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Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month – July 2023

Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month is observed in July each year. It aims to raise awareness about the potentially harmful interactions between dietary supplements with prescription medicine. The month focuses on informing people, especially the elderly, about how supplements should never be taken without consulting a healthcare provider to ensure that the supplement does not have a dangerous reaction when mixed with prescription medicine. For example, ingredients like ginseng, red sage, cranberry, garlic, and ginger can interact with specific prescription drugs to either cause dangerous symptoms or make them less effective.

History of Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month

A dietary supplement is a manufactured product developed to improve one’s diet with additional nutrients. Dietary supplements date back to the mid-20th century. After clinicians began understanding how to isolate and synthesize particular nutrients, they searched for ways to address certain health issues. The preparations produced were very similar to the multivitamins we know today. A change in the overall diet of the American public happened alongside the rise of pre-packaged food, and people began to turn to dietary additives to meet their nutritional needs. Taking natural supplements has become popular, particularly among those in pursuit of improved health and fitness.

The 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act stated that dietary supplements are “a product (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet that bears or contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin; a mineral; an herb or other botanical; an amino acid; a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any ingredient described.” However, dietary supplements can be dangerous to consume in a number of situations.

Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month raises awareness about the potentially dangerous interactions between dietary supplements with prescription medicine. The month focuses on informing people, especially the elderly, about how dietary supplements should never be taken without consulting a healthcare provider to ensure that the product does not have a dangerous reaction when mixed with prescription medicine. For example, ingredients like ginseng, red sage, cranberry, garlic, and ginger can interact with specific prescription drugs, causing either dangerous symptoms or rendering them less effective.

Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month timeline

Mid-20th Century
Supplements are Born

Dietary supplements are invented and assume a greater role in healthcare.

1970 — 1990
Diets Change

Technological advancements lead to a rise in prepackaged food.

1994
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act defines a supplement.

2001
Trust Increases

A study finds that Americans assume that dietary supplements are subject to F.D.A. approvals and are thus safe to consume.

Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month FAQs

Can herbs interfere with prescription drugs?

Yes, they can.

Which herbal supplement is most likely to interact with medications?

Supplements like St. John’s wort and goldenseal are best avoided by people on medication.

What drugs does ginger interfere with?

Ginger can interact with blood thinners.

How to Observe Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month

  1. Learn about the ingredients in your medication

    Information is paramount. If you are on medication, take time to understand the ingredients of what you consume daily.

  2. Look up supplement details

    If you’re looking to start taking a dietary supplement, read the package instructions. Make sure you understand what the ingredients are.

  3. Book a consultation

    The experts know best. Book a consultation with your medical care provider to ensure that no dietary supplement you are consuming is harmful.

5 Fascinating Facts About Daily Vitamins

  1. Real food is better

    Though supplements can provide you with nutrients, getting those nutrients from food is more beneficial.

  2. A diet-first approach

    Medical professionals suggest fixing vitamin deficiencies through your diet first.

  3. Bone density

    Vitamin K2 helps with bone density in older women.

  4. Unnecessary?

    Studies show that daily multivitamins don’t help the heart.

  5. Fighting sunburn

    Vitamin D helps the body fight sunburn.

Why Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month is Important

  1. It raises awareness about an important issue

    The interactions between medication and supplements can be dangerous. Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month raises awareness about the same.

  2. It’s a reminder to check our habits

    Do you habitually take dietary supplements? Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month is a good reminder for you to check in on your health.

  3. It prevents unknowing damage

    By explaining harmful interactions, Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month helps prevent people from unknowingly damaging their health. Learn all there is to know this month.

Herbal / Prescription Interaction Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023July 1Saturday
2024July 1Monday
2025July 1Tuesday
2026July 1Wednesday
2027July 1Thursday
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