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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 129-131

Herbal Use amongst Patients in a Tertiary Care Hospital: Pattern and Perceptions

Department of Pharmacology, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Ambala, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Divya Goel
Department of Pharmacology, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Ambala, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-8568.195318

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Introduction: Herbal drug usage is very common in general population; their usage is much more in developing countries such as India. Many untoward instances have been reported either because of herbs per se or because of their interactions with other drugs. Aim: We lack the data showing the prevalence of herbal use, and to fill these gaps, the authors aimed to document the prevalence and perception of herbal drug usage in patients visiting the outpatient department (OPD) of a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 patients visiting various OPDs. After obtaining informed consent, patients were given questionnaires seeking their sociodemographic data, medical history and herbal drug intake and their perception about herbal drugs. Results: The study population consisted of 127 men and 117 women, out of these 107 (43.49%) patients reported the usage of herbal drugs. Seventy-three (68.2%) patients were taking these herbs on the advice of an alternate therapist. Among those who take herbs, majority of them i.e., 48 (44.9%) think that herbs cure the illness. Moreover, only 38.3% have disclosed herbal intake to the treating physician. While in non-herbal users, most of them i.e., 76 (71.3%) had never given a thought to herbal drugs as they lack knowledge. Conclusion: Herbal drug use is quite common and at the same time disclosure to healthcare professionals about it is very low. We conclude that for effective and safe usage of herbal drugs, we have to promote educational research for both consumers as well as for healthcare professionals.

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