Interactions Between Conventional and Herbal Medicinal Products

  • Danielle Sevior
  • Jorma AhokasEmail author


Drug interactions are a commonplace occurrence, and with the majority of pharmaceuticals, such interactions are well characterized. These interactions may be beneficial, with augmentation of the effects of one of the agents used. However, interactions with adverse outcomes are also common. Harmful interactions can result in therapeutic failure of a drug or in a toxic outcome. Just as two drugs can interact, so can complementary products and drugs; such interactions are referred to as “herb-drug interactions” and, like all drug interactions, can be potentially harmful. Herb-drug interactions present their unique additional complications due to the complex and variable nature of the products and their somewhat random use.

Investigations into herb-drug interactions are challenging due to the very nature of the product; many components that may be active or inactive when isolated may behave very differently when in a mixture. Additionally, there is great product variability and currently, regulations requiring standardization or demonstration of product safety, are carried out mainly in developed parts of the world. Also, the methodology used to study herb-drug interactions can have a significant impact on the results obtained, and an understanding of these methods and the extrapolation of the data to human impact is required.

In this chapter we discuss herb-drug interactions of potential or reported clinical significance.


Herb-drug interactions Investigation methods Pharmacokinetics Adverse event reporting 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.School of Medical SciencesRMIT-UniversityBundooraAustralia
  3. 3.School of Medical SciencesRMIT-University, Bundoora CampusBundooraAustralia

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