Table 4

Participant Reactions and Behaviours

ID #

Product

Reason for taking NHP

Self prescribed

ADR 1

Severity 1,2

Outcome

Reporting Behaviour


1

Stress relief supplement (ingredients include L-theanine)

For alertness/Stress

Self prescribed

Rash

Moderate

Recovered with OTC treatment

Reported to PHM, manufacturer via HFS


2

Fish oil

For health maintenance

Self prescribed

Rash

Mild

Recovered after d/c

Reported to CAM


3

Weight loss product ingredients unknown)

For weight loss

Self prescribed

Stimulation, irritability, road rage

Severe

Recovered after d/c

Report to f/f, HFS


4

Digestive enzymes (ingredients include amylase, protease, lipase)

For digestive concerns

Self prescribed

Stomach pain, bloating, heartburn

Moderate

Re-challenged, Recovered after d/c

Did not report


5

1. Herbal cleanse

2. [Wished not to disclose product type or name]

1. Cleansing product

2. For energy

1. Self prescribed

2. Self prescribed

1. flatulence, bowel urgency, stomach discomfort

2. anxiety, depression, nervousness, nausea

1. moderate to severe

2. moderate to severe

1. recovered after d/c

2. recovered after d/c

1. Did not report

2. Contacted manufacturer


6

1. Ginkgo biloba

2. weight loss product

3. St. John's wort

1. for memory

2. for weight loss

3. for mood

1. Self prescribed

2. Self prescribed

3. Self prescribed

1. sweating

2. shaky, disoriented

3. photosensitivity

1. mild

2. severe

3. mild

1. recovered after d/c

2. recovered after d/c

3. recovered after d/c

1. Did not report

2. Did not report

3. Did not report


7

Valerian

For sleep

Self prescribed

Agitated, unsettled

Moderate

Recovered after d/c

Did not report


8

Fish oil

For health maintenance

Self prescribed

Rash

Mild

Recovered after d/c

Report to CAM, f/f, manufacturer


9

Thyroid glandular

For weight loss

MD prescribed

Headache, nausea

Severe

Changed dose

Report to MD


10

Multi-vitamin

For health maintenance

Self prescribed

Nausea, vomiting

Severe

Re-challenged, recovered after d/c

Report to f/f


11

Weight loss product

For weight loss

Self prescribed

Heartburn

Mild to moderate

Re-challenged, recovered after d/c

Report to f/f


12

Melatonin

For sleep

Self prescribed

Groggy, uncoordinated

Mild to moderate

Recovered after d/c

Did not report


1 some participants experienced reactions to more than one product; 2 severity is classified according to patient definition of severity; d/c = discontinuation; CAM = complementary and alternative medicine practitioner; MD = medical doctor; PHM = pharmacist; F/f = friends and family; HFS = health food store

Walji et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010 10:8   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-8

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