Feb 08, 2016 - 09:53 AM
Herbal supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but they are not classified as either food or drugs. Herbal supplements are a different category and do not have to meet the same standards of safety and efficacy as do medications. Herbal supplements can still interact with medications a patient is taking, making this a very important consideration. Aside from potentially dangerous drug interactions, supplements can also have side effects, just like medications. For example, St. Johns wort and Echinacea can both cause dizziness, which certainly might affect someone’s ability to drive a car safely. The most important thing to remember about supplements is that your mom’s doctor should be aware of any medications she is taking, not just the prescription medications that he or she may have prescribed. If your mom is interested in adding a new supplement to her regimen, discuss it with her doctor, go over any possible interactions with drugs she is already taking, and talk about potential side effects.