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Herbal Medications - Issues Related To Their Use - Part III

Herbal Medications - Issues Related To Their Use - Part III

Herbal Medications - Issues Related To Their Use - Part III

Craig V. Towers, M.D.
Craig V. Towers, M.D.
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

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Launch date: 05 Oct 2017
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Last updated: 12 Sep 2020

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Parts I and II of this series discussed the medical, surgical, and drug interaction concerns regarding the top 14 herbal products purchased by individuals in the United States. This article will discuss a few other popular herbal products, as well as, review some of the products that can be purchased without a prescription that should be avoided or used with caution by women who are pregnant.

Before proceeding to the actual drugs themselves, it is important to briefly review how drugs might affect a pregnancy. A full discussion on each of these affects will actually occur in a future article; however, for now, some of the ways a medication could affect a pregnancy are as follows:

-Drugs might cause birth defects.
-Drugs might cause one of the baby's organs to not function properly leading to damage somewhere else.
-Drugs might lead to problems that show up later in life.
-Drugs might interfere with the function of the placenta (or afterbirth).
-Drugs might interfere with labor itself or cause the uterus to contract.
-Drugs might interfere with how the baby adapts to just being born.


Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
1. Describe the primary reason for usage and the proposed mechanism of action for Black Cohosh, Chamomile, Ma Huang, Thyme, Iodides, herbal Quinine, and herbal Belladonna drugs.

2. Discuss which herbal products reviewed in this article that should be used with caution in patients with hypertension, cardiac disorders, diabetes, a predisposition for developing kidney stones, glaucoma, and emphysema.

3. State the potential for a drug / herb interaction in those individuals taking certain medications in conjunction with the herbal products discussed in this article.

4. Discuss which herbal products / natural remedies reviewed in this article that should be avoided by pregnant women.
Craig V. Towers, M.D.

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Craig V. Towers, M.D.
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

Dr. Towers is currently Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at University of Tennessee Medical Center Knoxville in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He is still clinically active managing numerous high-risk pregnancies. He is also actively involved in research with over 90 publications in major medical journals. Though his research has spanned many areas in obstetrics, he has primary interests in drugs in pregnancy, infections in pregnancy, fetal heart monitoring, bleeding in pregnancy, and fetal lung maturity.

He has authored a book for consumers regarding the safety of over-the-counter medications that are used in treating the common cold entitled “I’m Pregnant & I Have a Cold – Are Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe to Use?” published by RBC Press, Inc. He is also one of the new Editors of the reference book for clinical care providers entitled “Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation, published by Wolters & Kluwer.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • 1.00 Hours

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