There’s a lot of risk for potentially harmful supplement/drug/herb interactions among ME/CFS and FM patients. For example, according to surveys in ProHealth’s newsletters:
- 70% of respondents take four or more nutritional supplements regularly
- 50% take four or more prescription drugs for ME/CFS and FM symptoms
- 53% of respondents’ doctors don’t ask about what supplements they’re taking
- 35% of patients don’t tell their doctors about all the supplements they take.
So ProHealth has compiled the following list of online databases that you can use to do your own detective work. Once you do, you’ll quickly realize how important it can be to keep your professional healthcare team fully informed about what you’re taking, and to explicitly ask them for their insights and advice.
Also, it’s important to recognize that though an interaction may not be noted in these databases, that’s no guarantee. Every person reacts differently to medications and supplements, and should always consult with their physician or pharmacist before starting any new protocol if they are on prescription meds.
RESOURCES FOR CHECKING DRUG & SUPPLEMENT INTERACTIONS
1. The Drug Digest Site – The Most Complete Searchable Database Found
Includes interactions with drugs, herbs, alcohol and food. This database covers some 5,000 drugs and herbs, and 11,500 potential interactions based on reports in the literature. The search process is simple once you walk through these steps:
- In the Drug box, type the first drug or herb you want to search on (for example, “aspirin”) & click Search.
- This highlights “aspirin” in the Search Results box.
- Then click the >> tab to enter “aspirin” in the Interaction List box.
- Repeat the process for each additional drug or herb you want in your Interaction List
- Then click Check Interactions.
2. National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets
Includes a great deal of information on each listed supplement, including footnoted summaries of any known issues and controversies, side effects and cautions about the supplement, and tables listing known interactions (if any) with different types of medications.
3. Drug Interaction Checker at Drugs.com – Covers Drugs and Supplements
Even if no known interactions exist between the drugs and supplements you select, the easy-to-search database will give you a list of other drugs that might interact with each, if you want to check. You’ll also be informed of any known interactions between your selected drugs/supplements and foods.
4. HolisticOnline.com – Medicine, Herb, Food Interactions
A website with general information about drug, herb & food interactions – under the heading “Herbs and foods may lead to complications if you take them with drugs.” There’s no search option available for specific personalized interaction searches.
5. HerbMedR – Database of Journal Abstracts on Most Botanical Medicines
Offers an extensive alphabetized search menu of herbal medicines, usefully providing both the scientific name and common name of each. Offers PubMed abstracts covering evidence for efficacy and activity as well as interactions & other safety data. However, many herbs listed in the menu are marked with an asterisk (*) – meaning they can only be searched in the Professional Version of the database, available by subscription or license.
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.