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Title: Development of a herbal medicine formulary to promote patients' safety
Authors: Spiteri, Maria
Attard, Everaldo
Serracino-Inglott, Anthony
Azzopardi, Lilian M.
Keywords: Herbs -- Therapeutic use
Herbal medicine
Medicinal plants
Issue Date: 2013-10-01
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Spiteri, M., Attard, E., Inglott, A. S., & Azzopardi, L. M. (2013). Development of a herbal medicine formulary to promote patients' safety. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 35(5), 871-871.
Abstract: Background and objective: Misconceptions about the safety of herbal medicines and oversights of possible interactions with medicines are common. The objective was to develop and evaluate a herbal medicine formulary to aid healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the prescribing, dispensing and counselling responsibilities. Setting: Community pharmacies. Method: Monographs on every drug herb available locally were compiled into a formulary, for each including the family and medicinal parts, indications, cautions, contraindications, side-effects, drug interactions, dosage and products available. The formulary was distributed to all, 216, local pharmacies. Subsequently, a questionnaire was distributed to 55 pharmacists and 10 general practitioners (GPs). Main outcome measures: Evaluation of the usefulness and effectiveness of the developed formulary. Results: A total of 30 HCPs participated in the questionnaire, of which 22 were pharmacists and 8 GPs, with a mean age of 36 years and with the majority of the participants being female (19). All participants found the formulary useful with 19 claiming to use it frequently and 7 quite frequently; 29 participants strongly agreed that the formulary helped them learn which herbal medicinal products (HMPs) are available locally and 26 strongly agreed that the information within the formulary is useful. Participants (n = 30) agree that the formulary is user-friendly (27), the information included is up-todate and well referenced (29) and that there is the need for a formulary of this kind in Malta (28). Conclusion: The formulary was found to be a very useful tool to support HCPs in providing advice on the use of herbal medicines. It was developed in a way as to be informative, easy to follow, user friendly and attractive and from the evaluation exercise these features were confirmed by the HCPs.
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