive measure. Lately, she has become a little forgetful and begins taking Ginkgo biloba because she read in a magazine that the herbal supplement can improve cognition. Several months later she falls on a loose piece of carpeting. Fortunately, she does not fracture her hip. But a protruding carpet nail leaves her with a deep gash in her arm. On the way to the emergency department, paramedics have difficulty controlling her bleeding, and she is at risk for substantial blood loss…

 

Patients, physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals "need to know about the potential harm these herbs can have," said Arshad Jahangir, MD, professor of medicine and consultant cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale.

 

JAMA, by Rebecca Voelker, 3/3/2010

Tags: Cardiology, Complementary/Alternative Medicine, herbal supplements

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