Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City examined the association among the use of herbals and patientsâ€™ adherence to prescribed inhaled steroids, and drug treatment and disease beliefs.
First, the details.
326 adults with persistent asthma were asked about their use of CAM (teas, herbs, and rubs) to treat asthma in the prior 6 months.
The relationships among herbal remedy use, adherence to inhaled steroids, and medication and disease beliefs were assessed.
And, the results.
25% of patients reported using herbal remedies.
Herbal remedy use was associated with decreased adherence to taking inhaled corticosteroids and increased severity of asthma.
Herbal remedy users were also more likely to worry about the side effects of inhaled corticosteroid treatment.
The bottom line?
Based on these findings, the authors concluded, â€œPhysicians should routinely ask patients with asthma about CAM use, especially those whose asthma is poorly controlled.â€
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.