NR 509 Adv Pharm.docx - Emily subsequently returns to your...

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Emily subsequently returns to your clinic 5 months later, and decides to inform you that within the first 3 months after treatment, she struggled with a severe bout of depression. Instead of returning to your clinic to be prescribed, yet another pharmaceutical, she consulted her herbalist who told her about the anti-depressant, over-the-counter, herbal formulation, St. John’s Wort. She decided to begin taking St. John’s Wort in conjunction with her prescribed oral contraceptive medication, and she has now reappeared at your clinic because she is pregnant, and is distraught about how this occurred since she took her oral contraceptive compliantly since its prescription. Dr. Woodward and Classmates, Unfortunately, Emily’s situation is a common one that we as healthcare professionals see all too often. There are many herbs medications out there that are advertised to cure symptoms and disease processes. While I do think herbal medications do have their purpose, there can be severe and numerous drug interactions when taking them with certain prescription medications. There are about 25% of people in within the U.S. who are taking herbal medications with their prescriptions medications. I feel this is an area where education is key because I do think many people do not know how these medications interact. Herbal medications are not regulated by the FDA and can be put on the market before there is evidence based practice to support their function (Shi & Klotz, 2012). Basically, there is a significant lack of quality control, drug safety and efficacy, decreased knowledge of how herbal medications affect other medications. Often times in my practice setting, patients under-report the use of herbal medications. In the cancer world, mixing herbal medications can be deadly. As a cancer nurse, I make it my mission to have up to date medication records and educate patients on potential side effects of certain medications and chemotherapy. I work in radiation and certain medications such as cream on the skin are a problem, so we ask about everything the patient is taking. Of course, we are at the mercy of the patient to tell us
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