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Geriatrics. 2005 Apr;60(4):30-3.

Herb-drug interactions: interactions between Ginkgo biloba and prescription medications.

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University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and the Sarver Heart Center, Tucson, AZ, USA.


Geriatric patients typically present with one chronic disease per decade over age 50. Each chronic disease typically requires long-term drug therapy, meaning most older patients require several drugs to control their conditions and/or maintain their health. Simultaneously, the use of complementary and alternative medications (CAM) has increased in the United States over the last 20 years, reaching 36% in 2002; herbal medicine use accounts for approximately 22% of all CAM use. Older adults often add herbal medicines to the medications prescribed by their physicians, yet do not always inform their physicians. The drug metabolizing enzyme systems process all compounds foreign to the body, including prescription drugs and herbal medications. Therefore, use of both medicinals simultaneously has a potential for interactions of an adverse nature. This review, which will discuss ginkgo biloba, is the first of a continuing series covering the documented interactions between herbal medicines with proven efficacy and prescription drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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